The image on the right illustrates a traditional sliding knot clasp. When using a sliding knot, I like to resolve the ends of the cord with beads. The sliding knot clasp is one of the most efficient and economical methods for resolving the ends of the cord on which a pendant is hung. The sliding knot eliminates the need to use a 2-part clasp. Example of traditional sliding knot The sliding knot clasp is one of the most efficient and economical methods for resolving the ends of the cord on which a pendant is hung. The sliding knot eliminates the need to use a 2-part clasp.
Sliding knot clasp with watercolor paper beads On this Watercolor Paper Necklace, the sliding knots have been replaced with watercolor paper beads. Construct the watercolor paper beads using the same process used to construct Watercolor Paper Pendants; the beads are attached to the ends of the cord in the areas where the knots would normally be tied.
These handmade paper beads incorporate channels just wide enough to permit the hanging cord to pass through. Replacing actual knots with paper beads allows complementary design elements to be designed into the necklace that effectively unite the pendant and hanging cord into a visually unified work of art. Complete control over the design process is achieved. The sliding beads (I sometimes refer to them as unit forms) can be shaped and painted to complement the pendant. In addition to providing a means for adjusting the pendant’s hanging length, they function as beautiful decorative elements.
An efficient method for creating small watercolor paper beads that can be used in place of sliding knots is to use paper punches. Paper punches are available in a variety shapes, and can significantly speed up the construction process by eliminating the need to cut out the individual paper shapes that are glued together to create the small, sliding forms. The image shows the round punches that I used to create the round sliding forms on two of the pendants illustrated in this post. Round paper punches speed up the construction process
Sliding knot clasp with heart shapes and flat cord For the heart shapes, I cut the individual paper layers out by hand. Preferring the look of “stylized” hearts, I decided not to use available paper punches. Commercially available punches would result in more generic heart shapes. These beautiful, simple hearts, locked in place by the wooden beads glued to the ends of the cord, form an adjustable mechanism that works very well with flat, suede cord. The cord’s flatness is ideal for passing through the channel in these small shapes. Round cord can also be used.
The cord’s length can be adjusted to permit the pendant to fall relatively high When the cord’s length is adjusted to permit the pendant to fall relatively high, this moves the beads from the back to the front and results in wonderful design interaction between the pendant and watercolor paper beads.