Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Forever Amber

It is always an interesting challenge to be handed a string of beads and asked to "relook" them. A friend of mine gave me a long rope of unpolished chunks of amber, which her mother-in-law had brought with her  when she left Poland many years ago, and asked me to create something for her. She wanted to honor the memory of her mother-in-law, and she wanted something fairly serious.

It was truly awesome to be working with these beads - they were fabulous morsels of amber which were matte, as they hadn't been polished. There were too many beads for one necklace (my friend is short and doesn't wear long, drippy strands), so I opted for two. I played with many combinations of the amber with other stones, and in the end, the most simple was the most effective.

These chunks were strung in groups that were separated with a large chip of quartz, to play up the importance of the color of the amber and the impact of the massed effect.
This necklace was intended to be worn as a double strand, with the individual chunks of amber highlighted with golden color glass seed beads and clear glass rondelles between each chunk. It is a more airy effect that allows each amber bead to be appreciated for its own form and color variation.
When I was finished with the two necklaces, I made a bracelet with the few pieces that were left. And I kept the one bead that I broke while I was working, as a souvenir of this remarkable experience that I don't expect to have the opportunity to repeat.

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