Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Not Your Grandmother's Pearls

Most of my recent work has been with rough cut semiprecious stones like amethyst or agate. I love the natural and raw look of the stone chips but lately I've been exploring something a bit different. I was recently given a book  "Simply Pearls" by Nancy Alden. It contains loads of information on every different kind of pearl as well as beautiful photos of pearl necklaces, bracelets, and earrings and detailed instructions on how to recreate the pieces. Needless to say, after reading this book I ran right to the bead store and grabbed some pearls! There was one necklace in the book that I loved and wanted to recreate. She used a snake chain and attached clusters of small pearls in the center. The snake chain reminded me of the Full Persian weave. First I fabricated the chain. A Full Persian chain is a fairly time consuming endeavor but completely worth the time in the end. After a few days of intense mailing, I began with the pearls. First I attached the pearls to rounded head pins. Then I made a gazillion tiny little links and used them to attach a pearl to a link in each segment of the chain. This was also very time consuming but the result was better than I imagined. I was so happy with it that I made matching earrings and a bracelet! The pearls I used for these projects were glass but I hope to eventually graduate to real cultured pearls. 

P.S. Sorry for the blurry pictures. When I get my new smartphone today I will have a far better camera and will post new clearer pics!