Monday, October 27, 2014

Live and learn

    I wanted to do something simple and rather stark with my oxidized silver tubes.  Cubic RAW was an obvious choice.  I'd never used it with the tubes, and I didn't really think it would work, but I tried it.
    Over time I've developed a sort of rule of thumb.  With round beads I don't much like structures that use triangles (i e circles of 3 beads) because too much thread shows.  Particularly I don't like to use monofilament  nylon fishing line and have 3-bead circles, because it won't pull tight over such a hard bend, and so lots of it sticks out.  I do occasionally do cuboctahedrons, which are a mix of 3-bead and 4-bead circles, but I tend to avoid them  when I can.  Similarly, with long narrow beads, and particularly with my metal tubes, I mostly only use triangles, because that's the only shape that will stay rigid with long beads.  So I have lots of tetrahedrons and octahedrons, because they're made of triangles.If you tried to make a circle out of 5 tubes, it wouldn't stay round, but could take most any shape.  When I have used 4-bead circles, I've always kept the cross section a triangle, because then, even if the squares turned into parallelograms, it still couldn't completely lose its shape, and it would remain 3 dimensional.
   However, I've come to realize that while a single cube made out of tubes is pretty apt to not stay much like a cube, a series of them will have more stability.  Also, when I was using oxidized copper tubes I used fireline thread, because there wasn't enough room for monofilament, which is fatter.  But the silver tubes, although they're the same size on the outside, seem to have a thinner wall, so there's room inside for more thread.  So here I used monofilament line to support the corners of the cubes better.  The piece moves alot, but it still holds its shape quite well.  It's big, because I wanted it to just go over the head without a clasp, so the pieces that form the long side of each rectangle are around an inch.  Anyway, I enjoyed doing it, and may do more along that line.  One thing I'd like to do just for comparison, is a simple rectangular necklace like this, but made out of a string of octahedrons instead of cubes.  Then I can see whether a much more rigid piece works as well on the body as one, like this, with more give.

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