Friday, July 29, 2016

Making Beads and Designing a Necklace

Polished beads with satin finish
Designing beads with Hadar's White Satin Clay and then deciding how to use them in a necklace is my latest project.  I wanted my white satin beads to look old like I went on an archeology dig and found them buried in the sand.  There are holes and slits as you can see in the picture above.

Each bead is formed on Microsphere (Noble Clays) wrapped with a single thickness of clay.  I received the Microsphere at a workshop a couple of years ago and made the forms for the beads with it.  The beads are dried and kiln fired.  When they are cool, the sand like particles of Microsphere come out of the centers leaving hollow beads.  

Before firing in the kiln

After firing - the beads on the left are just out of the kiln and the ones on the right have the first sanding.

I tried several combinations of  beads to go with my 'ancient' beads.  I thought it would be fun to share the process with you!

Pewter lentil beads separate my creations - Nope!

Crystal beads with my white satin ones - Nope!

Rough Green Garnet Beads with my white satin beads - Nope!

Tumbled turquoise chunky beads with white satin beads
Smooth chunky turquoise beads with my 'old' beads' - Nope!

Very old granite beads, small round turquoise beads and the 'old' beads - better!

The very very old granite beads separated with small turquoise beads and three of my white satin beads as the focals- YES!

This was a fun exercise in seeing the same beads in different settings.  I'll string this and show the finished necklace soon!






Friday, July 22, 2016

The Story of The Necklace in My Mind

Finished

Conceptual Drawing

This is one time when the finished product is true to the original drawing and exactly what I pictured. As you scroll  down you will see the entire set - necklace, earrings, bracelet!
    
There were several challenges and slight adjustments to directions as there are in any journey.  Every design seems to be a journey - sometimes in finding my unique path, sometimes in discovering new twists and turns of materials and sometimes learning or inventing new techniques to achieve the destination.  With each piece of jewelry I design comes a new adventure in creating something special for the end user.  "Wear your individuality" becomes more than a slogan for me and for my company.



Taking the 3 strands through the steel tube where they become one strand.


Focal

I decided to make several earrings of various lengths to go with the necklace.

And then I decided to add a bracelet!



Friday, July 15, 2016

Necklace on My Mind - part 2

 

As often happens, the picture in my head is more difficult to construct in real life than to create in my mind.  In the previous post I left you thinking I would just make a replacement steel bead for the one that collapsed in the kiln.  I tried!  The replacement was much more ragged than the first one and unusable for this project.  I think I'll be able to create an interesting bead using it but not for this post.  Rather than go through the process of making a third bead, I decided to try to reshape the original.  A long metal rod was inserted and I hammered and after several tries it worked!  

Time to decide what beads I would use with the steel ones I made.  I started with the ones in the picture.  And I added and rearranged and added and played with the shapes and colors.  When I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to use I started stringing.  


At some point I realized I needed to make the center dangle/focal part or the necklace first.  The dangle had to be secured inside the center tube so I could put the 3 strands though the tube.  Head scratching!  I used a wire with a ball on the end that I put through the small hole in the lower edge of the tube.  That allowed me to stack the large orange bead with silver beads and finish that part of the necklace.  


Next I had to figure out how to string the 3 strands to go through the center.  After a few attempts, the tiny red beads were strung the length of the steel center tube and a crimp bead was placed at each end of the 1 1/2 inch strands.  Then I threaded those through the center tube.  The crimp kept the beads in place as I added more to each side.

Things were going pretty well and I threaded the 3 strands through the long steel tube on each side.  It's going to look great.  

Challenges to overcome this week:
Keeping the long tubes in a stable place on the necklace.  There is nothing at the moment to keep them from sliding up and down.  I thought the 3 strands would keep the tubes in place.  Not so!



Once I figure out that problem, I'll finish the stringing of the beads and add the fastener.  With any luck you will see a finished necklace next week.  

There are a couple of reasons I'm sharing how I made this necklace with you.  I think it is important to know how many steps and decisions go into a handmade necklace.  I'm always interested in how something comes to be.  Machines can make pieces fast but handmade pieces, one of a kind pieces, take thought, skill and patience.  I like to share that process.

I also make a hard copy book of my blog posts at the end of the year that acts as my journal and helps me see what I've learned.  

See you next week!







Friday, July 29, 2016

Making Beads and Designing a Necklace

Polished beads with satin finish
Designing beads with Hadar's White Satin Clay and then deciding how to use them in a necklace is my latest project.  I wanted my white satin beads to look old like I went on an archeology dig and found them buried in the sand.  There are holes and slits as you can see in the picture above.

Each bead is formed on Microsphere (Noble Clays) wrapped with a single thickness of clay.  I received the Microsphere at a workshop a couple of years ago and made the forms for the beads with it.  The beads are dried and kiln fired.  When they are cool, the sand like particles of Microsphere come out of the centers leaving hollow beads.  

Before firing in the kiln

After firing - the beads on the left are just out of the kiln and the ones on the right have the first sanding.

I tried several combinations of  beads to go with my 'ancient' beads.  I thought it would be fun to share the process with you!

Pewter lentil beads separate my creations - Nope!

Crystal beads with my white satin ones - Nope!

Rough Green Garnet Beads with my white satin beads - Nope!

Tumbled turquoise chunky beads with white satin beads
Smooth chunky turquoise beads with my 'old' beads' - Nope!

Very old granite beads, small round turquoise beads and the 'old' beads - better!

The very very old granite beads separated with small turquoise beads and three of my white satin beads as the focals- YES!

This was a fun exercise in seeing the same beads in different settings.  I'll string this and show the finished necklace soon!






Friday, July 22, 2016

The Story of The Necklace in My Mind

Finished

Conceptual Drawing

This is one time when the finished product is true to the original drawing and exactly what I pictured. As you scroll  down you will see the entire set - necklace, earrings, bracelet!
    
There were several challenges and slight adjustments to directions as there are in any journey.  Every design seems to be a journey - sometimes in finding my unique path, sometimes in discovering new twists and turns of materials and sometimes learning or inventing new techniques to achieve the destination.  With each piece of jewelry I design comes a new adventure in creating something special for the end user.  "Wear your individuality" becomes more than a slogan for me and for my company.



Taking the 3 strands through the steel tube where they become one strand.


Focal

I decided to make several earrings of various lengths to go with the necklace.

And then I decided to add a bracelet!



Friday, July 15, 2016

Necklace on My Mind - part 2

 

As often happens, the picture in my head is more difficult to construct in real life than to create in my mind.  In the previous post I left you thinking I would just make a replacement steel bead for the one that collapsed in the kiln.  I tried!  The replacement was much more ragged than the first one and unusable for this project.  I think I'll be able to create an interesting bead using it but not for this post.  Rather than go through the process of making a third bead, I decided to try to reshape the original.  A long metal rod was inserted and I hammered and after several tries it worked!  

Time to decide what beads I would use with the steel ones I made.  I started with the ones in the picture.  And I added and rearranged and added and played with the shapes and colors.  When I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to use I started stringing.  


At some point I realized I needed to make the center dangle/focal part or the necklace first.  The dangle had to be secured inside the center tube so I could put the 3 strands though the tube.  Head scratching!  I used a wire with a ball on the end that I put through the small hole in the lower edge of the tube.  That allowed me to stack the large orange bead with silver beads and finish that part of the necklace.  


Next I had to figure out how to string the 3 strands to go through the center.  After a few attempts, the tiny red beads were strung the length of the steel center tube and a crimp bead was placed at each end of the 1 1/2 inch strands.  Then I threaded those through the center tube.  The crimp kept the beads in place as I added more to each side.

Things were going pretty well and I threaded the 3 strands through the long steel tube on each side.  It's going to look great.  

Challenges to overcome this week:
Keeping the long tubes in a stable place on the necklace.  There is nothing at the moment to keep them from sliding up and down.  I thought the 3 strands would keep the tubes in place.  Not so!



Once I figure out that problem, I'll finish the stringing of the beads and add the fastener.  With any luck you will see a finished necklace next week.  

There are a couple of reasons I'm sharing how I made this necklace with you.  I think it is important to know how many steps and decisions go into a handmade necklace.  I'm always interested in how something comes to be.  Machines can make pieces fast but handmade pieces, one of a kind pieces, take thought, skill and patience.  I like to share that process.

I also make a hard copy book of my blog posts at the end of the year that acts as my journal and helps me see what I've learned.  

See you next week!