As I was spending multiple minutes on trying to find an ancient peach colored Tradewinds bead that would accommodate two strands of linen thread, to bury the end thread, it occurred to me that I have always had radical attention to detail when it comes to bead work.
When I began in the early 1970’s I spent untold hours with seed bead embroidery. Someone told me to always leave a mistake in the work so it would not capture my soul. No problem! Making my first talismans I first encountered the challenge of how to incorporate beads of different sizes.
Since I use antique, vintage, handmade or ancient beads each one is uniquely shaped with different size holes. This ofttimes requires workarounds when it comes to the size of the thread or cord. If I have an idea of how I want a necklace to be, sometimes it requires several different widths of thread, or even unraveling a multi ply cord like I had to with “Talisman for the Earth”, shown at the top. Some of the beads were so tiny, it required a single thread from a four-ply nylon cord. Sometimes I like to mix large and small beads, so there needs to be small beads next to the large holed ones so there is no movement that would cause friction on the cord.
On the other hand, sometimes I like to have movement in the pendant or beads, so I find a tubular or smaller beads that will fit through the larger one allowing movement but no friction.
When heavy beads are used and I want to have knotted lengths I tie half knots around a leather core. With the exception of when a thicker leather cord is used, all necklaces are knotted between beads. But the knots are not always visible, when the hole will slip over the knot. And sometimes I make the beads to suit the purpose.
All this is to convey the care that goes into making my one-of-a-kind jewelry, definitely not mass produced with speed! These considerations have resulted in me having a tiny tool box that holds super thin metal lengths for homemade threaders, diamond files for reeming stone beads, mini Swiss Army knife, tweezers, thinnest possible needles and pins, beeswax to help things slide.
Next comes the question of how to store beads so I can locate them. Even though I had a lot to do to get ready for the open studio, I reorganized them because I found a cool antique metal box with six drawers. It was small enough to put on the lower shelf when not in use. Besides everything shown in the photo, there is a small suitcase with larger beads stored in elegant plastic bags.
Anyone who shares a love of beads knows what I reveal here.