Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ideas for a Roman Necklace

I have been planning for months now to make a necklace with good quality rose gold fake pearls and rose gold findings for Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge No. 24, "All that Glitters," to coordinate with the earrings I made for Challenge No. 7. It was my original thought that I'd string rose gold pearls of two different sizes, using rose gold plated beads as spacers.

A few days ago, however, I learned that Janet Stephens has done her own video on how to make a common style of Roman necklace, which she refers to as a "beaded chain" necklace.  The video in question appears to the left of this post.  Despite the name, no actual chain is involved.  Instead, you string each bead on a small piece of wire and bend the ends into small round loops.  Then, you connect each pair of beads with a third piece of wire (or a modern jump ring), until you have "chained" all of the beads together.  Add a simple hook to one end, and you have a necklace.   Stephens gives directions for making your own clasp from the same wire used to make loops for the necklace, but I had already ordered a rose gold plated hook-and-eye clasp that looks very similar to the wire clasp Stephens shows the viewer how to make, so I will use that for my necklace.

If I adopt this approach, I won't need rose gold spacer beads; I could use just rose gold pearls.  However, lovely as the pearls are, they don't "glitter."  I thought it would be lovely to intersperse the rose gold pearls with gold foil glass beads (i.e., clear glass beads with gold foil inside), but I couldn't find any evidence that foil beads are period for ancient Rome.  I settled upon faceted pink glass beads with an iridescent gold luster.  Probably that kind of color isn't period either, but faceted beads are, and an ambitious glass maker might have come up with such a color as a one-off experiment with trace additions to the glass, right?  ;-)

So I have already ordered the clasp, jump rings, and the iridescent beads.  I guess that means I"m committed to this plan.  I can hardly wait to see how it all turns out.

EDIT:  (8/15/2014)  I have ordered all of the components except for the rose gold wire, and I have a potential source for that.  There's no rush, since the deadline is New Year's Day and the idea is to complete each challenge no earlier than about a month before.  But it will be good to see whether the pearls and iridescent pink glass look good together before I start working on the necklace!

2nd EDIT:  (8/17/2014)  I received my pearls and the iridescent beads yesterday, and I already have to change my plan.  The holes in the beads are too small to take 18 gauge wire, and the iridescent beads are way too dark--they look dreadful with the pearls.  I can still buy rose gold (filled or colored) metal beads instead, but I'm now uncertain about whether to stick with the beaded chain idea, since I'd probably have to use a 20 gauge wire or smaller to make the necklace work.  The best part about the beaded chain idea is that it lets me make a necklace of the size I want with significantly fewer beads, so I'm not ready to give up on that quite yet.

3rc EDIT:  (8/19/2014)  I have a solution; there's a website that sells the same color of pearls I've been using, so I can use 18 gauge wire after all.  Though I hate the additional expense, I can always use the other pearls for another project.  My plan now is to make a beaded chain necklace with the new pearls  and with smaller rose gold-filled beads.  

No comments:

Post a Comment