Team Inspired Necklace Design

September 1, 2017 , In: Design Challenge, General, Tutorials

So this past weekend brought with it one of the Bead Fairs that has taken over my life for the last couple of months…It didn’t make me a millionaire but I did have great fun showing with my AJE team mates Laney Mead and Caroline Dewison. During the show I remembered that I had this post to write for today with no ideas yet and looking around me I came up with a plan. As you can see we all had tables loaded with beads so I decided I would take something (with permission of course!) from each of our tables and make something with those items…a collaborative design project if you like.

Laney’s table

My Table

Caroline’s table

To begin with I picked one of my own pendants – a new stoneware tooth or horn shaped piece with gold lustre accents that I hadn’t worked with before. Then I had a good rummage through Caroline’s gorgeous beads and found a lovely set with a sort of oil slick lustre that looked great with the pendant and changed colour according to the light. Laney’s speciality are her wonderful whimsical glass sculptures but for this project I needed something a little smaller and selected some pretty little spacers in a lovely smokey teal colour.

Having got these lovelies home the question was what to do with them.To start I used one of Caroline’s beads to create a layered effect by wrapping it with bronze wire to the pendant. 

I added a twisted ring as a bail and because I felt it needed a little something else I added a beaded ring with a little bronze drop at the join – much better.

Next I double wire wrapped Laney’s spacers to turn them into these cute little connectors and then made them into sections of chain with jump rings.

The chain sections are then added to the bail ring – three on one side and two on the other where the clasp will sit.

At this point I had to decide what the rest of the necklace would look like…leather (my go to) more chain…or something else. In the end I decided to string some size 11 seed beads on waxed linen interspersed with some bronze beads to give some texture to the piece.

Once I’d done this I felt the chain section needed a something extra so I added some of the seed beads to the larger rings in the chain to mirror the accent on the pendant connection which pulled the whole thing together.

To finish off I made a simple shepherds crook clasp with bronze wire and attached this to the beaded section. I’m not 100% sure about this bit and I think it may look better with another of Laney’s beads to make it fully symmetrical… I need to have a chat with her to see if she has an odd one I can scrounge.

And there you have my necklace design inspired by a raid on my team mates show tables.

It’s a shame we don’t do shows more often because there is no better inspiration than having peoples work laid out in front of you and permission to help yourself!

Right now I’m having a few days break before I start working on Inventory for the ‘Big Bead Show‘ in October and I’ll also be putting some beads up for auction and restocking my shop as soon as I can. No rest for the bead addicted!



Lesley Watt

Lesley Watt started making jewellery in 2009 with a handful of hobby store beads but quickly discovered art beads and became completely smitten. Taking courses in metal clay, metal smithing, enamelling and etching she began making her own components in 2011 and has never looked back. Always looking to try new things she has branched out into ceramics, bead embroidery, mixed media and textiles.
  1. Reply

    I love the necklace and how well all the components work together. We should have an AE bead and art shop with all AE members! 🙂

  2. Reply

    I love it! The asymmetry works for me 😉 LOVE the colors of your lustre pendant and it works beautifullly with Caroline & Laney’s beads.

  3. Reply

    that is really fabulous!! We did have a great weekend, so much laughter and fun. It wasn’t quite the show we all wanted to make us rich so we could retire but sometimes shows are about talking, laughing, drinking – in the evening! – and eating – some less than others but then we took mine and Carolines men folk! What a fabulous weekend and fabulous piece to celebrate us all being together.. now next time ALL the Art Elements team need to be there 😀

    • Divya
    • September 2, 2017

    It is a such a gorgeous and interesting necklace that too in monochromes. fabulous

    • Geni Zepeda
    • September 4, 2017

    I’d say it was a superb raid.
    Lovely necklace!

    • Beading ZeeZee
    • September 4, 2017

    I’d say it was a superb raid.
    Lovely necklace!

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