Saturday 11 July 2015

Summer Lovin', and the challenge of necklaces

Us jewellery designers, we all have our comfort spots. Things that flow easily from our hands and minds, pieces that we can make almost in our sleep. Pieces that almost feel like they design themselves. 

For me, it's bracelets that tend to fall into that category. Somehow, when I get new art beads, they often tend to become bracelets in my mind before anything else. I can see how they would sit, what could sit around them; bracelet composition seems to be what my mind first leaps to. (Of course, now I've said that, there will be no bracelets coming from here this week...!). 

But not everyone wants to wear just bracelets. They want earrings, and necklaces too. And sometimes even rings (more about those in a later post). Earrings, generally, are fine and enjoyable. Sometimes I struggle to create more elaborate earrings (ironic, as those are the ones I'm drawn to wear) but generally, I can whip up a bunch of earrings easily in one sitting. 

But necklaces.....oh necklaces, sometimes you feel like my nemesis! I really have to steel myself for them, 92% of the time. The other 8%, something random happens in my mind and I thank all the stars for that, but the rest of the time, they do feel more of a challenge. I guess perhaps because there's so much of them, and because they frame the face, and because I don't really like to wear them myself, and, and and....just *because*. They are my nemesis, and they always have been, since I began this jewellery designer/maker business.

However, sometimes a bead lands on your doormat that really demands to be a necklace. Nothing else will do. Size and heft have a lot to do with that, but sometimes it's not even that - they just have a necklace *quality* to them. All of these things were true with this glorious handmade lampwork glass heart that arrived at the beginning of this week:

From the outrageously talented hands of Sally Soul Silver, it flew across to me from the other side of Scotland, Renfrewshire to Edinburgh, and it was mega-love at first touch. Of course, I'd bought the thing, so you'd hope I'd love it(!) but it really is something special to behold. 

And of course, I knew it would have to be part of a necklace. Sometimes that can make me a little sad, because I know of my tendency to shy away from necklaces at times, and I think that the beautiful bead which I am holding won't be able to fulfil its true destiny for a good while. 

(Yes, I know - I'm a bit odd.)

But with this one, I just knew that it had to become something wonderful, or as wonderful as I could muster, sooner rather than later. Might have something to do with the rather epic craft fair just around the corner, and (as you'd imagine from someone who has tendencies to avoid necklaces when possible) the lack of necklaces in my current stock load. 

Anyway, I sat down the day after this glorious hunk of glass arrived (all 26mm of it) and thought: NECKLACE. In fact, I thought NECKLACES, and I'll share the other two pieces I created that day in another post. 

And here's what happened:

Handmade lampwork glass, Czech pressed glass, Indonesian lampwork glass, recycled glass, handwoven's a whole lot of glassy loveliness. 

I made my own antiqued copper rose bail for Sally's heart.

I've been working on a new pattern for 15mm handwoven glass {song}beads, and so the violet opal one here is one of those new chunky monkeys, alongside another gorgeous piece of handmade lampwork glass from Sally.

Oh, and those tiny purple spacers? They're dyed nut beads. Pretty cool! They have a lovely, organic look and feel to them. 

It's a lovely, long, easy-to-wear, perfectly summery, Scottish sea and heather glassy fest, and I'm pretty pleased with it.


Terri said... was like you crawled into my mind..I feel so much the same way as you do the post and your beautiful necklaces..I'm inspired to get out those ..."only necklace will do' pieces and ...create something...hopefully as beautiful as these!

Alice said...

!love making earrings and could make them all day long. Now bracelets are a different thing. I never know how to size them. Necklaces are OK but I have to force myself to make them.
Your pieces are just lovely.
Thanks for sharing the link to ARETObeads shop. I just had to buy some of her lovely beads.

Anonymous said...

This is such a beautiful piece - you certainly did justice to a gorgeous focal bead! My favorite favorite thing though is.... your little beaded {song}bead... I just have a 'thing' for your beaded beads. xo -- Julie


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