A while ago I saw this photo of Tuomas Holopainen – the composer and keyboard player for Nightwish – and I love the iconography of rosary beads. Only problem – I’m not Catholic (or any religious/spiritual persuasion that would suggest I’d wear or use rosary beads).
n.b. normally I’d link to the place I found the photo –but the place I found it is not the original anyways (and was irrelevant).
Then for some unknown reason, my mum received a rosary in the mail. I really have no idea why – some charity fundraiser I presume. She ended up giving it to me, since I can often ‘do something with this…’. It got me thinking about the photo, and how I could re-work the rosary into a necklace.
So, when I was getting crafty a while ago, I pulled out a cute chunky ankh which didn’t really “go” with the other ankh projects I was working on – but with the newly acquired rosary sitting in my jewellery-making pile, I got inspired. (After all, the ankh is a symbol of eternal life… and is often sorted with crosses and crucifixes.)
The ankh – not sure where I got it. I think it was a gift, and it’s stamped “Made in Canada” so it’s entirely possible that I got it in Canmore at Heartstrings or in Calgary at a bead shop. Perhaps even in Vancouver at a bead shop? Conclusion – no idea. The black beads and majority of the findings are from Michael’s, while the filigree connector and chain are from Beads And Plenty More in Northland Village Shops in Calgary.
I first started looking at the structure of the red rosary – how there are 10 beads in a set, then a space, then another set. I mimicked this with the black beads using eye-pins, tiny lengths of chain, and then a larger black bead on an eye pin and so on. Looping all the eye pins probably took the most time of anything! The only problem – I didn’t have a Y-connector. Or rather, the ones I had I didn’t LIKE for this project. So I started at Beadles – which was closed (despite the website saying it would be open) then to Michael’s looking for something, then finally to Beads And Plenty More. There was NOTHING that jumped out at me – the few that were stylistically close were the wrong colour, and although they had several actual rosary Y-connectors, I didn’t want to go that route by any means.
Finally in the filigree section I found this diamond-shaped piece which I figured would work – it isn’t QUITE what I was looking for – but the shape works, the hole-spacing works, the colour works, and the size works. Once the whole thing was complete, I ran a single line of beading wire through all the holes in the beads and around the split rings – just to keep the necklace from coming apart if all of those tiny links aren’t 100%. (While I was making it I found an opening, and I could only imagine it coming apart while I was wearing it.. and losing it!)
I’m happy with it! Now, I just need to find a friendly photographer to do a Tuomas-inspired photoshoot! Of course, when I went to go see Nightwish in Seattle and Portland in October, I wore the necklace!
N.B. Any comments about religion/spirituality will be deleted.