Sunday 9 November 2014

Necklace Design Evolution...

...from a serendipitous combination of beads, through the design and finding a buyer, and then altering it a couple of times to fit.

Back in July, while gathering up beads for the Gem Expo, these beads - hand-carved matte Afghanistan jade, dyed serpentine lotus flowers and watermelon tourmaline slices -- magically came together almost by themselves.

I finally got around to making the necklace in late September. Part of my internal debate was whether to go with gold or silver/pewter spacers and clasp, but I dunno, the greens are all on the cool side and I use very little gold and/or brass in my jewellery anyway.

I sold the necklace within weeks. However, it needed radical shortening because the new owner is so tiny -- quite apart from the overall length of the necklace, she was drowning in all the large beads. I lopped off two of the watermelon tourmaline slices and used them in the earrings which, silly bobo me, I forgot to photograph.

I also noticed when Gizella tried on what ended up being a too-short necklace that those narrow spacer beads weren't working between the tourmaline slices. There was such a sharp curve at the bottom of the necklace that the coin slices weren't able to lie flat. I needed to use round spacer beads for the wire to transition more curvily between each of the tourmaline slices.

Something else to consider with this particular design was Gizella's delicate bone structure. Because her collarbones are quite prominent I had to figure out where the longer beads would lie, both structurally and for comfort.

Here is the finished necklace, the second restringing with round spacers. I recommended she wear it a couple of times and different necklines to see if the necklace is now too long.

Speaking of The Gem Expo -- it's ONLY ELEVEN DAYS AWAY! See you there!

Something really cool I just heard about: Chris McGyver, owner of Honeytree Apiaries in Burgessville (aka B-ville), Ontario, just won Grand Champion Honey plus other awards for his honey and beeswax at this year's Royal Winter Fair in Toronto. Chris sells his honey and beeswax candles every Saturday at the Woodstock Farmer's Market and Sundays at the Stratford Slow Food Market.

Thanks for looking!


Rosanne said...

I thought the first necklace looked good, but the re-design looks great on its new owner! Sometimes I get so involved with the materials or techniques I forget that hopefully someone will actually wear my stuff. And isn’t that why a lot of us started making jewelry anyway---the need to have something unique that fits us? I’m beginning to see how having a sewing mannequin could be useful when playing around with proportions, but who has the space for one?

Barbara said...

Hi, Rosanne, Yes! Wouldn't a mannequin be wonderful? Even one of those torso thingies you see in stores would be helpful, so long as it's life-size. Space is my problem, too. Well... my mess is the problem.

A lot of it is education. It took long, long time and a lot of talking to get people to understand the concept of "I can make this FIT YOU, personally," (and not 50,000 other women that shop at ) and that it's not going to cost them the earth to do so. There is nothing like someone coming back to the market telling me that whatever it was they bought fits *them* perfectly.

Barbara said...

Oops, I wanted to write "(and not 50,000 other women who shop at "insert chain store name here")" and I used arrows and it deleted that.

Lisa Yang said...

I love seeing the evolution of a design - either the same materials different ways or the re-doing of a piece. The new necklace looks great on it's owner and I like all the practical changes you made.

Barbara said...

Thank you, Lisa. The downside to evolving designs is when you have only a few of the particular beads. I for one become paralysed trying to decide which evolution to commit to (this was/is true of all of my artistic pursuits through the years) -- even though rationally I know I can take it apart later if it doesn't sell and make something different. My solution? Buy more beads. It amazed me how having two strings of the same beads (or a pound of copper wire versus a little 10 metre roll) liberated me to be able to truly play.