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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Making the Collar

For those of you just joining me, I am writing about the process of creating a made to order neckpiece for an Australian bride.   The dates at the top of each post show the time period covered.


With the extra holes drilled in the rosewood beads and the components made, I was ready to begin the collar part of the neckpiece.  I wanted to make it just a little bigger than her neck measurement- I figured it would be better to have it a little too big rather than too small.  I got the whole thing put together and tried it on.  My neck is just a touch larger than Priscylla's.  It was just too big.  With the weight of the rest of the neckpiece, I felt it would pull it down too much and I just couldn't live with it.  So I tore it all out and started over again.  Finally I got it to where I was happy with it. 

Something that really slowed me down was a recurring problem of communication. Although email was great and I couldn't have done this otherwise, it wasn't as fast as I needed it to be.  I would take a photo of what I had done and email it to the bride for her approval.  With the time/date difference it would take hours/days for a reply.  Meanwhile, I had to wait before I could go on.  That is what happened with the neckchain.  I had no sooner finished it when I got an email from Priscylla saying that she had changed her mind about the rosewood beads- she thought that they would be too big.  I replied that I had just finished it and wasn't willing to tear it all out.  She was very nice about it and said that since she had seen it finished, she liked it and all was fine.

But at this point time was running short.  Priscylla had ordered fabric for the dress from the US and had a delay with the arrival time.  She was getting nervous about getting it on time and asked if I could send the piece by Jan. 24. (the wedding was Feb. 12)  Since I was leaving on for a week long trip on the 22nd, I felt I needed to get it finished and sent by then.  I figured that would leave plenty of time.  The post office said it would take about 6-10 days to get there.  Baring any big disasters, I felt pretty confident that I could work with that timeline.  But not if I had to wait for approval at each step.

So I told Priscylla that she would just have to trust me from here on.  She had already approved the beads, and made all the major design decisions.  I felt I knew pretty well by now what she wanted, and if I made any big changes I would check with her.  But otherwise, I was just going to go ahead and do it. It was the only way I could finish by the deadline. She graciously agreed.

It was time to assemble the main center part of the neckpiece.  Below is a picture of my first attempt.  Well, actually the first and second attempt!  I liked the looks of the strands on the right, but it didn't give it enough stability.  By adding the piece on the left, it worked better, but I didn't like the way it hung down.  

 So next post, I will show you what this area looked like finished.


  1. I am just on pins and needles for the next post, each time. It's shaping up and it's looking every bit as impressive as I thought it would be. I can't wait to see the finished piece, and I sure do hope the bride sent you a picture or few of her wearing it!

  2. So looking forward to seeing the finished piece, so nerve wracking just reading what you both went through. Are you also able to post a picture of the bride wearing the jewels?

  3. It is nerve wracking for me writing about it too!! I asked the bride to send me pictures of it, but I have only gotten one so far, and it is not very close up. I am still hoping that she sends a professionally done picture- I will email her soon to remind her. But if she doesn't, I took pictures of the finished piece here and will definitely post them!!