Friday, July 18, 2014
a tetrahedron was unattractive. I had used #11 beads at the ends of copper tubes in the past, but I thought that the fatter tubes might "want" a bigger bead. So I tried it with #8s. But I didn't quite like it so I tried #11 beads (this is all in the 1st picture) and I liked that better. A #11 bead fits quite nicely into the hole in the red tube.
Then I had to figure out how to combine the red tubes with the blackened copper ones. When I cut up the 1st 1' tube, I got 14 beads, but they were just a hair shorter than the long copper ones. So I thought I might put seed beads only on the ends of the red tubes, and not the black ones, and that would even things out. I did that in the 1st tet in the 2nd picture, and it pretty much worked, in terms of making the sides even. But I wasn't sure I liked it. so I did a second tet in which all the tubes had beads at the ends. I liked that better, even though the lengths weren't quite right. On my next 1' tube I lengthened the individual tubes just a bit and got just 13 tubes out of a foot, but the length was better.
Actually, I need to work on getting tubes of a consistent length. The red ones were better than the gold filled ones I did a few weeks ago, and the last red tube I did was better than the first, But they're still not as consistent as I'd like. Rio Grande sells a tube cutter that you can set to a length, and that should improve both consistency and speed. I want to play around with the lengths of the tubes, but it will be trial and error as to how a given length affects the geometry of a piece, and I can't do much trial and error without wasting beads, so that's a problem. I imagine there are CAD type programs where you could play with polyhedra that have sides of various lengths, but I don't know what they would be. The only other thing I can think of is to buy unanodized aluminum, which is really cheap ( something like $.35/ft) and play with those. That, of course, is expensive in time. Anyway, for now I'm having great fun with my new red tubes.