Thursday, September 5, 2013

Using Beads for "Chains"

As you may have noticed on my workshop page, and in some of the earlier postings, I started my childhood creative explorations in the world of bead-weaving.  I love the look and feel of those tiny seed beads, and the magical way a piece literally grows in my hands.  It's a very different process from working with polymer, and I really enjoy doing both.  As I was making up some pendants from the translucent chrissy canes I'd made, I started thinking about what I would use for chains...I was struck with the idea of staying away from metals, and making the chains for the pendants out of seed beads.  Why not?

One of the things that's wonderful about both polymer and beads is color.  Color just sings to me, and is one of the main reasons I migrated a bit from PMC (precious metal clay silver) to polymer. The translucent clay I've been working with has a muted, luminescent quality which is lovely and soft.  I wondered what the addition of seed beads would do.

One of issues I face when putting my things in galleries and shops is keeping the price affordable for the clientele.  Purchased sterling silver and gold filled chains are a simple solution, please the customers, and take no time on my part, so pricing is simpler.  Seed beading takes a lot of time, and it's more difficult to determine charges. So I wanted a beaded chain that complimented the pendants and was not too time intensive.

The photos in this post show the results.  I'm quite pleased with the way these necklaces turned out.  I decided to use the triangular "zig-zag" stitch for the chain for a few reasons.  I like the look, it's a fairly strong stitch since you go back through most of the beads, and it works up relatively quickly.   I think the beads help bring out the colors in the translucent pendants, and add a bit of sparkle and contrast.  I may have to try some richer fall colors and see what happens......

 This last one is just strung with matte glass pearls.    Another pretty option.

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