As often happens, the picture in my head is more difficult to construct in real life than to create in my mind. In the previous post I left you thinking I would just make a replacement steel bead for the one that collapsed in the kiln. I tried! The replacement was much more ragged than the first one and unusable for this project. I think I'll be able to create an interesting bead using it but not for this post. Rather than go through the process of making a third bead, I decided to try to reshape the original. A long metal rod was inserted and I hammered and after several tries it worked!
Time to decide what beads I would use with the steel ones I made. I started with the ones in the picture. And I added and rearranged and added and played with the shapes and colors. When I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to use I started stringing.
At some point I realized I needed to make the center dangle/focal part or the necklace first. The dangle had to be secured inside the center tube so I could put the 3 strands though the tube. Head scratching! I used a wire with a ball on the end that I put through the small hole in the lower edge of the tube. That allowed me to stack the large orange bead with silver beads and finish that part of the necklace.
Next I had to figure out how to string the 3 strands to go through the center. After a few attempts, the tiny red beads were strung the length of the steel center tube and a crimp bead was placed at each end of the 1 1/2 inch strands. Then I threaded those through the center tube. The crimp kept the beads in place as I added more to each side.
Things were going pretty well and I threaded the 3 strands through the long steel tube on each side. It's going to look great.
Challenges to overcome this week:
Keeping the long tubes in a stable place on the necklace. There is nothing at the moment to keep them from sliding up and down. I thought the 3 strands would keep the tubes in place. Not so!
Once I figure out that problem, I'll finish the stringing of the beads and add the fastener. With any luck you will see a finished necklace next week.
There are a couple of reasons I'm sharing how I made this necklace with you. I think it is important to know how many steps and decisions go into a handmade necklace. I'm always interested in how something comes to be. Machines can make pieces fast but handmade pieces, one of a kind pieces, take thought, skill and patience. I like to share that process.
I also make a hard copy book of my blog posts at the end of the year that acts as my journal and helps me see what I've learned.
See you next week!