Today I tried on and wore (briefly) an amazing necklace by Kathy King. Her work is sculptural and innovative-you are looking at 11/0 beads stitched together sideways-and truly original.
Yes, I did have to give it back. If you are wondering what to get me for my birthday…ask Kathy.
Find project instructions here.
Vintage glass buttons glued into cupped bezels.
Copper jump rings.
Vintage abalone tiles purchased from Elliot Silverstein way back in the long ago.
Fuschia shirt dress.
Today is overcast, gray, warm. I’m wearing a necklace I will really miss this year. Large beads of African green amber are linked together with gold wire in ‘messy’ wraps and doubled jump rings. There is no clasp; the necklace is the perfect length to slip over my head. If I have to take a trip and think I only want to take one necklace, this is the one.
This necklace is made of olive-green Tibetian turquoise, abalone-shell discs, Toho seed beads, wood and bone all strung on #6 knotting silk. I made it many years ago in an afternoon of beading with my younger sister. I started with a big, blown-glass focal but pulled it out and added more stones, wood, seed beads. She watched me put it together and at some point said something like ‘wow, if I made that it would look really bad.’ That’s one of those compliments that you think is maybe not so much of a compliment.
But she IS my sister, so I know what she is saying.
Weird, busy, odd, layered, asymmetrical. Those things all come easily to me.
What’s hard is order. Patterns. Matching.
Making a 16″ strand of graduated pearls would drive me nuts. I don’t know if it would be boredom or just impatience. I would go crazy.
However, hand me a bunch of probably-not-matchy beads and some thread and I’ll string ’em up. I’ll add dangles and maybe a tassel. I can’t help that. Now, in my current profession, that’s pretty good. It’s okay to not be matchy. Or pattern-ish.
There is, however, another side to that coin. I can’t follow recipes. I have trouble assembling items using any kind of written directions. I space out when I’m trying to make a dress from a pattern and start thinking ‘don’t I really want a skirt?’ Because I’m so frenetic it takes me a really long time to learn from my mistakes. I will try and try again but I’m more like a squirrel than a scientist. I don’t carefully adjust one variable at a time and see what happens. I adjust seventeen variables and then throw in a new color of seed bead and see what happens.
Luckily for me, sometimes I like the result.
This necklace is made of ceramic ‘fan’ beads and silk cording. The ceramic beads are all by Elaine Ray and the silk cording laces them together. The many dangling silk cords have beads knotted along the ends. The beads chime against each other when I move: the effect is either lovely or annoying, depending on your personal tolerance for noises.
I love that this necklace is both dramatic and simple. The construction is so basic: laced silk holds the pieces together, yet the effect is over-the-top in scale.
Tonight I wore this necklace with a favorite blouse and sweater combo. The necklace is a bit tribal for the floral blouse and cardigan sweater but I like that mix.