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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Custom Project: Vintage 1970s Glass Beads

As I mentioned in my previous post, I was asked by a client of mine to "make something" with a strand of 1970s vintage glass beads that she had.  She'd had them for years, they were strung, and she had always just worn it the way it was, draped over her head.  I told her sure, I would be happy to do that.

Here are the beads that she sent me.  Pretty bad, huh.  But it was a fun challenge and I embraced it.  Other than to tell me that she loved my wire wrapping she pretty much left it up to me. 

Since they were her beads, I wanted to use them all. 

A few of the smaller beads were broken and unusuable and the green drum bead on the right side of one of the "bracelets" was also broken and unusuable.  Other than that I used each and every one.  Also, I didn't want to start adding beads until I had to to finish out designs that would allow me to use all of her beads.

First I used the larger beads and did a lot of wire wrapping and my own handmade jump rings.  I made the bail for the teardrop pendant and the earwires. 

I was pretty satisfied with it and she was thrilled, so I moved on to the next project.

For this necklace, I used the similarly shaped and color orange beads and made coiled frames for them.  I added turquoise howlite disk beads, some glass spacers and some brightly colored seed beads.  I used a few more of her small beads to finish this design out.

All I had left at this point were the two red rondelles and many more small beads. 

I added the orange lampwork, turquoise howlite, Czech glass and spacers for these.  I made matching coiled hangers for them.  I thought they were huge and I never ever ever would be able to wear anything like these, but she can wear big earrings, loves big earrings and loved these.  Whew!

Which brings me to the bracelet that I posted in m previous post.

I designed this bracelet with two strands connected to a common very small lobster clasp.  This way she can wear it full or with only two strands for a simpler look. 

I wrapped these in the evening while I was winding down to go to sleep and frankly it didn't take but a few days.

I love wire wrapping, I find it mindless and comforting to do and I could wire wrap beads for a long long time without getting tired of it.  I don't find it tedious at all.

With this bracelet, I was able to use every single last solitary little bead that she sent me that was capable of being used.  What a fun, fun project this was and she was tickled pink with everything. 

These small beads were not seed beads.  They were small wound glass beads, I don't think they were pressed or lampwork, but some kind of wound glass.  About 3.5 - 4mm in diameter but they varied in size. 

All of these beads were very rustic and I wish I knew more about what they were.  She didn't know much about them either except that she had them for a very, very long time.  Does anyone out there have any information on them?  Or best guesses?

So, I would love to have your feedback on this.  What do you think?  


Lynn at Yucca Bloom said...

you did an awesome job Jean, they are all wonderful and I can see how she was thrilled!

Sharyl said...

What a great challenge you created for yourself while helping make a customer very happy! Everything looks wonderful! The wirework and designs are so wonderful!

Erika said...

These are beautiful, Jean! I love those big earrings! Glad you're back on the blogging scene again.