I completed a recreation of the above small bead string (likely a bracelet) over the course of 3 evenings. It took 2 evenings to make the beads, and 1 to remake a few beads that I was not fully happy with. I was originally not very excited about this project. I primarily made it to make sure that I would have enough items to enter for the Artifacts of a Life event, the event I created the larger necklace from Portway for. The technical level of this bead string is very low for me (no decoration, minimal shaping), and I didn't think it all that pretty to begin with. However, I'm glad that I did recreate this string, because actually seeing my recreation transformed how I thought about the bead string.
A few technical thoughts about my reproduction:
-The beads were made to match the size of the historic beads to within a couple of millimeters size.
-I forgot to try to match bead perforation sizes with the historic necklace, so that aspect of the recreation is not as accurate. However its not something that is very evident when the necklace is displayed/worn.
-A few of the beads (the white ones) were simply not listed in the description of the grave. The necklace is described as being made of "glass and other beads." I think these white beads are not glass (maybe stone?) but I've recreated them here as glass beads because that is the material I work with.
-I was not happy with my first attempt at recreating the bicone white bead, because my bicone was much straighter and more precise than the original. It just didn't look right when strung. So, I tried again, this time making it a bit rounder and it worked out well. I also burned the glass slightly the first time, so I was a bit more careful the second time and turned down my flame and tried not to overwork the bead.
|The bead on the bottom is my first attempt. The top bead is my second attempt.|
-The same thing mentioned above happened for the largest black bead in the string. The edges and lines of my first recreated bead were too straight, so I tried again it, rounding the bead out slightly more the second time
-Finally, bead #25 is an odd one. It has red glass at the core, and then clear glass over-top, but it is not described in the report as an "encased" bead, and it's very unevenly made. The authors of the report make reference to a "swirl technique" which was referenced in Beck's bead classification from 1927, so I've ILL'ed that book to learn more.