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One piece can take a long time

Figure 1

Some pieces can take an hour or two to make. In fact, if all the supplies are in front of me, I can make a pair of earrings in fifteen minutes. But every now and then, I make pieces that can take much, much longer to do for various reasons. For instance, some of you may know that I joined a study group for Kumihimo braids on Facebook. Project number eight was due May 23, 2016. I started working on it at the beginning of May. Two and a half months later, the necklace is finally finished.

First, I had to learn how to do the Kumihimo braid. This is in Beth’s Kemp’s book, Twist, Turn, and Braid. It’s a beaded braid, one more easily done on a marudai than on a foam disk. Once I had the braid done, I wanted to do a beaded bezel around an amazonite stone that matched my colors (Figure 1).

Figure 2

I have taught several classes on how to make a beaded bezel around the cabochon, so I had little trouble with that. But it took two weeks to order and receive this stone from India. The beaded bail was also not going to be much trouble because I have a published pattern for that on my website. I used the same beads that I used in the strand and the cabochon for a good match.

I wanted to keep everything green and white, so I didn’t want to use a silver clasp. Instead, I used a carved bone toggle that took me three months to source and receive from the Philippines. It seemed to take forever to get them. I originally ordered them to use in kits that I’m putting together now for summer sales. The clasp matches perfectly (Figure 2).

Figure 3

You may notice that in an attempt to keep everything either white or green, I did not attach the custom art class endcaps with silver wire. Instead, I used white Parawire craft wire. The endcaps were ones that I stumbled upon on Etsy. They are handcrafted by Kat Newman, who lives in the UK, who sells them in her store, BeadsbyKat. These took two weeks to order and receive.

So, as you can imagine, this necklace sat on my work table for quite some time, with me finishing it as the materials came in from India, the UK, the Philippines, and China (that’s where I got the rattail).

A full look at the necklace shows different ways that it can be worn (Figure 3). I consider this the traditional way.

Figure 4

However, anyone who would want to have an asymmetrical look to show off the endcaps and the clasp could wear it by moving the bail (which, by the way, is removable). I have short hair so I usually don’t wear things this way (Figure 4).

So, if you want to get your piece just right to match your vision of what it could be, don’t be hasty in choosing your materials. While you’re waiting for things to come in from around the world, you can always make a pair of earrings.

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