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Friday, July 28, 2017

Angel's Knot

I first made this necklace in early May, and it has taken me a while to write a tutorial and create a kit for the project.  It is inspired by my friend Ann's beautiful Brugmansia, which she posted photos of last January while I was working on my TOHO Challenge piece.  I was depressed by US politics, and this simple beauty was magical healing for my soul.

It seemed so incredibly pure and elegantly ethereal.  And yet, Ann wrote that the flower blooms only at night, and that every part of it is poisonous.  To me, this was all quite evocative, and totally appropriate to my mood at the time.

Toho provided no white (well, OK there were ivory, but not the shape I needed) or green beads, but there were purple, and I was doing my best to use all the materials provided.  I found a purplish version of the flower (also known as Angel's Trumpet) and modeled flowers for my TOHO Challenge work on it.

These flowers are nearly the same as the flowers in Angel's Knot, but with the addition of the pearly center that provides visual clarity, and is a nice foil for the matte demi beads.  I worked in Matte Crystal, Crystal Luster, and White Opaque Luster, and am very happy with how the beads work together to create a little of the beauty of Ann's gorgeous blossom.

The plant looked both gangly and ropy to me, and very drapy, so I tried to re-create that feeling in my necklace.  I riffed on the idea of an infinity knot, modifying to have a knot with two legs on one side and three on the other.  Mysterious, I hoped.  I also designed (on the suggestion of my wonderful tester Marie Weakland) a magnetic clasp that echoes the calyx supporting each blossom.

It is shown as worn below, and the size is adjustable, suitable for both a quite small, or much larger woman.  The tutorial demonstrates how to estimate the size you will need, and the kit provides beads to make up to a 22" rope above the knot.

I used lots of Toho Demi beads in this work and am super fond of what they can do structurally, as well as their lovely, lacy texture. They really helped me create a delicate, life-sized flower, and although in this rendition, I did not use the long calyx and thread-thin connection to the flower that is in Ann's photos.  I do have future plans for another version of it that will employ some of that alternate yumminess.

The flower is done in Herringbone and Peyote stitch and the ropes are Chenille worked over satin cord.  The project is for an intermediate to advanced beader, comfortable with these stitches, and ok with using Demi's and 15/0 beads. It takes about 12 - 15 hours to create.

The tutorial is available HERE in my Etsy shop, and I have made a few kits also, available HERE. The kit contains 14 different beads, plus the clasp, satin cord, and a spool of Toho's Green One-G Thread, and is certainly a cheaper solution that buying them all separately.

I've been wearing it on a multitude of greens and soft colors and it feels like a great Summer necklace to me!  I hope you'll enjoy it too!

And now on to a little Autumn beading!