Saturday, August 29, 2009

Re-Designing and Re-Stringing

I bought a necklace from bead artist Elizabeth Knodle many years ago when I took several of her workshops at The Whole Bead Show in Chicago. The necklace was always a little to short for my neck so decided to re-string it and custom fit it to me.  Above is the end result and I am happy with it. I kept the Michael Barley lampwork beads and added more gemstones, vintage beads and fresh water pearls along with the sterling silver accents.
Above and below are photos of the mess. I strung my basic design and then sat there thinking, "What have I done?"  I took good notes at Elizabeth's workshops and surprisingly I found them on my computer. However, what I've learned through all of this is what I took for granted many years ago that I would "just know" certain things, I didn't and learned the hard way. At least I took photos along the way for future reference.

This time I made notes reminding myself to check the bead hole sizes because the beads are woven through many times. If they are too stuffed with thread the beads will break or the threads will break over time. I reminded myself to place tiny spacer beads at tension points to ease the curving of the beads while making sure the tension beads weren't so small that they disappeared into the bead next to it.
It turned out how I wanted it to and that's an accomplishment for me. Above is a detail of some of the gemstones - fresh water pearls, amber, quartz, agate, sterling silver, labradoite, pearl blister chips, etc. Hopefully it will be a nice long time before I tire of this design. I did put a note at the bottom of the instructions "Think Twice".  I was on a roll. Had these gemstones sitting on a shelf and finally strung them.  I used a good quality Soft Flex with the jade and fresh water pearls. Did not pearl knot.
Although, the next time I re-string this, I will add small pearl tension beads. The fresh water pearls are so uneven, the jade squares don't curve with ease. They really are just fine, but I'm obsessing.

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