Greetings Bead in Stylers
This is part 2 of my post about Styling a Pendant. From part 1:
So … it was a gift, a souvenir from your holiday, a treasured memento, something you made, or just a pretty piece you couldn’t resist at your favourite bead shop! However you acquired it … you now have a pendant that you would like to make into a necklace.
You come into my shop and ask some advice (good step). For more casual or simple styling options, see my last blog post.
But ... Because we are a bead shop … we LOVE to enhance our pendants in many other ways: with colour, variety, and with BEADS in as many different ways as we can think of! ...
Option 4: Knotting cord
This red Kazuri pendant is accompanied by other Kazuri hand made porcelain beads, and the brown waxed cotton cord is macrame-knotted for some texture, and thickness. This keeps the overall style natural, and tribal, in character and highlighting the beads themselves. I love the additional colour.
Above is a moonstone and silver pendant strung between some freshwater pearls. These pearls have been knotted, a traditional pearl technique, which protects the pearls from rubbing against each other. It also makes them look lovely, but as we are about the pendant here, the pearls keep the colour light, and the overall style is both classic and natural.
Option 5: Simple stringing
Or maybe not so simple, depending on your choice. This ammonite pendant has been strung between some complimentary shell heishi beads, and some silver spacers. This keeps the style natural, but adds some substance and difference to a unique pendant, without detracting from it.
The unakite donut pendant above is lasso-ed with some red leather, highlighting the pendant, and briinging out its subtle colours. These are repeated in the rest of the necklace, but the focal point is still the pendant itself. (For me: this is much more flattering to the pendant than a strip of black leather, and yes, I know my bias is showing!)
These two necklaces above move into the "fully beaded" category, but both began with the pendant as an inspiration. The light blue pendant is a gorgeous liquid boulder opal, strung with blue amazonite nuggets.This changes the pendant from a stone that might have been a very light, casual pendant, into a more formal necklace. Similarly the black Murano pendant might have been strung simply on black leather, but gets a much stronger personality when other beads have been used to highlight it. And a dressier feel, too.
These next two were a challenge to design something "more". The first is an original painting by local artist Karen McKenzie (Travel Gift Gallery), which has been converted into a resin pendant. We added chunky semi-precious nuggets, and the pendant becomes a much more substantial necklace, but the colour integrity is intact.
The shiny porcelain starfish bead is strung with silver beads, and the addition of a few similar hand-made porcelain round beads keeps interest in the soft colours of the main bead. This is slightly more decorative than a simple silver chain. I think the photo isn't great, but this one has long left my shelves, and I cannot re-photograph it.
I might add, at this point, that many of these designs may not unfortunately, be available for sale in my shop. We are constantly making one-of-a-kind designs. We are not a large enterprise, and contrary to many, we do not aspire to "niche" designs, or collections that give us a "brand". Before I make all the marketing gurus cry - or start to send me their emails, and courses for guaranteed success - our passion is to suit our beaded jewellery to the customer. We wish for them to wear their jewellery with joy, because it expresses their style, and they feel great when wearing it. Yep, it's crazy sometimes. But the rewards are well worth it!
And another new design, from Di, with a large oval turquoise-coloured pendant, complimented by more turquoise coloured round beads and lots of silver.
So more Murano glass... you can see that I like adding beads to pendants! Aren't they pretty with beads?
A little more delicate ...
Option 6: More complicated cords
Now I welcome you to more complex cords, and my current favourite cord: kumihimo, both with and without beads. I try to have a few of these on display, as describing them without visuals can be quite difficult. But if you have a special pendant, it might benefit from some special techniques. Like kumihimo braiding.
These next two pendants are strung on braided ropes, called kumihimo. These golden shades of the first are strands of hand-dyed silk thread, which like all natural things, has a very tactile aura. It is thicker than many single cords, but the braided detail and the variation in colour is a light cord rather than heavy.
This black rattail (rayon) kumihimo cord has some orange strands, reflecting some of the bright colour of the millifiori pendant. The addition of a seed-bead bail adds more colour. I tried several different cord colours with this pendant, some were too shiny for the matte pendant, some had too much colour, (yes, it happens sometimes), both with and without the bail, and this is how it finished up.
This next design illustrates a bigger rope (made with thicker rattail strands), single colour, that is a simpler and cleaner. Even tho that pesky beaded bail appears again.
Option 7: Beaded cords
This is a kumihimo rope too, this time the rope itself is made up of seed beads. And here is that seed bead bail again (I had a "phase"). I LOVE these ropes. They are substantial without being overwhelming, and the choice of seed bead colours offers such flexibility is available for design: it can be bold, subtle, light, dark, metallic, opaque ... Just perfect for many pendants.
In addition, there are many other types of beaded ropes that can be used to show off pendants. They do belong in a class of their own, and experienced seed beaders know many, many different styles of ropes. Not all are used with pendants, they are stunning on their own. One day, I might have enough seedy ropes to make a post about them, specially. Regardless, the use of seed beads results in a necklace that is full of detail, and even two colours can be considered "tizzy" if your style tends to the less fussy. If on the other hand, you are seeking a unique and personalised rope to display your pendant, give beads (of any size) a chance to show it off.
Option 7: More ideas
The worlds of beading and jewellery making encompass an ever-expanding option of choices to style your jewellery. And if you don't have a pendant at this time you need to re-purpose, maybe you would like to make one? There are techniques in metal, wire, polyclay, leather and beads that you can use to make your own pendants.
Or try re-purposing an orphan earring like this one, and string it as a pendant instead, because you like the colour of the bead!
Or you can stitch your own pendant ... (I DO live in a bead shop!) This is a Lunasoft cabochon. Pattern is Diva's Delight, by Carol Cavanaugh from Beads on Parade.
This does not, of course, complete the entire range of your options for displaying your pendant. But by showing you some different ways, we hope you will realise that there is choice. Take note of which styles you favour, and which you don't. This may be the beginning of understanding your personal jewellery style, leading you into creating a jewellery wardrobe that brings you joy.
Here's to sharing the journey with you!