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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fixing Design Errors

I had an idea for a necklace that would incorporate several jewelry design techniques: bead weaving, pearl knotting, wire-working, and chain maille. I made the body of this piece using a modified herringbone stitch, with 4 mm cubes, farfaille seed beads, and shocking pink 10 lb test fire line. The mono-chromatic design was to continue with two strands of knotted pearls and crystals, and then terminate with chain maille and a hand-made clasp. For the pendant, I use a simple chain maille weave and handmade14kt gold-filled jump rings to create a short chain. To this I added wire-wrapped crystals and pearls.

Once all the components were completed, I assembled the necklace, put it on, and realized the knotted strands and chain maille sections were much too long. So, what do you do when you have a situation like this?

I removed the knotted pearl and crystal section, reattached the chain maille, and voila! I had the necklace the length I wanted, and it hung perfectly.
Designer Jewelry-Chain Maille Necklace with pearls and sapphires
Here's a closeup of the first pendant made for the above necklace:
Designer Jewelry-Chain Maille Necklace with pearls and sapphires
The next decision was what to do with the pearl strands.

I connected those to a store-bought clasp and created another pendant, somewhat similar to the first one, but shorter, with much fewer crystals and gold dangles added to make a different design. I don’t usually make short necklaces, but I was not going to cut apart the knotted strands and start over. The strands were just long enough, and now I have two pieces designed.

Designer Jewelry-Chain Maille Necklace with pearls and sapphires

This second shorter necklace designed, I call, “To Err Is Human”.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Modified Necklace

I said I was going to redo a piece. I was going to improve on the design by making chain maille that was just a little smaller in diameter than the focal piece of pearls and sapphires. I finished that last week. Below is a picture of the necklace redone with chain maille.
Designer Jewelry-Chain Maille Necklace with pearls and sapphires
I am still not sure which one I like better. They both are nice. However, I'm going to leave this piece as it is. I used the thin chain I took off the original necklace for a similar piece done with garnets:
Designer Jewelry-Pearl and garnet bead crochet necklace
I stlil have not bought another strand of sapphires, but eventually I will get back to that so I can design a matching pair of earrings.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Corning Museum of Glass

This past week I took a road trip through New England: New Hampshire of course, Maine, Vermont, New York, just a bit of Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts. I'm sorry I missed Rhode Island and Connecticut, but that's the way the trip went.
One of the museums that I visited was the Corning Museum of Glass. I took over 500 photos of what I saw there, and I thought I would share one of the pictures of beadwork done with what looked to me to be 22/0 beads. This is beaded knitting from the 19th century:

The one I'm talking about is the second piece in from the left, and if you look at the top rim of the goblet you can see a thin line of blue beads. Compare the size of these with the ones used in the piece in the middle with the deer on it. The centerpiece is made with 11/0 beads.

What an incredible piece this goblet is! I have no idea how they got a needle through those beads. They must have used a thread with the end glued into a portion stiff enough to be used as a needle. The whole piece was beaded with those tiny beads, and it's tough to get that many colors to make a flower pattern. Just finding the beads to reproduce this today would be quite the trick.

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