For a while now, I've been stalking soutache jewelry online, drooling over the graceful loops and whorls that embrace and enhance the beads they surround. But the technique was a mystery to me.
At a bead show, I bought an instructional pamphlet and some materials, thinking I could figure it out on my own. The result? More "crash and burn" than "graceful loops and whorls". The term "tragic" leaps to mind. Not even worth trying to salvage.
Then I got an online webinar from Interweave, featuring Amee Sweet McNamara of Amee Runs With Scissors, and that was helpful. My first attempt was going pretty well, until I realized that I had flipped front and back. Well, crap.
|Yeah, that wonky end on the right side? Totally supposed to be on the back.|
I jumped right back up on the horse, and finished a small, relatively acceptable little thing. There are lumps and uneven spots, and even a bit of thread that somehow jumped to the front, but at least it has a discernable front and back. It's kind of an adolescent soutache piece -- awkward, a little off center, but with hints of what might be.
And then, I found out that I could learn from the master herself -- Amee Sweet-McNamara (insert sounds of angels singing here). I haven't taken a beading lesson in probably 15 years, relying more on the self-taught experimentation. But when it's a completely new technique, like soutache, I'm happy to have a chance to let someone show me the path.
Yesterday, I spent six fabulous hours learning from Amee, and I am now officially, undeniably, completely obsessed with soutache. Here's what I made!
Now, to figure out where I'm going to store the soutache braid I know I'm going to be buying soon...