Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Monthly Recap

Such an ethereal and beautiful painting for this month. The swirls of the roses, the long and lovely ladies with their porcelain skin, the entwined threads studded with jewels... a truly magical and romantic inspiration. I think interpretations of this inspiration painting were so lovely. Let's see what inspired you!

Your turn!
Click the InLinz Link-up below to add your blog post to the hop!
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September 2014 Art Bead Scene Monthly Challenge Recap.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday Musings - Autumnal Beads - with Rebecca of Songbead

Happy Monday everyone! It's that time again, can you believe it - the start of a brand new week. I hope it will be a good one for you! 

It's our last week of Autumnal beads, and I must say that I have loved sharing this month's theme with you - Autumn colours are really wonderful, I am sure you'll all agree. 

First up this week, a clasp from Bead Swede Supplies. (I hope you don't mind another one, Kristen says. We certainly don't mind more of your gorgeous work, that's for sure!)

My co-editor Claire put some new Autumnal bead sets in her shop - Something to do beads - just a couple of days ago, and already most of them have been snapped up! There's just one of these gorgeous sets left - do head over and snaffle them up quick sharp to make sure you don't miss out. I love the exposed clay here, and the subtle touch of celadon green (one of my own favourite colours). 

Editor-in-chief Heather of Humblebeads is a big fan of Autumn, or Fall! Look at these beautiful beads she's created, inspired by the season. One of my favourite shapes from Heather - her matchstick earring pairs. 

No art beads here, but wouldn't my new Czech glass, artisan copper and Irish waxed linen Curious Inspiration Kit be the perfect accompaniment to your favourite Autumnal art beads? 

A very special bead from Mary Harding, another member of the Art Bead Scene team. Mary has been creating a series of these unique metal beads, and has even had them featured in Jewelry Stringing magazine! You can read about these beads and see more of them over on Mary's own blog here

And now over to the BeadBlogger Links. Have a great week! 

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, based in her country's capital, Edinburgh. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Inside the Studio with Claire Lockwood

Welcome to Inside the Studio!

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you'll leave comments! As an incentive we offer a free prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard. The following week we choose a random winner.

Congratulations Nan Smith! 
You have won a pair of lampwork beads made by Ema of Ema K Designs.
Please email Ema with your contact information.


But where did all the time go...? It seems no time at all since I last did an ITS post. Are you feeling the autumn yet? I've been in autumn mode for some time. Several weeks ago you could really feel it in the air over here, but then the tail-end of the summer rallied a bit in my part of the UK, so it's felt a little as if autumn got postponed. Nonetheless, I have been busy with autumnal designs, both beads and jewellery. I've been working on these autumnal bead sets for a little while. Today I finally got all the elements of them together and strung them up.

There are only the five but I'm quite pleased with them.  Those bell shaped things are actually kinda stylised seed pod things.

These are my first stoneware pieces.  That marvellous being that they call Petra Carpreau gifted me some of these beautiful stoneware glazes. It took me a second attempt to get them to work. They don't show up very clearly in the group shot above. You can see them better here.

Gooey, bubbly, jammy goodness.  I'm thinking I might do a mini autumn-y shop update in the next few days, just so these pieces can go out whilst people are making their autumn designs. Saying that, they don't have to go in autumnal designs... I have few more similar bits and bobs ready, which would to go with them nicely.

The tenmoku glaze on those earring pieces is so fabulous - really glittery (good glittery!)!  I also love the soft celadon green on the discs at the top. It's a glaze that my pottery instructor has and it's not a colour I'd generally be drawn to but now I've ended up ordering a similar one for myself.  

I have a heap more beads in the works. (Apologies for the blurry bits!)

Once they're finished they'll be joining these in one big update in early-ish October.

I was aiming for a bit of a faux-ostrich-egg-shell-bead effect with the crazed ones.  I guess I might call the others humbugs... primitive humbugs, mebbe... 

In other bead making news, look: 

I know, it's a shed.  But it's a shed that will be housing my kiln! Work to get it kiln-ready starts next week. I'm just a little bit excited, although I won't believe it's happening until I see the thing sat in there. 

I usually have a selection of new art beads to share with you, but beady post-days have been a bit few and far between lately, with one thing and another. 

Very modest compared to the glut in my last post.  These are from Grubbi.  I decided to have a bit of time away from the clay and made up a couple of bits using some of them. Here's a simple, subtly coloured bracelet also incorporating a Jubilee cube and a button clasp from Amanda Davie.

And some earrings that kinda match...

And, of course there's those autumnal designs I mentioned.  I keep making these leafy jobs with Jo Lucksted's woodland critters because they keep selling - and I rather like them. (Watch this one sit in my shop for forever now...)

Super simple but neat and sweet.  I decided to use one of my personal stash of my new beads in this next piece. The clasp was from Joanne Tinley. As you may know, she isn't making components anymore so I feel a bit of a wrench using the ones I have left.

Finally, here's a meeting of two of my recent preoccupations: autumn and asymmetrical earrings, with a beautiful C-Koop enamel leaf.

I haven't listed any of these yet - hopefully I'll be getting them in the shop in the next day or so.  And, just in case you're interested, I already have a number of autumnal jewellery pieces available on Etsy.

Which brings us to the giveaway. The prize this week is $20 of credit to spend in either my bead shop or my jewellery shop.  The question I need answering is: what word(s) would you use to describe the shape of these beads? I'm looking for a name for them, basically. I don't think I can get away with calling them 'autumnal whatnots' for much longer....

Bye for now, Claire

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Perfect Pairings: Tres Jolie Designs by Sue

Hello there, it's Rebecca here today, stepping in for Erin who is off doing very exciting things this week and unable to post today.

When I popped over to the Flickr group, Sue's stunning necklace immediately leapt out at me. This necklace really connects with this month's artwork for me - not just the beautiful colours that Sue has chosen to work with - both in her incredible polymer work as well as in her necklace design. I love that she has picked up on the linear aspect of Margaret MacDonald's gesso panel with her beaded wire twists. Great and inspiring work Sue - thank you. 

Featured Designer + Bead Artist :: Tres Jolie Designs by Sue

Just one more week left...
Let's see what YOU can create inspired by this beautiful piece of artwork!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Tutorial Tuesday:Swinging Spinning Disk Earrings

Swinging Spinning Earrings in Pink -a rustic fancy look

Swinging Spinning Earrings in Blue-- a rustic urban look

My tutorial for today features a way of making earrings that will spin and swing.  They are both made in the same way.  For the second pair, I just pulled out the wires to create a different shape. We will begin with making the spinning bead and then work on creating the longs wires that give the earrings a lot of swing.

Tools you will need
Round Nose pliers
Chain Nose Pliers
Flush cutters
Pipe cutter
Small hammer
Bench block
Supplies for one pair of earrings

6-8 artist disk beads with 1/8 inch center holes (or other artist disk beads: see Treasury at end of post)
6 inches 1/8 inch K&ampS copper tube ( from Ace Hardware )
30 inches of 16 gauge copper wire
1 pair of ear wires
6 inch piece of Sari silk or other ribbon

1. Assemble your disk beads.  I used 4 disk beads in each earring.   They are ones I made from ceramic clay.

I used two different sizes.  

2. String your beads on the copper tube.  I put on  one smaller disk, and then the two larger disks back to back and then another smaller disk.  You are going to mark on the pipe how much space they take up. Don't allow more than a little bit more than the space the beads take up.

3.  Take the beads off the pipe and put your pipe into a vice so that you can attach the pipe cutter to the copper tube.

Tube cutter

copper tube in vice

pipe cutter positioned on copper tube at marked spot

4.  Using the red circle shaped knob on the pipe cutter twist is slowly clockwise and it will begin cutting the tube.  Gently tighten the knob every couple turns so that the disk cutter stays in close contact with the tube.  After about 4 or 5  turns the tube will be cut.

5.  String your disks on the tube as described above.
disks beads string on cut piece of copper tubing

6. Because your beads will slip off the end of the tube even after they are strung on the wire we are going to flatten the ends of the tube so they will stay in place.  To do this you will need a small hammer and a bench block.  Place the beads strung on the tube on a bench block and gently tap the end of the tube with your small hammer.  Hold the disks together with your fingers as you gently tap.  Turn the bead over and do the other side and go back and forth until the disks are secure and don't slip off the tube.

Flattening the tube 

holding the disk beads tightly while flattening the tube

7.  Now you are ready to wire wrap your beads and make the earrings.  Measure and mark 5 inches on one of the 15 inch pieces of wire.  String your bead on up to that mark.
string bead 5 inches into the 15 inch piece of wire

8.  Fold both ends of the 15 inch piece of wire snugly around the bead as seen in picture below
wire folded around bead

9.  Cross the wires in the center of the bead about 2 inches from the center hole of the beads as seen in picture below.

Wires centered and crossed at 2 inches from center hole of beads
                             ( after taking this picture I decided 2 inches is better)

10.  Fold the shorter wire over the longer wire and use your chain nose pliers to make a right angle bend in the shorter wire at that point.
shorter wire crossed over long one with right angle bend

11.Wrap the shorter wire over the longer wire about 3 times, trim and squeeze wire into the wrap
shorter wire wrapped around longer one

shorter wire trimmed and squeezed into wrap

12. Making the Stringing Loop 
 About 1/4 inch from wrap wires make a right angle bend away from you in the center wire and then make a wrapped loop by  bending the wire towards you over the round nose pliers.
wire wrapping the stringing loop

Make the loop and then use the extra wire to wrap over the wire connecting the longer and shorter wires.  
wrapped loop

13.Repeat these steps for the second earring.

14.To finish your earrings
For the Rustic Urban Look earrings I shaped them by pulling the long wires outward at about the halfway point and then I painted them with liquid Liver of Sulfur gel to darken the wire.

Rustic Urban Look

For the Fancy Rustic Look I left the wire untreated.  To keep that pink copper color you can spray the wires with Krylon acrylic spray .  I then cut about 5 inches of pink sari ribbon and then cut that piece in half lengthwise and tied them on below the stringing loop. Trim the ribbon to suit how long you want it.  I cut it longer than I wanted so that it would be easier to tie it on.

Fancy Rustic Look

These earrings swing a lot due to the long wire and the weight of the bead.  The disks in the bead will move as well.

Here are some other Art Bead Disks you might like to try

Monday, September 22, 2014

Amuse Your Muse - Autumnal Beads - with Rebecca of Songbead

Hello, hello! Monday again, and the start of another bright and shiny week - how did that happen? I'm still not quite ready to concede that Autumn/Fall is here - Indian Summer, anyone? - but I am thoroughly loving all the Autumnal designs I'm seeing cropping up. And of course, that includes all the beautiful Autumnal art beads that I have found to share with you this week. 

Here is a sweet set from Tupper's Perch:
Honestly, do beads get much cuter than these?

I adore the Klimt-esque colours in these lovely paper (yes, paper!) beads from Gillian McMurray:
 I have a set of these and despite being formed from paper, they are amazingly sturdy and robust. Check out Gillian's lovely shop!

 I love finding a new-to-me bead artist, and Red Star Bead Artist is one. Just look at these sweet bird dagger beads:

From new to a staple in my work....a gorgeous acorn from Bo Hulley. I have one - which colour-combo is your favourite? 

Kristen from Bead Swede Designs shared more of her beautiful enamel work - and I think these gorgeous rounds are my favourites so far! 
What beautiful, saturated Fall-tones. 

Continuing with the beautiful Autumn tones we move onto this fiery lampwork pair from Olga Glass Art. These beads seem to glow from within!

And last but not least, here's a pair of earrings from yours truly! Featuring some of my teeny tiny handwoven beads in sweet Autumnal tones. I'm very fond of these!

What Autumnal art beads have you found this week? Share your links in the comments below! 

And now, over to the BeadBlogger Links:

Rebecca is a Scottish jewellery designer, based in her country's capital, Edinburgh. You can read more about her and her work at her blog, songbeads.blogspot.com and see more of her jewellery at songbead.etsy.com. She also has a supplies shop at thecuriousbeadshop.etsy.com.