Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Slightly Ugly Necklace

Mortira and The Slightly Ugly Necklace

So far in my new destash challenge, I’ve shown you 9 projects using old and leftover beads. Since the beginning, I’ve been keeping a secret design - the ultimate in destash. This was the first piece that I designed, and the one that helped to inspire this year’s mission. It’s also the ugliest thing I’ve ever made.

For most of last year, I was keeping an eye on the calendar, waiting for the approach of the deadline for the Ugly Necklace Contest. I left the planning of my entry until the last minute, so that I would have the largest possible crop of UnFinished Objects to draw from. If I was going to do ugly, I wanted to do it right, and there’s nothing quite like a discarded bit of beadwork to make one’s lip curl.

When I finally sat down to create a hideous necklace, I had lots of UFOs to choose from, including two pieces of beaded rope, and a curiously constructed multi-strand component from a failed design. I assembled these elements together, using some mismatched Chinese lampwork beads for bumpers, and added a button clasp constructed from a discarded piece of circular brick stitch.

Next, I gathered up a random assortment of beading mishaps, samples, and scraps, and suspended them at random from the multi-strand section, using loops of leftover Czech and Chinese seed beads in odd colors and hideously uncoordinated custom mixtures. I also added some handmade paper beads and a few shell coins, and additional Chinese lampwork beads, including a few really wonky pieces in random colors. When I was finished, the necklace wasn’t quite as ugly as I knew it could be, so I chose a few smaller bits of beadwork, and stitched them to various places on the necklace.

Early Stages Ugly Necklace

I was very happy with the dreadfulness of what I had constructed, but it still wasn’t ugly enough. On one side, I attached a length of silk ribbon that I had left over from a Use the Muse kit, but it still needed more. In the same place, I tied on some ghastly pink and orange eyelash yarn, and made a few lazy macramé knots. Viola - a chunky, lopsided, ugly necklace.

It was a great feeling to bring all of these seemingly useless pieces together into one design. Unfortunately, it was not selected as a finalist in the Ugly Necklace Contest, but it was great fun to make! It's kind of liberating to ignore the rules, and do things because they'll be fun, even though they will be ugly. Each time a new scrap of beadwork was added, I tried to do something I wouldn't normally do, like adding extra beads to the loop, or even stringing large beads over them for no reason at all.

The Slightly Ugly Necklace

I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to do with this mad concoction. Any ideas?

Copyright 2012 Inspirational Beading
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  1. Play dress up? I showed the picture to my 6yo, and told her it was for an ugly necklace contest. Her response was "UGLY?!?!? NOOOO! It's beeyouuutiful!" She was quite upset with me for calling it ugly! LOL

  2. Aww, tell your girl I said thanks!

  3. I actually don't find it ugly at all I must say. It looks really interesting and different from a lot of other pieces out there, and that in my opinion is what makes it beautiful in it's own way.

  4. I think you should keep it and wear it once in a while to inspire others when they see it! It has a uniqueness with a random fun feeling with all that color.

  5. I think I would lose the ribbon and the eyelash yarn, and consider this necklace an one-of-a-kind Art piece! I like it! (and I'm way older than 6) LOL!
    Chris :D

  6. Why does wonky beadwork have to be ugly? I like it.

  7. Thanks everyone! I thought I might pare it down a bit by removing the fibers, and see how it does in the shop. Now I'm going to go for it!


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