* I like tight clusters, ones that don't move, so I tend to wiggle the top rondelle down a little and hold it in place with my pliers as I make a closed loop. As I wrap the loop closed, those wraps hold the cluster in place.
* If I'm making cluster earrings, I do each step for both sides before moving on to the next to make sure they are even.
* I like 4mm rondelles the best. 3mm is a little small, so you might need more trios to make this look nice and full (and not droopy). 5mm rondelles may need only 4 trios instead of 5 - it depends, so have extra supplies on hand as you work.
* I like mixing in other shapes, too, like tiny brios, wheels, rounds, and buttons - it gives the cluster a nifty and different look.
* I like 26ga headpins for rondelles because some just wouldn't take 24ga. Rather than have a ton of each size headpin on hand (since I made my own), or manually drilling out each hole (not fun), I went with the smaller size. Because I wrap them tight, they remain secure, and no stress occurs on the loops from constant movement. If the rondelles you're working with will fit 24ga, and you'd prefer that size, go for it.
* Similarly, if you prefer using a thicker gauge for the headpin, like 22ga to 18ga, those work just fine, too. The only change you might have to do is make the third loop a little wider to accommodate the bigger gauge (this depends on how small you make your loops in the first place).
Ah....so THAT is how you did that! I have some of your jewelry with the clusters and I love them. I think I will wear my necklace tomorrow! Or the earrings! Thanks for the advice about the trios. No wonder my clusters come out wonky! Enjoy the day. Erin
My pictures aren't showing! Not on the 4th day either....will check back later as I always loved your clusters Brandi!
Thanks so much, Brandi. I always wondered how to get the full, lush look in bead clusters. You have clearly solved this for many of us. Great tutorial.
I've always admired your clusters. They are so lush.
Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to try this :)
Thanks for sharing!Good instructions!
Love this tute. Just one question. How do you go about attaching if you opt for the briolette?
Thank you so much for sharing. Think I am going to try this out tonight.
The brio will take the place of the headpin. So, wrap the brio like normal, with the wire down around the hole, and leave the top brio wire (the one you'd loop to attach it to another component) open. Stack the trios onto that top wire, slide the extra rondelle on top, then loop the wire closed.
Basically, you're sandwiching the trios between the brio and the loop. Does that help?
I too loved these clusters, Brandi! What gorgeous results and such a clear and concise tutorial. Makes me miss the days when you posted shots of your jewelry!
Great tutorial Brandi, always wondered how that was done.
Yes it helps! Thank you so much!
Thanks for sharing! I love the way that looks, will have to give it a try.
I love this!!! jean
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