Jewelry Inspired by Blue Moon Brewing Co.
From a design perspective, this week took twists and turns that I never expected. I’m really pleased with the TWO, yes two, collections that I ended up with. I think I ended up with one collection that was an evolution from what I’ve done with Blue Moon bottle caps in the past and the other collection is more of a revolution using designs and techniques I’ve not tried before.
Working with Jeans
In my first post this week, I mentioned that the color and style of the Blue Moon bottle caps naturally work well in jewelry that can be worn out with a great pair of jeans and almost any style/color top. Just to give a feel for what I’ve done in the past, I thought I would show a few of those designs here.
As you can see, a mix of bottle caps, recycled glass beads and wood in tones of blue and brown create a very neutral, wearable design. I wanted to go a step further this week and actually use jeans as a design element in the pieces I created.
I started trying a number of different things with the jeans – cutting into strips, cutting circles to act like beads in the design. However, I wasn’t finding quite the look I wanted. I took another direction and cut tiny squares out of the jeans, frayed the edges, pulled fibers apart and started to adhere them to pale blue recycled glass beads. Here are the designs I ended up with:
I found the bead with the fibers (on the right) to be the most interesting and I thought I would use that concept in a necklace design. I produced a few more like that one for the necklace. I had no idea what I might do with the other three, but kept them on hand “just in case”.
Taking Things Apart
After working with the jeans, I started “disassembling” the bottle. I had decided early on that I wanted to take a week off from using the glass since designs the last two weeks had quite a bit of glass and new technique. However, after the designs were all done and I was doing my photographing, I noticed that the bottle has the Blue Moon logo embossed in the glass….how cool is that! I know that the bottle will be broken soon and I’ll work that element into a design.
The labels were removed and I pulled a bunch of caps from my inventory. As I looked at the collection on the table, everything was looking very monotone in color and lacking some of the vibrancy that I had loved from the website. I realized what was missing was the personality of the illustrations. So, I printed a few and decided to incorporate the fun, colorful side of the brand to my work. This is a look at what I had to work with:
This is where the process started to diverge into two design styles…..
The Evolutionary Collection
This collection builds on the design style that I have used in the past, but takes it to the next level. The centerpiece of the collection is a necklace that leverages the bottle caps and the new “jean fiber” beads I designed.
The color of the gold/bronze circle chain is an exact match to the gold tone on the Blue Moon bottle caps. I like how the placement of the chain gives an asymmetrical quality to the piece and just adds another pop of interest. As you can see on the model, the design hangs just at the collarbone.
I was then able to use the three other jean beads I created to design a set of pendants in this collection. I paired the beads with some pieces and parts of the Abbey Ale label and ended up with three designs that I really like:
The beads that looked slightly “odd” with patches of jeans on them took on a whole new personality when combined with the label elements and some recycled glass beads. I think these 1″ x 3/4″ designs would be a great pairing with jeans and a tee.
Two additional parts of the Abbey Ale logo were leveraged to make the final two pendants in the “Evolutionary” collection:
The Revolutionary Collection
This collection leverages the illustration designs that are used for Blue Moon marketing. Instead of using the front side of the bottle caps as I normally do, the images are placed on the inside of the cap. To do this, I had to learn a new technique of putting resin over images to secure them in place.
The process was a bit daunting at first, but I made my way through the instructions and I’m pleased with how everything turned out. I’m also excited to have a new technique that I can use in future designs!
The centerpiece of this collection is a bracelet that carries the winter Abbey Ale theme.
If you look closely, you can see the winter elements. What I like about this design is that from a distance it just looks like an abstract mix of blues and browns. This makes it perfect for the beer lover who wants to wear a piece with their favorite brand, but doesn’t want to make it obvious.
Three abstract pendants with a similar feel were the next designs:
The final design in this collection are beer bottle charms. While I’ve made lots of wine glass charms, I’ve never ventured into the markers for beer bottles. You have to hold your hand over them as you drink from the bottle so they don’t slide up. I think they do a great job of keeping track of who’s drink is who’s.
The week was a busy one. I enjoyed creating these two collections, learning more about Blue Moon, and discovering a couple new jewelry techniques along the way. As always, the pieces can be found for sale in my Etsy shop. I would love your feedback. Which collection do you prefer? Is there a piece that is your favorite above the others? Leave your comments here and let me know. Your thoughts will help guide the direction of future collections.