The Gang of 4 and the No No Necklace

Once upon a time, I used to go to an art conference in Virginia. After a few years, a friend decided to join me there. One night, she told me that we were meeting some people at the bar, and that I would love them. I was skeptical... I mean, really who needs new friends anyway? But for the lure of cocktails, the Gang of 4 might never have been born.

But it was insta-bond. Seldom do four separate and distinct (not to mention strong) personalities mesh so well together. Eventually, we stopped going to that conference, and started to do our own thing. (You can read all about that on my personal blog.) It was at one of these gatherings that we decided to do a collaborative project, dubbed "the No-No Necklaces." Each of us would contribute components in a selected color palette, which would be assembled with silver findings into unique necklaces.

I took on the polymer clay components. Pants was responsible for the lampworked glass. Muffy (name withheld, as she is in the witness protection program) made steel clay beads. And Jules pulled it all together with sterling silver findings, pearls, and Swarovski crystals. Each of us ended up with a unique piece that reflects the best of our individual artistic sensibilities.

Here's my No-No Necklace, the final result, in a green/black/grey palette:

Now let's take a look at each artist's individual contributions to the necklace, highlighted below:

1. I created an assortment of polymer clay beads, including a large focal, using a variety of techniques, including mokume gane and caning.

2. Pants made brilliant and delicate lampworked glass. Dig those limey greens!

3. Muffy added gorgeous textured, patterned steel clay beads.

4. And Jules pulled it all together with handmade silver elements, her signature Swarovski crystal clusters, crystal beads and pearls.

So, that's what went into my No No Neckace. In the hands of Jules, our talented silversmith, these disparate elements were brought into a cohesive whole with the addition of hand-fabricated sterling links and wired pearls She took a set of distinct artistic works and turned them into a single (and stunning) No No Necklace that definitely makes you say "Yes, yes!"

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Hand-crafted jewelry by Terri Powell.

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