Thursday, 23 February 2017

Sticking my Neck Out. . .

The more observant amongst you may have noticed that I haven't listed a new necklace in my shop for quite a few months. Why could this be? you ask yourselves. I will tell you. Despite having sold a few necklaces over the past year or two, I have never felt entirely at ease with the process of making them. The nagging feeling that I don't quite know what I am doing is hard to shake off. Possibly because it is an accurate assessment ;-) But that said, I pick things up pretty quick. . . I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It's all down to what 'works' and what doesn't really.
And anyway, I have been madly making beads and so haven't had the time or inclination to diversify much. Excuses excuses. .

Over time, quite a few pending necklace related projects have been abandoned and left hanging on the hooks on my studio wall. Oh all right, on the pirated bits of a wooden plate rack wedged between two water pipes that serves the same purpose. Whatever, it does the job.

The other day I had an urge to actually do something with these neglected projects, and, armed with a bit more knowledge, gleaned over several months of Pinterest and FB exposure to other artists' work, a bit more confidence, and a steely glint in my eye, I got stuck in.

The results are below. I'm trying to keep the rustic/tribal/boho/whatever vibe that my beads have and translate that attitude into more complex pieces. For better or for worse ;-)

Close ups and other details are in the listings for each necklace in my Etsy shop, each pic has a link in the caption.
(Thanks to 'Ethel' the polystyrene dressmaker's dummy I found in the 'salvaged things for sale' bit of my local dump for £2, I can not only test my work all through the design process, but also photograph my necklaces to show how long they are and how they hang. Yay, for Ethel!)

I'd love to know what you think of them, and if you have any guidance/criticisms for me.
Jon x

1 - This one has been around in this form for ages. I just wasn't sure about it. It has 15 miscellaneous grungy image transfer tube beads, various rustic spacers and some printed, bigger spacer beads.

2 - This one has four early image transfer tube beads, featuring my signature digital tile patterns, paired with three translucent and red clay mix round beads I made a while ago too. Plus some of my simple white round polymer clay beads.

3 - This one has some black and white, textured spike beads garnered from a previous project, with some rustic black and white drum beads made using the same technique. All my own design textures.

4 - A simple, 'primitive' necklace made using a large semi translucent cane covered bead, made when I was playing around with caning etc, quite a while ago, with two semi translucent round beads, some more rustic spacers and some shop bought small, simple spacers.

5 - I got all designy with this one. A textured ring bead and two stick beds on a copper loop.

6 - This pendant one has six, triangular cross section, textured stick beads on a copper bar.

7 - This was fun. A simple formula - one interesting but different bead, spaced using two simple wood spacers, and so on. Random, unusual, funky and cool.

8 - Well, this one was a repurposing/upcycling project involving stuff from the hardware store mainly. Washers, cotter pins and some plastic tubing. With two small polymer clay tube beads of mine. Fun.


  1. Good to see a blog post from you again Jon! I know creating and the process of blogging about it are each equal in might even be a bit more.

    After reading through the entire post and looking at each picture closely I have to say that your pics of your pieces are quite marvelous. I then went to your Etsy site to search your offerings a bit further.

    May I make a suggestion? You can take it or leave it - no problem at all.

    How about 'naming' your pieces? Instead of just describing them - come up with a name for each different piece. I know it's now an easy thing but it doesn't require you to attach an accurate name to a piece unless it actually reminds you of something.

    For example....for #7 - Pandora's Delight....

    #5 - Sticks and Stones...

    #6 - Pick Up Sticks -

    You get my drift I know....

    Sometimes naming something helps people associate with it better.

    1. Interesting idea, thanks. I have seen it done a few times. Not sure if it fits with how I see my work. I shall think about it. . . It would mean losing a few words out of the Etsy title, which is basically a string of words and phrases people might use to find your item.

  2. I love the beads in the first picture especially!

  3. These are wonderful!! I especially like Number 1, the patina of the transfer beads is lovely. I also like the simplicity of Number 4. You may feel uncomfortable with the process, but you have a great design sense!

    1. Thanks Pat, nice of you to say so. I am encouraged. . .