Sunday, June 6, 2010

Round Robin #3 - Lost, Tossed &&& Found

This necklace and accompanying book have just set out on a journey that will take them to both coasts and will last for several months. As a member of the yahoo group Charmsters, I am taking part in my third round robin exchange.

Having completed two round robins last year, the concept behind these exchanges is now familiar to me. Being a bit of a word nerd, a modicum of research was called for before setting out to clarify the terminology for blog readers. I found that 'Round Robin' is now used to refer to things that operate in a rotational manner, like tournaments where each player plays every other, circular letters etc. Long before those contemporary meanings were known of, the term Round Robin had been used to refer to a variety of things. The earliest use was as a disparaging nickname, along the lines of 'sly dog' or 'dark horse'. This dates back to the 16th century.

The currently used rotational' meaning is independent of all of the earlier uses. This began in the 18th century as the name of a form of petition, in which the complainants signed their names in a circle, so as to disguise who had signed first. This was especially favored by sailors - not surprisingly, as mutiny was then a hanging offense.

In the case of Charmsters, there was an initial call for project participants. Ten of us answered that call. When sign up was completed the hostess set up the order or sequence of trades, which did indeed occur in the aforementioned circular format.

Each participant then selects their own theme. Mine, as you can see is entitled "Lost, Tossed &&& Found". Participants then create their base necklace or bracelet and focal to reflect their theme. These projects are generally accompanied by a booklet of some variety.

At the first of each month projects are forwarded to the next participant in the rotation. Thus, each month your piece moves forward for the next artist to add a charm reflective of your theme. Each month you receive a necklace or bracelet in the mail to which you create and add a charm. Your charm relates to the theme of that particular necklace. The lovely necklace currently in my possession is themed beach and has a mermaid focal.

After 10 months, a completed necklace with additions from all participants arrives back home.

My necklace focal is assembled like a small book, with the front cover being a leaf from a vegetable steamer. Next are two mica pages, one with a photo of Greta, the latest addition to our pack that now numbers 4 dogs. Greta is a lost or tossed pooch, found along a busy road last July at about 6 or 7 months of age. She has fortunately found a happy home with us.

The last page of the focal is cut from a recycled wafer tin and shaped like the other components..

As noted earlier, most projects generally travel with a booklet of some form. Here artists can record thoughts about the charm they added and/or tell a little about themselves or their inspiration.

Over the past several years I have become a fan of bookbinding, much to my own surprise. This one is made with watercolor paper; stencils and spray paint were used get the background colors and pockets were sewn in for each participant to add whatever so suits them. The cover is recycled from the garbage bin at our hospital's Medical Library. It is bound in a spiral format using cooper wire.

The base for my necklace is composed of rickrack, thrift store ribbon, a torn old white sheet and an inexpensive thrift store rosary all partially encased in plastic coil binding also rescued from library trash. The coil binding was separated from the bound notebooks with interior pages going to paper recycling and the covers becoming the background base for my recycled postcards.

Round robins are probably my favorite form of Charmster exchange. Each necklace or bracelet has it's own theme and design demands, so there is a lot of novel and fun problem solving to engage in.



  1. What a beautiful start to your necklace! I hope you have fun with this RR.

  2. 愛,拆開來是心和受兩個字。用心去接受對方的一切,用心去愛對方的所有。.................................................................

  3. Chinese translation is - The love, disassembles is the heart and two characters.Accepts opposite party all attentively, loves opposite party possessing attentively..