Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Amazing Color-Changing Beads

There are some amazing berries outside the wonderful cafĂ© where we go- I’ve never seen berries change colors as they mature the way these did. In a few weeks in late October, they traversed the spectrum from green to purple to red.

Just like those berries, the little flower beads in this necklace are “color change” beads: in daylight- they reflect green, and in incandescent light, they reflect red, changing like the ripening berries. And those round green agate beads are the precise bayberry color of the new berries.

Now, my friend made a sad confession: necklaces give her claustrophobia.

How sad- not to be able to bedeck onself. Jewelry is, above all, a proclamation of one’s unique spirit. Inner beauty worn outwardly. I hope for my friend that she will conquer her fear, change like the berries, and take on the color of her own beauty.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Secret Sequence

Beads teach us things. Patience, for one thing. The pendant in this necklace was once a lovely pin, given to me by The Muse (everyone should have one- but no one has a Muse as fine as mine!) years ago. It stopped being a pin after much fond wear, when it’s pinback fell off. Fortunately, it was not lost; I saved it as a flat object for a long time deciding whether to repair it. I never repaired it, because in time it came to me that it would be happy as a pendant if only I could find the right beads. This all happened years before I was able to bead- I was gathering elements for this piece a long time.

What happened when I finally came to the making of the necklace is it’s own story. Three times I strung the multi-strand necklace, and each time something went awry. It was like a tale from the Brothers Grimm- first the strands tangled so badly I couldn’t find the ends when it came to stringing the clasp. I re-strung it a second time and strands broke at the last moment, after crimping and trimming. On the third attempt, true to legend, I found success.

Is there magic in the third try? Perhaps. Or maybe it is that by the third time you do something, you’ve learned to adjust to the trials you’re about to meet.

For me, this was discovering that there is a sequence in which each step must be done. Beading is a linear process. You cannot reach the middle before you secure the beginning. The order in which beads come together is partly design, and partly fortune. You keep repeating it until you get it right.