Sunday, December 23, 2012


This is a piece I'm really proud of--even though it's not pretty, or something I can sell.  For a while now, I've been working on these tube pieces, and gradually finding what works and what doesn't.  The trouble is, I often try various ways to, for example, make a smooth curve, till I get what I want.  But some of the ones I didn't want might be a structure that's useful for something else--except that I've torn it out and after a while I can't remember how I did it.  So this is a sort of sampler.  In it I have several ways to make a 60, 120, and (most importantly) 90 degree turn.  The hardest was to make a corner, like you'd have if you were making an open cube.  The inside curve was easy, the the outside curve would either have a big knob on it, or be too flat and pull the inside out of its 90 degree-ness.  Anyway, I learned an enormous amount, and have generated lots of ideas for future pieces.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Red Gemstone Necklace

Since I've been doing these tube necklaces in nickel silver beads, I've wanted to use the same techniques in a piece made from gemstone beads.  This is the first one.  It's made from brecciated jasper beads (the dark ones) and red agate beads as accents.  I like the way the colors bring out the geometry of the piece.  Stone beads are a little slower to work with, because the holes are so small, but I like them, and will probably do more.  I used fireline for thread.  I mostly have been using monofilament nylon, for the extra body, but it's too bulky in these small holes, and I've found that if I make an extra pass all around the circumference as I end each round of hexagons, I get sufficient body.  By the way, I've experimented with different sizes of tubes, measured by the number of hexagons that make a "row", and for the most part I find a 4 hexagon circumference works well.  That's what I've used here.