Thursday, June 24, 2010

Personal Amber Challenge

I love raw amber, although I seldom buy it because I am not educated enough to tell the real stuff from the plastic rip-offs that are so prevalent. However I do have a couple of nice amber pieces that my sister has brought me from South Africa when she's come to visit in the past. The first was this beautiful necklace of different colored amber, brass beads, and a bone bead and clasp.

Challenge # 1 The necklace is too small for me. So I need to add some other beads to it, but they need to be really special beads that won't detract from the richness of the piece. And I think I'd like to remove the bone bead and clasp. Although they are beautiful, and lend themselves very well to the necklace, I get a bad vibe from bone beads. Anyone have any ideas they'd like to share?
My sister also brought me these HUGE amber block beads. She originally brought me 5 of them. Having a very dear friend who collected amber, I asked her if she would like to have a couple of them. This was before I found out that they are worth over $150 each! However, like I said, she is one of my dearest friends and I'm happy she has them and would NEVER want them returned. I know that they are very appreciated and loved where they are.
So here is challenge #2 to myself - What do I do with these amber blocks? I thought about using the smallest to make a pendent with antique brass and amber fringe dangling below. Perhaps I can add it to the necklace, above.  But what do I do with the other 2?
I love making jewelry, but I seldom wear it. Three necklaces with huge, chunky beads would be too much. I have considered trading the other two beads for something really wonderful. But what? More beads? Maybe. Any ideas?


  1. i think bracelet for the remaining cube beads..i agree with removeing the bone bead and clasp..
    you could wire wrap these and it would lengthen the necklace without adding anything else to it, and/ or putting some spacers between those smaller beads will lighten the look..a little rearranging of the larger beads and you will have a different feeling necklace

  2. The pendant idea sounds terrific! Maybe you can take the other two and put them on either side of a spectacular silver bead, or a Tibetan red copal bead? And then just make the rest of the necklace tiny, like little red beads, or even turquoise, if you want to change it up a bit.

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  4. i love your necklace! although, bone beads give me a bad vibe too... those a beautiful amber beads too. i can't wait to see the finished necklace. xoxo

  5. WOW!!! I never knew beads could be so expensive! They are beautiful! Love Pretty Things suggestion.
    Thanks too for stopping by my blog. I finally got the other piece posted if you care to come back to see it.

  6. just wanted to stop by and say i'm glad you joined the alphabet walk blog hop!! can't wait to see what you come up with :)

  7. There are some lovely carved pendants out there or lampwork that would pick up the color of the amber and I agree that a pendant would be lovely. I love using these types of beads to accent bead embroidery, I used turquoise rounds in one of my cuffs. Just food for thought. Your Clock is amazing, btw!

  8. Love the colors of this beads...I think that the bracelet is the better idea!
    And what about a pair of earrings? The 2 beads are too big?
    I can't wait to see your solution to the problem!!!

  9. I would create small 12mm long tubes of peyote stitched beads in colors picked up from your ambers and copal beads and add them as focals between your special beads, with some bronzy metal spacers between them. This would add a wee bit more color but would not make it too chunky.


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