AJE Component of the Month – Francesca Watson

This month the Art Jewelry Elements Component of the Month was made by Francesca Watson.  Francesca is a very sweet person who makes beautiful jewelry.  This month she made the enameled discs with silver accents for us to use in our creations!  I made a bracelet this time, this is not the first one I made either!  I had something in mind and it wasn’t coming out the way it was supposed to, so I put it down.  I let it percolate a little bit and finally the design happened!  I’m using ebony twisted wood beads and three of my own lampwork beads, separated by sweet little silver heishe spacers.  Stop over at AJE to see what everyone else made!

Art Jewelry Elements Earring Challenge 9/52

My latest pair of earrings for Art Jewelry Elements Earring challenge – lampwork by me (SueBeads) and charms by Marla James (Marla’s Mud).  Check out Art Jewelry Elements daily for new and inspiring work and tutorials and information!

Featured Beads of the Week – Summer Minis!

The featured beads this week are Summer Minis!  For the week of February 25 – March 3, 2013!  Pretty summer rainbow colors, on special for $20!!!!  That’s $5 off the price of the set!  Find them on my SueBeads web site!  And check out all my other made to order beads too!

Focus on Life – 8/52 – Monochromatic

This is week 8 of Sally Russick’s Focus on Life challenge and the word is Monochromatic.  This strawberry photo was the one I used for a previous challenge word.  I have been having a lot of fun playing on my phone with Pixlr and Pixlromatic and this is what I made.  I love the effects you can get from a simple phone app!  Too much fun!  Please check Sally’s blog for everyone else’s photos!

Tutorial – Twisted Flower Beads

Bead Tutorial: Twisted Flowers

Materials:
1 rod light turquoise
1 rod light ivory
Tweezers

Remember to occasionally flash your bead in the flame so it doesn’t crack!

Step 1:
Gather
your materials. With your tweezers, pull a few stringers of light
ivory. Also, pull a short (1 1/2″) stringer of ivory with a larger base,
so you can hold onto it to twist.

Step 2:
Make
a basic bead of light turquoise. Make sure you are happy with the shape
– you won’t really be able to adjust it after you add your dots.
Step 3:
Add 3 dots of ivory in thirds around the bead. Make sure they are evenly spaced and about the same size.
Step 4:
Melt the dots in. Be careful not to let them get too molten, or they will misshape.


Step 5:
Heat
the space in the middle of one set of three dots. With your little
handmade twisting tool, twist the space in the middle of the three dots,
turning only about 1/2 to 3/4 of a turn. The more you twist, the more
your circles will distort. After you twist the dots, wiggle the tool a
little bit. If it’s cool enough, it should pop right off. If not, blow
on it slightly then wiggle – the tool will come right off and you’ll be
ready to twist the next set of dots.


Finished bead!
Step 6:
Continue with the other two sets of dots. When you are done, put the bead back in the flame to flame polish and shape it up!

© 2007 SueBeads.com

Bead Soup

My bead soup arrived from my partner, Krista Quantrill! It only took a week to go from Canada to Pittsburgh, and mine only took a week to get to her.  We mailed them on the same day, and they both arrived on the same day – that’s too funny!

Here’s what she sent me.  The focal is a really cool ceramic greek focal, there’s wood, swarovski pearls, copper rice beads, two very cool patinated copper beads, the patinated clasp and really cool czech blue-green melons.  I love the soup!  Can’t wait to get started!

We both happened to send our soup in pink packaging, really funny coincidence again!

This is the teaser shot I published a few days ago:

And here’s what I sent to Krista:

Another funny coincidence, we both sent the same color scheme!  I’m looking forward to seeing what we both make out of our soup!

Silver Treatments on Glass Tutorial – First Published on Artisan Whimsey

Silver Treatments on Glass Beads

There
are many ways to add silver to your glass beads!  I’ll list a few here
today, if you have any other suggestions, please post them in the
comments! I’m always looking for new ideas!

The first way to add silver to your glass beads is with fine silver wire.  I’m not sure why, but you are supposed to use fine
silver wire as opposed to the silver jewelry wire you might have on
hand.  I order my fine silver wire from Monsterslayer.  I like them and
they always have up-to-date pricing as the silver market is so volatile
lately.  I use 30 gauge silver wire, but there are different gauges
available.  I like 30 gauge because it’s more delicate.  If you want to
use higher gauge wire, you can get different effects, like actually
placing thought-out dots on your bead!  

I
cut easily usable lengths of silver wire (about 9 inches or so) and
clip the hemos at the measure I want to use.  If I’m applying it to a
round bead, I usually clip at about 2-3 inches.  Fine silver wire will
disappear in your flame, so make sure you work waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay out at
the end of the flame.  Barely touch the silver wire to the bead under
the flame, move the bead away, and quickly wrap the wire around the
bead.  When you’ve reached the end of your clipped wire, flame cut the
silver, and then very delicately melt the silver wire at the end of the
flame into the bead.  This is how you get the trailing dots.  Here’s a
photo of beads I made with silver wire:


Next
is using silver foil.  You can use silver foil, or silver leaf.  I like
silver foil, because it’s easier to handle and easier to cut with a
scissors.  If you use leaf, you just have to be more careful with it, as
it can easily blow around your bench due to your ventilation system, or
passers-by!  I buy packets of 25 sheets of silver foil, usually from
Robin Koza of Glass Diversions.  I cut the single sheet into the sizes I
want (for a 12mm bead I usually use an eighth of a sheet).  Place your
silver foil on your graphite marver, or other surface you use, on your
bench.  When you are done making your bead, heat up the outside of the
bead very slightly, and roll it on the marver to accept the foil. 
Burnish it onto the bead (make sure your bead is not mushy!) with a tool
– I use my brass stump shaper.  Then reintroduce the bead into the
flame at the very end; you just want to melt the silver foil into the
bead, not make the bead hot or mushy again.  Here’s a photo of some
beads I made with silver foil:

To
make beads with silver foil and frit, just apply the silver foil as
above.  When you are done with the above steps, heat the bead up again
hot enough to accept the frit, roll the bead in frit, and melt it in as
you usually do!  Here’s a photo of a silver foil and frit bead!

Finally,
I’ll talk about silvered ivory stringer (SIS).  I enjoy this method,
and there are many ways you can do it.  I’ll just tell you about two of
mine.  The first way I make SIS is to waft a one inch section at the end
of an ivory rod in the flame, until it’s hot enough to accept the
silver foil.  Burnish the silver foil on with your torch mounted
graphite marver, and then you are ready to pull stringer!  Melt a small
blob on the end of the rod – here’s where it’s important to burnish very
well, so the silver does not just disappear.  Pull with a tweezer or
other pulling tool, and set aside on your table until cool enough to
touch.  When you want to use it, hold your bead under the flame near the
top, barely touch the end of the stringer in the flame and attach where
you want it on your bead.  Then, under the flame but still in some
heat, wrap the stringer until you are happy.  Flame cut or snap off! 
Here’s some beads with SIS:

And
finally, you can make dots with SIS as well!  For this method, I like
to use commercially pulled 2-3mm ivory stringer.  I simply wet my
fingers with saliva and run them at the top of a stringer, and wrap the
piece of foil around it.  You may have to wet your fingers multiple
times to get the foil to stay.  I know, it sounds gross, but it works. 
And it’s not so gross!  You melt the germs off!  When I’m ready to use
the stringer, I melt a very small blog at the end of the stringer rod,
and apply to the bead just like any dot of glass.  To make round dots,
use your brass stump shaper and push the dot gently into the bead, this
will keep it round.  Then melt in as usual.  Here’s a photo of beads
using this method:

I
hope you enjoyed this little post on silver.  There are many different
designs you can do with silver – add enamel, baking soda, etc.  Again,
if you have any other methods, I’d love to hear about them.  How about
encasing silver wire?  Silver powder? 

Please find me and my beads at SueBeads etsy, SueBeads web site, and SueBeads blog!