Thursday, September 20, 2012

Designing a New Necklace

Designing a New Necklace
I've been thinking about "How do I design a new necklace?" lately. I used to make most of my own clothes and had a similar dilema. Start with fabric first or a particular pattern? Well, it is much the same with a new necklace design.
Start with a particular technique (Chain Maille, Kumihimo or stringing) or design around some particular pendant or beads? Right now I need some new necklaces to go with a new top I recently purchased. That brings up another thought. Do I purchase clothes to go with my jewelry or make jewelry to go with new tops? (Mostly, I buy clothes to go with my jewelry)
The answer to all of the above questions is much the same. It all depends! And I use all of the methods and sometimes even combine the different methods. All that said, here is how I came to make my latest creation.
It started with a new top that required a necklace with some color to it. (The top is a neutral gray) I have about 5-8 pendants that I've collected over the last year from my trips to bead shows. One vendor in particular has great choices and it is hard to come home with only 6 - the quantity you need to purchase to get a better price per pendant.
The next decision was technique. I decided on Kumihimo for this one. (No particular reason other than I liked the colors in the pendant and thought I could find some nice seed beads that would go with the pendant) So, off the my local bead store where I found these two seed bead colors. Transparent Dark Topaz and Gunmetal Iris.
I usually always have cord on hand to make Kumihimo braids but when I got home with my seed beads, I found I was all out. But I did find some  red/maroon/purple/?? C-Lon. and added that to the mix of supplies. It adds some extra color to the finished braid.
I loaded up my Kumihimo disk, mixing up the colors with 5 cords of the Gunmetal Iris and 3 of the Dark Topaz. If you make it an even number , 4 and 4, you end up with a spiral. That is very nice but I didn't feel it would look right with the design on the pendant. This is to be more "mixture".
Nothing seemed to go smoothly in this project and after I started, I soon discovered that I had cut the cord too short for a necklace. So, the necklace project turned into a bracelet. No problem since it is nice to have a matching bracelet.
Here is the bracelet next to the pendant.  I do like the colors together. What do you think?
I admit, I still have not finished the project yet. I still need to add clasps to both pieces. (Thus the sort of "cut off" look in the pictures) I plan another trip to the bead store this week, or maybe search my stash here and finish the project. Sometimes I need to take a break in the process. ;-)
I've started another necklace project to go with my new top. Very different design. Much the same process, though, as this one. I started with another one of my pendants. And yes, I'll make a matching bracelet and probably earrings. This is a chain maille design. So far I like both projects. You'll see some pictures next week.

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