Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday: Thinking of Summer Bracelet

Handmade ceramic beads by Mary Harding  Two hole Bead Bracelets

I have been thinking about Summer as a way of coping with this long, cold, snowy, icy winter.  Recently I made a number of two hole beads.  I was inspired by the many new shapes and colors of the Twin beads for seed beaders.  These twin beads have two holes and lend themselves to  many interesting design possibilities.  I got to thinking that it would be fun to make some larger size two hole beads in ceramic clay.  By chance when I first strung up a few for my Etsy shop, I used an old roll of hemp still around from my early beading Macrame days.  I thought they looked lovely, and especially summery and sigh, youthful.  The two holes show off the hemp nicely and give the bracelet an airy look.
So for today's tutorial, I have come up with a simple bracelet to string these two hole beads that I made.  Best part it puts me in mind of Summer and Beach time.  Another fun thing, these beads have designs on both sides so bead flipping is not an issue.  Also, hemp loves water and just gets more beautiful.

Two Hole Ceramic Bead  Thinking of Summer Bracelet Tutorial 

6 ceramic 2 hole Artist beads  I have used some of my handmade ceramic 2 hole beads
1 button  I have used one of my handmade  copper buttons  (20 gauge copper)
Cording  I have used hemp  but other kinds of cording would work as well.  My hemp must be about 2 mm thick,  
4 feet of cording in one piece 2 mm thick
18 inches of the same cording in a separate piece
Jeweler's glue or Clear nail polish 

An awl would be helpful in positioning your knots


1.  Cut a 4 Foot piece of hemp  ( this is a generous measure) and fold it in half and string on the first bead.  Pull out a loop about the size of the button you plan to use for the clasp

cording folded in half and first bead strung

2.Attach the 18 inch piece of cording to the beading cord with an overhand knot-- most of it on your right with a short 2-3 inch tail on your left. We will be using this long piece of cord to reinforce the loop to form the clasp.
cording with separate piece of cord attached with an overhand knot

3.Check to make sure your button fits in the loop--adjust if necessary

Button fit check

4.  Begin making a series of larks head button hole knots with the long end of the core, around the edge of your loop as shown in the pictures
Making the larks head knots around the button loop  (I used red leather and cord to make it clearer)

Finished loop for clasp

5.  Make a couple of last button hole larks knots around the neck of the loop and tie a square knot to secure.  Use some jeweler's cement or clear nail polish to secure the knot.  Let it dry as you make the rest of your bracelet.

Neck of the loop  add glue to last knot on top right( this is what the other side of this bead looks like)

the bottom cord is secure in the overhand knot but add a bit of glue there as well.

6. Tie an overhand knot about 1/4 to 3/8 inch from the first bead.  Tighten it by pulling on each strand of the hemp one at a time. Use an awl to help position the knot. 

knotting on the beads

7.  Continue to add beads by knotting between them. You will get a light airier look the further apart they are. The beads will also move more if you tie them farther apart.  See example below.You can make them the about the same distance apart or vary the distance.

beads knotted for an airy look

                                               Beads knotted about 1/4 inch apart

8.  When you have knotted on the 6 beads and the length is about right including the button clasp.
string on the button.  Adjust the button so that it lies flat past the last knot.   Then tie an overhand knot to secure it.
Stringing on the button
Making sure the button lies flat and tying the final knot.

9.  Cut off the cord on the button to about 1/4 inch. 
     Check to see if the glue on your loop knots is dry.  If so, cut the cords.

11.  Put on your bracelet and think summer and beach and hope that warmer weather comes soon!

                                             Atlantic Ocean  Coast of Maine  August 2013

Thanks so much for stopping by

Posted by Mary Harding


Unknown said...

Thank you Mary for the lovely tutorial - it is one that I will try for sure

sandi m said...

These are beautiful Mary. Your awesome beads with the hemp make a perfect marriage.

baymoondesign said...

Thanks for the wonderful tutorial. Your photos are really good. Do you have any photography secrets to share?!

Mary Harding said...

Thank you all for the wonderful supportive comments. I really appreciate them. I will get together some ideas on photography for you Kathy.