Saturday, September 21, 2013

bugle bead scaffolds

   I've been putting together applications for spring art festivals.  I decided to use mostly my tube bead pieces, because they're the ones that, to me, look the most different from what other people are doing.  So I did mostly my oxidized copper pieces.  I wanted to have one, though that had tubes with some color, so I bought some long bugle beads.  It turned out that the ones I liked best didn't actually have so much color.  As so often happens the picture on the website wasn't a totally accurate representation of the actual item.  I don't mean that as a criticism ( this was Shipwreck beads); I think it's just inevitable.  Anyway, even though they weren't very bright, I really liked them.  These are
30 mm bugles, so they really make a big structure.  I made these 2 necklaces right away.  The bottom one also has 15mm turquoise bugles.
    The hardest part was dealing with the sharpness of the glass beads.  I used fireline, and learned to push the new beads tight up against the old ones before I started pulling on the thread.  Even so the thread would be somewhat frayed looking by the time I got to the end of it.  That was partly because I  used very long lengths of thread (around 7') because, as you can imagine, making structures out of beads that are over 1" long uses up thread in a heartbeat.  On the bottom necklace, which was the first one I made, I went back again after I had made the whole thing and ran several threads along the whole length of the nceklace ( at top, bottom and middle) and put #11 beads between the bugles to ease the sharp angle.  I think they were too small to help much, but the extra threads should strengthen it enough.  On the 2nd (top) one I used #8 blue beads and put them between every bugle bead in each triangle.  They were almost too big, because when I got lots of triangles coming together at a point, I started to not quitehave room for the last ones, and things distorted just a bit.  The ideal bead would be as long as a #8, but with a smaller diameter.  Possibly a delica would do that, but I needed to do this quickly and didn't have any at hand.  Or 2 #11s, but I don't think I like that idea as well. Another possibility would be to use a bead reamer to round off the inside edges just a bit.  I only have around 150 bugles in each piece, so that wouldn't be impossible.
    Anyway, I had great fun making these, and I think they'll improve my applications ( I used the top necklace in the one I just sent in).  So cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

bowl with wide lip

I've been having trouble with the blogger website.  If I try to move my picture to the left and write next to it, as I usually do, I can't get a cursor, so I'll just do it this way.
    I've been wanting to try using 4mm glass beads (druk beads) to do some of the things I've been doing with 4 mm gemstone beads.  Turns out they're much easier to work with.  Mostly it's because the hole is a bit bigger, and because since the bead is translucent, you can see the direction of the channel through it much more easily. 
  I've been thinking about making a vessal form.  Originally when I decided to play around with beads, I thought I'd make vessal forms.  But a bowl or basket form is necessarily a relatively big project, and you learn more quickly by trying lots of smaller projects and seeing which ones work for you.  So I started making jewelry instead.  Now I find I like jewelry (and I like wearing my jewelry), but I still want to do an occasional bowl or vase  or other form that's just sculptural.  I knew I wanted to keep this one relatively flat, bacause I've found that as a vessal's sides get high, the weight starts to squish it down. It's a bit hard to see in the picture, but the center part is the bowl, which is about 4.5" in diameter and 2" high.  The darker rim makes the whole thing just under 7" in diameter.  I think that, given the width, it needs a bit more height, so I'll probably go back and addsome sort of base onto the bottom.  Also that will make it more stable.
   This is pretty weird--I've just realized that I've misspelled vessel all the way through this post, but the only thing I can get the cursor to do is add more on the end.  So please ignore any misspellings, typos and such.  I wish I knew what the problem is.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Back home

I just got back from my trip to Michigan.  It was a long trek, but I had a great time, visited my sister, and even won a prize at the art festival in Royal Oak--I got first place!  Totally cool.  I also took an order for a custom rug, so it's back to the loom.