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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Refurbishing an Old Piece

Jade Knotted Necklace
This is a necklace that was given to me by my son, from a friend of his who traveled extensively throughout Asia. The piece was from India.

Originally, the piece was strung with monofilament, brass clamshell findings, and silver-lined seed beads as spacers. The necklace was not only very stiff, but plastic was sticking out of the clamshells and was very scratchy.

I did not wear the piece, because it was unattractive, and uncomfortable to wear. However it was a keepsake and meant quite a bit to me.

I decided to re-do the necklace using knotting techniques. I added gold beads in place of the tarnished silver-lined beads. The necklace was a little tight so I decided to chain. To that chain I added a decorative dangle. The new findings were 14KT gold-filled instead of brass.

Other than the updated findings and stringing material, I did not change the design of the necklace, as I wanted to keep it as close to the original as possible.

The stones are beautiful, and I will always treasure them. One picture shows the basic design of the necklace.
Closeup of Knotted Jade Necklace
Another picture shows a closeup of the stones used.
Jade Necklace
And lastly, the third picture shows how I completed the necklace, with clasp, chain, and dangle.
Jade Necklace

To show you what the necklace looked like before, here are a few pictures. The knotted technique improved the drape tremendously, and the new style is very attractive.
Jade Necklace Jade Necklace
If you have piece that you are not wearing, consider giving it an overhaul. You may need some new findings, but the beads are reusable and you will save money making your new piece. Then wear it, and enjoy!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Carnelian Necklace

I purchased these faceted carnelian beads several years ago, and they were so beautiful I wanted to make sure I did something very nice with them. At the time, I knew how to string using flexible wire and crimps, but I did not know how to knot. The stones are all faceted, and in three different sizes, all mined from the same source. The color match is therefore excellent, and the smaller beads in the back make it very comfortable to wear.

It took several years to become proficient with knotting and I did several weeks of research on the Internet to learn the best way to knot these large-holed, heavy gemstones.

What I learned, was that heavier beads such as these should not be knotted with silk, but rather knotted with nylon, because the weight of the beads is less likely to stretch the thread.

I checked my supply of stringing materials, and decided upon a two-ply nylon cord number 2 manufactured in Mexico. I had been using this to do bead crochet with 8/0 Miyuki beads. I found that using it to knot these gemstones work just fine if I doubled it up. That gives you an idea of how large the holes were. If I had used flexible wire, the beads would have jiggled on the wire. I wanted better quality than that, and I succeeded by using the nylon cord.

This close-up shows the beads in the front and the knotting.

Closeup of Carnelian Necklace

This picture shows the graduation of the bead sizes. I finished the necklace with a 14 karat gold lobster clasp, and a large jump ring.

Carnelian Necklace

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