Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Work in Progress: Pendant of Balance

At one time or another, most beaders are a bit guilty of hoarding. Sometimes we have beads that we hold on to for years, perhaps waiting for the right inspiration, or maybe they’re just too precious to use. Occasionally, bead hoarding pays off, when a design idea comes along that wouldn’t have been possible without those pieces that have been kept under glass.

For the past several months, I’ve been wanting to use my last bone ankh pendant for a side project, but I kept putting it off, thinking that perhaps it would come in handy during this year’s challenge. I didn’t want to risk being without it should a project come along that wouldn’t be the same without an ankh. This week, that project is on the bead tray.

Ankh Pendant in Progress

When designing a necklace for Ma'at, the goddess of truth and balance, I decided to go for a feathery St. Petersburg chain. At first, I thought about revisiting the scalloped variation with another turquoise wedge focal, but the loops of beads would obscure the feathery look of the chain. Ma'at was sometimes shown offering the Breath of Life by holding an ankh to the lips of the pharaoh, so a simple pendant was the way to go. I created a palette to represent the elements, and things are well under way.

Last week’s moon collar is finished. I’m very happy with the final palette, although a mistier shade of blue would have been ideal.

What are you working on this week?

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  1. The moon collar is beautiful... but once I tried to make a collar and it turned out to be too curved... :( I had to make it a pendant...

    What should I do so that the collar is spread wide like yours?

    1. Spacing is key when making a collar with netting. You don't need to make a large increase to create a curve, and the flexibility of the nets makes the beadwork drape well with different patterns. For most of my collars, I use the same number of beads in each row or section, increased by one for the bottom row, and one more for the looped edge.

      For example, the moon collar started with: 1 8/o, 5 11/o, 1/ 8/o, 4 11/o, 1 8/o, 4 11/o and so on. The looped edge has 4 11/o and 1 6/o, which is about equal to 6 11/o. Under the Beading Tutorials tab, there is a tutorial for vertical netting with tips for making collar patterns.

    2. Thank you! That is very helpful! :)

  2. Are you connecting that St. Petersburg chain from one end to the other?

    1. The piece shown here is going to be one of two necklace straps - it's just folded over to fit on the tray. Single St. Petersburg chains connect together really well, and make for nice rope-length necklaces. I have a few in my personal collection that I wear all the time.

      I did try connecting multi-St. Petersburg chain end-to-end once, but it didn't work out very well. The ends of a double or triple chain are too fussy, and the join isn't very smooth. You can check out the project here:


  3. Beautifull...I love that shade of blue....it matches a top I recently bought.


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