I haven’t posted in quite a while due to my lack of free time, but I’m back to let you see something I’m really enjoying now.
I haven been learning to make polymer clay jewelry components: pendants, bracelet bars and such. I scour the YouTube channels for a new technique and try out what I find. One of the things I already did on my own was clay faces. But I needed a change.
So, Shelley Ashley, my rep from Nirvana beads, paid a visit to show me the latest and greatest in their bead line. We visited for some time and I asked her if she also beaded. “Yes,” she said and proceeded to show me some of the greatest long necklaces I have ever seen!
Shelley said that she had created the necklaces, using the different shapes of beads they carry, partially as a selling tool where the shapes could be in one place without having to drag tubs of beads out to show to a customer who just wanted to see what a “spindle” bead looked like, or whatever.
There was One bead randomly placed, or Two or Three of a shape at a time. There were oval beads, spindle and drop beads, flower beads and more. I immediately thought of the drawers upstairs, teeming with partial strand of beads, or the random bead that may have rolled on the floor that I couldn’t bear to throw away. I actually began a necklace like hers right after she left!
My first attempt was really pretty, but I learned it’s best not to put a long bead near the center, since it could bend at an awkward angle when worn.
The next necklaces were in different colors and equally as fun to make…with the lesson learned from my first try firmly under my belt…no long beads in the center.
So here was my process. I began with my little clay face bead and chose beads in a colorway that I liked to go with her. Then I chose an accent color and started to gather up all the beads to begin my ‘masterpiece.’
I chose a waxed linen cord to go with her to string the beads, but I was unsure if I was going to knot between each bead, so I pulled out the awl. I do sell them in the shop here https://www.etsy.com/listing/270234672 I only have one left, but have ordered more. I have also found Bees Wax to be helpful in making the waxed linen form more of a point to make getting it though the beads easier.
As it turns out, I went for more orange than the red beads I had first started selecting, and didn’t knot between the beads as originally planned.
And I learned something from this style of necklace. With a focal that is to hang in the center. You need to have bead sizes that come out equal in length. I lucked out with this necklace but think in future, I will get 2 little boxes and take my beads “one for you and one for me” and place the same beads (could be different colors, but same size) in each box. That way I can randomly string beads using the beads from one box for the left side of the focal; and beads from the other box for the right side…being careful not to have the really large beads directly across from each other on the opposite strands. I think it looks better to have them staggered and showcases the larger beads better.
Here’s my finished necklace…I’m so loving this. Thank you Shelley for your inspiration.. I now have a new way of looking at beads.