Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Show and Tell

In a few posts over the last couple of months or so I've been alluding to a pet project that I was working on at home. Well the reason for the secrecy was that it was a birthday present for Tinseltroos and the thing wot I done is make her a necklace.

I knew from conversations we'd had, and museums that we'd visited together, that she liked Ancient Egyptian collar necklaces and this one in particular was a favourite. So I thought I'd try and learn how to make one. The first step was to take a jaunt to The British Museum in my lunch break (living in a metropolitan area can be very useful) and took several high-res photos of the necklace which I stitched together in Photoshop to see what I was up against. I pretty quickly decided that I didn't really want to slavishly copy it as it was huge and I thought I'd like to do a little design work myself.

Having never made a necklace before I decided the next step was to go to the wonderful Bead Shop in Covent Garden, get some bits and pieces and just see what I could do. The net result of a lot of meddling, tinkering and getting things wrong was a better idea of my design and a small pile of horrible looking messes that weren't very necklace-like at all.

I'd decided that I thought warmer colours and glass beads were the way forward and managed to find some that seemed to fit the bill quite nicely. I liked that they almost looked like sweets and had a slightly 1930s feel I thought. That inspired the loop design around the edge, which was also done because even though this design is a lot smaller than the actual Egyptian ones it's still pretty big (and Tinseltroos is quite small) so I didn't want to swamp her and the edges wrap around far enough that they could snag on clothing if they were any fancier. Also since I'd made the decision to use wire rather than thread to string it all together the basic shape of the necklace was quite robust. I was afraid if I'd done as in the Egyptian design and had all three rows of beads connect to the clasp that it would be too structural and not sit right on her. To be honest all of this is hypothetical as she hasn't seen it yet so I don't know if it's the right size yet. If it isn't I think it'll be easier to make another than try to rebuild this one!

It's amazing, you never fully appreciate someone else's craft until you try it yourself. I have so much more respect for these ancient jewellers now than I ever did before, and perhaps if I try to make more necklaces, which I think I will, I suspect that this appreciation will deepen. Beware all my female friends, you're quite likely to be getting necklaces from hereon in.

I really hope she likes it...


Blogger scruffylooking said...

It's really beautiful. I can't imagine that she wouldn't like it.

4:08 pm  

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