One of my necklaces that hang from the brooches on my viking dress broke last week.

v neck1

Usually it will take me six months or more to get round to re-stringing something, but I mustn’t be feeling well because I re-did it this morning before I was even dressed. Except that I took the opportunity for a radical remodelling. That string has lasted a decade without breaking, and in that time there have been remarkable changes in what kind of materials I can get my hands on. I decided to get rid of the round silver beads (they are sterling silver, the only silver beads I could get at the time) and the dyed carnelian. Mainly I’ve kept the amber – I haven’t been to a viking event for a while, but I used to be one of the few who wore worked, polished amber as opposed to the rough stuff. I really love these flat little discs of amber.

v neck 2

Instead I’ve used some silver beads I bought five years ago ( alas not made by me but bought -I told you it takes me ages to get round to these things) and some roughly faceted undyed carnelian which are a much softer colour.

I know there is a fashion in reenactment for a sort of barbarous asymetry where all the beads are jumbled up together, but personally I don’t get it – the human mind has a strong desire to organise things into patterns because it helps us make more sense of the world. Plus, as Gareth rather patronisingly like to point out, girls like to play with beads – and when you play you make patterns. This isn’t quite symetrical because not all my beads were in pairs, but I’ve balanced the shapes even where the beads didn’t match – I really didn’t want to retire that big dark amber bead as it’s one of my favourites. The other odd silver bead at the end is funtional – it has a very large hole and is concealing the knotted thread (I doubled it over so the other end is a loop)

Now all I have to do is remember to pack it into my bag!

~ by opusanglicanum on March 20, 2013.

2 Responses to “beads”

  1. I agree with you – pattern-making is a human preoccupation, and I can’t imagine very many situations in which someone would choose to wear a jumble. It sounds to me as though some of the reenactors think that the ancients weren’t as clever as us…

    • it does, whereas I think they were often cleverer – gareth ad I went round the pit rivers museum last weekend and he could hardly contain his amusement when he overheard a group of teenagers saying, “this museums boring, there’s no buttons to push and nothing to play with”

      (I hate that kind of museum, they never have stuff to look at )

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