A chronicle of the meanderings, false starts (which in retrospect, while sort of embarrassing turned out to be highly instructive), epiphanies, selective apathy (still evolving), wild mood swings, opinions (subject to frequent change), and life lessons of an inveterate dabbler (and her latest dabblings).

Friday, January 21, 2011

All Excited About My New Thing

I never know what to do with disc beads, especially the ones that are cooler on the flat side than on the edge. Just sort of hanging them hasn't appealed to me, and often the holes don't afford much room for the heavier gauge wire which I prefer. I was recently asked to do a tutorial (haven't done it yet, I'll let you know when and where once it's up) using some glass disc beads, and had to puzzle over that for a long time before I thought of a way I could make the most of them. I went over and over the "engineering" in my head for a while, and decided it might work. I thought I would do a prototype with base metal, and some disc beads that have been sitting on my work bench FOREVER (see, keeping them where you can see them is important--if you keep looking at them every day, you'll eventually get an idea) first, just to make sure I could make it work. It worked! Here's my prototype below:


I'm a little underwhelmed with the photo, it makes more of an impression in person. I'll need to retake the photos with a different background--I was in a hurry this morning and didn't have time to paw through my backgrounds like I usually do. I also forgot to take a picture of the backside, which I wanted to show you. It looks like the backside of everything I've ever tried to embroider. Let's say the backside is very "abstract" and "organic" looking. I can't decide whether to put another little doodad inside that sort of empty space in the middle, I can't find anything that doesn't make it look too busy. Maybe just a spray of ball headpins in there. I might change out the chain as well for something with bigger links that would be adjustable. I don't have anything like that so I'll have to make it.


The swirling discs are raku lampwork discs from Blue Seraphim on Etsy--I love the navy blue with the latte color. There's a little purple, lighter blue and green in there too. There are large wood discs underneath them from Beads and Pieces. They are attached to the base (an abstract shape in brass wire) by hand-forged 20 gauge yellow brass ball headpins that have been antiqued in ammonia fumes and then hand polished. The focal section is attached to the rest of the necklace by 8mm Czech glass rounds in Montana Blue, with my brass beadcaps, also antiqued in ammonia fumes and then polished with steel wool and my Dremel. Four strands of brown Greek leather on each side are attached via handmade brass coil ends, and these attach to short lengths of chain.




I have some other disc beads I'm dying to do this with now--some gorgeous turquoise discs I've had forever but not used because just stringing them seemed such a waste (the flat side is gorgeous), and I couldn't figure out how to use them flat because the holes are so small. I think I'll make another piece like this with them. I have some other slightly different turquoise discs that would mix well with them. I've also gone on a ceramic button-buying spree, with the same idea. I think maybe I'll just make a whole collection of this kind of stuff. It'll be My Thing.

12 comments:

  1. I think it looks fantastic! What a great idea. And I agree with you about disk beads - I keep buying them because I like the colors on the flat side, but then I try to string them and end up looking at the edges. Which are cool, too, but not AS cool. I love what you did here!

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  2. this is super cool! But you must show me the back side, because I can't quite figure out how its all connected. I know what you mean about the disc beads--what a great way to use them.
    Erin S

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  3. This is fabulous! Loving Your New Thing!
    Show us more, please.

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  4. Fantastic! I love this idea. I wanna see the back side. So yeah, show us more!!!!

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  5. A perfect use of the lovely disc beads and I love your new "thing". Keep going!

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  6. I love the look of this! The beads are fantastic! ~Val

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  7. Oh man! Gorgeous!!! This is super cool ... love the design ... and flat beads are a personal favorite. Perfect!

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  8. Yup super cool and fun!! Look forward to the tutorial. And I'm loving that website Beads and Pieces, think it's new to me! Good stuff!

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