Abstract Necklace
Or, It looks straightforward enough...

Those of you who've perused the glass bead section know that I enjoy making lumpy, bumpy beads. However, my erstwhile customers haven't always appreciated them. So, I collected a bunch of these “rejects” together to show they indeed could be just as attractive as the other, smoother beads.

This design proved deceptively simple, even for the stringer. I thought I'd put it together in 10 minutes, once I got the hollow glass beads that make up the bulk of the design sorted in a way that was balanced for color, size and shape. Wrong. I don't recall exactly how long I fussed with the 5 beads—two flat bali stars, two small rounds and the gungroo in the middle—between each of the focal beads to get the design to look right, but it was a while.

And, to be honest, though I was happy with way the necklace turned out, and so were any number of other folks—it's sold now—I can't say I ever got those proportions down perfectly.

But I'm very happy with the design, and would like to do a series some day, perhaps with browns, ivories and blues. Hollow glass beads, decorated with thompson enamel, frits, precious metallic leaf and trailing; Balinese and US manufactured sterling components. On beadalon. Photographed with a Kodak DC260 (which is why the image is a little fuzzy). Private collection.

Abstract, Continued...

As I recall, I originally made this necklace for a gallery show held in conjunction with Gathering 2000—the first time I attended the (then) National Society of Glass Beadmakers’ annual conference. About the time I sold it, I concluded it would be interesting to do a second version featuring the browns, blues and ivories mentioned above.

Well, it only took me a year (and more) to get around to making the brown frit. The beads, as I made them, seemed rounder, more even, and less lumpy. And, of course, a different color.

closeup of one of the new beads. Exciting, huh? (Not...)

But, after photographing the necklace, I concluded it looks remarkably similar to the first one.

Glass doesn't always do what you expect!