Monday, August 27, 2012

BSBP Deconstructed: Sari Ribbon and Enameled Bead Necklace

For those of you looking for my BSBP reveal, it is here (2 posts down) - I hope you'll click, and take a look at my entire reveal!

This is the second in a series of posts devoted to deconstructing my BSBP (Bead Soup Blog Party) reveal, providing the nitty gritty design details.

Yesterday I  described how my gemstone chip kumihimo lariat came about, and today we'll look at my Sari Ribbon and Enameled Bead Necklace.

I fell in love with this sari ribbon, sent to me by my partner, Kate:
It is a deep, rich hunter green with a shiny gold pattern interwoven.

I knew I wanted to use it for the BSBP, but I just couldn't make it mesh with any of the beads Kate had sent. So I decided I would just make my own beads to showcase this gorgeous ribbon. I didn't have any enamels the right color, so I spent a day mixing and blending colors at the torch until I finally hit upon the right combination of 3 colors that when combined in the right order, did the trick.

I didn't have any clasps in antique gold, but since I had already mixed and match Kate's toggles to suit my lariat, I had a leftover toggle ring and bar that went together very nicely, only they were I patinated them to a matching antique gold. I also patinated some ribbon crimp ends the same color, anticipating a need for them at some point!

I enameled 6-8 beads each in 5 different styles/sizes, figuring I'd rather have too many than not enough, and have to come back and fire up the torch again. And it's a pretty color, so any leftover beads will eventually get used in another project!

Then I set about stringing the beads. After several missteps, I hit upon the combination you see in the finished necklace. At the front, I used 3 of the "squash" beads as a focal point, separating them with some antique gold metal wave beads - I really like how this looks!

I continued stringing, decreasing the bead size as I went, for a graduated look. I kept having to stop and remove beads and restring, because I wanted to use them all, but the necklace was approaching crotch-length, which is never really attractive!

As you can see, stringing these hollow beads presents the problem of visible bead wire. I used antique gold Accuflex wire for this necklace, and it shows if you look hard inside the filigree beads, is what it is.
Small antique gold Czech fire polish beads separate the enameled beads. This shot also shows how my patinated toggle matches the ribbon.

When it was time to crimp the beading wire, I had to start thinking about how to finish off the strand AND connect it to the sari ribbon. Probably should have started thinking about this earlier....but it turned out well.

I didn't want to have to fold the sari ribbon, so I wanted a wide ring for it to go through. I tried several large jump rings and connectors, but none of them worked well. The jump rings were too small, and the larger connectors were hollow sterling, and the silver didn't go with my antique gold. I decided to enamel them green to match the beads (thereby blowing my plan to NOT have to go back to the torch!) - but they actually didn't hold up to the heat of the torch. I finally remembered all the copper washers I have hoarded away, and I enameled a couple of those, and they are perfect!

I strung seed beads onto the end of my Accuflex, making a loop with them to go through the washer, and then crimped off the Accuflex.

I brought the doubled sari ribbon up to the clasp, and connected it with the patinated ribbon crimp ends:

This is actually my favorite piece of all the ones I made. It is very different from what I normally design - I am not much of a stringer, preferring to beadweave, or work with metal or chainmaille. It is much simpler than the bold statement pieces I usually create, and I love the color!

Stay tuned ... tomorrow we'll look at one of the bracelet designs.


Jean A. Wells said...

Beautiful necklace. I think you handled that silk just right. It is beautiful the way you did it. What I found hilarious was that you "just enameled some copper washers" like it was no big deal. I have got to learn how to do that and then you will be me saying "I just enameled some copper washers." Great job! Now on to read downward.

Terri said...

Yummy beads, yummy ribbon, yummy necklace! Soup-erb!!!

Maggie said...

That ribbon is gorgeous and goes so well with those enameled beads. A beautiful necklace that I would love to wear! said...

Love the combo -really like the ribbon incorporated into the necklace