Sunday, March 8, 2009

No Fool's Gold

Being environmentally friendly is becoming more and more important for business crafters. Our customers want to know that our products are good for the Earth. As beaders, it’s not easy being green, but it’s well worth the effort.

Gold Mine, Kalgoorlie, Australia

Open Pit Gold Mine in Kalgoorlie, Australia

One of the commitments I have made since declaring myself a jewelry designer is to swear off metals whenever possible. I’ve been against the use of gold in jewelry for a long time, but I also try to avoid silver and nickel, too.

The Inspiration:

After writing The Truth About Gold - an article about the hazardous effects of gold mining - I decided to do an experiment to see if I could mimic authentic gold jewelry using seed beads and no metals. So, I grabbed a sketch pad and started browsing the websites of some popular gold and diamond jewelers in North America.

I saw a lot of gold chains: some plain, and some with dangly things hanging from them. It wasn’t very inspiring at all. Finally I came across a photo that made my inner magpie sit up and pay attention - a charming little gold and gemstone Y style necklace. It was made with a set of gold rings covered in multicolored briolettes, suspended from a simple gold chain.

With my inspirational necklace found, I set out to recreate it with seed beads, and a touch of my own style, too.

The Beads:

I decided to add a touch of diamond to the necklace, so I paired galvanized metallic gold beads with crystal foil-lined beads in 10o and 6o. For a splash of color, I also added some foil-lined blue 6o seed beads.

The briolette necklace I had found had much more color, but I didn’t have any other 6o foil lined beads. I wanted the beads to be uniform, so I opted not to add other styles of 6o’s.

The Beadwork:

To make a gold chain, I used basic St. Petersburg Chain, adding in a hint of “diamonds” here and there. The chain is stitched in two parts, with the top ends connecting for the back of the necklace. Beaded loops connect the chain and pendant at the front.

Taking a little further inspiration from Sheryl Yanagi’s Byzantine seed bead chain maille, I added a pendant of seed bead hoops with diamond and sapphire “gems”.

In the end, this necklace looks almost nothing like the piece that I drew my inspiration from. However, I think that I was able to achieve my goal of making a necklace that would look right at home in an expensive gold jewelry showcase.

Now only one question remains. Why would anyone spend so much money on dirty gold when green beads are just as beautiful?


Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Inspiration Topics

accessories amulet Ancient Worlds Modern Beads animals April's Army art ArtFire astrology astronomy autumn awards awareness bangle beach Bead Inspired Bead Shops bead soup bead spotlight bead stash Bead Trays beaded beads beading theory beads belt bezel birthstones black blog spotlight blue boho bone book spotlight bracelet Bracelet A Week branch fringe brick stitch brown bugles buttons cabochon ceramic chain maille challenge charity chevron chain christmas collar Collections color Color Ideas color triads conservation craft shows crafts crochet crystals cuff Culled Beads current events Current Faves daggers Daily Sets daisy chain Delicas Destash drops Dutch spiral earrings Egypt Egyptian Gods embellishing embroidery environment etsy exotic fair trade fantasy fashion Favorite Beads Favorite Techniques feminine fibers film findings fire polish fixtures Flashback Test flickr inspiration flowers food found object free form fringe Geek Jewels geekery gemstones geography giveaway glass gold gray Greece green herringbone hex cuts history holiday home decor insects inspiration tip inspired beader Inspired by... Inspiring Links ivory Jewelry Stash knitting ladder stitch lampwork lariat leaf fringe leather lights literature loomwork macrame magatamas Master Class Medallions metal free metalwork Mini Collar a Week mixed media mixture Mood Board MOP multi-color multi-strand music natural beads nature necklace Necklace a Day Nepal chain netting New Beads ocean ombre orange paint paper patterns pearls pendant peyote photography Picasso finish pink Pinspiration PMC polymer clay poster sketch purple quick inspiration rainbow RAW red resin ring Ring a Day rivoli Rome Russian spiral scarf science seed beads shell silver soutache spiral rope spring square stitch St. Petersburg steampunk stringing stripes summer tagua TBT The Elements thread Tilas Time Capsule tools trade beads triangle weave tribal tropical turquoise tutorial two-hole beads Ugly vintage Wear it Twice weather white winter WIP wire wishlist wood World Beaders yellow
Blog Home * About * Beading Tutorials * Advertise

Learn About Sponsoring Inspirational Beading with Project Wonderful
Affiliated With and