The Story Behind Heatherwick Necklace
So, the Heatherwick Necklace all began with a visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum. Jean Power is very good at organising group visits to the V&A, usually with a bunch of beaders. So, I’ve managed to see some fabulous events and met some lovely new friends this way.
My Heatherwick necklace commemorates my first such trip. This took place back in 2012 and it was at a time when I was enjoying better health than I had for a while. So, it is worth commemorating for many reasons!
We were visiting the Heatherwick Studios exhibition. If you have never heard of the designer, Thomas Heatherwick, then check out that link. The timing of the exhibition reflected the London 2012 Olympics for which Thomas Heatherwick had designed the amazing arena torch. I confess this was the first time I came across Heatherwick designs.
I was completely blown away. The designs are beautiful, but they are also really clever and really practical. If you want to hear me go into raptures about what I actually saw, then I did blog about it here. The point of this story is that I came away from the exhibition inspired to create.
So, while I was at the V&A, I also found myself tempted by some beautiful ceramic buttons in the shop. It seemed only right that I should have a souvenir of my visit. So, I bought five buttons!
Materials for the Heatherwick Necklace
On the face of it, my Heatherwick Necklace design is simple. I used lengths of beaded rope to attach my buttons. So, in order to create your own version, you will need to start by finding some buttons. You could buy some new, or use some you have ‘inherited’. I think it’s nice, but not essential, if the buttons have some meaning for you.
Then, you need to find size 11 delicas to match or tone with your buttons. This will give you the chance to play around with some colour ideas if you want. You can use any number of colours. My Heatherwick Necklace is worked in tubular Herringbone. So, if you are not too confident in that technique, then pick at least three colours. This will help you to understand the stitch structure. You can get size 11 Delicas here.
Lastly, you just need thread. The clasp for this necklace is integrated into the design.
As you will see from the gallery images, the Heatherwick necklace is not just a single piece of beadwork. I created components that can be joined together in different ways. So, this necklace is completely adaptable. You can wear it with different outfits. So, depending on the neckline of your outfit, you just use as many or few of the components to create an appropriate design.
Now, I love wearing my Heatherwick necklace. I picked colours that feature in a number of my clothes. So, I can wear this with a lot of outfits and I just alter the necklace construction to suit each one.
I hope the design does some sort of justice to Thomas Heatherwick. Every time I wear the necklace I think of the lovely day I spent at that exhibition.