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Malinke textile necklace

Traditional indigo cloth is the most beautiful fabric and was the starting point for this textile necklace.  It was difficult to cut into it not knowing whether or not the textile would lend itself to jewellery making.  The weave is quite loose and I was worried that it would unravel.  Luckily I was able to make three perfect little tandletons which form the focal point of this adornment.

By clicking on these pictures you will be able to see enlargements and get a really good look at the details.

There are some really beautiful beads in this piece.  Some subdued paper beads which I bought from a North African trader in Cape Town – a really good find – the beader appreciating the subtle colours in the paper itself rather than smothering them in crude bright paint.  The spotty beads are Ghanaian glass beads which have been hand painted and then fired for a second time. The Coptic cross comes from Ethiopia and has a beautiful and very ancient history; more about this in another post.  The beautiful blue and brown beads are also Ghanaian recycled glass.

This is the first time that I worked with gold leaf and I was very excited with the outcome which i further enhanced by stitching with a bronze metallic thread.

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