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Steel, Silk and Sea Necklace

By: Margot Potter for Beadalon

This necklace juxtaposes a variety of materials to evoke a sense of a day at the beach. A judicious smattering of asymmetry adds design interest. The combination of natural materials with metal creates a wonderful contrast. Don't be afraid of the challenges that asymmetry provides! Use these techniques and ideas to create your own unique designs.

Steel, Silk and Sea Necklace Jewelry Project

Materials:

  • 1 - Light tube cord ends with lobster clasp and extension chain, silver plated
  • 2 in. length - Size 2 Black 100% silk bead cord
  • 6 in. length - Beadalon 49 Strand bright .013 in. stringing wire
  • 2 - Size #1 Crimp tubes, silver plated
  • 1 pkg. - Elongated cable steel chain
  • 11 - 1 in. Head pins, silver plated
  • 6 - 4mm Carnelian round beads
  • 4 - 4mm Bali sterling silver beads
  • 21 - 3mm Silver potato seed pearls
  • 1 - 12mm Silver coin pearl
  • Designer round nose pliers
  • Designer chain nose pliers
  • Designer flush cutter
  • Designer crimper

Steps:

Note: To complete this project, you will need to be familiar with head pin finishing and crimping techniques.

  1. Begin by creating three lengths of steel chain: one of 72 links, two of 31 links. Open and close the links with chain nose pliers. Attach the longest length of chain (72-link) to the lobster clasp using chain nose pliers.
     
  2. Bead the 11 head pins with 5 carnelian beads and 6 Bali silver beads. Create a loop at the top of each bead using round nose pliers. Trim the excess wire using flush cutters. Attach the beaded pins to the 72 link chain starting with the sixth link and adding one bead to every sixth link around the chain in a pattern of Bali bead, carnelian, Bali bead etc. Use either round nose or chain nose pliers. The colors of carnelian can vary – take advantage of the variations in shades in your pattern.
     
  3. Attach the shorter lengths of chain (31-link) to the clasp. Make sure that these chains rest on top of the beaded chain so that the design will hang properly when worn.
     
  4. Crimp one end of the Beadalon 49 strand wire to the bottom of one of the shorter chain lengths. (These directions work the pattern from left to right.) Onto the Beadalon 49 Strand wire, string a pattern of 5 seed pearls, one carnelian, five seed pearls, the coin pearl and eleven seed pearls. Crimp the other end of the Beadalon 49 Strand wire to the second short steel chain length.
     
  5. Tie the short length of silk beading cord around the beaded Beadalon 49 Strand to the right or bottom of the carnelian bead. Wrap the two ends of silk around the strand several times making sure that the ends of your silk are wrapping in opposition to one another. Tie off the silk in a tight knot using chain nose pliers to secure it. Once you are certain that the silk knot is tightened sufficiently (dab a bit of glue here for extra security) cut any excess silk and fray the ends with your fingers.

Variations on a Theme: These basic ideas offer endless variations: use larger beads, randomize more asymmetrical patterns, integrate charms, replace the chain with leather or rubber. Or try adding a third strand - seed pearls? Carnelian? Just use your imagination. Happy Beading!

 

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