Wednesday, September 5, 2012

On Safari in the Studio

It's jewellery repair day and I wanted to share a piece I've been working on today, not because it's a great repair job but because it's such a cool necklace! It features a selection of really BIG wooden safari animal beads making it a fun necklace that really grabs your attention.

Originally, it was strung on fishing line but it had unravelled in parts and a few of the round wooden beads were lost but other than that, it's in great condition.
Wooden giraffe and string of broken wooden beads.

There was little hope of matching those missing beads so it was just a matter of replacing the missing beads with a few beads from the back of the necklace where they won't be missed at all. It's a very straight forward repair.

I've been able to re-use all the findings but I replaced the fishing line with two strands of Fireline to make it really durable and strong. The two strands are actually part of the design too.

I'm not going to show you the whole stringing process - you can see the stringing pattern in the photo at the bottom of the post. But I thought you might like to see how I started and finished the necklace.

Firstly I tied a quadruple knot at the end of the Fireline. Four knots seems a bit like overkill but the knot needs to be bigger than the hole in the calotte so it won't slip through. A dab of GS-Hypo Cement all over the knot will make sure it doesn't unravel.
Knotted Fireline being pulled into a calotte.

Here's the part of the design where the strands separate before coming back together again.
Separating the strands and stringing them with beads

The only tricky thing with the threading is making sure that the animal beads are the right way up. An upside down laughing hyena is no laughing matter at all!
Stringing the focal bead onto the two strands to bring them back together.

Finishing the end of the necklace with knots was much trickier than at the start of the necklace so I threaded on a seed bead which fitted snugly inside the calotte.
Seed bead on the end of the Fireline sitting inside the calotte.

To make sure it stayed securely in place, I've threaded the Fireline back through the bead two more times. 
Securing the Fireline on the seed bead

I wanted to make doubly sure that this necklace doesn't fall apart again so I also tied a double knot right above the bead and then applied GS-Hypo Cement all over the Fireline before trimming away the excess.
Applying G-S Hypo Cement to the Fireline on the seed bead.

Closing the calottes was all that was needed to finish the necklace and you can see from this photo that I didn't even remove the barrel clasp to do this repair.
Barrel clasp on the end of the calotte.

And here it is, all rethreaded and ready to be worn by it's lucky owner.
On Safari animal necklace restrung with wooden beads.

This necklace is many, many years old and yet here it is, a hot fashion item once again. Don't you love how all these old trends are re-emerging? It reminds me that quality accessories are worth hanging on to no matter how out of date they might seem.... they WILL come back into fashion again one day. Sometimes they will need updating but if you're lucky like the owner of this one, it will need nothing more than a quick repair job.

Take a look at some of these other jewellery repairs I've undertaken:
Rosary Chain Necklace
Freshwater Pearl Necklace
How to Attach End Caps

'Til next time.......

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