For years, I have been designing a style of necklace I call “One of a Kind” or, in my shorthand, OOK. They originated from chunky orphan beads, leftover onesie or twosie charmers, tossed into a box. One day a necklace designed itself in that box and my first OOK emerged. They feature as many different beads as possible: it’s a fun challenge not to repeat beads, even though I do allow myself to for superior design.
I’ve probably made 30 of them since I declared myself a bead jewelry artist in 1995. But it took gallerist, Gail Sewell reminding me how much she likes them, to get me habitually thinking about OOKs. Now she gets first dibs for her Chambers Gallery in Cambria, CA!
This necklace’s genesis was five large wood beads (from the top: an ebony and resin assemblage; a bird’s eye in soft wood; coco as in coconut; a finely carved snake which in Chinese mythology signifies cleverness; then another coco). A notable bead is the obelisk-shaped carved soapstone with images of a stylized fish. Balancing the wood are some opaque rock crystal beads with subtle brown markings.
This OOK demanded a striking clasp with a solid silver ethnic circle. The wood toggle, formerly known as a button, I found with my knitter friends, Tess and Dottie, on a fun driving trip to Webs, the biggest yarn shop ever.
REGARDING MY MURANO BEADS, stay tuned. I’ve designed only one necklace, a fairly “safe” medallion, pictured below, because the big unique beauties I selected in Italy are currently intimidating me. They have to be fabulous, and they will be, but they need to take their time.