The blue and green one with the yellow stripe was supposed to be inspired by my heraldic colors. The other two were the colors of our kingdom and mostly I just wanted to make some dots.
Well, not long after returning home from the class I wanted to try my hand at it. My wife was convinced into getting me a starter set from Hobby Lobby for my birthday. The set came with a torch, some glass, a small set of tools and some basic instructions. I spent quite a bit of time watching YouTube videos and just started playing away.
Here is my setup. It really doesn't take much room at all.
I just started cranking out beads of all shapes and sizes. I wanted to try a lot of different techniques with no real goal as to what I would do with the beads.
I found myself making similarly colored beads in groups. Once the glass rod was hot I would make 5~10 at a time with the same color grouping. I even made a small bird just to see if I could.
As the collection grew I just kept adding them to a string, still with no real goal in sight.
Eventually it came to me. I had planned on doing an A&S pentathlon so why not try and make a replica of an extant necklace? Like many of my projects I focus on the making and not so much on the using of an item. I spent 300 hours making a shirt I haven't worn so obviously it is more about the process for me than the finished piece. So I started looking for extant necklaces which I could use as inspiration.
I looked through a bunch of books and literally hundreds of downloaded images. I found collections with beads that inspired me but nothing in tact in it's entirety. There were a lot of Viking finds which had a dozen or so beads. I was really looking for an extant item with enough beads of various styles to show more than a few techniques. I wanted complexity as well as beauty. Eventually I found it.
I came across a collection of necklaces held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (http://www.metmuseum.org/). I found about 10 different necklaces which fit exactly what I was looking for.
Here is an image of one of those necklaces: