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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Austin Bead Necklace
Buy beads anytime, anywhere....

I discovered the joys of looping thread back and forth to give a piece more visual fullness with this necklace made of unakite, rhyolite, nephrite jade, abalone and luhanos shell, serpentine, agate, freshwater pearls, bronze 11/0s, brass and gold fill beads. The pale green donut necking down the unakite stones on the right of the image is a mystery stone; none of the wholesalers have been able to tell me what it is.

Like all bead artists, I'm always looking at and for beads. The less charitable call this “shopping”. The beautiful inlaid shell bead was one I picked while visiting relatives in Austin, Texas. Another relative collected the large chunk of abalone (at a church bazaar in fact, and yes, she paid church bazaar type prices, but I'm not supposed to tell you that). The elaborate, handmade brass bead comes from India by way of Priya Imports.

Sometimes I modify my own beads, as with the square gold filled bead next to the coin, near the the end of the serpentine side. (In fact I became so enamoured I actually took up beadmaking, but that's another story.)

This necklace is strung on silk; I added some strands did a 16 strand version of the Japanese kumi pattern called “old pine tree” (Oimatsu) (for the gnarly bark). I only made a few of these necklaces in which I incorporated the actual stringing material into the finishing braid; the technique very much appeals to my sensibilities (the interior structure of the piece revealed in the braid, and all that) but beadalon, which does not have the beauty of silk, is so durable and suitable a stringing material that I soon switched to simply attaching the kumi at the ends. This is one of perhaps 3 or 4 pieces I made with the original technique (and lemme tell you, attempting to warp a marudai with a bunch of stone beads attached to one's threads infinitely complicated the process, at least for me. My book did not explain how to cope with this decidedly un-Japanese finish!)

Collection of the artist Location unknown (edit, 19mar2014)