Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Adjustable Tube-bead Lariats

I really like the concept of lariats, though I haven't made that many.  A few weeks ago, I taught a workshop on making hollow tube beads.  Of course, making beads often involves deciding how to showcase them.  Usually, you have to plan on how the bead will be used and displayed. Sometimes, I have a plan all set out before I begin, while other times I have not thought about it as much as I might have.  At the end of my demo on hollow tubes, I had a couple of sweet tubes without ends. Then came Clay Connection 2016, the every-other-year polymer conference, hosted by the Southern Connecticut Polymer Clay Guild (SCPCG).  I always look forward to this conference, and this year was no exception.  I had the tube beads with me, made a couple more, then decided how I was going to use them.  Adjustable lariats!

Here are samples of 2 adjustable lariats.  I have a few more tube beads made up, but they're not in lariat form yet.  This particular design leaves the cording just loose enough so the length and the size for around the head and neck can be adjusted. I like making little pod beads at the ends, too.  They provide a form to hold while adjusting the cord length, and they're just plain fun.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Upping the Sparkle on Leis

I really like making these "lei" necklaces, and I'm enjoying playing with different shapes and decorative features.  Today I have a new teal and aqua lei made with small rectangular shapes.  I used an iridescent micro-glitter mixed with translucent for the center of the rectangles, and solid color clay for the "frame."  To bake, I bent the shapes across a small wooden dowel.  They came off easily after baking, and there was no shine nor other marks left by the dowel.

The black and white lei features ruffled circles.  I used a black glitter embossing powder in translucent for the center of the canes.  It really added sparkle and these beads look especially pretty in the sun.