Saturday, January 19, 2013


   I just finished this piece, and I'm pleased with it.  It's so easy to get hung up on complexity, and I've been guilty of that too.  This piece relies on the color interaction betwen the black and white silkstone beads and the red agate.  Other than that it's simple--just buckyballs and a tube structure.  The only complexity was in making the tube curve at the top and bottom (it has too much stiffness to be able to take that sharp a curve by itself), and that doesn't have the appearance of complexity anyway.
   I  work with color a lot in my rugs, and I've always felt that that is one of the things I do reasonably well.  In the rugs, I dye my own colors, and that makes a huge difference.  When I first started beading, I was really frustrated because I couldn't just throw beads in a pot and make them any color I wanted.  So I sort of de-emphasized color, and did a lot of work in a fairly limited palette.   Then, more recently, I've started doing some seed bead pieces with more color, and have liked them.  But with the gemstone pieces, I've still been working in a fairly limited color range, partly because at the moment I'm still pretty cheap and don't buy the more expensive gemstone beads.  Also, I try to stay away from dyed gemstone beads.  I must confess that I have wondered about these red agate beads.  But Shipwreck Beads usually says when beads are dyed, and they don't list these as dyed, so I've been using them a lot.  They punch up a piece nicely.  I wish I could find a good blue too. I'm too cheap, at the moment, to buy lapis lazuli.  I bought blue sodalite once and made a piece that looked pretty nice, but I had so much trouble with the beads breaking that I ended up taking it apart, and I've never bought sodalite since.  Have any of you used sodalite, and what was your experience with it?  I'd love to think I just got a bad batch, but wherever those pretty white inclusions appeared, the bead broke there.  It was as if the white was just chalk.  Any ideas?


  1. I have used sodalite, and haven't had the problem of broken beads. I think you got a bad batch. Also consider glass, which comes in bright reds and so many pretty blues.

    1. I guess I'll have to try sodalite again. Thanks. I'm not sure why I haven't done anything with glass. I've bought some dfuk beads, but never used them. Another thing for the to-do list