In the latest issue of Perles et cetera we have a wonderful six page article on Lovely Knots. The magazine did an amazing job designing the layout for this special how to! This magazine is in French, so I have provided you with the English translation and a closer look at some of my photos.
Lovely Knots – Learning The Ancient Art of Chinese Knotting
By Carmi Cimicata for Perles et cetera
This spring, Fernando DaSilva’s latest written work was published by John Bead. Lovely Knots – An Introduction to Chinese Knotting is a super way to be exposed to a craft that has risen in popularity. Now that Fernando has reviewed the basic knots and added his own vision and flair to it you will be inspired to incorporate these special knots into jewelry making projects. I know that I was excited about the possibilities and the booklet is filled with fabulous finished pieces.
However, like all new techniques, you need to practice before you can complete a finished piece. This booklet made me feel like Fernando was sitting by my side instructing me in person. The step-by-step photos walked me to through each and every twist I needed in order to make the “Infinity Bracelet” which features a special knot made with eight strands of Chinese knotting cord.
Chinese knotting requires some basic supplies. Ideally you have Lovely Knots cord, which is a twisted nylon, designed to hold the shape of complex and simple knots. A corkboard and some pins are very helpful and depending on how you finish your cords some basic jewelry making pliers and findings are an asset.
My first attempt was almost perfect. It seemed as though I was talking directly with the author. Fernando is a jewelry designer, published author, TV personality, a Swarovski ambassador and the product and creative manager for John Bead Corporation. It occurred to me that he would be seeing my finished sample and I wanted him to be impressed! Fernando wrote, “I have had fun researching each unique knot and finding ways to incorporate them into stylish, trendy and fashionable jewelry designs. The possibilities are endless and I am sure you can do it! Remember, practice is the key, so grab some cord and let’s get started…”
I did have fun! When my knot lined up and all my cords were exactly where Fernando showed me they needed to be I was thrilled!
I added a section of leather on the end pieces before gluing on my crimps and toggle set. Fernando explained how a little tape on the edges before you add your crimp makes this step a breeze. I followed the advice in the book to use a nylon jaw plier to close my crimp so I would not scratch it.
The bracelet was perfect but I also found a little vintage button that made it even prettier. The button is simply held in place with a pin, so I can switch buttons or wear it without embellishment.
Having completed my project, I learned that Fernando was making a special bracelet to submit to Perles et Cetera as well! Knowing that his work would be glamorous and ideal for party going made me think outside of the box. Fernando had already taught me how to make the bracelet, now how could I add a little spin to it?
This is when I decided to replace one of the cords in the bracelet with rhinestone chain. Thank goodness I had already practiced the knot! This was a little harder to control. I also had a new issue. How would I be able to finish my cut cord and rhinestone edges? They would no longer fit into the classic crimp like I used with the first bracelet.
Happily, John Bead had also released a new line of end caps. This unique gold set had a very wide mouth and I was able to insert everything in a way that would hold the knot beautifully. Then I added a classic toggle set for the closure. Fernando won’t be seeing this version of my Infinity Bracelet until this issue is published and I can’t wait to see what he thinks. Learning from a true jewelry-making artist was a pleasure and I plan to make quite a few new pieces inspired by Lovely Knots.