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

Thursday, 28 February 2013

Turmi - A Beading Challenge

I love an inspiring challenge and when it results in something a little different from my usual jewellery choices it is doubly satisfying. The most recent Bead Soup Cafe challenge on Facebook really got the brain cells going as well as the creative juices. The colours in the photo taken in Turmi, Ethopia that Dini Bruinsma set for this one are amazing - lots of browns and orange tones with silver.

Sometime ago I'd organised my bead stash by colour with a transparent shoebox each for red, green, blue, white and metallic beads and the smaller quantities of other colours vaguely organised but in one large box. It was to the latter I went. Somewhere there was a bag of acrylic beads in mock tortoiseshell, if only I could find them! They were laid out on my workbench together with a copy of Dini's wonderful photo whilst I considered them slowly. There were hearts without any holes, various faceted shapes and lots of flatter disc shaped beads plus a selection of spheres in various shades and sizes. A chunky necklace perhaps?

I gradually added to the mix a few other components. I was impatient to get going but first I had to go shopping for some thin cord robust enough to support the chunky beads but thin enough to go twice through their relatively small holes. Eventually everything was in place and I could actually start putting things together, wire wrapping an acrylic heart so it could hang as the focal piece of the necklace. Then how to attach the heart's new wire loop to the metal circle? A beaded tassel was constructed using brown citrine beads in various shades ranging from yellowy umber to almost black and a dark chocolate colour polyester thread. A few macrame knots to secure a dozen or so metre lengths of the chord to the ring and form the tassel head then the rather fiddly beading & knotting before trimming everything to a similar length.

For either side of the main necklace a length of same polyester thread was folded in half through the circle then tied in an overhand knot. This was threaded through the flat beads from either side then both ends went together through the metal spacer beads. The latter were brought back from a trip to South Africa so I though they'd be appropriate for this Africa inspired piece. Further up more overhand knots separated the smaller round beads used for the back of the necklace.

Once again I was about to relearn the lesson that you should think through the engineering right from the beginning to the end before starting work... This time my lack of foresight and planning almost brought this project to an abrupt end, oops! The polyester chord being used for stringing is quite fine, finer than any of the coiled necklace ends I had but too fat to fit both threads through a clam shell hole.  A bit of a hiatus whilst I looked for a solution. Eventually I settled on making my own very narrow diameter coil using 0.8mm silver plated wire and the wire coiling gizmo I'd acquired over the summer. Two minutes work and I had a couple of spring ends, so easy I should do this more often!  Finally a simple lobster clasp secures the piece round the wearers neck.

All that remained was to take some photo's so my work could be published in the challenge album and to wear the necklace itself! Check out the album on Facebook to see some fabulous pieces of jewellery from everyone taking part.

1 comment:

  1. This necklace makes me very, very happy... Nicely done! :D