Sunday, September 26, 2010

Still a UFO

I really do hate creating UFOs (UnFinished Objects). But sometimes they happen. Unlike a lot of jewelry designers, my process rarely involves much planning. For someone who plans almost every other aspect of my life, I suppose it's strange that I don't plan my jewelry designs. I just find it somehow freeing to create jewelry that evolves as I make it.

The bad part of that method of jewelry design is that I wind up with way more UFOs than I might if I charted out the path for each new piece. I know I'm not the only one, but I cringe at the prospect of even counting how many UFOs I have stashed away. And now there's another one. Well, it's not stashed yet because I still have hope that I can come up with a solution to my design dilemma.

This particular piece began with a drop-dead gorgeous bead by my friend Lisa Peters. Lisa makes the most incredible clay pieces - beads, cabochons, buttons, pendants, and all sorts of other goodies - and I have quite a collection of them. I was going through my stash of Lisa goodies (it's quite a large stash, and it always seems to be growing) and found this bead. I realized that I had the perfect beads to complement the colors in it in my stash of Czech glass picasso beads. And I was right.

So I made an ndebele rope using four different types of beads. The rope is PERFECT for the bead, which has a kind of organic look to it. There's a slight twist in the rope, and I think the curves in the rope look so nice with the little craters in the bead.

Ah, but here's the problem. I don't know how I want to hang the bead from the rope. I thought of making a bail using some of the same beads from the rope, but the hole is too small for a strand of ndebele. I tried using just a single strand of the larger beads, but I didn't like the way it looked. I keep thinking I might try my hand at making a big swirly bail with a piece of heavy copper wire... but I don't do much wire work.

I had a few suggestions from fans of my Facebook page, and although some of them were promising, I still have this UFO sitting on the table next to me.

So what do you think? Any ideas? I could use some help here! :-)

8 comments:

Beading Butterfly said...

If you used 11/o for your rope, could you use 15/o for the bail? Would it then fit inside the bead? Or, I almost hate to suggest it, could you cut the rope in the middle and put the bead inbetween the 2 herringbone sections so it hangs horizontally instead of vertically?

I have a long bead I was going to hang vertically and put fringe at the bottom... that's another option. But I'm not sure what that means for the bail... I do kind of like the idea of a single strand through the beads and then maybe convert that to the herringbone for a loop to go over the original rope. Make sense?

Good luck. I can't wait to see what you do!

Kassie

VanBeads said...

This might a bit more involved, but what about making a series of peyote stitched panels to hang over the rope, and hang the LPA bead in front of the center panel as an accent? You could stitch the panels to the rope so that they wouldn't move around, or you could stitch up some spacers to go in between them. And maybe you could hang some neat glass or other clay beads off the tips of the panels, to make them sort of look like mini tapestries? I can't wait to see what you do with that bead, though! I love Lisa's stuff, too!

Amy B. said...

If the hole in the bead is large enough for a piece of flexible beading wire (Beadalon, Soft Flex) to pass through:
Cut the Herringbone rope into two equal parts.
That will require repairing / re-securing each cut end.
Run flexible beading wire through the 1st herringbone section, then perhaps a bead cap, LPA bead, perhaps another bead cap, then 2nd half herringbone section.
Perhaps add smaller decorative bead cap on each end of herringbone section as well.
Secure to clasp with crimp beads, wire guardian, and crimp cover.

OR

Same as above - but weave a fabulous toggle from the same seed beads you've used for the rope.

I can't wait to see the UFO become finished !!
The colors are phenomenal !!

pärlbesatt said...

I don't really have an idea about what to do with it, since I'm not as technically gifted as you or your other readers seem to be. I think I'd put the focal bead on heavy silver thread and make a hangling locker-bead out of it, having the rope meating in the front, with a... I don't know the name of it in english... sorry. I wish I could draw in. Something that you use on key chains and so on? If you take a look on my blog you might a necklace done like that, I've done many.

And beautiful job and colours, I agree!

Wolf said...

Easy- K.I.S.S.

Keep, It Simple, Stupid.

String the bead on the ndebele rope as is. Let the bead become the focal point and attract the attention without fancy-ing it up.

Do a simple beaded toggle clasp at the back.


Sometimes, all a bead wants is simple. Trying to make it anything more will only frustrate you and make you hate the piece.

Anonymous said...

This might be what you've decribed trying:Create a tassel with the bead. You may have to put larger beads inside the hole, but the bail itself you should be able to do in the same 11s as the rope. Make fringe coming out of the bottom. Alternatively, you could cover up the large hole with a rondelle or spacer bead. I've done that with lampwork beads. Or a fire-polished crystal? Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

This might be what you've decribed trying:Create a tassel with the bead. You may have to put larger beads inside the hole, but the bail itself you should be able to do in the same 11s as the rope. Make fringe coming out of the bottom. Alternatively, you could cover up the large hole with a rondelle or spacer bead. I've done that with lampwork beads. Or a fire-polished crystal? Hope this helps. Catherine Bond

Triz Designs said...

ohhh i love the bead and i love the rope you created for it! the colours are perfect and I agree with Kassie's comment above, I would cut the rope in half and string the bead in between the 2 sections of rope... it's too gorgeous to let it be a UFO!!! :-)