Wednesday, September 11, 2013

a little gilding

This is Laura Lombardi's Mida Necklace. I pinned it last year, to remind myself to track down the brass oval pieces and get some chain to make a version for myself. The original is $130 on Lombardi's bigcartel shop, but I saw one of these necklaces in a boutique here in Seattle priced as high as $212.
It's a simple piece, really; four pieces of chain, and 50 or 100 little brass blanks. The brass blanks or spacers are shaped like ovals. They are drilled twice - one hole on each side (the long way) of the oval. Simply connect the ovals/blanks/spacers to the chain with a jump ring (one on either side). Repeat, repeat, repeat. That's all it is.
I thought it would be easy and quick to reproduce.
Then I started trying to find those brass blanks for sale somewhere.
Oh sure, I could find them ... but not in the quantities that I needed, and my local bead shops were charging about a dollar each for them.
After months of searching, I finally struck gold: I found them available in bulk packets of 100 each, sold online through Yakutum's etsy shop. They weren't expensive (all in all, the brass blanks, chain, clasps, and jump rings probably came to $12 - $14 per necklace, including shipping fees), but because Yakutum is based in Turkey, there was a long wait (over a month) for the packet to get through customs and here into the US.

However, the rest was easy! It came together in a single evening of crafting.

My DIY necklace looks a bit more elongated here than the original does in the product shot above; that's just because it's hanging around my neck and not laid out flat. Well,  admittedly, we should've used a slightly larger gauge of chain. It could've been a bit larger. Still, I'm pleased with the result. The tightly-packed brass blanks feel like scales or chain mail to the touch.

And the necklace hangs nice and long. I love it!

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