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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
My favorite transparent stone
Using one of my favorite stringing techniques

Strictly speaking, bead stringing at its most basic is a textile technique: that is, a thread (heavily) decorated. Just as darts and pleats shape clothing, and interfacing and bones lend it support, so too a limp strand of beads can be given a more interesting shape using stiffer stringing materials and multi-perforated objects—in plain english, twisted cable (beadalon is my favored brand, but all the 49 stranded cables work well) and spacer bars.

Traditionally, spacer bars are used to help shape ‘dog collars’—multi-strand chokers that stand up on the neck. They're hardly limited to that, and I'm certainly not the only person to explore alternative approaches. But it's always surprised me that more people don't take advantage of their many design possibilities. These two necklaces, which I made with the idea that they would be mine, incorporate a number of my favorite stringing approaches. The longer one is a ‘2into1’, which, so far as I know, is unique to me.

This smaller spacerbar unit was much more popular than the large pectoral type pieces I originally made, and quicker to make, since I could purchase the spacerbars pre-stamped and drilled, ready to go. The necklace is made using one long piece of tigertail (this piece is old enough that beadalon wasn't yet on the market)—as strung pieces tend to fail at the ends, I try to keep them to a minimum. It saves time, as well. The large strand on beads on one side counterbalances, both visually and structurally, the two smaller strands on the other side.

The shorter necklace is more idiosyncratic, as I ever only made one of this type: this one. When I'm in a really gaudy mood, I wear them together, as the shorter nests inside the longer. Note that both pieces have many graduated sections, especially of chips. Tourmaline, like any multi-colored stone, is challanging and fun to graduate because its chips must be sorted not only for size and shape, but color as well.

tourmaline, amethyst, garnet, peridot, glass, gold fill and sterling silver

23dec23 added spacerbar & semiprecious tags, also title