Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nervous Adventures in
Copper & Lampwork Beads
April 16, 2010

Greetings friends!!

Welcome to my nervous adventures in Copper and Lampwork Beads! I have already admitted my newly acquired addiction to beads... no, not just any beads but HAND-CRAFTED, Made in the USA, Lampwork beads. And not just any - I get mine from some very talented deale... ahhh artisans!

One of these is Canyon Echos - I purchased a couple of sets from her, the first being Desert Dreams. I'm sooo nervous about using these beads! They are so pretty - and professional and... oi! OK so, I saw this set and even though it has silver in it, I thought COPPER! For some reason I kept seeing wood when I look at these organic matte beads. That led me to thinking about bark... branches... you know - wood.

I pulled out my design book back in Feb and kept doodling a bail that is based on a tutorial by Deb Fitz of Paradise Cove. Except my bail kept turning into a piece of wood. Like a cut down branch w/ a thin branch still attached and swirling around to encompass the focal bead.

I have also fallen in love with Viking Knit Chain - and I learned to do this (thanks to one of my other deal... ahh enabler... ahhh artisans Nikki at Bastille Bleu). I kept seeing my chunky bail sliding on the viking knit chain.

That meant I needed end caps to finish off the chain and lead to the rest of my pretty Desert Dreams beads. Finish that off with a copper closure and POOF you have my first 'real' piece of creativity.

I used Art Clay Copper to create the branch, endcaps, and closure pieces. I crafted them and added the texture by hand before they dried. I feel more comfortable right now creating the texture of the bark when the pieces are wet rather than carving when they are dry. I fired the pieces w/ a butane torch, pickled and then tumbled them.

One of my evenings watching Project Runway I wove the Viking Knit chain. I love this chain. I love the fact that you start w/ a dowel and wire and end up with this smooth, silky feeling chain! And depending on how 'thick' you like it you can practically make it fit whatever need you have.

My hope is that the artisan of the Desert Dream bead set approves of the design and craftsmanship of the piece. Did I mention I was nervous? :o)