Friday, May 06, 2016

Color blend necklace

A couple years ago, I bought Beaded Colorways by Beverly Ash Gilbert. What beautiful projects she makes! And what a challenge to my sense of order her freeform stitching methods are! Her method has three parts. First, she blends colors and sizes and shapes of beads into glorious mixes. Second, she uses freeform peyote stitch or freeform netting to create jewelry that flows in organic fashion. Third, in some projects she flows from one color mix into another through as many as pleases her. I would gulp when I poured my beads together and mixed them. Then, I'd quiver all through the process of putting the beads together in chaotic forms. 

It's good to push my edges sometimes. Her projects definitely did. I completed a bracelet and have another that remains a UFO -- UnFinished Project. 

A few weeks ago, it hit me that instead of stitching together the bead mixes, I could string multiple strands. Then I could have the beauty of the color flows without pushing against my sense of order to complete them! I had a collection of black beads that I wanted to use. Some of them had iridescent finishes with a blue edge. I had a white mix I'd made for the UFO -- and it had gleams of blue as well. So, after a couple other thought experiments, I decided to flow the colors from black to dark blue to light blue to white and back again on a necklace. I made the black and the two blue mixes. Then I made intercalary mixes to go between black and dark blue, between dark blue and light blue, and between light blue and white. She has many useful instructions on making these mixes in the book. 

And I strung them. And gathered eleven strands into cones and finished with a toggle clasp. Here is the result: 

It is collar-length. I thought at first it would look good longer, and so I have extensions available. Sitting at the collar bone really seems to suit it, creating a lush circle at the base of the throat. 

I have more of the color blends remaining. I plan to try a couple earring patterns and perhaps a bracelet. 

And here's something worth noticing -- this necklace would not have happened if I hadn't started a jewelry sketchbook. The sketchbook gave me a place to write down the first idea, and then to play with it until I had a version that excited me enough to make. Now that I have a jewelry sketchbook, I am a jewelry designer!

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