As is perhaps obvious by the fact that I'm posting my project in the afternoon of reveal day, rather than midnight the night before or early in the morning, the most challenging part of this project - the first real freeform peyote project I've ever done - was the (seemingly?!) prodigious amount of time that it took. Even now I feel like I could spend a lot more time on it. I was perhaps overambitious by doing a necklace rather than a bracelet, true. But, the reason I undertook this challenge was because of some beautiful borosilicate space pendants I've purchased from the talented Ian Graber. I have a vision of what the designs need to be, and at their core they're freeform. I can safely and happily tell you that I learned a tremendous amount from this project.
The necklace design started with the netting you see around the focal bead. Since I was just playing around with some extra beads as "practice," I thought I'd do a little bracelet before starting the "real" project. Just this small section taught me a lot, like how different sizes of beads work together and how tricky it can be to make something flat. It was the effort to try and turn this into something usable, and the unexpected amount of time that it took, that turned this into my project: a purple and green vineyard theme with vines and leaves with some shimmering apricots and gold. A hidden magnetic clasp serves as the closure for the necklace.
This is the front of the lampwork focal bead I created for this project. I was already more than half done with the project when I made this bead, so I knew the colors I needed, shape and size. I used an organic bead design to go with the organic feel of the necklace.
This is the back of the focal. I just didn't like the stitching on this side of the pendant as much as I liked it on the front. The bead itself is attached by a string of beads running through the hole in the center of the bead, loose enough that I can turn the bead in the stitching to show either side.
I used some simple leaf fringe to make the transition between colors a little less jarring. I think this worked pretty well as a transition and added important detail that really cemented the theme of the necklace.
Finishing the ends and adding the clasp was why I wasn't able to post the project until now. It doesn't look like much, but from two thin flat sections of peyote stitching, I knew I wanted an integrated clasp that looked like it really belonged to the project and none of it was started until this morning. Five hours later .... I guess I need to figure out how to stitch faster!
The clasp closed.
Another detail view of the leaf fringe I used as a color transition.
One of the few other details I included was a dyed mother of pearl bead that went with the necklace. I created a peyote bezel and stitched in between some of the vines.
So, there it is, my first freeform peyote necklace. I like the way it turned out ... you know, for a pile of leftover beads. And I did learn a lot about the need for preplanning, the amount of time (and Fireline!) the stitching takes, and the nature of the beads and the way they work (or not) together. What do you think? What's your favorite part? What do you think it still needs?
A huge thank-you to Karen and Mandi for hosting! Thank you for stopping by!