Saturday, October 16, 2010

Beadwork: Floral Necklace 2

Floral necklace, beads, nymo, polymer clay

Floral Necklace 2

Oddly yellow beads are the foundation for this palette departure. I have had these beads for many years. They look like "greasy yellow" seed beads, as they have a strange translucency. This effect is called, "Vaseline" glass, which is a darn good description. True Vaseline glass, however, fluoresces under black light and these do not. The yellow seed beads are large and irregular. They are woven into a necklace using a technique called free-form peyote.

The accent beads are my favorite - alabaster. They have a subtle, pearl-like inner glow, with a touch of pink and amber. Mmmm. These are the last of the one tube I found at the gem and mineral show. The tiniest beads are silver lined pale yellow.

This light brings out the amber in the alabaster beads. The next photo shows how they respond to blue by reflecting that color.
I am a big fan of color-shifting glass.

The little purple blossoms and petal coins are made of Premo and Studio clays - both by Sculpey. The studio clay has a matte finish and texture. It feels soft and velvety.

The floral "coins" are slices of a cane, with a single hole made for stringing in this way. I use a large eraser to neatly flatten them without leaving fingerprints. The cupped blossoms are flat, then rolled into a hollow shape with a ball stylus.
The triangular style blossom is formed on a cake decorating tip.
Each floral element is then painted with a thin layer of transparent, iridescent paint.

Branch-like fringe gives this collar-length necklace a nice feel and movement.
The contrast of the yellow and the violet make for an unusual palette.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beadwork: Bella

Bella, miniature collage cabochon, polymer clay, Nymo, glass beads

Bella is a collar-length portrait necklace. I begin with a clear acrylic cabochon, which is transformed into a miniature collage by applying images to the back of the cab. I work backwards, because the first images glued on will be seen as the top layer. This one uses a rose motif as a frame for the portrait, (a tiny reproduction of an antique photo). After the portrait is applied, the background is accented with a couple of pieces of iridescent "snow" flakes and finished with variegated gold leaf. The cabochon magnifies the collage. The layering is noticeable, the depth is a pleasure to gaze.
The collage is adhered to a stiff felt backing. Glass beads and polymer clay pods are embroidered around the cabochon. The back is finished with a final layer of felt, stitched in place.

I use fine beading needles: John James, size 13. I will use other needles, but only in a pinch. They are strong, thin and bend, rather than break. Mine begin straight and end up completely curved. As long as a needle stays sharp, I will use it until it breaks. John James.
A palette for fall-rich purples of the tiny iris beads, deep red of the garnet chips, cranberry, mink, orange and touches of blue-gives abundant versatility for autumn moods.

Bella is is a unique flavor of ornate and simple. The scale of the focal piece is compact, but heavily beaded and embellished. The sparse fringing at the center of the piece reflects the structure of the necklace. The pods and berries on the necklace are minimal, but add volume visually.