Friday, October 30, 2009

The Jumeirah Silver Queen - Pearls & Kumihimo

So much for keeping this blog up to date...I really need to remember to cross post works that I publish on Beading Daily.

Just because I'm travelling doesn't mean I can't bead! My original intention when learning kumihimo in April was to have something do keep my hands busy during a trip out west. I didn't enjoy the process enough at the time to make good on my intention, but after my recent works with kumihimo and beads, I thought I'd give it another shot.

I must say that there is probably no better beading project to travel with than kumihimo. No scissors and needles, no need to worry about losing beads during turbulence. So long as you've got everything set up before departure, you'll have no problems.

I started this piece during the flight from New York to Paris


The first portion is eight strands x 20 rows of antiqued pewter beads. The main section is four strands of "cornflake" beads and side drilled potato pearls x 40 rows. I set up the strands so that the beads would stack 4 of the cornflakes and 4 of the potatoes. It finishes with another 20 rows of the antiqued pewter.

I was able to work on it sitting out on my hotel room balcony for about 3 hours, sipping ice water (that's the glass the strand is draped on) and watching the tourists take camel rides along the beach. It finally got too hot and I had to head back inside. I may finish it this evening, or leave some of it for the flight home.


At the Jumeirah Hilton, with a balcony view of the Atlantis hotel (at the apex of the outer palm island).

Cut to the post trip review:

I've finished the silver pearls kumihimo, finally. I had actually completed the braiding before leaving Dubai, but I had a lot of trouble with the second half - the last twenty rows of antiqued pewter beads. Because the strand was already so heavy, it kept dragging down the active braiding area, distorting the braided beads. I undid and rebraided it so many times (about 5) that the silk wore out and nearly broke. I packed it up and didn't work on it any further until I began recovering from my jet lag (Sunday afternoon).


Besides the problem with the last section of metal beads, it was simply too long and too heavy, and I took drastic action. I cut the ends off on each side, pulled out the metal beads, knotted the end strands together and contemplated how to finish the project. I found a pair of longer bead cones in Hill Tribe silver, a Saki silver clasp, and some jump rings. With an hour's fierce concentration, I finished it.

It sat on my form, waiting to be photographed, when I got a brain storm. I was writing a reply to this thread, when I remembered a WiP - a beaded bezel for a pair of Art Deco crystal cabachons that I created as a proof of concept, but could never figure out what to do with. All the colors were right for a marriage between the two pieces, and with a little figuring out, I attached it to the braided pearls.

I present to you, without further delay - the Jumeirah Silver Queen!



Pendant Detail

The clasp

2 comments:

linmleslie said...

This piece is lovely. You are very clever. I am working on something similar with smaller pearls and possibly s. crystals - no pendant for a wedding. I am curious about the pattern. How many strands? 8? Synthetic Silk? Did you string your cornflake and potato beads and alternate when brading or did you braid 4 cornflakes and then 4 pearls. Did you incorpoate any crystals? Suggestions?

Richard said...

Interesting fact silver made in Thailand is only made in villages outside of the main cities by Hilltribe families. Most patterns have been in there family for many years and can only be made by large order. There are no stores or one central place to purchase Hilltribe silver in variety other than from the large wholesale shops in the city. Mondays and Fridays are the days families will bring their goods to the main shops for sale and to pick up new orders. A trip to a silver village is a real eye opener to see how families work together to make beautiful silver pieces of art. All Handmade.
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