I really like design stories. So here is the one of the necklace featured in this post. I’ve noticed the streaming services I watch have a limited number of commercials that run frequently. One I see/hear often is for something called The Real Real, a consignment business for high end goods. I am not their target audience, and I say “see/hear” because I’m often listening to TV as much as watching it. The commercial seemed to be the same one, except one time when I actually was watching. It was a different version, and I’ve never seen it again. One model was wearing a necklace I got a glimpse of for maybe a few seconds. I suspect it was part of the styling for a jacket or another part of the outfit, rather than the featured item itself. But it was the necklace that caught my jewelry-loving eye.

What I took in (which is not to say this is what it was actually like) was that it was super long, the fibers of the necklace seemed to be a natural material, the bead at the bottom was large, there were just a few other beads, large but not as large, and the colors were yellow, blue and red with maybe neutrals. I immediately thought of two large Indonesian (I think) glass beads I got from Allegory Gallery. My course was set.

Necklace made of leather and multiple strands of waxed linen featuring a few beads in various materials - yellow, green, black, blue, metal, red, orange, green. Glass focal bead of blue with white, black, red and green design.

I chose beads and put it together on several strands of natural 7-ply waxed linen. I included recycled glass, wood, resin, amber (not sure about those two), metal, and a blue Moroccan pottery bead from The Bead Chest.

I love how it turned out, but the linen didn’t feel comfortable on the back of my neck. I was thinking about different ways to remedy that, but most of them involved needing to take it apart and ordering more waxed linen to remake it. I was showing it to my parents on FaceTime to see if they had any suggestions since they also make jewelry. As we talked about it, we came up with this idea of strap leather at the back for comfort (and it fits with the design) knotting the cut ends of the linen through the leather and then cutting off the ends when it was the right length.

I thought I would knot some small beads on the ends of linen hanging off the knots, but I didn’t like how floppy it was, so I cut it short. If I had thought of it before knotting, I might have seen how I liked a flatish bead against the leather behind the knot. It might have added too much depth, so I’m happy with it.

I like working in conjunction with others to figure out design challenges.