Studio Saturday with Shannon LeVart

Welcome to Studio Saturday! Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.
This weeks winner is Elizabeth!. Congratulations! 
You have won a pair of adorable candy corn earrings from the studio of Tari Sasser
Send Tari an e-mail with your address and she will get those right out to you.

This week we visit the studio of Shannon LeVart at Missficklemedia.com.
Welcome! I was struggling to think of what to write about today as I have been experiencing a bit of a burn out. I think the the burn out is a result of too much assembly line production work and not enough day dreamy designing. I recently finished a very large order that challenged me personally and while I am glad for the experience I gained from this personal challenge, I’m also relieved that it is over.
Plus, like a lot of custom requests, it gave me a new product to add to my line of goods; double soldered circles, perfect for framing art beads in! As I contemplate their use, it occurred to  me that they had a duel purpose.
 The first, a left over pair of the prototypes (version 3) became extravagant hoop earrings with Claire Maunsel’s Jewels on Wood art beads;
 Adding a patina in shades of brown and blue complimented the deep blue in Claire’s beads surrounding this pair of hoops. And another prototype (version 5) became the focal point in this violet statement necklace that features Gaea’s Swirling Teardrop Pendant in pale peach;
How fun is that!?! The same build that gives two completely different looks! After finding these very versatile, and giving myself a good long week off, I have decided to offer them in a rainbow of colors. The first pair, done up in the ever popular Verdigris patina, is going to the winner of next weeks drawing! Yay for winning!!! 
 In order to have your name entered into the drawing, you must leave a comment answering this question –
What favorite jewelry component do you use, or would like to use, that has more than one use? 
As always, thank you for visiting us here at Art Bead Scene, if it wasn’t for you, well, I’d just be talking to myself now, wouldn’t I?
Much Love & Respect,
Shannon LeVart

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33 Comment

  1. KeRobinson
    November 6, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I would love to have/use something that holds about a 2" drop bead like a head pin w/ something like a lobster claw fastener to clip off & on different necklaces. Something that could stay permanently on the bead and add to the decoration.
    Maybe there is such a thing? LOL!

  2. mairedodd
    November 6, 2010 at 11:36 am

    shannon, these are beautiful… your attention to detail, craftsmanship and aesthetic make them stunning… i don't really have a go to finding – but this could quickly become one!

  3. WillowTree
    November 6, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    I love to use chains and connecters.
    The new hoops are wonderful.

  4. Alice
    November 6, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    I'm in love with everything you make. Your patinas are just gorgeous and add another dimension to your work.

    I love chain. Chain, chain, chain!!! It comes in so many metal types, and various designs and sizes. I can use it to dangle a tiny bead for earrings, layer it for a statement, or by itself to showcase a pretty pendant. I can use it as a base for a dangly charm bracelet or even use it for a belt.

  5. Cat
    November 6, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Wire! And even more wire, it can do almost anything…wrap, secure, attach, embellish, string, connect, close….the list could go on & on but I must go get another cup of tea.

    Great question, I'll be interested to see the answers!

  6. Dale
    November 6, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I would say that a favorite component of mine are bezels. You can fill them so many different ways, they can be used for different things as well. Ring bezels, necklace bezels, bracelets, even as part of a closure. I do enjoy using them in so many different ways, shapes, and sizes.

  7. Coty
    November 6, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I just got some of Earthenwood's little robin's egg link components in the mail, and I've had a hard time deciding what to do with them! They would be so cute as links in earrings, or even as a dainty pendant with dangles on a necklace. Very versatile.

  8. Kat BM
    November 6, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    it's hard to beat basic, sterling silver balls. My favorite sizes are 1.8mm and 2.5mm. They help make sterling tubes "smooth" in liquid silver designs, great as bumpers between bigger beads, and add pivot points between beads, giving bracelets and necklaces better drape and wearablility. Adding a 1.8mm ball on an ear wire (top and bottom) makes the simplest stacked earring design look elegant, finished and more expensive.

  9. Erin S
    November 6, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I use jump rings for everything! For the obvious finding connector, of course, but also I use big jump rings for circular design elements, for focal pieces, I make chain out them, etc. Hammer them flat, add patina. They are the most versatile component out there.
    Erin S

  10. DK
    November 6, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I've only recently started making jewelry and such, so I don't have a list of lots of things that I really like using or that I use for multiple things, but I like how versatile these seem to be.

  11. Malin de Koning
    November 6, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Hi, oh please let me win. You know I love these hoops.

    Many things are used in versatile ways, but if I have to pick one it would be wire. I mean, I can create my own components such as jump rings, pins, wire wrapped beads, a hook clasp, a squiggly dangle and so on. It is so nice to have wire in many gauges, materials, colours and finishes.

    The necklace is supernice and the earrings too!

  12. Off the Beadin' Path
    November 6, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    When you ask a beading artist to name a favorite, it's always a relative favorite, isn't it? We're in love with everything! My most recent favorite has been metal components, oh yeah, like Shannon's!! Zoa Arts combines well, too. I'm getting creative just thinking about chain, hoops, links, patinas…Gotta win those double soldered circles, such skill and beauty!

  13. maneki
    November 6, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    Lovely hoops!

    I always enjoy buying and using versatile findings. I find it inspiring and it triggers my creativity to use a finding in different ways.

    But when sitting here, asked to name one thing, my mind turns blank. I like smaller links, preferrably metal blanks, that can be used as links, chain components, dangles/charms and turns into bails when folded double. I like unsoldered chains with links I can use the same way I would fancy jump rings. I don't use bead caps as caps very often, but enjoy using them as e.g. flowers or stamen. Bezels and metal blanks almost go without saying: you can do so much with them.

    I also like filigree clasps that I use as alternatives to box clasps with a sieve. I embellish them with beads (or other things) and they come in many more shapes and sizes than "sieve clasps" do.

  14. Rebecca
    November 6, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    Love these – I thought that when i saw the post on your own blog about your big custom order and am excited that you're going to make them available for us all to buy – they are full of possibilities, as you say! I think my favourite finding has to be the humble jump ring. I use loads of large rings in my jewellery and love that they are both part of the structure but also decorative. the perfect component! So fingers crossed for me with these very big rings here!!!

  15. sundownbeaddesigns
    November 6, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Oh there are so many that I can't live without…but I'd have to say that lately bead caps are my fav.

  16. Sharon P
    November 6, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Great hoops! I do love jump rings as your average sundry go to connector, but you can dress them up by creating intricate chain maille jewelry that looks downright ancient!

  17. missficklemedia.com
    November 7, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Oh! This is great! I can't believe how many different ideas you all have. You have opened my eyes to multiple uses for many different findings today!

  18. My Life Under the Bus
    November 7, 2010 at 1:14 am

    Such pretty colors!!! I always look for all types of birds – I've got a bird thing and resin them in , glue on and bend around everything. I also love decorative circles that can be made into toggles. I like using things differently from their original purpous!

  19. nicole Valentine-Rimmer
    November 7, 2010 at 1:14 am

    AH HA! I can see so many uses for those double soldered loops now that I see beads in them! Those must have been fussy to make! I love chain, and headpins, and rings. Oh hell I love all findings! I am really excited to try Missfickle's patina's!!

  20. rosebud101
    November 7, 2010 at 1:23 am

    I love spirals! any type or shape of spiral. yes, there can be different shapes! I love that which is unique!

  21. For My Sweet Daughter
    November 7, 2010 at 1:31 am

    I love these hoops, Shannon.
    One of my favorite things to work with is wire, I can do almost anything and turn it into my own chain and connectors. I am just learning to solder and to patina from your tutorial and it has made wire even more fun to work with.
    Thanks for everything,

  22. Lucid Moon Studio
    November 7, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Love the patinas on these! The first things that came to mind is toggles because although they are clasps, they can also be used in the front or on the side of a necklace as a decorative component or focal.


  23. Beading Butterfly
    November 7, 2010 at 3:25 am

    These rings are fab! I love buttons, because they can be used as focals, accents, or clasps. 🙂


  24. Connie
    November 7, 2010 at 5:54 am

    Love your hoops! I use lobster clasps to necklaces on the 2nd strand, so that strand is removable and becomes a bracelet….I also use them for charms that can be inter changed…

  25. Jen V.
    November 7, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    Love those new hoops, but the question is even better! The comments are great. I'd add my two cents in for soldered jump rings…I would normally keep them for ends of pieces to make sure my clasp doesn't fall off, but lately I've been stringing them onto thicker leather or whatever I have going on…they make a great little silver accent.

  26. redstarcafe
    November 7, 2010 at 1:48 pm

    Shannon, I know how much work you put into these new components, and I'm really delighted to see how you've put them to use to frame the beads.

    I seem to use round silver or copper beads a lot to punctuate strung beads and also as structural joints to make a piece hang properly or to support a bail.


  27. Boot ~C
    November 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    great hoops,colourwise & versitily~wise!I love wire, I can make head/ball pins or links,clasps orpendants,hoops for earrings or….. well YOU know!

  28. Deborah
    November 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm

    Wow, these are NIFTY! Very versatile, I can see!

    I "see" nearly anything in multiple uses, so it's hard to pin myself down to one favorite, but I guess I'd have to go with the choice of several others here: wire, wire, wire! I love steel, copper, brass, aluminum, silver, gold – ALL of them! Even covered phone wire is so colorful and versatile!

    Several others here have already mentioned some of the MANY uses of wire – just look at these beautiful pieces of Shannon's here: Other than the pendants/beads, they're ALL made with wire!

    The hoops, chain, jumprings, wraps, earwires, headpins… prob'ly the clasp in the necklace, too!

    If I were stuck on that "desert island" with only one thing, I guess I'd have to choose wire!

    Thanks so much for this giveaway, Shannon – these hoops are really C-O-O-L-!

  29. Anne Betenson
    November 7, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    Dear Shannon,
    Just put in my first order from your Etsy shop.I would love to win these fabs new links.Already got lots of ideas for them if I win them,cheers,Anne

  30. Jan Vermillion-Thomason
    November 7, 2010 at 7:48 pm


    I'm very new to jewelry making so don't have anything that i can honestly say i came up with myself, but i do love using different chains in different ways. i seem to collect it!

    [email protected]

  31. Kinderhook
    November 8, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Like the commenter just before me, I'm very new to the whole jewelry thing. I've made a few bracelets and taken several classes but I don't have a favorite yet. I love it all!! I'd love to win your gorgeous hoops because I can see several ideas in my mind already and would love to try them out. Thanks for making them available. –SallyA

  32. Janet
    November 9, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    Time gets away! Here I am to bring up the rear! I love wire you can do soooo many things with it. Hammer, connect, wrap, patina and twist..plus make your own chain. Count me in! Love love your earrings!!

  33. Linda Landig
    November 12, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I love these hoops. They are so gorgeous! Thanks for the give-away.

    My first thought was toggle clasps, because they can also be components of the focal piece. But then I thought of buttons. I use them to make clasps, but they can also be focal pieces or fun accents. I have a good sized collection of vintage glass buttons.

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