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.

6 comments :

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

    Lisa P

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    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!

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  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

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    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.

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

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    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.

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