I considered calling this a tutorial, but that's really too strong a word. I'm not going to lay out a map of where I've been for you to follow; today I'm more interested in getting out the photo album to tell you about my trip. Yesterday I had a great experience for any maker. Y'see, I had a plan. That plan, like most, did not survive contact with the enemy. So I modified my plan. Which didn't work all on it's own, but it did give me a different idea. So I tried that, and it turned out brilliantly. This is how it went down:
A few weeks ago I found a new local semi-precious stone and findings supplier. I like to buy local and in-person when I can, it makes for a more satisfying hunting-and-gathering style shopping experience.
On my inaugural trip, I picked up this string of what appears to be dyed abalone shell.
These are perfect for making a 'spike' necklace structure, like this one in smokey quartz. So I threaded the spikes, and assembled them in the same way I had done previously.
Very nice... as far as it goes. Quite literally. Due to the shape of the human neck and our insistence on wearing clothing, making a necklace with spikes that go all the way around is not very practical. So I'm left with extending the basic weave for more than half of the necklace. Which not only looks boring, it also verges onto appearing lazy.
See what I mean? No one is willing to pay 'handmade' rate for that. So I went looking through my gradually accumulated bead collection to see if I could find a decent color match. I thought perhaps I could add some interest to the boring part of the necklace with a bead that wouldn't tangle in a collar.
These were not a bad match at all. Also dyed shell, with strong striations.
This interruption structure works reasonably well for adding interest and maintaining practicality, but there is a problem. The color match isn't exact, so the transition between spikes and beads is less smooth than I would like. However... the way the beads interspersed with the pattern of the chain gave me an idea.
It worked! Though the bead 'separators' are a bit longer than the simple connection links that were there before, there is still just enough room for the lower spike to dangle freely.
And the final. Excellent.
UPDATE: This necklace sold within ten minutes of its very first show debut. A success all around.