My Apothecary Chest: in 1994, it arrived via container to California from Hong Kong, where I discovered beading during an ex-pat assignment there. Serves as the repository for my beads. Handcrafted. It has 52 Drawers.
2017 Challenge: Create a Necklace a Week, using only the Beads from one Drawer at a time. Voila! 52 Necklaces!
Week 11/Drawer 11: March 15, 2017: “Dialogue ”
There are two drawers for Amber and only a small section is dedicated to amber-colored beads. I was immediately drawn to the glass “horn” and found some wonderful vintage beads and a section of chain with amber and pearl drops to create a very asymmetrical neckpiece.
The asymmetry of this creation will drive my structured friends crazy, but I had a lot of fun designing it. The large faceted bead is sort of the center point. The off-balance side contains some fabulous vintage beads given to me 20 years ago by Topher Delaney, the top San Francisco landscape designer I was lucky enough to convince to create our Menlo Park, CA, garden (and come down to San Luis Obispo to set the design concept for the house we were building in a vineyard!). I found the asymmetry to be incomplete until I added the recycled chain. It hugs the top of the inside and importantly drops below the outside strand.
Topher’s beads are really vintage: the type our grandmothers were given by their mothers; the quality of the faceting reveals a craftsmanship of bygone days. The chain held a surprise also: green amber, a type of bead I have never worked with before. The chain, which contains dangles of honey-colored and green amber and pearls, was also used for the earrings.
This is the third “horn” I have made over the past 23 years; one black one remains from my long-ago purchase from Olive Glass in Washington. I find it fascinating the way it hugs the neck and love the design challenge! It is lampwork glass, made in front of a flame with a cane of colored glass in one hand and a steel rod in the other which manipulates the molten glass into the desired shape. Such talented artists! BTW, it’s a large glass piece; it will break if it falls on a hard surface.
I used Ada, my turn of the century mannequin, to make the elements fit and drape. The clasp is a purchase from my trip to CA four months ago; again, something new to me. It is gold plated over base metal, bold, and in a classic “S” shape.
This necklace is 16” long. Earrings are included; the dangle is 2” long. $140.