March 1, 2015
This piece was a bit of a challenge.
The basic idea was to use beads that picked up the blue, green and white of the shell. My strategy for beadwork is much like my strategy for making soup. I open my refrigerator and cupboard doors and see what I have that might just go together. The green of the acrylic flowers with glass centers seemed right on for the green enamel on the shell. Since the back of these flowers had two channels for stringing, it seemed natural to do a double strand.
The 6 mm light gray pearls of the outer strand pick up the off-white tones of the shell. The light-blue glass beads of the inner strand pick up the blue enamel on the shell. The 4 and 6 mm hematite beads provide contrast and draw the two strands together. The 4 and 6 mm gold beads add a richness of color and dramatic accents for the green flowers. The last gold bead on each side also hides the crimp beads where the two lengths of satin-gold color wire are joined. A gold-plated lobster clasp closes this 25-inch necklace.
I learned from this project that adjusting two variably curving strands of different-sized beads so that the inner strand does not fall over the outer strand or pull away from it for each of five different segments is a task requiring the patience of Job. And I am not Job.
Necklace with hematite, gold-plated, and glass beads and with white glass pearls, green acrylic flowers with glass centers, and an enameled shell pendant
Necklace with hematite, gold-plated, and glass beads and with white glass pearls, green acrylic flowers with glass centers, and an enameled shell pendant – flat view
February 25, 2015
This 26-inch necklace came about because I had two strands of beads, one pink and one green, that were too bright and lively to go with the more sedate beads they would normally complement. Although the pink beads are fiber optic glass and the green are an acrylic that looks something like crackle glass, they go very well with each other. The hematite beads and pendant provide a dark contrast that is shiny enough to stand up to the brightness of the optic pink and “crackle” green.
The hematite arrow is flat on the back and curves up to a ridge running the length of the front. The necklace is closed with a gold-plated spring-ring clasp.
Necklace with beads of fiber optic pink glass, green acrylic, and hematite and with a hematite arrow pendant
Detail of hematite arrow and beads
February 21, 2015
I am still wishing for the green of spring. Jade-ite green and black? Well, this just shows I am old enough to be retro when I am just being myself.
This 20-inch necklace features four large stones: At the bottom is an almond-shaped stone which is off-white with green veins that appear to be aventurine. Above this are three black oval stones which have been cut to create an unusually curved surface with subtle parallel facets. Accompanying these large stones are 6 mm beads of green aventurine and black glass. The necklace is strung on braided gold color wire. Although a spring clasp is shown in the flat photo, it has been replaced with a gold-plated toggle to make the piece easier to put on and take off.
At 20 inches, this necklace is short enough and rests high enough to accommodate its long three-part pendant. My test subject tells me that despite the large stones the necklace does not feel heavy when worn. It falls gracefully and has a powerful visual impact. Great for an evening event.
Necklace with four large stones and beads of green aventurine and black glass
Necklace with four large stones and beads of green aventurine and black glass – flat view
February 17, 2015
After this last snowstorm here in the Northeast, I want some spring colors and glitz. And, after all, it is Fat Tuesday!
This 26-inch necklace is strung on a single length of braided gold color wire attached to a gold-plated lobster clasp. It features a dark green jade turtle finding with pink tones on one side and lampwork rectangular beads with a pink, mauve and green pattern inside. The other generally darker elements are stone cylinders and discs. These are balanced by the paleness of round 6 mm beads of pink quartz. Between all of these larger elements are Miyuki gilt-lined 8/0 glass seed beads. The gilt lining reflects a gold shine through the white beads.
Vera has made a pet of the turtle which will double nicely this winter as a worry stone.
Necklace with beads of pink quartz, stone cylinders and discs, lampwork rectangles, and a carved green jade turtle pendant on gold color wire
Flat view of necklace with beads of pink quartz, stone cylinders and discs, lampwork rectangles, and a carved green jade turtle pendant on gold color wire
Detail of Lampwork
Detail of jade Turtle from top
Detail of jade turtle from pink side
February 14, 2015
Happy Valentine’s Day!
This 27-inch necklace was a Valentine’s Day present for Vera. Strung on a single length of braided satin-gold color wire attached to a gold-plated spring-ring clasp, it features “exotic” wood squares and acrylic beads in one of the styles of Native-American painted pottery. Between the larger beads are gold-plated glass seed beads. Not everyone likes acrylic beads, but I think these look sharp without the weight of ceramic beads. I tried a bit of asymmetry in the bead and wood square colors here.
Vera thinks the piece has a masculine aspect. Hmmmm. I did have a bit of trouble keeping my bottom ornament pointing straight down when I was setting up the photo.
Necklace with Native-American style acrylic beads, wood squares and gold-plated seed beads
This is a full length view with the lower wood squares turned to opposite sides. The wood squares around the neck can also be turned in but not when the necklace is worn.
February 10, 2015
This 27-inch necklace features “exotic” wood squares, 8 mm chalcedony beads, and a glass finding as the pendant. It is strung with bronze color glass seed beads on braided satin-gold color wire and closed with a gold-plated lobster clasp.
The surface of the amber finding has an irregularly looping line that has little contrast and is hard to see in the larger photo. It is clearer in the detail below. It appears to be a thin layer of gold-color specks on or in the surface of the glass.
Necklace with “exotic” wood squares, chalcedony stone beads and glass pendant, strung with bronze color seed beads on satin gold color wire
Glass Pendant Detail
February 5, 2015
This 30-inch necklace is made with “exotic” wood squares and 6 mm white and gray glass pearls strung on braided gold color wire with a gold-plated lobster clasp. An enameled shell finding is suspended by a pinch bail as a pendant.
The contrast of gray and white beads is more subtle than the pink and burgundy in the last piece, but I like it with this finding, which includes gray tones along with the white of the front and the brown showing through from the back. This 30-inch necklace is made with “exotic” wood squares and 6 mm white and gray glass pearls strung on braided gold color wire with a gold-plated lobster clasp. An enameled shell finding is suspended by a pinch bail as a pendant. I tried using bottom squares with the holes drilled through opposite points to give the round pendant more space.
This third necklace of wood squares and glass pearls was intended to be the last in the series as my string of wood squares was down to one square, but Vera produced a second string of squares she had stashed away in one of her supply drawers. I have put away the glass pearls for now and intend to use something else with the rest of the squares.
This is a full length view with the wood squares turned to opposite sides. This introduces a wiggle to the beads as they lie flat.
January 30, 2015
I guess I must be feeling the need for warmth. This 27-inch necklace is made with “exotic” wood squares and 6 mm pink and burgundy glass pearls strung on braided gold color wire with a gold-plated lobster clasp. A white feather finding carved from shell is suspended by a pinch bail as a pendant. The warm elements dominate, but also accentuate, the winter white of the feather.
27- inch necklace with “exotic” wood squares, pink and burgundy glass pearls, and a white feather shell finding as a pendant
January 27, 2015
We are well into a cold, snowy winter here in southern Maine. I have been feeling the need to make something simple, but hopefully eloquent. This 27-inch necklace is strung on a single length of braided gold color wire attached to a gold-plated springring clasp. It features “exotic” wood squares and 6 mm white glass pearls along the sides. A large oval shell finding is suspended by a pinch bail as a pendant. The cold white of the pearls balances the warmth of the various woods and the rich magenta in the decoration on the shell.
27-inch necklace with wood squares, 6 mm white glass pearls and large oval shell finding as pendant