May 22, 2014

Materials to Make Miguel Ases Style Jewelry

I'm obsessed again.  It happens pretty often with me and jewelry making.

Most of last year, my jewelry making exploration has been all about wire wrapping, hammering, shaping spirals, and whatnot.  I bought copper and brass wire by the pound, lots of specialty tools and what do you know...

Suddenly, I can't get small, pretty, shiny, seed beaded jewelry out of my head! In particular, those gorgeous little masterpieces by Miguel Ases.

I've tried to make a earrings in Miguel Ases style a couple of times before - first for a holiday earring swap and a second pair when I was on vacation to Hawaii and it made sense to bring seed beads instead of wire wrapping tools on the airplane.

Now, I'm back at it.

But since then, I've learned more about bead stitching thanks to a couple of books that I highly recommend. First is Seed Bead Stitching and the second is More Seed Bead Stitching: Creative Variations on Traditional Techniques - both by Beth Stone.

Neither book will teach you how to make Miguel Ases Style jewelry - I'm going to do that. (LOL).  But they have great projects that teach you the stitching basics you need.



Materials to make Miguel Ases Style Earrings:


Bead String - Fireline Size D in Smoke Grey is what I'm using right now, but I also use Nymo Nylon Seed Bead Thread Size D

If you are using a Nymo, you need a thread conditioner like Thread Heaven  to strengthen and keep the thread from tangling.  If you are new to beading, use Fireline.  It's strong, doesn't fray or tangle and is super easy to thread.  It comes in crystal (white) and smoke (grey).

If your beading store doesn't carry Fireline, a sporting goods store or Walmart will - in the fishing section.

Bead Needles - I use size 12, but I think a size 10 would work too depending on the beads you are using.  Buy extra, they eventually bend, break or get lost.

Apparently the size corresponds to the bead size you are using - so a size 10 will work with size 10/0 beads, a size 12 with size 12/0 beads - but I have 15/0 beads that I have used a size 12 needle with, so it must be a guideline, not a rule.

Beads:  The beads you choose when making Miguel Ases style jewelry will make a huge difference in your finished project.  They need to be precision cut with an even size and shape.  One of things that make Miguel Ases jewelry distinctive is his use of the same or similar bead colors in different sizes.  This helps make the weaves uniform and create the different shapes.  These are my observations, at least.

Cylinder Beads: Miyuki Delica Seed Beads are glass cylinder beads that are perfect for loom or bead weaving.  They come in sizes 15/0, 11/0, 10/0 and 8/0.

Here is a handy chart of all of Miyuki's bead types, with the size, shape, hole size and even a color sample card pdf.  Be sure to check out the other resources on the left side bar - lots of helpful information about seed beads.  Toho is another Japanese manufacturer of cylinder beads.



Round Seed Beads:  Just like the name says, round seed beads have rounded edges.  It is important for weaving that the round beads be just as precise in size and shape as the cylinder beads.  Even when buying name brand beads like Miyuki and Toho, you should cull through and make sure you don't use broken or irregular beads.



Crystals:  Swarovski Crystal Beads are the crystal bead of choice for making Miguel Ases style jewelry.  They have incredible color selections and unparalleled sparkle.  Most project use 2-4 mm rondelles or bi-cones.



Focal Beads/Spacer Beads:  Miguel Ases has two predominate styles of beadwork.  They are either worked around a center drilled bead, or by working stitches through a spacer type bead or around a hoop.  Spacer type beads appropriate for this work is harder to find - as are the hoops.


Great information on supplies needed to make Miguel Ases style beaded jewelry and earrings

OK - go gather your materials.  Next, I'll write instructions to make a brick stitch Ases Style mandala component like this.

4 comments :

  1. As a newbie entering the jewelry space, this blog is enlightening. Keep the wisdom coming!

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  2. gathering my supplies now!!!! Thank you!

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  3. Hi Lisa, Thanks very much for this post. I have been wondering -- do you know where I can find/buy the spacer type beads and hoops for the center...? I was curious as to whether the hoops are thick jump rings. Look forward to hearing from you. Many thanks in advance.

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    1. I have been experimenting to try and find what I like best. I believe the centers with the granulation are spacer beads, but I haven't found the exact ones yet. I also think the larger circle ones (hoops) are probably 10mm jump rings - but won't know until I try it out. I have also recently ordered some links that I believe are similar to the other frames he uses for larger teardrop shaped earrings. I'll post when I get my most recent order and try some of these things out.

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