Bead Waves Make Sea Happy Necklace

Impulsively, during the final minutes of a Bead Society swap meet I traded for a 3-3/4” lampwork glass sea horse. “It’s not really my kind of bead,” I reflected as I tucked it away. That didn’t prevent the she-horse from creeping into my mind day after day. In my bead journal I entertained dozens of ways to showcase the lampwork glass beauty. None seemed appropriate. It languished in my stash for months.

This lampwork glass sea horse is the focal for a free-form peyote necklace by Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque.
© 2017 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Lampwork Glass Sea Horse Bead

The whimsey of my electric blue-trimmed sea horse called out for a creative beading project with a different interpretation. Where would I begin? How could I design something worthy of this delicate, transparent glass with its mane of electric blue and spine of topaz?

In writing and in discussions with myself, I began to refer to the “she-horse” project. I started a clear project bag for my color palette and art bead selections.

As you know, the color blue represents both the sea and sky, two entities of vast proportion.

Maybe I was too focused on vastness. Several hours into my bead weaving project I realized  the sea horse was upside down. How did that happen? Whoops! Gasp.

At first I planned to make it work, reasoning I could bead into the other side of the centerpiece and balance it. Because I’d begun at the top and woven all the way down the first side, I found it impossible to cut at the focal and then re-work it.

Finally I set the mistake aside for a few days until I found the courage to cut it apart. With the exception of a little regret at first, I never looked back.

When it’s right, the work flows. I found myself weaving freeform peyote ruffles and adding swirls and ridges in between. It was a pleasure to play with beautiful Czech glass colors and express myself with seed bead art. At each rethread opportunity, I’d squint at my work and then head off to weave something interesting on the other side.

Throughout the 22” inch length, (11” on each side) art beads are interconnected with playful waves and ridges of light blue, electric blue, blue green and topaz Czech glass seed beads. An asymmetrical presentation adds to the natural, rhythmic appeal of this elaborate neckpiece.

This free-form peyote Necklace by Mary Ellen Beads Albuquerque is entitled Sea Happy.
© 2017 Mary Ellen Merrigan, Sea Happy Lampwork Glass Necklace

The “Sea Happy” project filled me with heart-be-still-bead joy: lovely yellow foil-lined glass squares and barrel shapes, blue and yellow vintage glass choices, sparkly, faceted electric blue ovals, hollow green and transparent glass rounds as well as a heart-shaped toggle clasp.

I’m already planning to attend next year’s swap meet and I can’t wait to see what I will pick as my special bead.

Meanwhile, I’m “Sea Happy!”

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