Monday, October 24, 2011

Cliff-hanger Revealed!

So I left you hanging last time, but I knew this would take more time and space than the others.   This is the last piece I completed over the weekend.

You may recall when I purchased these items from the NepaleseBeadstore?   The focal bead is a dark piece of solid Lapis, and I don't see a flaw in it.  It's smooth and polished to a high sheen.  Then there are Tibetan glass beads which are described as black, but for the world look like very dark navy to me.   No matter.   They go together perfectly no matter what.  The Tibetan glass beads are also very shiny.

The red beads with blue-gray markings have more of a matte finish. I bought two strands of those on sale at a local craft store afterward, just hoping I could pair them with the beads above.

I began my work with the piece of Lapis.  I knew I wanted to put caps on the ends and create a focal bead for my necklace.  I looked through my stash for bead end caps, but found these spacers I had recently purchased. I liked how they looked so I went with those.  They were a bit loose on the ends though, and I had already decided to use some light blue cathedral glass beads in the necklace, so I added one of those to each end too.  They fit snugly into the metal spacers and I could then tighten with wire on each end.   

My original intention was to use the piece horizontally, but as I  began working on the rest of the necklace, the focal piece seemed too wide and stiff to lay properly, so it became a vertical dangling pendant instead.  I made large metal jump rings to attach it to the necklace.

(I later found that the three rings didn't want to stay put between the beads, so I changed it so only one ring hung from the necklace and there were two lengths of three rings each before the pendant.  You can see examples of this change in photos at bottom of this page.)   

I seldom work with beads that have a patterned design, and in this case, I was combining two different designs, but lately I've been trying to break out of my old mold, so I  eagerly began creating this necklace!   Looking over the pieces, I did decide to string this piece rather than do lots of wirework, as my last few pieces had entailed--lest I fall into another new rut!   

This necklace is symmetrical, but the pattern of bead placement isn't completely predictable.

Some closeups of the sides...

Toward the back near the clasp are a few black wood beads 
and a Bali-like bead.

Finally, it was time for the clasp.  I made a hook out of 18mm wire.   Then I tried a technique I commented on recently which was to cover the end loops of the wire stringing material with seed beads.   This became the loop for my latch.   The seed beads are the same light blue color as the cathedral beads, though a bit shinier (not so sure if that is a good thing or not).    I inserted a layer of firmer wire with the stringing material through the seed beads to give the loops additional strength and shape.

The finished product:

Okay, so you know what to do!  :-)    As always, your comments, suggestions, and questions are extremely appreciated!    

Coming soon:   Progress reports on Oct. Challenge and mustard color jewelry!

A very special welcome to new follower Mina!    Mina is from Belgium, started her own blog, "Mina's Juwelry" in September of 2011, but has been making jewelry for several years.   I've already got my eye on her beaded wrap bracelets!  (See the orange and green ones!  Mmmm!)   She also has an Etsy shop:  MinaJuwelry.

Thanks for joining us all the way from Belgium, Mina!   Welcome!

Image Credits:

All other photographs:   Sharyl, Oct. 2011


Krista said...

I love this one! I love patterned beads and I love red and black together. This is one of my favorites for sure.

T... said...

Sharyl, this is stunning I love the colours and those red beads are yummy

Sharyl said...

Thanks, I was really excited about working on this one! I really thought the beads spoke for themselves and my job was to stay out of the way! Ha!