Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Beading Project - Start 2 Finish

One of my birthday presents. It belonged to my husband's grandmother, who grew up in India. No one knows exactly where it came form or how old it is. The pieces look like painted bone and depict scenes of birds, gazelles, a camel, veiled belly dancers, a kneeling man in front of a holy book (a Qu'ran?). Perhaps it is from Iran. We have some pieces of chipped pottery from her that are allegedly ancient and from Iran. I think she may have traveled there at some point. I love the pieces; they remind me of my travels in and around Tunisia where I saw all of the scenes depicted on the tiles. The bracelet was too long for me to wear and I wasn't a big fan of the links in between the pieces so I re-tooled it. The whole project took about an hour.

Using a wire cutter made for beading, I snipped off the metal connectors and clasp. I had to use needle-nosed pliers to pry the metal tips of the connectors out from the bone tiles and then straighten them so they could be cut safely without damage to the tiles.

I started one end of the new bracelet with a jump ring threaded with two wire strands. I used a crimp bead on each strand and tightened it in place with flat-nosed pliers. Then I threaded the first bead (jasper) through both wires, and after that I placed a small silver bead and then a bead of red jasper on each wire. Next I used a silver bead with two holes so that the wires would stay apart at a distance that worked with the holes for the painted tiles.

After stringing the jasper beads for each side of the painted tile I twisted the wires over to hold everything in place while I separated the other tiles from the metal pieces they were strung on.

I strung the rest of the jasper beads, each on its own wire, with the other tiles I wanted to use. I had three left over; I can use them in other jewelry pieces. I finished the end of the bracelet with the same arrangement of beads as its beginning and set out the pieces I would need for attaching the clasp. Attaching the clasp and actually finishing the bracelt is the single hardest part of beading. It requires a lot of dexterity and patience. I was going to use two crimp beads to tie it all off before attaching them to the clasp but elected to put both wire ends through the same crimp bead. That way I would use only one plus only one jump ring. It took a little trying, but I got it to work and am happy with how it turned out.


psychgrad said...

Much improved!

Alasdair said...

Very cool, industrious lady. I'm not sure if my grandma was ever in Iran, but who knows? There are many mysteries in my family. Sometimes I think I'm not the only one whose past includes a shadowy possibility of having served in a foreign military.