St Petersburg chain is having a renaissance at present. Or maybe there's just a new generation of beaders who haven't seen or tried this technique before. You'll find instructions for both single and double St. Petersburg chain bracelets in the June 2009 issue of Bead & Button on pages 24 and 25. Other bead magazines have had necklaces using this technique in the past year, and I'm sure it can be found in several of the Russian bead books. The reason that I'm writing about it here is that not one single article or project has mentioned the young Russian woman who introduced this technique to the internet beading world in the 1990s before any of us had seen any Russian beading books. She called herself Maria Oldring, and I'm ashamed to say that I don't know her Russian name. Perhaps some of our Russian beading friends can fill in the information for me. She also shared the Russian leaves as well as several other Russian techniques. Unfortunately, as of November 1, 2009, her site is no longer available. Although she hadn't posted anything new in years, I enjoyed visiting it every now and then to use one of the techniques that she had posted there. I don't remember how we found each other, possibly through Emily Hackbarth on about.com. We corresponded at the time and then lost contact as the years went on. The last I heard, someone told me that they thought she had come to America and was living in Washington state, but I don't know if that's true or not.
I had a young friend who was going to Russia on business at the time and who spoke fluent Russian. I told her about Maria, and I told Maria about her and sent them each other's email addresses. They met for coffee in the Russian city where Maria lived. Maria gave my friend a business-card size calendar with a necklace of hers pictured on one side to bring to me. I carried it in my wallet for years, and I think it must be serving as a bookmark in one of my bead books now. I must confess that I still get goosebumps when I think of their meeting. Today the world seems very small, but ten years ago it had only started to narrow. And now you know the rest of the story.
Here are three bracelets I made sometime in the last couple of years using this technique. They go quite quickly and make nice gifts. I made rondelles with crystals and seed beads as described in Rondelles Continued to create the "buttons" used as closures.
Thanks, Maria, wherever you are.