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Winners of the Design Challenge ECHO

We're pleased to announce that we have selected four winners of our Design Challenge for October 2016. The theme was ECHO: does this jewelry reflect an echo of the past, a part of a memory, a repetition of a sound captured in metal, wire or glass? 
The winner for work in metal for October is Sheila Davies for her Sonar Earrings. According to Sheila, "these brass earrings make me think of sonar sound pulses making their way outward."

We thought they captured a lovely literal representation of the theme!
The first-ever glass design to win our Design Challenge, Ellen Chapelle of Limelight Designs has a very special meaning behind the pieces in her Stardust Collection

"Barks and meows of furry friends past echo in the minds of animal lovers. This collection incorporates the ashes of precious pets into the grout between the colored tiles in these fused glass memorial pendants so we can wear them close to our hearts forever."

The winner of the stringing design has a beautiful bit of family history attached to it. The focal piece of La Familia, made by Barb Ehren, is a  commemorative Ellis Island pin converted to a pendant.

Barb tells us, "This necklace was created for a dear friend who shares my Italian heritage. Fittingly, the beads are Italian onyx with garnet chips and brass bead spacers. I can hear the joyous voices of my grandparents and her grandparents echoing from the island as they arrived safely to their new homeland. Bel paese!"

And finally, our stitching winner, Sight by Antonia Natale, has a poignant echo of a memory embedded in the beads. 

"When my sister and I were children, our father would take us to Jackson Park in Chicago, site of the celebrated World's Columbian Exhibition of 1893. The spot that most excited our imagination there was a place we called the “Echo Tunnel”. This was a small walkway under a bridge where our voices echoed spectacularly. My sister and I would race back and forth, screaming and laughing trying to make the echoes distinct and continual. While it was a normal occurrence for me to run, it was not for my sister, for my sister was blind.

Perhaps the Echo Tunnel gave her a sense of space and the walls confining that space – what now is termed “echolocation”. I've read that some blind people can learn to use patterns of sound to mentally place objects in their surroundings by sending out clicking sounds and listening for the returning echo similar to the way bats and porpoises do. This means that echos can literally create images.

Thus I have chosen to represent Echo as eyes running through bands of jagged gray and lilac sound waves, eyes reminiscent of the Egyptian Eye of Horus, symbol of protection and health. Although there is darkness in a situation in which only sound waves can be perceived and not light waves, just as there was darkness surrounding my sister's disability within our family, there is also beauty and revelation. There is a sparkle in each eye in my bracelet by with a tiny Swarovski bead crystal in the pattern."

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in our October challenge!

Feeling inspired? Come and join in the fun by submitting a piece to the November challenge, ASCEND. Do you have that one piece of jewelry that rises above the clouds and represents a rise to a higher point in your design esthetic? Did you master a technique or a stitch, take a near-perfect piece out of the kiln or tumbler, bend a prong to perfection? Did your beads come together in a perfect palette on the tenth time you tried?

Show us how you soar during November. We would love for all beaders, metalsmiths, clay artists and other makers to interpret the theme ASCEND in their own way and produce a work as creative as it is beautiful. Submit your photo and find more information here!

FIND MORE: beads , glass , metal , wire , stringing

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