Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Scaffold with gemstone shapes

  I've been wanting to combine gemstone beads with my oxidized copper scaffold structures.  The first one I did ( I don't have a picture of it) was quite a regular, repeating structure.  Also, it used just one kind of gemstone, and it was gray feldspar, so it didn't add a lot of color.  Anyway, nice, but I wanted something with more unpredictability to it.  This is what I came up with.  It uses red agate, red aventurine, green marble, blue quartz, yellow quartz and gray feldspar.  Also, no 2 scaffold structures are alike.  I think it's much more interesting.  I've never "strung" beads on a cord, so it is more complicated to incorporate the colored shapes with the oxidized copper, but I got it to work.

The trickiest shapes to use were the cubes.  Each gemstone shape has a tube bead running through it.  When I made my first cube (they're 2x2x2 cubes) I discovered the only way I could put a tube through it was like this:
The tube had to go through the middle of one of the rows of cubes, so it's offset on the total cube.  If the cube were 3x3x3 cubes there'd be a path down the middle, but that would be way too big.  But then it occurred to me that this cube, which is made of 54 beads, has just 2 running down each center axis.  So you could just leave out 2 beads, and you'd have one center axis that was free.    So I took it apart and left out 2 center beads, and got the one in the 2nd picture.  I couldn't figure  out a very effiicient path to build it without those 2 center beads, but anyway, I got it done.


  1. I really like the way this piece came out. It looks very abstract modern to me, and the colors are fantastic. The organic colors of the stones mix well with the geometric forms.

    It's a funny thing about those cubes... I like your eventual solution. It's quite clever, really. I think I would have strung them on the diagonal, if it were my choice.

  2. I did experiment with putting it on the diagonal, but the space inside a 3 bead circle wasn't big enough to get the 1.5mm diameter tube through. I could do it if I made the cube around the tube bead, but I couldn't just push a tube through a completed cube. So either way I had to tear it apart and start over. It might be nice,though, to have some on the straight and some on the diagonal.

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