As I walked out of our apartment the other day, my neighbor was coming out her door. We stopped and chatted for a moment and then she commented on the pendant I was wearing. It is one of my favorites, a marquise-shaped open pendant with a large black AB fire-polish bead at the bottom. I made it last year when I started experimenting with the pave' technique using tiny silver beads. This was the third time in a few weeks that someone had commented on this particular pendant, so I took that as an indication and thought about making a variation for my next project.
I decided to take the opportunity to use the light blue Swarovski pearls that I had in my stash. Over the past several years I subscribed to the Beads of the Month club. I cancelled, reluctantly, because I couldn't justify the cost at this moment. But during that time I accumulated a nice assortment of good quality beads, Miyuki beads in all shapes and an assortment of Swarovski. While I love transparent and AB Swarovski crystals, I have mixed feelings about their opaque beads. In particular, I don't quite know what to make of their "pearls". In fact, they are just fancy round glass beads. They are not pearls, not even freshwater pearls. At the same time, they are very uniform and come in some very pretty colors and a good range of sizes, which makes them potentially very useful.
Technical details: Core wire is19g sterling. Wrapping wire is 28g sterling. 2mm sterling beads around the edge. 6mm Swarovski light blue pearl highlighted with 2-2mm and 1-3mm Swarovski crystal AB beads. The crystals are meant to give a tiny bit of sparkle from time to time, like dewdrops, maybe. The frame is two rounds with the silver beads woven into place on the second round. They then sit in the space between the two rows of the core wire. The bail is 5 wrap herringbone, my usual bail for a simple pendant.
I like the shape of this, and I like the balance of the silvery blue and crystal with the silver. I think as it ages it will take on a nice patina. I'm less happy with the way the pearl and crystals are set -- they are not quite symmetrical. Since I'll be using this format again, I'll have to take better care next time to make sure the bead is set straight, particularly if I use the crystals which just draw attention to the problem.
At this point, I think I'm caught up with YOJ for the moment. Since I'll be traveling next week, I may be playing catch-up again in a week or two, but for now it's all good.
Please be sure to go over to check out the beautiful things at the Year of Jewelry. The artists participating in this project are really giving a wonderful effort, and you'll love what you see.
As always, I am interested in what you think of this and any other pieces, including your suggestions. I plan to post again soon, if'n the creek don't rise.