This week's theme for The Year of Jewelry is "Rescued from the Scrap Bin" and I found just the piece to rescue. I picked up a necklace a while back at an estate sale because I thought the beads were interesting. The piece was in really bad shape. The knotted leather holding the beads together was cracking with age and several of the beads were chipped and broken. But I still thought it had potential.
I did a little asking around online and the most common opinion is that these are trade beads. Apparently clay beads like this come from Africa, Asia, and Central and South America and the metal beads with them are common of North Africa and India. No matter where they came from, I like them. I thought I'd do a quick pair of earrings with a couple of the beads. Something a bit rough around the edges and unrefined like the beads. And since my metal working skills aren't that great, that's exactly what I got.
I bent some scrap pieces of antique brass into horseshoe shapes and then beat the heck out of them until they were fairly flat. I hung the beads at the top of the arch using some scraps of cord left over from a bracelet project and added little bits of wire to the bottom to hold the cord and the top to hold everything in place. I made really simple ear wires to match. Easy peasy and very different for me. And I still have quite a few beads left from the necklace:)