Saturday, October 14, 2006

Bamboo Aventurine Necklace

As promised, here are pictures of my most recent project, one on the display bust and then a closeup with the flash.

This piece was a commission for someone over on the snopes messageboard and really ended up being a theme piece. The mahjong tiles are (from left to right), summer, six of bamboo and bamboo flower, and the color requirements were to use blues and/or greens. I was really struck by the idea of two of the tiles having to do with bamboo and decided to use that as the unifying idea for the piece. With that in mind, I chose to use light green aventurine, partially because it matched the greens in the tiles and partly because they look like foliage, and then chose bamboo shaped silver tube beads to use as spacers. I'm really happy with the way it turned out, although I designed it flat rather than curved so the top strand is longer than the lower strand and will drape over or under it. I was afraid that would be a problem, but it ended up creating a really nice effect.

I found a great new tool to use with this project. Usually I start off by finishing one end of a piece because then I don't have to worry about shifting a cord wrong and having beads everywhere. Since this had a central element I needed to be able to work from both ends so that I could keep the design even, plus it was double strand so I was looking at having to come up with a way to keep the beads on the threads that was easy to remove. Fortunately, I found the Bead Stopper in the directions for a project. They're fantastic and I highly recommend them to anyone else who works with beads,

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