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!


  1. When I use bugles, I cap each end with a seed bead, usually a size 11. Then I treat the three beads as one. This solves the problem of sharp ends. I love the look of these as necklaces. Very modern!

  2. That might be the answer. I'd tried it with just 1 #11 between bugles, and that wasn't enough. Right now I'm experimenting with using a really fine beading wire instead of fireline, but that has its own issues.