What I made on Monday. Steampunk meets Egyptian. Copper, peridot, Peruvian opal, ocean jasper, rhyolite in both, with unakite and glass as well in the smaller one. The larger one was made first, then the smaller one was made to use up the rest of the materials. I’d planned on using them all up in the first one but the pattern wouldn’t allow it. So the second one was a real bear.
I made four necklaces in the past weekend. Two of them I had to take apart and redesign. If I’d had enough beads I would have kept all of these patterns. They were all beautiful. But if I’d had enough beads I wouldn’t have had to take them apart so often, so I wouldn’t have discovered all these other patterns.
The numbers didn’t work out. I had 5 where I needed 9. Or I had 12 but I discovered 3 were broken when I got into it. I couldn’t go get more. Some of the beads I bought twenty years ago, God knows where. Some I bought at a bead show and the vendor is long gone, like with a traveling carnival.
Part of the deal, the nature of making jewelry, is you need only half the strand but you have to buy the whole thing. So you have leftovers. Recently I’ve started teaching beading classes in part to use up these beads. But sometimes I’ll make limitations on myself to force myself to think differently. Sometimes that means I can only use beads from two random bead bins my husband picks out for me. Sometimes I’ll use an assortment of “leftover” beads. I have to work it so I use all of them up in one strand. I end up with some amazing things this way, but getting there is a real pain.
I could have a really awesome pattern at the front of the necklace, and then use filler beads to finish it out. Sometimes this looks like I forgot something, or I made two necklaces and put them together. This weekend it was going that way. I decided to redesign and adapt, and it took four times to get a good working pattern that would extend the whole length of the necklace.
I’m very pleased with how it turned out. It looks Egyptian, yet it also looks Steampunk. It reminds me of the jewels in old pocketwatches. It is intricate and delicate. And in the meantime I learned something about working with limitations.