Friday, December 30, 2016

New! Tube Beads and Ribbon

For January, the Westerly Arts Gallery has the theme: "Evolving - Expression and Experimentation." I'm going to be showing my polymer enhanced wine glasses, since those haven't been shown "in public" yet, and are definitely a different expression of polymer art for me.  However, I also wanted to do something experimental with jewelry pieces.  I really like tube beads, but have only made little oriental-influenced pendants with them.  I wanted to go hollow, wider, and open, mixing in some other media at the same time.
I played around a bit.  It didn't take too long to come up with a good clay depth for short, hollow tube beads.  Once I had assembled and baked a few, I liked what I had.  Now, to put them together....The search for appropriate materials took the longest time.  I love ribbon, and was pleased to find some lovely hand-dyed silk ribbon in some great colors. I also looked for something with a little sparkle, and found a tiny yarn skein with sequins. I wish it came in more colors.  I've made 2 of these necklaces and they will be on display in the window at the gallery for the month of January. You get to enjoy them here!

The necklace to the above left has tube beads made from a polymer cane I made in purples and blues.  I made these beads of different widths so the places where the ribbons show through are of different sizes and add an irregular feel to the piece.

In the close-up on the right, you can see the pattern on the tube beads, as well as some of the ribbon color and the sequins that have been sewn into the yarn at the core.  I made my own end caps and one is shown here attached to a magnetic clasp.

This next necklace on the left has tube beads made from a mokume gane and metal leaf sheet I made. Each tube bead is different, but they all contain the same basic colors and they are all he same size.  This creates a more uniform appearance since the openings between the beads just tend to be more evenly spaced. I used commercial end caps for the ribbons in this necklace, with an "S" hook closured.
The close-up below shows the colors and designs on the tube beads as well as the colors in the ribbon.  They all look so well together.   The tube beads on both necklaces were finished with some Preserve Your Memories 2 spray.  It added a soft sheen what works well with the fibers.

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