Sunday, 22 August 2010

Bead blog recap weeks 32-33

I began blogging after my regular schedule already last week, but never got around to write an English recap last weekend so here's a forthnight of blog posts from Manekis Pärlblogg. From metal clay to buttons.

New clay from PMC

PMC is launching PMC Pro, a stronger silver clay. Unlike the other clays this one will be .900, i.e. have less silver than sterling. While some are looking forward to it, others are less than thrilled aout a clay that can't be sold as real silver in some countries and require firing in carbon.

Metal clay
Metal clays are become popular since PMC silver clay was first created in 1990's Japan. Now you can find clays in silver, gold, bronze, copper and steel on the market.

Inchies for beaders
Inchies are 1x1" work of arts often made by collage and fiber/quilt artists. But beaders and jewellery makers could also find inspiration in this fun format, whether making art charms or bead embroideries.

Different ways to protect metal
This is an issue that arises every now and then on forums: how to keep metal from oxidizing. And how to protect a patina. Products to use for this includes waxes, jade oil, Tenaris, shellac and lacquers.

Mixed packages of beading wire
What does Beadalon, SoftFlex and BeadSmith have in common? They sell variety packs of flexible beading wire. Each pack consists of three mini spools of beading wire in different colours or dimensions. Perfect if you want to test a new wire or just want to get some colour inspiration.

Allergies -- not just nickel
Nickel in jewellery is well-known to cause allergy, but if you get an allergic reaction from your jewellery it doesn't necessarily mean that the jewellery maker isn't following the nickel directive. Other metals and materials can also induce allergic reactions.

Think dimensionally
Making a piece of beadwork or jewellery more dimensional makes it more attractive and it can even look more well-designed. Flat beadwork doesn't have to be plain and sometimes 2D is the best way to go, but have you tried to add dimensional detail to your work to see how it can enhance it? Are you creating a painting or a sculpture?

Wire gauges
Not least in the US, wire is measured in G (gauge). But did you also know that there are more than one gauge scale? In chain maille instructions for example, you can often find both AWG and SWG mentioned. Links to different charts and converters.

Tunisian crochet with beads

It's not just crochet that can be beaded, you can also add beads to tunisian crochet (krokning). Includes links to websites teaching tunisian crochet basics (without beads).

Pearl lights

Pearl light is a variation on the pearlcoated glass bead. Instead of using an alabaster white bead as a base, clear beads are used. This makes it possible for light to go through the bead and give these beads something of a glow and a more light, transparent feel than regular glass pearls have.

Liquorice allsorts beads
The British seems to like their allsorts: several UK bead shops sell polymer clay beads in the shape of these popular liquourice sweets.

Finger knitting -- for adults too!

Finger knitting, or finger crochet as it's also known, is not just for kids. Beaded or not, you can use these fun-to-make cords in your jewellery. The technique is similar to that of using a knitting nancy, though working with your fingers the cords get looser.

Enamel -- not just vitreous
For many, enamel is synonymous with vitreous enamel, coloured glass powder fused onto metal using heat. But the word enamel is often used for many different types of materials, ranging from coloured epoxy resin and embossing powder to lacquers (metal paint).

Button as charm
A charming button made from a metal loop and a round wooden bead triggers the imagination: why not use it as a charm and not have the hazzle of adding headpins to drilled wooden beads?

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