I collected a lot of these Swarovski shapes in tones of Magma, Crystal Copper, Crystal Golden Shadow and Bronze and mated them with hints of Tanzanite and Provence Lavender. The various effects and finishes combined to create a color palette reminiscent of flames. The Copper wire shape is a concentric triangle, which is meant to symbolize the stately tetrahedron. The tetrahedron, more commonly thought of as the “pyramid”, is one of the five Platonic solids that has been theorized, by Plato, to correspond with the “fire” element. Hence the name Platonic Fire.
Here is how the design came together. Looking at the elements, I decided how I wanted to arrange them.
- How dense did I want the large elements to be?
- What kind of structure could support that density?
- How should the elements be arranged to best show off the variety of their colors and shapes?
- What other colors and finishes and bead shapes and sizes would help bring it all together?
I formed a rough version of the concentric triangle design in 14 gauge copper wire. Once I was confident that the shape was what I wanted, I hardened it with a hammer and anvil.
In the end, I arranged the rich red tones at the bottom, going up through the copper, topaz, and gold tones at the top. The icy shades like Provence Lavender, Tanzanite AB2X and Violet Satin really looked great with the cool silver/blue/violet of the AB and AB2X finish. Light Smoky Topaz AB2X looks like a blue/violet bead unless you look through it, into the light, where the subtle metallic brown of the bead can be seen. Ceylon Topaz AB2X is a breathtaking color, like a champagne with frost. Topaz with Glacier Blue is richly gold with occasional flashes of pure violet, a truly magical effect when seen in real life.
I wanted to incorporate this chain as an added support for these odd shaped elements. The wire on the other side is 26 gauge antiqued bronze finish. It is delicate and beautiful but not sturdy, and not likely to hold up against movement. I did not know, at this time, whether I’d be able to pull it off, but that was my “plan”.
The red rectangle is being held with a temporary wire on the bottom to support it during construction. I can replace it with the chain later. The chain is held simply by threading it on to the 26ga wire before the wire is coiled onto the large copper triangle.
As you can see, the plan changed constantly during construction.
The triangles are not straight. They are an organic, freeform shape, like the curves of a lick of flame. This allows the design to shift as needed to accommodate the elements. It is easier to make freeform designs look good than it is to make a rigid or straight design look good. The roundness of the Swarovski Organic Triangles and Organic Squares were a great intermediate between the more symmetrical Swarovski elements and the freeform triangular base. The 26 gauge wire is often curled in circlets and whisps to emulate the coils of smoke that rise from an open fire.
The final design turned out better than I had anticipated. I liked the chain. I love using the 3mm bicones. Those are the smallest diamond-shaped beads. They provide the just-right flash of contrast and the perfect tiny size to make those little adjustments.
In case you were wondering, I’m planning to do The Ether Element next.