I started with this photo of a design by Jamie Hogsett that Lauren liked from the August/September 2007 Beadwork magazine. The design is featured from the Create Jewelry Series, Pearls edition by Marlene Blessing & Jamie Hogsett from Interweave Press, prublished 2007.
But Lauren did not like the star shaped flower detail - she found it a bit too gaudy. She did like the pearls and the asymmetry. She also liked several styles with chain or wire linked pearls. No sparklies, though. She was clear about that.
So I linked several large rice shaped pearls together with brass wire to create one side of the necklace. Currently, this side is too long. I need to remove a few links to make it shorter so the necklace will lay asymmetrically across her neck.
Then I made two strands of smaller rice and button shaped pearls with gold seed beads and copper spacers on Silkon thread.
I love Silkon thread. It is very strong and supple when strung with beads but is stiff enough to thread through pearls without having to use a needle! This is a huge benefit! It allows me to use a nice, sturdy thread since I only have to fit the thickness of the thread through the pearls once - not a doubled thickness plus a needle. Some jewelry artists coat the end of their thread with superglue to make it stiff but I find this to be a sticky, dangerous, frustrating practice.
These strands are lovey but the paler strand needs to be made longer so that it will drape lower than the darker copper strand when being worn.
The stranded pearls and wired pearls look lovely together.
When stranding pearls on Silkon, or any beading thread, it is very useful to use a small seed bead as a stop bead. Pass the thread through the stop bead twice, tie a knot and add a small dab of glue on your knot. I used MagnaTack, a glue used in the millinery trade. It is supposed to create a substantial bond between fabric, plastic, metal, wood - you name it! The glue helps keep your know from coming undone and alowing your beads to slip off your thread.
Then you cover the knot and stop bead with a bead tip. These are a double cupped tip with a central hole and two loops so that the bead tip folds around the knot and has a two loops for extra security when attaching a clasp or accent piece.
Since Lauren liked the asymmetrical look of the Beadwork design but didn't like the accent flower, I decided to use a simpler brass finding as the accent with a single central pearl instead of several bunches of pearls.
I used a lage button pearl and created a ball end headpin by melting one end of a brass wire with my torch. This discolors the brass but since Lauren wants a vintage look and only the tiny ball was going to show, I did not worry about that. I burnised the flamewrked ball with my brass brush and now it has a nice, shiny antique patina.
On the opposite side, i carefully coiled the wire up to the finding and bent it over at a 45 degree angle. This holds the pearl securely against the finding. No flopping around and the ciol lies fairly fat against the back of the finding so it will not scratch or itch. I could have added a bit of MagnaTack here, too but it does not seem to be necessary.
I'll be using a nice filigree box clasp on the finished design.
I need to get some smaller jump rings as these are too big for the finding. They look just a bit akward. Some 3x4 mm oval jumps should do the trick nicely.
Most of these supplies will soon be available in Goblins' Market. The pretty central filigree is one that I got in a recent sample pack. I like it so well that I will be ordering more today or tomorow. I had ordered a sample because I wantedto see if I could fold the filigree around a bead as a bead cap. It does not work for that, but I like the way it can be used to hold a central accent bead and then link to a larger design or as part of a strand of floral medallions. I'm eager to patina a bunch of them and make a vintage bracelet with central sparkleys !