Monday, July 20, 2009

Beads plus fiber?

Beads have been one of my art supply obsessions for quite some time. In recent years, the fabric acquisition mania has taken precedence, but the beads refuse to be ignored for long.

This choker is a super-simple random arrangement on memory wire, so it doesn’t even require a clasp. Last week I took beads, necklace and bracelet memory wire, plus tools over to my sister’s vacation place so the nieces, aunts, and Grandma could all make something sparkling.

The next two necklaces use a method of stitching with a strong nylon beading thread over a beading wire, known as the spiral stitch.
Basically you string 4 large seed beads (#8 or #6), add a sequence of beads that together are slightly longer, then go back through the first 4 large seed beads from underneath so it makes sort of a D-shape. Add one more large seed bead, string the same sequence of the other beads, then insert the needle from underneath through the previous 4 large seed beads (skipping the very bottommost large seed bead.) The beads naturally fall into the spiral, though you have to watch to make sure they’re nesting together properly. I like to use stone chips or irregular coral beads in these. Fortunately, I just found an online tutorial that shows the basic technique.

Here’s an interesting book that adds fiber to the mix, Bella Beaded Jewelry: Artful Italian Designs with Wire, Thread, Cord & Ribbon, by Donatella Ciotti. She uses various cords and threads, thin wire, and/or metallic tubular mesh ribbon plus beads (of course!) in a variety of ways to fashion necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings.
Below is a spread about making a crocheted base that beads are then added to. At 96 pages with plenty of full-color photographs, it’s definitely an inspirational book worth having if you enjoy creating your own one-of-a-kind jewelry. In addition, many of these methods are suitable for embellishments on fiber art of all kinds. Like many of you, I have quite a variety of yarns, ribbons, cords, etc. that could be gorgeous in combination with the stash of beads on hand.

Happy creating!


Dolores said...

Great looking jewellery you made. Thanks for the tip about the book. I wouldn't mind getting it for my daughter.

Beena said...

The jewelry you made looks great. I especially like the ones in the second pic. Thanks for the info about the book!

Barbara Strobel Lardon said...

Love the blue and silver piece. What a great book. Thanks for sharing.