A7 Necklace with Graduated Beads

Necklace with Graduated Beads by Julia Rai
Necklace with Graduated Beads by Julia Rai

Submitted to the Registry evaluators - August 2010

I really enjoyed making this necklace. I’d decided to make cylinders with my favourite texture, the very high tech thick paste and cocktail stick! I used nesting brass tubes covered in Teflon sheet as the forms to make the graduated beads. Once I’d made the open ended cylinders and allowed them to dry, I added the ends, allowed them to dry again and then textured them. When they were all completely dry, I drilled holes across the tops of each, lining them up so they hung evenly.

They were strung on rigid wire to give the overall piece some shape. I didn’t want the beads to collapse so I thought stringing them this way would give the piece stability when being worn. Cherry quartz beads of various sizes are also used in the piece. The clasp is a cylinder cut in half with a magnet in each end. I was pretty pleased with it and wore it several times to test the clasp and the overall wearability.

Complexity – 2 out of 4
Precision – 2.5 out of 3.5
Uniform Finish – 2.5 out of 2.5

So just 7 out of 10, a scrape through. This was disappointing and the comments from the evaluators told the story of why this piece didn’t score higher. But first the positive comments…

“I like the attention paid to using larger quartz beads where appropriate. I like the cylinder with placement of holes at the ends and not in the more obvious location.”

Now the not so good…

“While this hits the letter of the description, I wonder if resorting to cylinders tackles the full challenge.” Resorting to cylinders? Sounds like they’re saying cylinders are easy and I should have chosen something more difficult. But nowhere in the description does it say anything about more points for more complex forms.

“The texture is dramatic and consistent but not very interesting.” Dramatic but not interesting – hmm, I wonder what that means!

But here’s the worst evaluation…

“The clasp is not secure enough for a necklace this heavy. It coordinates OK but is not very sophisticated.” That’s me all over, not very sophisticated!

“The clasp fails – it won’t hold. Cable or chain would be a better choice for the beads; solid wire is not flexible enough (and) has the potential for failure.” So there you have it – the clasp was the biggest issue, as well as the uninteresting and unsophisticated elements – LOL! The clasp held during the times I wore the piece but clearly the evaluators didn’t think much of it.

Here is the project description from the Masters Registry website:-

​A7 Necklace with Graduated Beads

Hollow metal clay beads of uniform shape, surface, and finish, perfectly graduated and strung. This is an exercise to test control in creating hollow beads in a precise scale. The beads can be spheres, ovals, cubes, or similar enclosed shapes, but only a single shape should be used. Quality comes first, but also, more beads translates to a higher score. The surfaces can be embellished, polished, or patinaed, but they should be consistent throughout the entire piece. The clasp should relate to the beads and should function well.

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