July 25, 2013

Quick Copper Wire Focal Bead Bracelets

I haven't made much this week - I've been hoarding supplies instead.  Yesterday was a huge mail day - all of my orders arrived at once.  I got some supplies and tools from Fire Mountain Gems (FMG) to make soldering easier - and also a nice selection of gemstones that were not from FMG.

I like to make something every few days though, so I decided to use one of my new bead purchases.  I bought some gold rutilated quartz nuggets from Fire Mountain Gems.  I'm not sure why I keep buying their stones.  I know they are lower quality, but sometimes they are so darn cheap, I just can't resist giving it a try.

Anyway, I also like to try and push myself, so even though I didn't love the stones, I decided to see what I could do with them.  These simple bracelets is what I came up with.  The stone in the center is the rutilated quartz from Fire Mountain Gems.  The other two bracelets have little doo-dads (technical term) that were sitting on my bench.


These bracelets were super simple to put together and are very comfortable to wear.  I made them pretty close fitting rather than bangles.  They are 12g half round wire.

As always, there's a disappointment in the effort.  The flower has some Japanese seed beads that I recently purchased from Thunderbird Supply.  When I was using steel wool to brush off some of the patina, the color of the beads was coming off too!  I had no idea it would come off so easy.  Is that normal??

First of all, I thought they were solid color glass when they are matte opaque beads like these.  Second - I would have thought it would take more than a swipe with steel wool to remove the color.  I understand that a polished finish like AB would scratch easily - but really didn't expect it from these beads.

My lesson today - patina and clean your wire before you make the project if you are worried about the finish on the beads.  Also, I do like the rutilated quartz when it's in a rustic or simple design.

8 comments:

  1. I think the one with the discolored seed beads happens to be my favorite...so unique! These are great

    Lisa P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that one too, but it's always surprising when things don't wear the way that you expect. And good to know in advance. I hate to sell jewelry without having a good idea of how well it will hold up for my customer. Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  2. Hello , Lisa
    I am for many years a great admirer of Miguel Ases and I did a lot of things in his style , but only as gifts to my friends . I think that doing this in commercial way , someone must to ask his agreement. There are designer rights . Good luck

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comments. I really don't do anything in a 'commercial' way and always try to take an idea that I like and expand on it or give it my own twist. I'm not sure I could exactly reproduce anyone's work (even my own!) if I tried, so I think Miguel Ases and his designs are safe. This bracelet is my own design, by the way, and not at all related to Ases extraordinary beadwork.

      Delete
  3. I have just begun working with artistic wire. What gauge are you using for the bracelet part?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is 12g half round wire from Thunderbird Supply. I don't think that Artistic Wire is available in that thickness. This is copper wire.

      Delete
  4. I have found that some glass beads are a plain bead that has had a plastic or similar coating that may come off with wear, cleaning or producing your project. I do like the effect that occurred on the bracelet. If I had wanted it to happen, it would not have. I just discovered your blog and love your explanations and the clear instructions. I also see that you constistently give credit and note your sources for information. Thank you for making your work look great and your instructions so clear to follow. In my opinion, you are an artist and a teacher.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I've learned much more about beads and coatings, and you're right, if you want the effect, it probably won't happen. I appreciate your kind words and hope you continue to enjoy the projects and tutorials.

      Delete