Wednesday, January 30, 2013
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.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
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?
Friday, January 18, 2013
Saturday, January 5, 2013
would turn into a long tube that would go behind the neck to form a pendant. I wanted it to be pretty big and chunky, for maximum impact. But by the time I had made 2 cubes using 4 mm stone beads, I realized it was just too big for jewelry (it would have stuck out over 2 1/2" from the body). You can see in the picture there's still line (fireline) hanging off one of the cubes. That's because It was pretty complicated and I did lots of backtracking to fix mistakes. As I finished it up I found 1 last mistake, and haven't yet worked up the ambition to tear out the last corner to fix it. It's one that only I would notice--but I would notice it.