Saturday, October 31, 2015

Design This – Carnelian Necklace Upgrade

What do you do when a treasured necklace is repaired a couple of times and keeps breaking? You bring it so someone else to try to figure out how to put it back together so that it stays that way. I just happened to be that next someone and as sometimes happens with what seems like a simple repair request, it turned into a design this upgrade.

As I studied the pretty carnelian beads of the broken necklace, I tried to figure out a cause of the continued failure of the stringing material. The wire seemed like it should have been heavy enough. It did have a kink in it along with the frayed broken ends that looked like they would have been located at the joints between some of the larger carnelian beads. I suspected that the shape of the beads was causing pinching and rubbing that eventually lead to a failure of the beading wire. If I was correct, then the addition of some spacer beads might fix the problem.

I just happened to have some spherical carnelian beads whose color nicely matched the necklace beads. I proposed inserting them as spacer beads around the five large original central beads. As a bonus, if I also added a spherical carnelian bead to each end of the necklace I could keep the necklace essentially the same length as it had been by removing the four smallest carnelian beads and using them to make matching earrings. My customer loved the idea so that is what I did. It has been a couple of years now and I have not heard anything to the contrary, so I'm assuming my fix worked.

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