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Beading Blog - Beading thoughts

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One woman's adventures in the wide, wonderful world of beading.
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Beading thoughts
posted by Colleen Shirazi, June 14, 2009 at 8:50 PM (Pacific)

Poor blog, I have neglected you.

I haven't stopped making jewelry, by any means. I've had to pace it out...I don't have time to spend anymore, and I suppose it's like anything else. You get picky as to what you want.

My previous post...hehe...I still have my multi-strand knotted piece, and wear it to work. Though if I made one now from scratch, I would do it differently. I would go to the bead show and get four or five strands of pearls, same color but all different sizes. What I had at hand were nice small pearls, so I used 3 strands of those along with a purchased strand of large. Looks good, but four or five strands of graduated sizes would be ideal.

Once you have an idea of the techniques, you realize you don't need to do them literally; you can tailor technique to the particular stone or project at hand. I made what turned out to be a beautiful pendant from a diamond-shaped ruby in zoisite bead from a strand my daughter had for years. She had the idea to make I started out with a prosaic method, making a headpin, adding vermeil bead caps, wrapping the top in a double loop, yadda looked flat, it did not do the stone justice. It was late at night so I "put it aside for the weekend."

Rising early the next morning, I went like a deranged scientist, back to the lab. Usually I don't do that anymore; I don't try to rush making anything. But this I did the bottom of the headpin, and had the stone on it, and wanted to do a herringbone-weave wire around it for a bezel. The classic instruction on doing this is to complete the headpin first and then add the herringbone weave. But, do you really need to do it that way? One mistake I always make with herringbone weave is doing too much of it, ending up with an overwhelming border to the stone.

So I had some soft 20-gauge goldfilled wire and I started doing the herringbone at the bottom. I found it much easier to do this way, because you're not stuck with a fixed space to anchor the herringbone, nor do you have to do a fixed number of iterations of the herringbone wire. You just keep going until it looks right. In this case it was twice.

But for the headpin and bail, 20-gauge wire was too heavy. For whatever odd reason, doing the bezel in 20 gauge and the bail in 22 gauge, appeared more seamless than using the same gauge for both.

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