Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Death of a Necklace

This post is more about buying the right materials rather than the demise of one of my necklaces that I so painstakingly beaded.

It all started with a handful of newly minted polymer clay beads in caramels and winter blues and whites. Each bead was given an eyepin that I cut and created by hand using a headpin. This in itself is a time consuming task, especially when there are so many beads and I am trying to execute a move that I am not that familiar with. By the time I cut and created eyepins for all the polymer clay beads, Czech druk beads and the Swarovski bicone crystals, I was rather proficient in eyepin creation. If nothing else, I learned a new skill.
Here is where it went wrong.

I did not give that much thought to the chain that I wanted to use in my necklace and I wanted to create a bib style beaded necklace using all these beads. The chain was large enough to accommodate all the beads I wanted to put on it, it just was not strong enough.


I really liked the necklace and was pleased with the fact that I did get it all wrapped up and managed to learn how to create an eyepin that I could attach to a chain. The problems started as I was attaching all the beads. In order to get the look I wanted, I needed to fill up the links with all the different beads.I also needed to bead around the links to get a fullness for the necklace.

The links were too weak and began to break apart under the stress of the weight of the beads. These are not heavy beads, but they were too heavy and I was stressing the links too much by trying to add more beads to each one. Even by adding them one by one and carefully, it was too much. I tried to reinforce the links that had the beads on them by wiring them with additional wires throughout the beaded area. It must have worked, because as the links began to seriously fail, the wires held the piece in place.

This was never going to be a piece that I was going to put in my store. It was going to need to be completely redone before I could add it to my studio.

So, it sat on my bead board for the last three months.

The first thing I did was look for SOLDERED curb chain and Holly of Royal Metals got me set up with a 100 foot spool of soldered silver chain.

The new chain is perfect for some bracelets, but I did not get large enough links for my necklace. I could either see if Holly could get me another piece of chain for the necklace and I start over, or I could stare at it awhile.

I stared at it for awhile.

Everyday, it sat here and looked at me while I worked on so many other things and completely rebuilt a website. It just sat here staring back at me.

I have a list of things I would like to try and on that list was chacha bracelets. I think they are cool and I love the idea of packing them full of my beads and anything else I can think of to make them move. I am part of an Artfire Guild that makes bulk purchases at a supply store and since the prices were right and I had the need to spend money but did not really need anything, I bought three chacha bracelets.

Guess where the beads all went.

While one project failed, another one was born and this new project was the right project for all those wonderful and fun beads that I had worked hard to add eyepins.

I really like this bracelet and I am even more pleased that I was able to put the beads in the right piece of jewelry and they are no longer staring at me every day. Unless, I am wearing them, because this is a fun, lightweight and comfortable bracelet to wear.

Moral of the story is, buy the right materials to start with and you will not need to spend all your time trying to fix a bad design. Happy beads make a happy beader.

I learned to make eyepins, I got to do two designs that I really wanted to try and I was able to purchase chain for future bracelets. Never mind, that I got my share of opening and closing eyepin experience. :)

Julie and Blu