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Monday, March 7, 2011

After a Long Silence...

Finally, a new post and a new piece.  I spent all of January and most of February pursuing a project that I was simply unable to realize in the way I thought should be possible.  I eventuallly set aside my fourth attempt, took the hundreds of dollars worth of pearls I had purchased for the "IP," ( impossible project) and decided I would enter the March Etsy Beadweavers Challenge, "Fashion Through the Ages."  I purposefully used the biggest and best of the pearls, so I could not revisit "IP" without re-investing. 

The March Challenge was to choose a historial fashion style and create a piece of jewelry in that style.  I found this beautiful painting by Victorian artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter very inspiring.  I loved the bare necks and beautiful soft shoulders and wanted to create a pearl choker with a three dimensional feeling that would embellish all that lovely bare skin from all angles.
I used triangle weave, one of my personal favorite stitches, to create the choker, and then added drops all the way around the base, so that there would be something beautiful to see from the sides and back, as well as the front.  This is my second attempt, and I was glad to start again after nearly finishing the first time, because it allowed me a opportunity to perfect the design, which had potential, but needed cleaning up.
Then I visited my favorite local bead store, The Bead Monkey and found this splendid sterling silver clasp, shaped like a little heart.  I was thinking my piece would be a great wedding necklace, and the clasp seemed perfect for that purpose, as well as continuing my "beautiful from all angles" idea.  And then of course, it needed a little extender chain.  I tend to design jewelry with my own skinny neck in mind, and like to make it possible for others to adjust the work to fit without alterations to the weaving.

On a side note, I just read about the tiara likely to be worn by Kate Middleton when she becomes a British Princess and, in the process, stumbled across this photo of a necklace worn by Queen Mary, with one of the tiaras under consideration.  According to Wikipedia, the neckalce is from Garrards, Inc, "Crown Jeweller of the UK, charged with the upkeep of the British Crown Jewels, from 1843 to 2007."  Very similar to my own attempt, but made of silver.  Wonder if the stiff, cold metal would be uncomfortable?  Too bad they didn't beadweave this piece!  Take a look.  The design inspiration must have been very similar to my own!

Fortunately, stepping away from the "IP" has been refreshing, and I am happily working on another new piece as well.  Maybe someday, I will revisit "IP," and by that time, I will either have a more realistic expectation, or the techincal skill to reach my goal.  Do you ever get stuck?

Let me add a note here: this is a contest entry, and you can choose your favorite piece and have your voice heard!  Please visit by March 15th and vote for your favorite entry on the right hand side of the blog in the poll!!!


  1. Oh, boy I DO get stuck, and I'm there right now with a piece that just won't do what I had hoped.

    I love this piece you did - so beautiful and elegant. It does the quality of the pearls proud!


  2. You created an heirloom with this piece. It is gorgeous.

  3. This is beautiful, so regal and I'm in awe of your technical knowledge.

    You said it much better than I, but I also posted about 10 minutes ago on my blog about moving on to a different project for a bit. Thanks for sharing your beading experiences, it's really inspiring for a semi new beader like me.

  4. This is such a beautiful piece! So elegant and regal and yes! would make a wonderful bridal piece. Can't imagine that your "IP" would have turned out any more wonderful!

  5. A gorgeous entry!

    And not to worry, we all get stuck from time to time... :-)

  6. Such a gorgeous necklace, Marsha! And, yes, I certainly do get stuck, and more often than I like - my technique is often playing catch up with my imagination. I always enjoy seeing your lovely work.

  7. Wow! Thanks ladies. So nice to know I am not alone with my "impossible project!"
    Judy, I went looking for your blog and couldn't find it. If you leave me an address I'd like to follow you...

  8. Sorry Marsha, it is AllWays Beads Thanks for taking the time to look for it, I really really appreciate it, you are very kind.

  9. Hi Marsha,Your new piece is wonderful! Very very sophisticated and I could imagine the ladies in the painting wearing it.
    Talking about IPs.... God only knows when octopus project going to get done. I have been looking at it for a month, then finally yesterday I packed the beads away that I kept out all this time to finish it, and got started on something else.

  10. I think you can safely say that your IP gave you the beads to create a wonderful piece! I love it :)