One woman's adventures in the land of hand made jewellery

Friday, 18 February 2011

A Good Idea But...

Sometimes what seems a good idea doesn't exactly translate into a wearable item. It happened to me this week. Inspired by some pretty pale blue crackle beads and a desire to make something chunky I spent an afternoon constructing an intricate 3D piece (picture left). The end result looked great on my worktable where it curved beatifully on the flat surface but oh dear, round the neck it failed to take up curves in additional directions. The three strand effect made it too stiff and it lost its fluidity the instant it was worn. The piece looks awkward, uneven and ungainly, the prettiness of the glass beads lost in the stiffness of the form.

Undetered I tried again with three parallel strands creating a choker in pink and smoke coloured crackles. This time the stiffness worked in my favour and it stands up beautifully round the neck when worn making me very pleased with the end result. An added bonus was discovering my smoky choker with its chain connecter works equally as well as a bracelet doubling my opportunities to wear it!

Not being an engineer I'm still trying to figure out what makes a structure rigid and what makes it fluid, hence what makes a good necklace shape and what doesn't. I think the answer lies in the shape of the bead and the stringing method used.  My guess is that the three continuous strands in my first piece were working a bit like the steel cables of a suspension bridge. By introducing some additional links in the piece it would have gained some articulation so it could lie over the shoulders as well as curving round the neck. For now I've dismantled it and will experiment with some alternatives.

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