All tied up in knots

I think most ladies in this world either own or dream of owning a pearl necklace. Not just any pearl necklace, but a traditional pearl necklace that has knots tied between each pearl. I could be wrong, but I know I dream of owning one. I suppose I should contact my local jewelry designer…

Traditional pearl necklaces are strung on silk cord with knots tied between each pearl. If you have pearls strung next to each other, the beads can rub against each other and affect the appearance and strength of the necklace over time. By tying knots between the pearls, they rub against the silk instead of each other and the silk does not damage them.

Flash forward to modern jewelry. Not only do we see knotting used for pearls, but it is also used with gemstone and glass beads. Knotting works well for several reasons. As I mentioned, knots keep the beads from rubbing against each other. They can also help if the necklace happens to come apart. The knots will stop the beads from sliding off the cord if the cord breaks. They also help to accent the beads and provide some separation between them. This is especially nice if you have unique beads you want to call attention to.

I find knotting to be simply elegant, but I do not see it done very often outside of high-end jewelry shops. For this reason, I have been teaching myself the knotting technique. At first it was frustrating because it is quite challenging to get the spacing just right. Now, I almost find it enjoyable.

In anticipation of my first show a few weeks ago, I decided to create a new jewelry set for myself. I have been wearing the same earrings and necklace to each show for the past four years! I wanted to create something bright and perfect for spring, but when I pulled out the beads I wanted to use, I only had 15 inches of them. That’s a tight necklace! I wanted to keep it in a traditional style and stay away from shiny metal, so I decided to use some silk cord and knot the beads together. This is what I came up with:

You may have seen these beads before. They are left over from another set I created. I love the look of these beads, so I have been taking my time trying to figure out exactly what to make with them. What do you think? I think the necklace looks like something out of a vintage jewelry box. That was my intention for it. I chose the off-white cord to really make the beads stand out.

Do you have any knotted necklaces? If so, what type of beads is the necklace made from?

I’m really in love with this necklace. It might be hard to sell it.

Thanks for reading!

PS: This weekend I will be at Manheim’s (PA) train station for Artist’s Alley. This event will feature our local glass blowing operation as well as several of the best local artisans. The show is from 12-5PM on Sunday, May 27, and we will do it again on the last Sunday of every month through August. If you are in the area, stop by and check us out! Thanks!

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