Sunday, January 30, 2011

Evolution of a design

I had this gorgeous, large, burgundy Raku bead, and my original plan was to braid a simple beaded kumihimo rope to suspend it from.

But this design quickly became a study in problem solving, with problem #1 being that I didn't have any matching seed beads in a size that would work up into a beaded kumihimo rope.

So I decided I would fall back on one of my favorite beadweaving stitches, the spiral.

I had too many bead choices here, and had to play with them, and keep narrowing them down, so that I didn't end up with a overly busy or chunky spiral rope that would overwhelm the bead, despite the bead's size.

Because this raku cylinder bead was huge - almost 4 inches long, with a very large hole running through it.

This is the spiral I finally decided on: brown freshwater pearls, mauve seed beads, burgundy seed beads, olive green seed beads, and copper seed beads for the core. After stitching this 2 inch length, I came upon problem #2: how to cap the large raku bead?

I spent a couple of days working on this beadcap issue. I stitched a number of different attempts from seedbeads, in various sizes, and various patterns, but none of them worked; they needed to be relatively flat on the end, and then immediately flare out pretty widely, and then hug the bead.

And no ready-made beadcaps were anywhere near the size of this bead's end, so I kept stewing, and started looking around for anything I could use to cobble together a suitable beadcap.

I finally found a combination of Vintaj brass findings that I felt, theoretically anyway, could work.  I used metal punch pliers to punch 6 holes in a Vintaj brass ring, to correspond with the placement of the 6 petals on the Vintaj flower.

These are the 3 Vintaj components I finally settled on - the larger ring is a good size for the end of the Raku bead.

Here is how the 3 components stacked in my plan -  now I just had to get them to stay fastened together (and attach them to the bead!)

I made a number of attempts to wire-wrap the components together, but wasn't happy with any of the results.

So I decided to weave the components together with seed beads, and after several more tries, this is the (somewhat over-exposed, sorry) result. 

I then used 20g Vintaj brass wire to wire the caps to the bead, and then attached a length of spiral to each end.  The original plan, after settling on the spiral, was to have the whole necklace be a simple spiral, but by now I had so mych time and energy invested that I decided to glam it up, and added a short length of Vintage brass chain with fringe embeliishment comprised of Swarovski crystals and freshwater pearls to each side, before continuing on with the spiral rope.

Of course, I had to do some more embellishing, so I added fringe to one side, and some freeform peyote leaves to the other.

Then I finished with a Vintaj brass S-hook and extender chain, providing an adjustable finished length.


1 comment:

PussDaddy said...

That turned out very nice.