Sunday, December 26, 2010

new rug

Hope everyone is having a happy holiday season. I thought I'd do a post about a rug I finished a few weeks ago. I've been doing lots of these striped pieces lately (in fact I've just finished another one but don't have a picture yet. One thing that makes this one interesting is that it uses the same color progressions as the one I posted about a few months ago (September post), but in an entirely different way. The other one had a very regular progression--6" of red followed by 6" of red'orange, followed by 6" of orange and so on. It's the additon of the black design that makes it interesting. This one has just the color progression, but having the 2 sets of stripes alternating with each other and 2 colors in each stripe allows me to actually have 4 different color progressions going at the same time. It's kind of like a round in music. That makes me have to have a pattern that's very simple, and here it's continuous just like the color progressions. I've found, at the couple of shows this fall where I've shown my rugs, that I seem to get more compliments on the earlier one, but, while I like them both, I think this one is my personal favorite.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

There's a better picture of my fullerene necklace on my etsy site at I meant to put it in the blog, but discovered I hadn't saved it properly at the time I did the earlier blog post.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

fullerene jewelry and structures

Wow--The Japanese site with the fullerene structures has me off and running again. Alot of it is really cool but too big to work as jewelry (I'm tending to do this kind of work with 4 mm beads. Possibly with smaller beads...). I've come up with a structure, that you see in my green "jack" (as in ball and jacks) structure that is a bit smaller than what I see on the chemists' sites. Maybe it doesn't work as a carbon structure (I, of course, have no idea), but it creates a smaller tube and still has things coming off at right angles, which I find is a good structure to work with. Basically it's a tube that is 4 hexagons around. Theirs tend to be 5,6 or 8 around. Now to turn it into a jewelry form.
I've also included a picture of a "fullerene style" necklace I did recently. I've learned a bit since then, and there are a few things I'd do just a bit differently, but still I think it came out pretty well. One thing I've learned since I did this is that the chemists ussually form their tubes so that the hexagons have a straight edge paralleling the tube, but not one at right angles to it. I did the opposite on this one. I think you get a stiffer tube if you do it their way.
Anyway, I'm still scheming things, learning alot and having great fun. Are any of you who read this making structures like this?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

More ping pong ball work. I was disappointed that my necklace form didn't get into the art to wear show. But after looking at it for a while, I decided that it was a bit plain. I made it with a continuous thread (yarn) just as you would in normal beading. By contrast, on most of my earlier pieces I had used short pieces of yarn that were tied together between each ball. This made for lots of color and texture to break up the balls. The problem was that I had made several pieces that involved 5-bead and 6-bead circles. When you make those sort of circles the beads pack close together and you don't really have room for a knot between each one. I managed to pull it off in the dodecahedron that's pictured, but when I tried a buckyball it wasn't firm enough and wanted to sag out of round. But, as any beader knows, when you make a circle of 3 or 4 beads you can see much more thread between the beads. That means you have room to put a knot between the beads for interest. So that's what I did for my wreath form, which is a variation on right angle weave, and so uses circles of 3 or 4 balls. I'll probably redo my buckyball with a continuous thread, and just add short bits of yarn to the finished sphere at the intersections so as not to compromise the structure. Who would have thought there was so much to learn from ping pong balls.