White Pixies
floating in failure

When I made this necklace to “use up” unacceptable (to my partner) white pixies, I envisioned a lampwork version of those ‘pearls floating on invisible cord’ multi-strand necklaces of cheap beads, glued (or more rarely crimped) onto the stringing cord, spaced an inch or more apart. The stringing cable companies started making colored, and most recently gold and silver, cable to work with this sort of design.

As a fad, the pearls floating in space was short-lived, and my viceral reaction to gluing beads—even the cheapest of freshwater pearls—thereby rendering them no longer beads, and thus, single-use—was such that I was relieved. But I was intrigued by the textural aspects of beads “floating” on thread, and attempted something similar with this piece, achieving the contrast by using colorless 2mm quartz (of which I had a great deal) with frosted glass and iridescent pixie-dust coated lampwork hollows.

Necklace, early 2000s? Thread (probably nylon), gold fill and gold plate, frosted glass, quartz, lampwork. The focal was double strung, that is, the thread inside the large bead was strung with liquid gold, to position the beads, protect the thread and give a bit of interior gleam.

I also incorporated a “twist and shout” focal, onto which I'd put various looping extensions, the better and more interesting options for stringing. I cannot claim this design, though my piece differs from the inspiration in that it is a) a bead b) a hollow bead and c) not nearly so well executed. Despite its being hollow, it's still heavy, and along with the rest of the glass, made this piece, shall we say, substantial in weight.

It never sold, and I couldn't even give it away: the woman to whom I gave it as a Christmas gift returned it, because, she said, it was too heavy, she'd never wear it, and didn't want to keep something she'd never use—better to let me find an appreciative home for it.


That's probably one of the more honest (if unintentional!) critiques I've received of my work in the last several years, but I was loathe to take all that work apart. The idea may have been stupid, and I should've known better (weight is a huge issue in this country) but I thought I did a good job on the technical end; moreover, stringing on thread is becoming rare (I didn't want the dark steel showing through 2mm quartz, as I recall—perhaps if the silver beadalon had been available I would've chosen that...)

closeup of bead tip and french wire finishing. Note the diagonal placement of each for balance. French wire is of course considered a better finish, but I used bead tips where the thread was cut to deal with the knots. Note also the tarnish on the clasp, rendering the piece unsalable. Just as well: it made cutting it a little easier.

Now the piece remains only in these pictures, and my memory.

file created 31mar06; added tags, 25may2018