Sunday, December 21, 2008



Cat's Eye Shaped Hypersthene Beads, Approximately 35mm x 12mm - Origin unknown
5mm x 8mm Freshwater Pearls (tobacco colored), Top Drilled - China
3mm Vermeil "daisy" spacers - Thailand
2mm Vermeil round spacers - Thailand
Vermeil toggle clasp - Thailand
Strung on Gudebrod Black Silk "F"
#10 wire beading needle (2)
Gold "french wire" fine (.5 inch)
Tri-cord knotting tool
New razor blade

What should have been an easy, 20 minute project, nearly died of shame. The lovely and delicious Hypersthene, courtesy of my dear friends, Mike and Marie Dick of East of Oz/Beadbrats, came strung on heavy woven cord, with knots between the beads. In a fit of incredible stupidity, I thought I could pull the knots through the beads instead of cutting the strand apart. What do you think happened? The knot got stuck in the center of the first bead I tried to this to. And when I say stuck, I mean STUCK. I worked on it with a bead reamer for hours, even with the flexible shaft machine. I cannot fathom how such a little bit of nylon thread could get so stuck inside a hole. Eventually, I just had to give up and continue the strand without that bead.

I think the strand came out just lovely - and the length was perfect. Hypersthene is a heavy material, Magnesium Iron Silicate, and a long strand would have been both impractical and uncomfortable. The finished length is 20", and rests comfortably on my collarbones, rather than the back my neck.

I followed my customary stringing practice, setting up one end of the clasp first, using gold french wire and two round spacer beads to protect the thread. Since I used the heavier "F" weight, I reamed the holes of the freshwater pearls to ensure that I'd have no problems when back-threading through them to finish the necklace. I also used the "daisy" style flat spacers with the 2mm round spacers against each end of the Hypersthene to keep the silk away from the sharp edges of the Hypersthene.

Materials Cost: $90.00
Time to Complete: 30 minutes (excluding the wasted time trying to clean out the stuck knot)
Difficulty: 2 out of 5

1 comment:

Robin said...

Ha! I've done that too... only once though! Yes, it is amazing that a bit of nylon (or silk, in my case) thread can be so determined to stay inside the bead.

Thanks for your visit to my blog and your comment about bing creative in a commercial society. I agree with you about commissions being very rewarding!

Robin A.