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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Getting Back to the Basics

Over the years, I have spent quite a bit of time grappling with new techniques, learning new stitches, and expanding my repertoire of jewelry making skills. Every now and then, it's good to get back to the basics. I love doing bead crochet. While I was learning, I used three different colors and beaded six in the round, creating stripes. I went on to do different size beads, adding gemstones and pearls, and different Czech pressed glass beads. Some of my pieces are composed of just very fine beads, such as the 24 karat gold lined crystal beads that are Czech vintage beads from the 1920s. The beads alone make the piece beautiful.

While planning for a trip to Pittsburgh, I decided that I would make a bead crochet bracelet upon which just the beauty of the beads would carry the piece. I did not have time to design anything complicated, nor time to pick one bead up at a time if I were to have the beads strung before I left.

Using just one kind of bead makes a simple bracelet, but loading them up onto Jean stitch is easy because you can use a bead spinner.I chose Delicas number 502, which is a 22 karat gold bead that has a lovely lavender iris finish. These beads are discontinued and Myuki no longer makes them. I bought them at a closeout, and only have a limited supply. These beads are some of the nicest I have ever seen though. I was going to do a simple bracelet with an invisible join.

However, as I got closer to finishing this strand, I received some 14 karat gold-filled findings, which included bead caps that fit the end of this strand perfectly. Doing an invisible join is something that took me awhile to learn, and most of my bead crochet bracelets do have the invisible join. Using end findings is a way that those who cannot perfect the technique of the invisible join can still make beautiful bracelet. It occurred to me that just because I COULD do an invisible join didn't mean I HAD to do an invisible join. The result is this delicate bracelet which is really quite pretty. I am glad I decided not to do an invisible join because the clasp and the findings add quite a bit to the design. You can still roll the bracelet onto your wrist, just as you can with any bead crochet bracelet, but the clasp is there if you want to put it on in the more traditional manner.

Moral of the story: Your knowledge of complicated techniques does not detract from the beauty of simple techniques. Get back to the basics every now and then.

Picture of Bracelet

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