I found a vintage glass cabochon, really more like a shank button with the shank ground off. Then inspiration struck: I remembered these super-cool branchy beads I bought from Olive Glass years ago. They are black dichroic glass. Not flashy, though, because when the beads were blown, the coating stretched and broke apart. Here's a closeup of the surface:
Although the curved branches are expensive, this was already a special piece to me, so I decided to use both of them and go for maximum impact. I have actually made a setting for a button/cab like this before. This one's not quite symmetrical; the texture of the top determined the placement of the prongs.
In choosing the details, I surprised myself with these vitrail-coated Swarovski crystals. This flat flower shape is a new favorite. It looks so bold, almost garish straight-on, but as you can see, when they're snugged up to the branches, the side view is downright subtle. The last piece has those great modular crystal beads, three in a stack. Rather than using more black with them, I found that this dark red (really dark, they look black in my tin) set them off nicely. They have a standard AB coating, which only shows on a small part of the bead surface, just enough to echo the dichroic glass and add sparkle without distracting.
I finished it with one of the silver tags I've started adding to my work. I thought about having them laser engraved, but decided to sign and date them by hand, 'K/2012'. I use a titanium pen.
Here's the complete piece. I love it!
What do you think? I'd really like to know. I've been making these collage bracelets for a year or so and compose them carefully. Does it show? Or does it look like I just threw a bunch of stuff together?