Saturday, 6 March 2010

Long magatama bead earrings

While still trying to figure out how I want to use my "snowdrops", I took out some of my other long magatamas from Miyuki. Last time I used my long magatama beads was when making a crocheted bracelet. This time I wanted to use another, simpler technique and I soon began to think of shaggy loops. Originally a simple chain maille weave without beads, but it also looks great with beads (Beadsisters have a yummy example of that, using bronze wire and green lentil beads).

One thing is important to remember when using these beads: the two sides aren't symmetrical, meaning you will get different results depending on which way you string the beads. If stringing them all in the same directions you'll end up with something like FusionBeads' Birds of a Feather. By adding the beads in pairs, so that they instead "face" each other, you get more of a smooth look, almost like scales. That is what I did in my earrings above, adding the beads to larger antique copper-plate jump rings (screwbacks also in antiqued copper). If you turn the beads "facing away" from each other, you end up with a result like the one below.

This was more of an experiment so I just used what size jump rings I could find. Haven't tried any smaller one to compare results.

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