Thursday, June 5, 2014

Knot One, Knot Two...

LaurelLeaves Jewelry crashed and burned over two years ago. Contributing to her demise was the overall pressure to produce one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces month after month after month. I had quite a following of clients wanting their own special and unique I spent many a sleepless night designing in my head, instead of sleeping. 

Secondly, I discovered the magic of Charming could I compete with the store's plethora of necklaces, bracelets and earring in every conceivable color and style, not to mention their Made in ------ prices? Today, I am a huge fan of CC's, but I will admit that even though they don't have the quality that my pieces had, they are sure fun, very accessible and reasonably priced.

And finally, I guess I just got bored.  Those who know me well, know that once I have totally conquered a craft (with the rare exception of sewing which I have done for 55+ years), I tend to move on to the next creative thing to continue to stimulate my brain. Unlike sewing, there are only so many ways to make a necklace. However,  I do honor my pieces by doing occasional repairs for my customers...after all, if you wear a necklace to death, expect it to give way at some point in time.

A friend brought over a necklace (not one of mine) that she had received from her daughter. When she opened the box, the string had broken and all the glass beads were loose. She asked me to restring it, and I agreed - it's a very simple thing - stringing beads. But while I was doing it, I was reminded about the pleasure I used to get hand-knotting beads into a necklace.

Hand-knotting is an art form. I requires patience and care, though I have seen the women in Chinatown knot a string of pearls faster than you can say "necklace". For me there is a rhythm to working the cord around your fingers and using the sharp tweezers to form the knots.

LaurelLeaves Jewelry must always have my signature glass leaf...

The beauty of knotted beads, just like expensive pearls, is that knotting allows the beads to "float", keeping them flexible around your neck...

That was so much fun, I had another strand of stone beads that I finally decided to knot as well. The holes in these beads were bigger, so I had to use a heavier cord...

They look like lapis, but I don't think they are... didn't cost that much!


I found this beautiful sterling silver necklace embellishment at Nordstrom...I planned all along to put it on a strand of beads that I knotted myself.  Lovely! And I can put it on the green beads as well.

People still ask me if I'm making jewelry. Every now and then I see one of my creations on a friend and I remember making it.  It makes me a little nostalgic and I think about starting again. Hand-knotting these two necklaces was very enjoyable. But then again, I didn't have to produce 100 new one-of-a-kind masterpieces for a party. That's when I come to my senses.

Laurel. I'd rather sew...


  1. I imagine that work like this requires patience, and steady hands. Lovely work.

  2. Oh I can imagine you miss the creativity of it but not the stress. When it starts to get stressful we wonder if it is worth it. I am glad you can do it now enjoy it and admire your work on people. Just be happy that is what it is all about. Beautiful work and photos. Hug B

  3. I would much rather have "designer" pieces than the 'mass produced everyone looks the same' pieces. Yours are stunningly beautiful!!! While I think it's fun to go to Charming Charlie's, I don't find theirs as well made as I know yours are. For me, it's all in the details...I love how you included a signature leaf on each one of yours. I do understand the stress though. I was once there also, and it's the reason I won't knit for pay. I want to keep my hobby a hobby, and just have fun with it!


Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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