The hot sultry weather we had in July made me think of hot steamy exotic places and an idea started forming in my mind that I would create a necklace based on beads from exotic locations. As a starting point I had a few painted wooden beads (old favourites that had been sitting in my bead box a while) and my mother’s carved rabbit bead which she always wore round her neck on a cord. I started an internet search and came up with Earthly Adornments – a USA based company specialising in old (and new) original one off beads. Well, to say I was like a kid in a sweetshop would be to put it mildly – eventually I settled on a few beads that matched the colourways I had envisaged for my necklace.
I don’t know what it is, but receiving packages from abroad always sends a frisson of excitement up my spine .. and when I opened the package … I wasn’t disappointed!
The beads are strung on black waxed cord and although quite simple to thread, it was quite hard to get the balance right as they are a mixture of shapes and sizes. I made a simple overhand knot occasionally if I feel the necklace needed it. I had to put the fish (exquisitely carved from fruit wood) on a piece of wire as no matter how I tried the hole was not straight enough to get the cord through.
I finished off with a couple of large brass rings and sari ribbon with the clasp and jump ring attached to the ribbon using ribbon clamps. Although the necklace is big and chunky it is light to wear as the beauty of wood is that it is light which enables you to wear a statement piece without feeling weighed down.
I am no expert on carved wooden beads but my mother’s carved rabbit bead is either a netsuke or an ojime and was worn on a cord around the waist to act as a closure for the imro, the small wooden box which carried people’s personal possessions as Kimonos had no pockets. They are still made today (usually from boxwood) and are really lovely to collect. An internet search will reveal places where you can buy them.
I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures and that it will inspire you to make an exotic necklace of your own, perhaps incorporating some favourite beads that you have in your bead stache.