Bibs Aren’t Just for Babies!

by Terri Wlaschin.
(Key West, FL)

Retro Chic Necklace by Terri Wlaschin  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

This is a bead embroidered bib style piece that incorporates my resin pieces, gemstones, pearls, metal components, and seed beads.

I am fond of statement pieces. Before I went pretty much full time into making my own poly clay beads, I was making funky wire wrapped bib style necklaces using an eclectic mix of beads, buttons (and even bronze age arrow head).

Clay heart, gemstones, glass - Necklace by Terri Wlaschin  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

This bib incorporates my clay heart, gemstones, glass beads, pearls, and ceramic beads

Before that I was dabbling into bib style bead embroidered pieces incorporating my poly clay beads, gemstones, resin pieces I made and other beads.

Bronze Age-Inspired Necklace by Terri Wlaschin  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

This is a wireworked bib inspired by the bronze age arrow on left side that I found in a bead store near DC! I think that arrow caused me to abandon all reason when I put this one together. It has African trade beads, buttons, gemstones, silver netting, silk ribbon, pearls, and various metal components.

When I moved to Key West from the DC metro area, I was in love with my new location but a bit depressed about the lack of bead shopping opportunities (only one bead store and no classes other than basic!! So, I decided to get back into making my own poly clay beads and advancing my skills in bead making.

Polymer Clay Bead Bib Necklace by Terri Wlaschin  - featured on Jewelry Making Journal

Here is one of my newest bibs using my poly clay beads. The beads are hinged together using a technique I learned from a class with Bettina Welker.

While I make a number of different style necklaces, I am still digging the bib style statement piece. And loving how lightweight they are with the poly clay beads.

Terri Wlaschin
Shanty Chic Beads
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  1. WOW, Terri! These are incredible necklaces, and done in such a variety of materials and techniques. This creative process allows you to incorporate all kinds of media. You are definitely a master when it comes to statement pieces!

  2. They are fantastic. I also love the choice of materials. A good way to use up excess beads, etc.

  3. Mary Anne Enriquez says:

    I agree that Terri is a master artisan. The diversity is stunning and memorable!

    Can you share more about your process of creating? I tend to get overwhelmed by all the colors, textures, and creative opportunities laying upon my own desk. You are so free in your vision, and yet harness it all into such beautiful works of true art.

  4. Beautiful as usual!

  5. Terri, these are wonderful. Could you please share what the overall length of the necklaces you make for the bib style? I usually make mine about 20 inches but I’m thinking of going a little shorter.

  6. Thanks Ladies! Appreciate your taking the time to comment. A little more about my creative process since Mary asked. Key West is very stimulating to my senses as there is lots of color and character here in everyday things. I also look at other’s creations in magazines, online, and sites like here, FB, and pinterest to get inspiration. I have gone to numerous classes in a variety of meduims because they are a source of acquiring skills not only in techniques but in imagination. I am curious so I like to experiment and learn from mistakes (really I hate mistakes and rework ha ha). Before I was making beads, the actual creation would start from a particular bead or component I had bought that I was in love with. Now, it generally starts with a bead I have made.

    I gather a variety of beads/buttons in different shapes I think match the items I want to showcase, neutral components, and sometimes fiber. Then, I start loosely arranging beads in a necklace form. I generally have some idea of whether I am going for chunky, funky, whimsical, or girly. Sometimes I look at a color chart or paintings to get an idea of color schemes. I love the book “THe Color Scheme Bible,” especially now that I make beads as I can make the color combos in the book.

    If I am stringing, I just start stringing. I don’t put clasps on first. I string directly from the spool or tape an end if cut. If I don’t like something, I just take it off. I periodically check it by holding it up around my neck or a bust neck to eyeball what’s going on.

    If I am wireworking, I create a wire crocheted form first generally with 18 gauge wire. I don’t harden it. That gives me the flexibility to move the crocheted shapes around to fit different shaped beads. I “plop” a couple beads here and there, take pictures as I go, and then start wiring in. The arrangement changes as each bead is wired in and I get a better idea of where I am going.

    Bead embroidered items start with the main pieces being glued on the beading form (for me Lacy’s stiff stuff). The seed beads and other beads I choose are those that match the color scheme and provide interest such as different shapes and textures (matte versus shiny balance). I just sew stuff on and if I don’t like it, take it off.

    I guess that is really my technique. I just go for it knowing (in most cases) I can undo it if I don’t like it. So, my simple advice would be to just start the piece. Hope that helps.

  7. I don’t usually share my thoughts; however, Terri–WOW! I love your work! Each piece stands alone, not even remotely like one of the others. My kind of designing–I just love it, you are very talented.

    Good luck in all of your jewelry ventures.

  8. Beautiful work! I haven’t worked with clay for quite a while and your beads have inspired me to dig out my clay tools and get busy. Thanks!

  9. Karen: Sorry for the delay in responding. These pieces are around 18 inches and sometimes I make things adjustable by adding chain links. That way I can go from 16-17 inches to 22 inches in case I plan to sell.

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