Hi--I'm a beadweaver located in Panama City, FL. Here I'm trying to put down where my ideas are headed, and what I'm working on creatively. You can see more of my work at emiliepritchard.com
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
These earrings represent 2 new things in my work--1 good, 1 REALLY BAD. I'll give you the bad part first. The little gold-ish beads are #11s. I know lots of you use #11, or even, God forbid, #15 beads, but I have been a firm believer in #8 beads, which probably seem big and clunky to hard core beaders, but have worked great for me. I never even bought #11s. So my whole system, the needles I use, the monofilament, everything is the way it is because I use #8s (or larger, if you count the gemstones and the long glass oval beads). And I like it that way. I want to do complex work. But don't think it's any more complex because the beads are ultra-tiny, instead of just tiny. And to me, coming from weaving rugs, where I measure my progress in square feet, #8 beads do seem tiny. But I needed those little circles of beads to be very small, especially since the tube beads, while long, are quite small in diameter, so I broke my rule. Oh well, just so I don't start making things entirely out of #11s, I guess I can cope.
The other new thing is the tube beads. They're patinated copper. I've used copper beads, both tubes and melons, in lots of pieces, and I've really liked the very architectural effect. Some of the pieces look kind of like bridge trusses. But I found that after I wore them awhile, skin oils and, let's face it, sweat turned the lovely orange to brown. Not surprising when you look at the copper bottoms of pans. But for that reason I'd sort of stopped working with the copper, and I took the pieces off my website. I started thinking about silver, but, of course, that will tarnish too. So I started thinking about patinating the silver, so it would just be a permanent dark gray. I wandered around the web, looking at instructions and videos for patinating silver with liver of sulphur. But I found that liver of sulphur will also patinate copper dark gray. So why pay the price of silver when I can get the same look with copper? Also I can't find long straight tubes in silver. Everything I found that was around an inch long was either a curve or a spiral (the long copper beads I used are 22mm long and 1.5 mm diameter). a curve or spiral might be an interesting effect, and I know I'll try it sometime, but for now I really like what I got with the copper. The difference, I found, is that the silver seemed to stop at a fairly shiny dark gray, but the copper, if you left it in the solution too long went to totally matte black and just looked burned up. In the picture these earrings look black, but that's the fault of the photography; they're dark gray. When I made the jewelry using coppery looking copper I didn't use the tiny accent beads, but with the dark gray I felt I needed an accent color.