Friday, January 24, 2014

Bravery vs. Stupidity in Jewelry Alterations

Imagine, if you will, that the piece of jewelry you've most coveted from an artist whose work is amazing in every way is now yours.

Now imagine that the fit was ever so lightly off. Not a lot, but enough that you think ... maaaaaybe it should be a little different. The artist would, without hesitation of any kind, offer to resize it immediately. Obviously.

But, let's say that you weren't totally right in the head. Now let's say that person was me and the bracelet in question was this one from Nancy Dale, who was recently featured in Marcia DeCoster's new book Marcia DeCoster Presents: Interviews with 30 beaders on Inspiration & Technique:


Black Ice by Nancy Dale
Photo Credit: Sherwood Lake, Jr.

So, clearly, you'd say, "Oh no. Not a bit of it. I don't want to wait one second more than I have to to wear this magnificent piece of art. I'm a competent beader. I'll resize it myself!" Now imagine the maniacal laughter. Alright, I'll admit it - no one's ever accused me of taking the cautious path.

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale
Just a teensy bit too big.
Maybe I should have given Nancy an accurate wrist measurement ...

Now ignore the part where I've been ill with pneumonia for almost a month and the bracelet would have been there and back already. Details, details. But now that my energy level is starting to come back, and now that today the weather is actually warm enough for Sawer's school to be in session I thought I'd finally get down to it. Fortunately Nancy was kind enough to tell me how she put the components together and where I should nip and tuck.

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

So I was feeling pretty confident. I could totally do this. I had my handy Fiskars snips, my instructions, and a quiet house. What could go wrong?

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

What the f*^# have I done?!!?!?!

Thankfully, however, the reason that everyone loves Nancy's work is because she knows what she's doing. I'm still not sure my cuts were precisely what or where they needed to be, but the toggle loop and the rest of the bracelet were, as she said they would be, perfectly sound. Now I just needed to recreate her loops and connect the toggle loop to the two remaining chatons.

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

Mischief managed! Thank goodness! If I could do it again would I? Yeah. I would. Part of why I was so determined to take this on for myself was to get more familiar with the beaded connections that Nancy's so great at, which I've struggled to wrap my head around. Just the process of following the bead path to anchor and weave in my ends was instructive. Plus, after seeing the cut chaton fall apart, I'm sort of programmed to take a deep breath and git r dun no matter what. So that moment did give me new clarity about how to reconstruct the loops, fortunately!

Black Ice v.2 by Nancy Dale

So, do you think I can still show my face to Nancy without embarassment for ruining her work? lol. I know she was concerned about the resulting aesthetic - since the ends wouldn't be symmetric, but I think the two chatons flow into the toggle loop just fine. I love it! I'm so glad that I can wear it in perfect comfort now! Thank you, Nancy!!!

When's the last time you had a panic attack in the middle of a delicate project?

Thanks for stopping by!

8 comments:

  1. I am SOOOOO happy it worked out for you, and that you're pleased!!! It looks absolutely fine, you were right - and even better, now it fits the way it should! I loved reading this, and I love your sense of humor - and I still feel like I got the better end of the deal!!!

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    1. I'm glad you feel like you got the better end of the deal ... Because I KNOW that *I* really did :) I'm just so unbelievably stoked that I get to wear such an incredible piece of art!!!! (And sorry for the delay in responding ... Stupid Google chrome, not letting me login to comment on my own blog. Grrr.)

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  2. It looks great! You GO girl - extra points for bravery.

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    1. Lol! Thank you, Cynthia! I certainly didn't FEEL like bravery :) And thank you for not thinking i'm insane for taking so long to respond. My computer has had a bizarre glitch!

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  3. It's beautiful before & after. Nice collaboration!!

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    1. Aww. Thank you. It's all Nancy, really! I just provided some irreverence and determination :) and I also apologize on behalf of my stupid computer for the lag in my responding :)

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  4. You bbbrrrraaaveeeee girl!! It looks lovely, how lucky are you to have such an amazing piece of art to wear!?!

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    1. Super lucky!!!!! I'm still in awe that it's mine!!!! I apologize that the universe has conspired against my being able to write that sooner :)

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