Thursday, March 12, 2009

A New Lariat and More Fun in the Mail

Whenever I receive new focal pieces, whether they're beads or cabochons or anything else, I have to let them sit for awhile until they tell me what they'd like to become. Sometimes it takes awhile for them to talk to me, and sometimes they're so chatty that I can hardly contain myself until I create something with them.

Last year I received these beautiful Midnight Blue Carnival Beads from a very talented polymer clay artist, Dee Wilder (aka Malodora). They've been whispering to me for awhile, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that some of them spoke up and told me what they'd like to become. Unless you've seen or touched some of these beads yourself, you just can't believe how wonderful they are. The colors are gorgeous, they have a heft to them that's so different from any other material that size, and Dee somehow manages to create depth and dimension through the careful layering she does. They're buffed to a high polish and are incredibly smooth.

So my big challenge is to create something worthy of this beauty. I listened and listened to the beads' voices, and they told me they'd like to become part of a uniquely designed necklace/lariat. I thought about making a spiral rope, but I didn't want the rope's spirals to conflict in any way with the somewhat spiral design in some of the beads. And although I have all the materials I'd need to create just a simple string of beads, I'm not really "into" stringing. That left me with one of my favorite techniques - an ndebele rope. Well, three of them actually...

I chose three distinct beads -- one that's mostly blue, one that's mostly purple, and a third that's mostly gold -- and created a single strand of ndebele rope for each of them. I puzzled over how to attach the beads the ropes for awhile until I came up with the idea of something that resembles tiny flower petals. I first thought of just making a set of lariats, but then I decided to join the ends of the three ropes, loop them back on themselves, resulting in a big loop.

The beads talked to me today as I finished this piece, telling me how happy they are to be part of this necklace, which is named Carnival in Trinidad (Carnival because that's what Dee calls her beads; and Trinidad because it means "three"). It's great fun to wear, and I even got the seal of approval from the beads' artist! :-)

Carnival in Trinidad, worn asymmetrically

Carnival in Trinidad, with the ndebele ropes braided (for a different look)


These aren't the only pieces I've received from Dee... I have one of her nudibranch bracelets, which doubles as sculpture when I'm not wearing it. And pretty soon I'll have a whole new batch of her Natasha Beads. They've already started talking to me, even though I haven't met them in person yet. I can hardly wait for them to arrive in my mailbox!!!


She doesn't typically list these in her Etsy shop, but I'm sure Dee would make you some if they're saying anything to you. You can't have any of these, though. They're all mine. :-)

11 comments:

Waterrose said...

Wow that necklace is exquisite! and these beads are just awesome. So colorful and they look like a kaleidoscope.

Karen Gill hidingplacebeadery.etsy.com said...

Mary Lou, the lariat is a gorgeous design. It plays just perfectly with the character of the beautiful beads. Wow, a treasure!
Karen

Nancy said...

Beautiful beads and you've made them look even more beautiful with that necklace!

Carol Dean said...

I love the braided look best, but no matter how this is worn, it will be a show-stopper! Gorgeous :D

Hot Rocks said...

That necklace is so elegant! What a beautiful design you have created. I know what you mean about the beads "speaking" to you!!! Loveley beads as well!

lisa peters ART said...

Wow, those are gorgeous Mary Lou, I love where you braided the ndebele rope (still trying to figure out exactly how to pronounce that!) beautiful!

Dee Wilder said...

I love the way you can wear the lariat in different ways.

I also want to know how to pronounce ndebele.

:-) MaryLou said...

Thanks for the nice compliments on the lariat! It really was fun trying to figure out how to show off those beads to their best advantage.

And as for how to pronounce ndebele:

http://www.bartleby.com/61/95/N0039550.html

:-)

Prpldy said...

Simply stunning! The beads! The lariat! And I love how it can be worn in multiple ways.

Triz Designs said...

wow! stunning!!! the lariat is amazing and I can't wait to see what you make with those beautiful beads!!!

NICO Designs said...

The necklace is stunning! And very sexy.