Necklace set | Pewter toad pendant, Burma jade rounds, 1960s Japanese glass beads, sterling hood and eye clasp

$179.00
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OOAK artisan design
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Necklace set with pewter toad pendant, Burma jade rounds, 1960s Japanese glass beads, hematine spacers, sterling silver clasp
On the Pond — Some outdoor adventures are in your own backyard! (see How It's Made)

Artisan (Green Girl Studios) lead-free pewter toad pendant.
Burma jade 10mm rounds.
Vintage glass beads: 1960s Japanese transparent lime green with stripes and swirls.
Hematine barrels.
Silver glass seed beads.
Sterling silver: hammered hook & eye clasp; artisan crimp covers; findings.
49-strand beading wire.
Necklace length/weight: ~22"+1.5" pendant/2.6 oz.
#202229WG

  • My work is offered as necklace/earring sets (demi-parure). If you don't wear earrings, the earring pairs make lovely gifts.
  • I work with artisan and other beautifully designed toggles and clasps. Helpful hint: Practice hooking and unhooking the clasp; visualize this while doing so without looking.
  • Please take care to avoid knocking or dropping beads against hard surfaces. Many beads I use (glass, ceramic, etc.) are breakable.
  • Bead descriptions are based on bead vendor information and the best of my knowledge.
  • Colors viewed may differ from actual colors due to device variances.
  • Packed in a gift-ready window-lidded tin (anti-tarnish tab enclosed).

Notes on this piece: I found several pond-themed lead-free pewter charm and pendant designs by Green Girl Studios. Initially I tried to come up with a design that incorporated all of these, but decided it was too much — many charms and too much weight. This little toad charm deserved its own necklace in homage to the tiny toads that emerge from our pond each summer. Combining soft Burma jade and lime green vintage Japanese beads evokes the sense of a cool pond on a hot day.

For the Outdoor Adventures Maker Challenge, I thought about past outdoor adventures — camping with my parents, as a Girl Scout and leading Girl Scouts, hiking with my students through a stream or through the woods, walking mountain and desert trails with family — and about how to 
portray these adventures with my jewelry. I realized that lot of my outdoor "adventuring" is in our own backyard observing our small pond and waterfall through changing seasons. When the ice melts the tiny mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) reappear, goldfish re-emerge, and in spring the toads begin to sing (sounding like ducks in distress) producing coils of eggs that hatch into thousands of tadpoles. This year two bullfrogs appeared out of nowhere and managed to produce a smattering of much larger tadpoles. There are other occasional visitors — a mallard duck duo, a kingfisher, a roadrunner, hummingbirds splashing in the waterfall. And in summer the tiny toads, pinky nail-sized (see photo #2) and only a small fraction of the number of tadpoles, begin to leave the water to explore land. If you're lucky you might see a dragonfly or damselfly larvae emerge or even witness its transformation to maturity. On summer days they flit over the waterlilies, meeting, mating, and glimmering in the sun.

My designs are inspired by the beads, by their color, shape, size and origin.

I’ve been buying/collecting beads for over 20 years, focusing on early and mid-century glass beads, but including semi-precious and other stones, freshwater pearls, contemporary artisan lampwork and ceramic beads. I work with sterling silver, bronze, or copper clasps and use sterling or gold-filled findings. 

In my first years of bead jewelry design, I had to see and/or touch the beads to know what I wanted. After years of experience, I can confidently shop online (fortunately, during these times) and have a growing list of “go-to” artisans, vendors, and brands for my supplies. 

My design descriptions include a list of “ingredients” used in each design.

Some designs come together quickly and organically. Others are re-worked several times, even if I’ve already attached the clasp with crimp beads and crimp covers and need to completely re-string.

Designs are often “retro-classic” as my OOAK designs are bead-centric with a nod to mid-century costume jewelry, rather than inspired by current fashions in jewelry designs or color trends. Add a pinch of whimsy and my personal take on color palettes.

I work on felted bead boards to calculate the length of each necklace (usually “matinée” length 20-24”) and to hold the beads I’ve selected for my design. Sometimes I change my mind mid-design and put away many of the beads I’ve been working with, then search for or order others. I usually work with 49-strand .018 or .019 gauge bead wire, which allows stringing back under a half-inch or so of beads after the crimp bead and clasp are attached. I work by creating my design on the wire, rather than try to lay out the complete pattern, as it’s important to see how the beads will hang and to pick compatible spacer beads.

I use sterling or gold-filled ear wires and headpins, and often create “mis-matched” earring pairs.

The weight and length of each necklace are listed in case you have a preference for lighter or more substantial pieces. (I enjoy both.)

Piano lid/legs work table

The name Dark Poet Designs was lifted from my once-upon-a-time one-line resume:

"...wife, mother, Girl Scout leader, bookkeeper (in both senses), dark poet..."

I am a retired elementary school teacher who has been designing bead jewelry for over 20 years. Originally, I hosted in-home studio shows. Over time, teaching and Argentine tango became my focus. I kept creating, but quit marketing my work.

I create necklace/earring sets, earrings, and an occasional bracelet. Each of my designs is one-of-a-kind. I frequently use mid-century vintage glass beads, usually post-war Japanese, German, or Czech. Other materials include semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, crystals, seed beads, glass rondelles, raku or ceramic beads, contemporary artisan-made beads in various media, and sterling silver or bronze beads and clasps.

Thank you for visiting my page. To see some of my past work and browse through some interesting links, visit my website. My work is for sale online exclusively here at goimagine. Some of my work may be seen on Instagram. I'm also on Pinterest and Facebook.

— Karen Reck | Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, New Mexico

P.S. I haven't written a dark (vampires, ghosts, and demon lovers) poem in several years. 

Contact me

Please contact me if you have any questions about your order, my work, or my terms.

Shipping

U.S. shipping is FREE (First Class).
Time in transit may vary depending on USPS.

Estimated packing/shipping times: 2-5 days.

I will accept returns if you:

  • Contact me within 5 days of delivery
  • Ship items back within 7 days of delivery

Conditions of return

Buyers are responsible for return shipping costs.
Item(s) must be returned in their original condition and in original packaging.
Refunds will be issued after I've received your return.
Custom orders cannot be returned or exchanged.


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