Monday, August 16, 2010

Pearl-dipped fans: A wedding-style necklace

It's been awhile, hasn't it? Well, even though it's been awhile, I've certainly been busy enough creating new pieces for my shop. This next piece is one I'm calling Pearl-dipped fans. How does one "dip" something into pearls? Well, let's not get technical about it ^_~. Anyways, this particular necklace started out with the idea of creating a chain that would hold its shape, but still have the look of individual fans connected together. The chain portion of Pearl-dipped fans is the result of that experiment.

Pearl-dipped fans chain is a simple variation of a typical European 4-in-1 chain. It is created with rows of small and large rings and then gathered with a larger ring so that one side is cinched. Putting the fans together into one piece of chain involves continuing the European weave at the tips of the fans with small rings.

Since I've connected the fans in a way that makes them alternate in direction, each fan has cultured freshwater pearl drops in different sizes and styles. Fans with the large gathering ring facing "down" (as seen above) have a larger capped pearl hanging from that large gathering ring, while fans with the gathering ring facing "up" have smaller pearls dangling from each of the small border rings.

The center of the necklace has an open flowery design. I wanted to create a very simple looking celtic-inspired flower design. The result is actually a variant of an existing chainmaille weave (I wasn't aware of this a the time, but found some similar designs on the web afterwards). I connected 3 of these 'flowers' together with some rose-like links and then hung them in a V-style from the 3 fans at the center of the chain. From these flowers, I dangled more pearls and from the very center of the V, I dangled a gorgeous piece of color-changing Swarovski crystal.

In the end, we have Pearl-dipped fans as you see it now in the photo below:

More details:  The chain is made with silver and gold-plated rings and bead caps, cultured freshwater pearls, and a Swarovski crystal rivoli bead. Look for it in my Etsy shop soon!