Apr 112010


bronze and prickly

I started this necklace as variation on “Grey Necklace with Pearl Dangles”  shown in the first posting on this site.  I had a hank of incredible brown pearls that were and amazing complement to the light bronze bead I have used for the necklace base.  So, where are the brown pearls you might wonder? 

When you make anything, it is almost impossible not to have ideas for variations.  It is also utterly boring to do the same thing time after time, even if you are varying the colors.  There are always other new ideas flirting in your imagination and begging to be tried.  So, this started out similarly to the “Necklace with Dangles”, but I wanted to try something different.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the crimps in the previous necklace and I couldn’t find them in a gold-ish color in a small enough size.  So, I needed another method of attaching the pearls to the wires and then the wires to the beaded band, but first I needed a wire that matched the brown of the pearls, the bronze tone of the beaded band, and which was flexible enough to give the effect I was seeking.  I believe it took four orders of wire from various supplies before I finally found the color match I was seeking. 

 Now, having finally solved the wire problem, it was time to move on to the pearls.  With the large crimps not work well on single strands of wire, I decided to glue the pearls to the wire and then small beads on either side of the pearl wire to hold it in position on the peyote stitch band.  After about a week of gluing pearls to wires and wires to the beaded neckband I called it done and tried it on…disaster.  For whatever reason, the glue wasn’t holding and the everything was coming apart.  Clearly, I needed to strip all of the pearl and wire and start over. Happily, the glue was working so poorly it was quite easy to strip the pearls from the wires and the wires from the necklace. 

Well, by this point, weeks into the necklace, I was getting frustrated and cranky. Out of that ire an idea evolved.  Forget the pearls.  I was prickly, a veritable porcupine, the necklace would be prickly.  Slipping the wire through the band and doubling it gave the large crimps enough surface area to grip, so I was on my way. I still wasn’t fond of the look of the larger crimp.  However, in a happy convergence of need meeting tool, a new tool came on the market, which compacted the crimp into a small ball, resembling a bead.

So there you have it, the journey from “Grey Dangles” to “Bronze and Prickly.”

Ideas don’t disappear.  They seem to go dormant for awhile and percolate in my imagination. I still have the brown pearls, quite a few of them and I still love their color.  They made it into a pearl and turquoise necklace, but I am contemplating other possibilities.  Keep an eye out, they will show up here eventually.

bronze and prickly detail

Apr 102010

blue and gold necklace

This necklace is a version of a tubular netted weave.  It can be made in an endless variety of colors.  The weave here has three sections to it, but that also can be varied to give a thicker, heavier appearance.  This necklace is done with Czech crystals and gold colored glassbeads.  It could also be done with precious materials using any stone as an accent bead and gold or silver for the netting.

blue and gold necklace detail

Apr 102010

black peyote ring necklace with herringbone chain

I like projects where the three dimensional shape is generated by changing the sizes of the beads.  The large black beads that are the focal point of this necklace are made with tubular peyote stitch.  By changing the size from a 15/0 to 11/0 to 8/0 a hollow tube is naturally created.  The larger beads are black and the finer beads on the inside radius are white, which gives the focal beads something of a reptilian feel, like the belly of a snake or a lizard.

black ring necklace detail

Apr 092010

spiral bracelet with tubular peyoteThis is another design that is so interesting , that as a beader, you just have to give it a try at some point.  This bracelet is made from tubular peyote stich as is my grey necklace, also on this site.  However, with the spiral bracelet, you change the size of the bead as you work, going from a small 15/0 bead or charlotte to a 6/0 bead and back again.  The result is this fascinating spiral which happens automatically as a result of the change in bead sizes.  The hard part is connecting the two ends together to form the circle, but when you get the pattern lined up properly it all clicks in to place.  Well, more or less.

 As it happens, this is another kit.  Although, it is a fairly common technique shown in a variety of books and magazines.  What you get from the kit is this lovely brown/green colorway. 

 Kits are great for developing a feel for what colors go together and for that lazy day, or week when you want to experiment but don’t have the right collection of bead colors or sizes.

Apr 092010

 purple branched bracelet detail

Some things are just fun, fun to make, fun to wear, fun to look at.  This is one of them.  This piece visually reminds me of a sea anemone.  It is outrageously fun to wear.  A complete distraction.

This is actually a kit.  I buy kits occasionally to learn techniques.  This one uses a branching technique that gives it the movement that makes it so enjoyable to wear.  The colorway is also interesting.  It shades from darker purple at the center to a very light purple at the end of each strand. The shading effect adds to the perceived movement. 

Halfway through making this one I discovered that the beads provided with the kit wouldn’t be sufficient to finish.  So luckily I was able to sort through my bead collection and find additional beads that were a close enough match to look as though they were part of the original design.  Much of what makes this piece successful is the density of the strands.  Stopping halfway would have ruined the piece, although I am not quite sure whether a third pass would make it better.  It is a time consuming piece to make, but I don’t doubt that at some point I’ll be forced to try a denser piece just to satisfy my curiosity.

purple branched bracelet

Apr 072010

 grey beaded necklace with pearl dangles

While this was not the first beaded necklace that I had made, it is one of my favorites and it is most likely the first where the end result realized what I had envisioned when I started making it. 

Fabricated of gunmetal grey cylindar beads in a peyote stitch tube with grey/purple pearls suspended on wire.

grey beaded necklace with pearl dangles detail