I changed the process for 2012 to include three additional designers, the same set of beads, and made it a mini-hop. Each Cup of Bead Soup, you'll have the chance to sign up to participate and be chosen randomly. The Cup of Bead Soup has a fee associated with it that goes directly to the bead maker. Support Handmade!
(feel free to grab this button and link it to your store!)
To refresh your memory, this is the handmade lampwork bead Lea Avroch sent us....
Now let me tell you -- this is a LARGE bead -- 1.25" (31mm) in diameter. I know from my own paltry experience at lampworking that this sort of bead takes a lot of time to finesse. It's also made with a reactive glass which is a LOT more expensive than normal glass rods.
With beads of this size, I'm careful when designing a bracelet. If the rest of the bracelet isn't similarly weighted, the bead will constantly roll to the bottom of your wrist where you can't see it. This is exactly the sort of bead I would have used back when I regularly made this style of chain maille bracelet:
However, sterling silver jump rings of this size and weight have made me shelve this design for a while, which is really too bad, as it was really popular.
So let's try a pendant, something I don't often make.
I pulled out 12-gauge sterling silver, and lady's and gentlemints, that is SOME sort of hard wire to bend and wrap, even at dead soft! Cripes. But I persevered, shot a piece of silver across the room when I cut it (reminder -- safety glasses for everyone within range), and made a wrapped loop, strung on the bead, and make a large loop beneath the bead.
Next came the fun -- embellishing that silver loop. I decided on teeny tiny gemstones (and by tiny, I mean 2-5 mm). Citrine, phrenite, mystic topaz, and garnets, to be exact. I went for faceted rondelles, smooth rondelles, and smooth rounds for even more texture.
I usually use 28-gauge sterling silver when I make intricate wrapped projects like this, but I didn't have any. I had just bought a roll of 26-gauge nickel silver from Fire Mountain Gems on a whim, and decided why not, let's try it. I'm happy to say it worked out well, although it was a bit stiffer than sterling. If you want to oxidize nickel silver, I've found my Liver of Sulfur doesn't work well but JAX Brown, which is usually for copper and what not, rocks.
And here's about two hours of work:
As you can see, I went to town wrapping a base and a cap out of the thin wire, and continued the texture by wrapping the wire around the bail.
Some tips if you want to make this sort of pendant:
* Wrap the strung gemstones once around the wire base, and then come BACK in the other direction to fill in the holes.
* You're going to have to work that thin wire between beads like dental floss between teeth sometimes.
* It's going to look like a hot mess while you're working on it, but about halfway through, you'll start to see it all come together.
And now see what the other designers made!
Marlene of Amazing Designs by Marlene
Shaiha of Shaiha's Ramblings
and please visit Lea Avroch at the following sites:
I'm going to take a hiatus from Cup of Bead Soup until the Bead Soup Blog Party is done so stay tuned for September when we'll have FIVE slots (INTERNATIONAL INCLUDED)
with a lampwork bead set by Juls Cannon.
Thanks for visiting!