Jun 272011

Copper necklace with blue dangles

The inspiration for this necklace is a modern version of an Elizabethan ruff.  It is the next iteration in a series of experiments composed of variations on a peyote stitch chocker base supporting layers of ornamented wires.  It is similar to the Grey Necklace, or the Bronze and Prickly Necklace.  However, in this case I have used a wide flat band of peyote stitch rather than a tube and nine staggered rows of of blue czech bead dangles on copper colored wire.

Detail of the copper necklace's blue dangles

As with all projects, this necklace has been a series of missteps overcome.  Initially I had thought to weave the dangles through the peyote base as I did with the tubular necklaces, but with the weave flat, the wires created too much distortion in the peyote base.  So, it became necessary to stitch additional beads over the surface of the peyote stitch to carry the wires from which the blue dangles would hang.  Then there was the issue of sizing the wires.  If the wires were too thick, they wouldn’t drape properly, but if they were thin enough to drape nicely, they slid through the beads that supported them.  It became necessary to stitch over the wires in their bead supports to hold them in place.

The dangle necklaces are still a work in progress, however, I submitted this one to the Fire Mountain Beading Contest for seed beads.  This piece was selected as a finalist and I am awaiting the result of the final judging.

Detail of copper necklace peyote stitch band

  2 Responses to “Copper Necklace with Blue Dangles”

  1. Pamela,
    I know you say this is a work in progress but I’d love to attempt this for my daughters prom do you have directions to share although it seems out of my skill set.


  2. Hi Angela, The Copper necklace is completely my own invention, so there aren’t really any directions to work from. I can tell you that it is done in a series of layers. The base layer is pretty simple, peyote stitch with size 11 seed beads. It works better with delicas, which have a more uniform shape. Then you stitch a layer of size 11 seed beads over the top of the peyote stitch base to carry the wires. The wires are held in place with crimps. I used a special crimper that rounds the crimps so that they look like little balls. It takes a little experimenting to get the size of the wire right in relation to the hole in the bead so that the wire stays in place. You need a wire that suits the hole in the bead, but that still drapes nicely. I recommend darker wire as it gives a better effect of the beads at the end sort of floating around you. It took me quite awhile to make it. The time required depends on how wide you make the base, how densely you space the wires, and how much experimenting you have to do. Plan on about two months. This was the third project of a similar nature that I have done and it went relatively quickly, having learned from previous experiments. This explanation may not be much help. The best suggestion I can offer is to use my piece as an inspiration, and experiment on your own. Best of luck. Pamela