Thursday, November 4, 2010

Starting Over, and the 1mm Difference

On a beading project, or segment of a project, that is. I really hate ripping out, salvaging beads and starting over.  But sometimes there just isn't any choice.  Something just tells you it's Not Right.

I've been trying to get a holiday necklace done, for an entry in the Etsty Beadweaver's Team challenge for November. I'm not going to make the deadline tomorrow, unfortunately. But the piece will be better for the delay, I think.

I was attempting my first beaded bezel without a back, using a malachite donut (similar to the one pictured here) about the size of a Susan B. Anthony dollar (remember those?) and size 15 and 11 seed beads to do a peyote bezel.  The first attempt I made was with silver 15 delicas and 11 nickel-silver color beads. It fit okay, though I thought it covered too much of the face of the donut and hid the beautiful malachite patterns. I'd started with a circle of beads that was just a few beads too small. was lumpy. And there were unfortunate holes in it here and there. Not huge holes, just places where I'd skipped a bead, intentionally or not.

I was contemplating whether to cover the bezel with more embellishment to cover those imperfections when I realized the whole deal didn't work for me. The malachite was subtle and gorgeous, and the silver beads were too harsh against the green. 

So I cut the bezel off the donut, and spent about 15 minutes unstringing, chasing and re-sorting beads into their containers. Then I hunted up a bunch of 15/0 beads in greens that mimicked the malachite and started again. 3 rounds of 15s later, I added two rounds of 11s to fit the rim and then started trying to reduce the other side using 15s again, only to find that I had a way-oversized bezel that rippled and ruffled, rather than snugging down around the donut. 

After some choice words, I pulled out 4 whole rounds, back to the first round of 11s. Just that one single round extra made the whole bezel unworkable. By removing the extra round of 11s, the whole thing worked. That's a size difference of about 1mm, by the time all is said and done. Remarkable that it was such a dramatic impediment, that tiny difference.

The green colors of the new bezel complement and extend the visual size of the malachite donut wonderfully. It's going to resemble a holiday wreath when I get finished with the embellishments I intend to add. 

It won't make the challenge. It will make me happy, though, when I finish with it.  I have to learn to listen to my "not right" detectors a little bit faster, I think.

1 comment:

  1. You are so smart to stop when you hear your little voice. I tried to take what I had already done and liked, and pull something together quickly. I now have a nasty mess I cannot post with pride. Wise indeed! Enjoy the malachite, it's beautiful and I am sure your final piece will be too!