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Ancient and Contemporary Bead Necklace


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Ancient and New Bead Necklace   This necklace includes:
*Ancient carnelians
*Borosilicate bead by Tom Boylan
*Soda lime glass bead by Karen Ovington
*Africa John beads of alunite
*1800's blue circlets
*Old agates

See the detailed photo for bead identification

Necklace length:  32" (81 cm)
Ancient bead at center:  1.12" long (2.9 cm)
Weight:  5 oz (155 gm)

  Item #192                      Artist's Collection
Please click on the image for a detailed photo.
The simplest pieces are really the most difficult to make. Only another beadworker understands what we go through to make a simple strand of beads! It shouldn't be this hard!! This piece really went way beyond annoying! I arranged the beads the way I wanted them, and didn't change that arrangement. You'd think after making necklaces for nearly 50 years that I could put one like this together without incident. Ho ho ho. If you like soap operas, read on.
1. I thought I'd use this nice cable that's very strong and thin as heavy thread. I thought, that cable will hold these heavy beads! Plus you're supposed to be able to knot it, so I stuck small beads in and knotted everywhere I could until... about 3/4 of the way around, I made a knot and booooiiiiing! The entire cable went into a permanent spiral, taking all the beads with it.
2. OK, I'll use the cable without knotting. It's still best (I told myself) because the beads are heavy and some (like the agates) are drilled from both ends and the holes barely meet enough to get sewing thread through. Well... I hated it. The beads clanked and hung unevenly.
3. Then I tried some leather cord. I couldn't get it through the agates, so I made elaborate knots in the leather and strung the agates to one side. It was awful.
4. Then I made it with Conso (heavy carpet warp used in many of my pieces). Again the beads clanked and hung unevenly.
5. Then I remembered leather shoelaces! I bought a package and started in. But today's leather shoelaces are some sort of laminate sandwich with a fibrous mess in the middle. When you knot them, the fibers spurt out. You can't get all the fibers off, and the knots are stiff and gross.
6. Finally I dredged up a real leather shoelace from the '60s. This knotted beautifully and AT LAST I feel happy with the necklace.

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All designs © Mary Hicklin 2001-2004