I sold the last bead embroidered necklace I made last month and I've been itching to do another. While searching for a central focal point, I tore my studio apart. Lurking in a drawer were some beautiful buttons I'd bought long ago when I was making wearable art jackets.
This one is a porcelain raku-fired little beauty from Rama Buttons of Olympia, Washington. I picked it up, held it in my hand, and knew: This Was It.
I started this necklace after dinner one night. I stitched down the three main central pieces: button, sponge coral, and carnelian. And that finished bit got me so excited I had to keep going.
Every time I work a new piece, I feel angst at the end of each stage. This time was no different, and it was powerful. After eight hours of work, I finished the netted "wings" around the button and I was stumped. What to do next? Do I leave it like this and turn it into a pendant? Marble Man piped up and told me, "No, you need to keep it going".
I decided I should treat the necklace like a drawing and started "doodling" with the beads.
The clasp treatment in the last piece was such a hit, that I did something similar for this one - you can see it in the lower corner of the picture.
Each stage of this necklace had me nervous. I'd work in 8 hour stretches, complete a section, then walk away for a day or two to think on it. All together, it took about 36 hours, start to finish.
The materials for this project were all things I had in the studio. I've got a lot of beads and I'm conscientiously trying to use what I have and not buy more... yet.
Long ago I accepted that stress and angst are part of "my process". It adds a level of excitement to the work, and keeps me on my toes. I have to push myself out of my comfort zone to move forward, and I think the finished pieces are stronger for it.
All I need now is to find a willing model to wear it so I can get a picture, then I'll be able to list it for sale in my Etsy shop. Any takers?