Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Beads, beads, beads

During Beverly Gilbert's 'Wander with Colour' class, I almost finished one necklace in freeform netting, but I also wanted to learn how to do freeform peyote, so I began a freeform peyote necklace too. The first necklace wanders from turquoise through teal and green to chocolate brown, but I chose autumnal colours to wander through for this one.

I have been beading for days, and have finally finished it (I think! My beading needle broke and I took that as a sign!). I reckon it's been about 25 hours of beading, and I will not be giving it away or selling it - this is a heirloom piece as far as I am concerned! You can see more detail in this picture.

I would never have picked up a beading needle if I hadn't seen Beverly's wonderful work, and been inspired to take her classes, so - THANKS Beverly (I think!).

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Cory Celaya

I took a fabulous class with Cory Celaya in Arizona today.

We began by making collage papers:

Next, we painted a canvas:

Then we collaged our handmade and other papers onto our painted canvas, and painted over the collaged papers. We stamped and doodled a bit. This is how mine turned out:

I really like it. I'm not sure yet whether it will become a handbag, a wall hanging, a book cover, or something else entirely!

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Wandering with Colour

Wander with colour is a two to three day beading class with Beverly Gilbert. The first half day explores colour theory, and includes collage exercises which reinforce the colour theory, but which also give participants a couple of colour schemes for future use with beads, or even interior design! Beverly then explains how she creates her wonderful bead soups, and evrybody begins to think about the colour scheme for their pieces, and blend beads to make new bead soups which work as transitions between the bead soups in the colours chosen for the piece. That's probably as clear as mud, hopefully the photo below makes it clearer. I worked with the 5 main colours in the photo, but made blends so that the transitions between colours were not abrupt.

Next, I began beading, making a freeform netting, moving through the colours as I went.

After about 4 rows, I began to incorporate bigger beads.

I then began to strengthen, stiffen, and cross over, to bring the piece togeehr and also bulk out some areas.

This is the piece at the end of the two days. It is almost finished, but needs a little work here and there, and will need a clasp. I will finish this when I get home to Wales at the end of the month.

Beverly really is a wonderful teacher. This is the first wholly beaded piece I have ever made, and I love it already!

More beads on metal

I am halfway through making a pendant and earrings to match the bracelet I made. I probably won't be able to finish these for a few weeks, but will try to remember to post a picture of the whole set when they are done.

Beverly Gilbert is such a good teacher, and a wonderful hostess. I have had a great few days learning more about beading and metalwork. I highly recommend taking a class with her if you are able to!!!

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Beads on Metal bracelet

I took a class with Beverly Gilbert yesterday. If you ever get the chance to do this - grab it with both hands! Beverly is a fantastic teacher, has a wonderful eye for colour, and makes gorgeous samples. We were very lucky to take the class at Beverly's home, and were also provided with a wonderful lunch, plus teas, coffees, seriously good chocolate, salted almonds and olives a part of the day.

I decided to make a bracelet. This meant cutting ten pieces of copper, filing the edges of each, hammering the edges of each, and hammering five of them to give surface texture. Below you can see one of Beverly's finished bracelets, with the beginnings of my bracelet.

The next step was to create 'anchors' for the beadwork, by punching holes in the smaller 'front' metal pieces, and threading wire through the holes. I stamped words onto the back pieces, using metal punches.

Finally, I created some rivets from copper wire, and joined the pieces together, then 'antiqued' them by bathing them in liver of sulphur. Once the metal was dry, I beaded on top, you can see several stages below.

Once all the beading was done, I joined the links together with hand made jump rings, and made a clasp and link.

A closer view on my wrist:

And then I turned the bracelet over. Spot the deliberate mistake!!!

I will be taking the links apart and turning some around sometime soon!

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Friendly plastic play

Carol and I have been playing with Friendly Plastic today. One thing we did was make some decorated Friendly Plastic strips.

Take a pale coloured strip of FP - white, mother of pearl, pale gold. Drip alcohol inks onto it - the brights work well. Move the inks around with some kind of tool - I used the end of a fine straw. I dripped more ink on and blew some of it around.

The colours I used were POOL, CLOVER, and PURPLE TWILIGHT. The finished strip looks pretty just covered in the inks.

If you want to go a step further, take a Sakura Souffle pen, and doodle all over the inked strip.
You can now use the decorated strip in your projects.

We also made some beads out of scrap FP - some of the pieces we had managed to turn into grey mush during earlier failed experiments! Drop the bits into the warm water (60-70 degrees C or 140-160 degrees F) for a few moments until they soften. Lift out, and roll together between the palms of your hands. Voila, a very quick and easy bead.

Drop the bead into the cold water bath, and after 30 seconds or so, pierce it with a needle tool to make the hole through the middle (you can also drill the beads once they are fully cold if you prefer).

Give the bead a quick blast of a heat gun, just until the surface turns shiny, then roll it in a box of foil flakes.

Lift the bead out of the flakes, leave for a while, then gently rub the loose flakes off. Enjoy using your glitzy metallic bead. You could seal it if you like.

You can use the same decorative technique, but rolling the bead in PearlEx instead of foil flakes - gives a completely different but equally yummy effect!



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