Saturday, February 1, 2014

Product Story: The Piece that Almost Wasn't

I have a secret: I'm not perfect.

Every now and again, I have a hard time turning my ideas into reality. Something gets lost in the translation. Such was the case with this piece.

I had this idea for this really bold, strong-looking bracelet made with these giant nuggets of gray marble I picked up a while back. It would be earthy, but cold, and I had the vision of some fashionably aloof lady wearing it while shopping at some high-end boutique. Some blingy, bright silver beads would shine it up and give it some glam. It would be awesome.

The end result looked pretty good. It was almost everything I had envisioned.
Pictured: the bracelet that was not meant to be.

The problem came in the marble, which was the cornerstone of the whole piece. Well, the problem was in the marble, and in the fact that I only had a certain number of the spacer beads, and I had used them all and therefore didn't have more to lengthen the piece.

You see, the marble was chunky - very much so - and this pushed out the effective circumference of the piece. Basically, if I wanted to make this piece to fit, say, a 7" wrist, I'd have to have nine or so inches of bracelet. The problem was that I only had 7" of bracelet, and the finished piece would have only fit a child (or someone with very tiny wrists).

Pictured: the necklace that came to be.
I tried everything I could think of to fix it - which boiled down to attaching a lobster clasp and extender chain, except that I forgot that I ran out of silver lobster clasps and silver extender chain, so I tried gunmetal findings. It didn't look right. I made my own hook clasp and chain. This wound up not working either - the bracelet was a pain to put on, even with help, and once on, the chain lay weird, hovering about a quarter-inch over the skin. Furthermore, if the bracelet ever rotated (as bracelets are wont to do), the chain would probably do a fair number to the wearer's skin, just because the stones are so heavy, and there is some very delicate skin in the wrist area. I considered adding a focal and pretending I did it on purpose rather than as a last-ditch effort to save this bracelet, but nothing I had looked good with it.

Things were looking grim for this piece.

I finally decided to ditch the bracelet idea, but I didn't want to dismantle the piece. The stones looked good with the spacers, and yes - despite all the unforeseen difficulties, I was still attached to this design. I figured, why not continue the chain idea all the way into a necklace? I may have run out of lobster clasps and chain with large enough links to act as an extender, but I had a bunch of finer steel chain and toggle clasps in the right colors.

The piece was saved, though transformed, and there was much rejoicing.