Jul 262010

Turquoise and pearl necklace with beaded beads

This necklace began as an effort to replace a netted rope necklace made with the same turquoise beads and bronze pearls that I had given to a friend.  As is often the case, once you give something away, you decide that you passionately loved the piece, can’t bear to be parted from it, and must make it again.  Of course, as it doesn’t do to repeat oneself.  So, it must be an improved version of the earlier attempt.  The version I had given as a gift was a netted rope similar to my earlier netted rope necklaces, the Rust and Silver Necklace, and the Blue and Gold Necklace.  These necklaces use a fairly simple triple loop technique which yields a very nice, elegantly simple, flexible necklace.  So, this necklace was to be a leap into the creative waters.  I would utilize a five or six loop netting technique which would yield a much thicker, but consequently less flexible necklace.  A bold statement, and why not!

After spending most of a week beading away in a spurt of creative energy, I was fourteen inches into the eighteen inch strand, when I discovered I was running short of the little size 15 beads that serve as the connectors between the bronze pearls and the turquoise beads.  A disaster!!!  Anyone who has worked with color, beads, yarn fabric, tile, knows that the colorway is critical.  Products bought at different times usually differ, just slightly, in color.  If you have slightly different colors at the beginning of the project, you can blend the two and the minor variations will look like an intentional part of the design.  However, if you run out of beads part way through a project and you need to change colorways, then it will look like precisely what it is, an error, a lack of planning.

What to do?  I was four inches short, an impassible gulf.  I could undo everything and start all over again, but it would have to be the thinner, and to my eyes at that point, a less lovely variety of netting…or….or…

Detail of turquoise and pearl necklace

Or I coud make beaded beads.  That was the answer.  I very carefully snipped apart the netted rope every fourteen or so rows and finished each end to make beaded beads.  Then I added copper bead caps and beads, and held the whole assembly together with copper wire wrapped loops.  It is said that “necessity is the mother of invention” and in this instance it served me well.  The beaded beads were a lovely way to experiment with the copper and turquoise colors that I had loved in an earlier necklace, but the end result was completely different from what I had done before.  As a bonus, I was finally forced to learn wire wrapping, which I had been intending to investigate.

Beaded bead detail with bronze pearls and turquoise beads