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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Taking big steps

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.


Now to begin with the permanent stringing.  Up until this point, all the strands of beads were temporarily strung and just pinned to the dress form to give me an idea of how to construct it all.  But now I had to make a commitment and start putting it all together.  I often wish I had a more mathematical mind.  I think it would have helped in this situation.  It was truly a project for an engineer.  The only way I could figure it all out was through trial and error.(a LOT of error!)  I began with the strand around the bottom.  Since it would no longer be attached to the dress as originally planned, it came around and attached to the neckpiece in the back. (I have to admit that I was so intent on this process, that I did not take many photos of it.)

I am very grateful that I had the original photo to work from- it saved hours figuring out the structure of the piece. Of course I changed things along the way, but it was a good base.  Here is photo so you can compare:

Prisylla had decided earlier to eliminate the strand under the arms and the lowest strand going over the arms.  I was concerned about the weight in the front pulling the whole thing down. In order to lighten it up as much as possible, I used wooden beads alternating with stone beads.  It still was a worry, and later I will tell you the solution I came up with.

So here is a photo of one side almost completed.

 The bride had asked for the lighter color howlite drops to be included, but after seeing it, we both agreed that it was too much going on and changed it to all Turquoise drops.

 Here it is with the drops on the bottom center removed, before the other ones were added.  I also replaced the ones closer to the top, although that is harder to see.

So the first side is almost done, just a few more connections to make.  Like I said- photos are sparse here- I guess I was kind of caught up in all of it.  It was incredibly stressful, but also exciting to see it all come together.

In the next post the whole front should be finished.


  1. this is absolutely stunning...hopefully you will be posting pictures of the bride wearing it!!

  2. Wow, looking lovely, but an engineering feat indeed!

  3. Thank you both. I only have one small picture of the bride wearing it, but hopefully I will be getting a few more soon.

  4. Holy, this is so amazing and I think it's awesome of you...

  5. I am totally amazed that you did this long distance. You are a brave and confident artist Betty. Simply astonishing, and looking great!

  6. I love reading your story, Betty, and your creation is taking shape beautifully! Can't wait to hear and see MORE!!

  7. I continue to be amazed by this process you are going through, the time it took to do, and all the challenges you've dealt with. It's really shaping up and looking amazing. I am in awe. I am very curious to see how you engineered the back for her to get it over her head and put it on.

  8. Oh wow Betty. What a mammoth task... It is so beautiful.

  9. Thanks for all those nice comments! I don't know as if I would call myself a confident artist, though. I certainly had a lot of self doubts during this process!