With the new Bead category for the Art Bead Scene Monthly challenge, I dared to look at this month’s inspiration painting…
I may not have any beading supplies available, but I can still make some polymer clay beads!
I made a sheet of clay with blocks of colours from rust to cream and of course that magenta. I scratched in branching lines like the tree which I highlighted with white acrylic paint once I had folded cut out circles to form the beads. I also painted the edge of the beads with ultramarine acrylic paint to bring in some of the colour surprises of the painting.
I may have harmonised the colours too much. They don’t seem to pop as much as the painting. Maybe it’s because the bright yellow of the foreground is missing?
When I was finished making these beads there was enough clay for only two more smaller beads. Of course as soon as I have a pair of beads, I feel COMPELLED to make earrings.
They are pretty simple, but I only had my wire and those gold beads unpacked from making my Art Charms.
It feels really good to take part in the challenge again :).
I’m happy to announce that some of my handmade polymer clay beads are now for sale at Big Bead Little Bead online bead shop. This is a UK based site which in addition to a wide selection of beads and findings, also features vintage and artist made beads. Here are some of my favourites from the Artist Made section.
So, go forth and buy beads!
This is my wishlist of beads for the Art Bead Scene July challenge.
I set myself a challenge to use beads my mom had given me and post my results on 3 March. I wanted to achieve two things: firstly to make something with a definite focal, and secondly to have an interesting clasp. This is what I started out with:
I made a pair of simple earrings by way of a warm up and as part of my 52 earrings challenge.
Next I decided to focus on the focal. I stacked the two lampwork beads together, and gave them a belt of silver glass beads around the middle. I had a vague idea of making it into a sort of tassel pendant, but it lacked punch. So I framed this with the two large oval beads with the idea of making it into a bracelet. I used wire to make a rigid curved oval and had a chain running from each corner. Now while I loved the focal this proved hopeless as a bracelet – the weight of the glass beads meant it instantly slipped to the underside of the wrist when worn.
So off with the chain, and because I am moving house* I discovered an old (broken) hair clip while unpacking. The broken hair clip was a kind of filigree nest to go over a bun with a stick to hold it in place. Some of the filigree had broken off from the nest but the stick was still fine and matched beautifully – magically my failed bracelet focal was the perfect hair clip.
After this success I knew I wanted to make a pair of matching earrings. While making the hair clip I hadn’t had a clear picture of what I wanted to do and it had almost seemed to make itself, the opposite was true for the earrings. I knew exactly what I wanted (i.e. Art Deco Chinoiserie Lace) and it took many iterations of making, undoing and remaking to get something like what I had in mind. (There were many variations that looked like dreadlocks or spider’s legs!) I ended up making polymer clay beads to match the black oval ones in the hair clip and actually only ended up using the red beads from the original bead salad.
My next challenge was to make a pretty clasp. It would have been easier to make a toggle using polymer clay, but I was determined to use some of the salad beads. Again I struggled with this for a while until the coloured wire I had ordered arrived. Suddenly by using pink wire the green bead and wire toggle was pretty, the lampwork beads with pink flowers suddenly matched and their black cores made a link to the lava beads.
And my baby daughter thinks the toggle is delicious!
*Moving house is also why these pictures are poor – I haven’t got my usual photography setup available (it’s 300 miles away).