I was approached by one of my co-workers with a query of "If I brought an old necklace in to you, do you think you could make me a pair of earrings out of the beads?"
Of course I said I could. But when Violet brought her necklace in to show me, I was taken aback: It was absolutely gorgeous! Why on earth would she want me to take something this beautiful apart? It was simply made, with nuts and seeds, on what looked to me like either upholstery or button thread, and used a very simple macramé slide for the closure.
Well, it wasn't her style, and she couldn't see herself wearing it. And although she loved the earrings that had come with the necklace, she'd lost them, and wanted another pair. Here is the necklace, which had been brought back from Brazil by one of her students, as a gift.
I had a very, very difficult time cutting into this necklace. Not that it was physically difficult, it was 'morally' difficult... I held it, studied it, and cast a gratitude spell over the necklace before the dreadful hacking. Now, I know that some of you might be taken aback by the word 'spell', but hear me out. The spell was cast in thanks for the artisan who had poured her/his soul into this piece, probably in an effort to support themselves financially. I thanked the artist for their knowledge, for their skill, and for sending this piece forth, so that I (all the way here in Canada) could study it, and replicate it as best I could, in their honor. I know this sounds weird, and 'new agey' to some of you, but that's the way this witch rolls. ;)
All I can say, is that if I knew that one of my pieces had made itself all the way across the globe, and that the recipient only liked it for the beads, I'd be heartbroken at the thought of all my efforts and skills that had gone into it, and that they were just going to hack it for parts... Have any of you ever given thought to this?
As I mentioned, I studied the piece, wanting to figure out the stitch before I sliced in. I knew straight away that it had been crocheted. Very well I might add. Each side was constructed of 8 crocheted strands, which met at the center, and then were passed through a large Tagua nut.
And here's what I was left with at the end of that ordeal. It took me an entire hour to cut each seed free. I made sure to keep one strand intact, so that I could replicate the tension of the chain. I've given Violet a plethora of choices as far as thread color and hardware goes. She offered to let me keep whatever I didn't use for her earrings, but then I told her that I could certainly make her a bracelet to match, and maybe another, more delicate necklace as well. I might have the Tagua nut left over, LOL!
I'll be sure to photograph the finished pieces. I've already made a pair of earrings, using the dark maroon thread Violet chose. (personally, I prefer the look of the seeds against the maroon thread, the red was a tad too vibrant for my liking)