It's not quite spinning gold out of hay, or even making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but it is something out of nothing.
This necklace is the culmination of a number of different ideas and influences:
It is a result of browsing the advanced style blog and being inspired by those amazing women and realising that although I wear necklaces everyday and favour large and interesting pieces, I could always go BIGGER!
It was inspired by this irregularly faceted agate (?) bead necklace I bought at an antique market along the canal near my friend's place in Milan...
...which I need to re-string.
It was inspired by this folded and faceted photograph...
...spotted in Window 135 in New Cross
It was inspired by a dream I had about faceted wood...
But mainly it is the result of wanting a new necklace (but not wanting to spend any money).
So, during a slow day at work recently, I decided to have a go.
My first experiment was with a small off-cut of wood. Using the big sander at work, I ground off corners and edges until I had a randomly faceted block. I sanded it lightly then drilled a hole through it and rubbed it with a bit of oil to finish it off.
After making a couple more wooden beads, I felt like I was using materials that were actually quite useful at work for making heels etc, so I looked around for something else. Then I spied some really properly useless offcuts that were destined for the bin - it was bits of glued together leatherboard discarded from making stacked heels for a show that requires horseshoe-shaped heels. (Leatherboard is to leather what chipboard is to wood - it is leather fibres that are glued and compressed together.)
stacked leatherboard heel
the horseshoe cutout offcuts.
as before, I ground each offcut into a randomly faceted block and drilled holes through them. On the longer beads I had to drill in from each end hoping that they met up in the middle. I actually lost a couple of beads to wonky drilling (and killed the drill bit too).
The leatherboard ended up with a nice finish - varying from pale to dark brown depending on the direction of the cut, as well as how hot it got against the grinding wheel. I took them home and gave them two coats of PVA glue to give them a bit of a reflective shine.
I wanted to add a little lightness, so I added some little faceted glass chandelier beads and a larger chandelier drop I had lying around (well, you never know when you might need them). I strung it up a few times till I was happy with the composition....
...a chunky, slightly Wilma Flinstone-esque, faceted bead necklace made from offcuts that were destined for landfill, and bits and pieces I already had lying around.