Taking a step back

I was so busy in December trying to figure out my 2015 resolutions that I forgot to post my final 2014 resolution!

As you can see, I didn’t bin the cracked amber! I managed to sand it down and polish it up enough that only traces of the crack remain. It’s not as shiny as a professionally finished amber, but I actually quite like the rougher texture of it.


I used a Dremel and sanding attachment to smooth out the crack, then sanded the whole thing to make the shape less lopsided. I wasn’t going for perfection – I knew that I wouldn’t be able to get it cylindrical – so I didn’t worry that it was an irregular shape. I embraced its uniqueness. When I got it to a decent shape, I switched to a buffing attachment, but it wasn’t enough to bring out the shine. I searched for answers on Google, but nothing worked. I was almost ready to bin the bead after all, but as a last-ditch attempt I turned back to our good friend Google. And found the thing that worked: olive oil. Google is a wonderful thing sometimes, even if it takes you a few tries to find the answer.

I finished it sometime in late October or early November, just a little too late to make it onto my autumn bracelet. With that bracelet dismantled, I didn’t have a ready combination to show the amber, so it got relegated to the back of my mind. And a hidden corner of my bead box, apparently! I thought of it a few times at the end of the year, but out of sight is out of mind. Earlier this week I was digging through my bead box looking for another bead and found it. And realized that I had never posted the final result!

When I pulled it out this week, I immediately thought of honey. Going with that theme, I grabbed my Bee on Hive and a few other ambers. But the other ambers all looked far too big. I knew the cracked amber was on the small side, but I was a bit surprised when my callipers showed that it’s about 12mm. Pretty tiny. I don’t think I took that much off of it (the crack was long, but shallow) so I guess either the World Tour Baltic ambers were all small, or I got a small one to start with. Either way, pairing it with my other ambers wasn’t working out. I have one floral bead – the Pandora Floral Elegance spacer – but it looked too narrow. And, I wanted a bit more colour for the combination anyway. Then I remembered the beautiful, and equally tiny, red armadillo that I got in December. Which, ironically, also has a tiny chip in it. It’s like they were meant to be together :D

With the unique armadillo lined up, I needed one more glass bead. Another dip into my bead box produced the unique spiro, which is also on the small side, and gave me my final bracelet in the honey theme: the flower (the armadillo and spiro) that provides the pollen for the bee to make the honey :)

It was fun to put these bright colours together. And although I don’t think the amber will become a staple of my combinations, it was nice to spare it from the trash bin.

I’m curious: am I the only one who would attempt sanding down a cracked amber? Would you just toss it?

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