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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
16 strands of little lampworked beads
all tied in knots

Like the necklace featured yesterday this project has been in the works for awhile. It started one holiday with a relative who wanted something like the fimo necklace. With dice. Only problem was, I only have the dice in bone, not white—not sure where I got the white ones, but I had only a very few to begin, and none to put in her piece, which went off the crisp black-white-with-touches-of-red rails very quickly as grey, ivory and the like wended their way in. One day was not enough to string more than a few, unsatisfactory inches.

16 strands: lots of artist made beads (almost all solid), a few with thompson enamel to crisp up the trailing; howlite, snowflake obsidian, black onyx, shell, vintage glass, sterling findings.

The would-be stringer came to visit my sister-in-law, and I suggested she stop by to do some more work on the project. It developed that she'd remembered lots more white and far less black than was actually present in the fimo necklace. Also, while my love of disks remains unabated, hers had waned. She didn't really want a focal.

This view shows the graduation from black to white in the fringe.

I'd made some small black and white beads for her to peruse, and she liked them, but I realized even they were on the large side for what she suggested: could it just be loose strands that could be tied in a knot? Was that a dumb idea?

closeup. The larger round beads are hollow, but the little tubes and disks aren't, of course.

I thought it was brilliant (though only made possible by modern stringing materials, i.e. 49 stranded steel plastic sheathed cable.)[1] We started the piece together, and I promised to have it finished by the time we were to meet again, at an extended family gathering in July. I made lots more itty bitty beads on itty bitty mandrels (which my studio partner Frances uncomplainingly cleaned) but as I strung it, I realized I had remarkably few opaque white beads. Black—no problem. But white? I'd worked for years to get rid of it! So off I went to our two local beadstores, to scrounge up more—I ended up getting faceted white shell, breast cancer? vintage, translucent white swarovski and some 3mm tubes and 4mm cubes. $40 later, I had enough transitional-size beads in white.[2]

Knotted. But, of course, some strands could be allowed to trail down the back, etc. Completed July of 2014

I pretty much finished everything except the seed-bead fringe, which I took with me; and as I photographed it in situ, as it were, these pictures are as good as you're gonna get. That said, I enjoyed making the project. And all the Tlingit art, which is traditionally—you guessed it—white, black and red, was very inspirational as well.

some of the many beads I made for this project. Shot 13jul15; so, they were probably made on the 12th:) The fact that they're on mandrels makes the dating a good deal more precise. Effetre, CiM, Thompson Enamels. The eraser is for scale, since those are smaller than 1/16" mandrels.

This turned out to be a fun project, but then I had an awful lot of little red, black and white beads left over, as well as some inspiration from another project I brought along on this trip...

[1]Obviously, the idea would work if the beads were strung on thread—silk or nylon—but glass beads and thread don't mix real well. Let alone the difficulties of having thick enough thread for the bigger beads that would still fit through the seed beads, which admittedly are fairly large—10/0s—but still, not my idea of fun.

[2]So much for doing this gift on the cheap...