After I made the little sample you can see in the last piggy post, I added a section with bicones (as in this post) plus one with Miyuki's new baroque beads. The idea was to compare the different bead choices side by side. See what works and what needs to be tweaked. See what bead shapes and sizes work better than others.
And -- it turns out at the end of this post -- see what a difference the placement of the beads make. Yes, without knowing I did something different when adding beads in this sample compared to the first one where I added beads between the piggies. Notice that this is a mistake I didn't notice until writing almost all of the post so I decided to keep the text more or less untouched, leaving it as it was before spotting the oopsie instead of rewriting everything, pretending that the mistake was an intentional alteration/experiment or that I noticed right after finishing it. My excuse is that I did the last two sections late at night after a long day that including having to get up early to go to town after barely having slept the previous night due to the thunder.
Don't know about you, but as you can see I'm pretty fond of this way of stringing piggy beads. The size and shape of the bead you choose to add between the piggies really alter the final result and some fit better than others. There are so many options to choose between. I've only tried three this far (not counting stringing without any other beads at all).
Using 4 mm bicones was my first version and still a favourite -- even if it can create gaps where the thread is exposed. [Ok, this is the mistake so notice that the text talks about the new bicone varition, not the one, which is the one that's my real favourite!]. Not sure if covering the thread with a seed beads is a good option of if it will push the piggy beads apart so my plan right now is to find smaller bicones and give that a try.
I do have a few 3 mm ones, but feel like they might be too small for what I want. Does anyone make 3,5 mm bicones? It's something I think I've seen, but maybe I've just imagined it? Or got them mixed up so it's swarovski 2,5 mm bicones I'm thinking of? Did a quick googling and found a few copper beads that shape and size so even if there aren't any crystal beads in the size there are other 3,5 mm bicones.
My second version was made using 2,8 mm drops, as seen in the previous post. They nestled perfectly between the piggy beads and created a more compact zig-zag design than using big bicones. The drop shape is the same as the gap created between the piggies: smaller near the hole and wider at the edge. The perfect fit?
For this sample I also added baroque beads. Baroques come in two sizes, this is the smaller size 6/0. As you can see, the rounded shape of the large seed beads doesnt' fit the gap in the same way as neither the drop nor the bicone. A smaller seed bead size would probably be a better choice unless you like how these beads stick out.
And, yes, I did forget to mention the versions I made with rizos and 4 mm fire-polished respectively as I didn't make a section with those beads this time, but I might as well collect all variations here so here you go. Why not add the original version without extra beads too, just as a reference?
Oh! I just realised I made an oopsie! A big one! Do you notice it? In my first attempt to use bicones I placed them in the middle of the piggy bead cup (pic above), which made the beads nestle better than in the version I made yesterday where I placed the bicones on the edge, creating bigger gaps and therefore seeing more exposed threads. What a slip up... Stupid, stupid. But I guess it could be a good thing as you now get to see what a difference it makes how you string the beads.
Let's see them side by side:
Ack, now I need to redo the other sections, I think, to see what a difference that makes. Because one difference does become very clear when comparing these two samples: by adding beads on top of an edge hole you get more of a zig-zag pattern -- which I liked so much in the mini-drops sample -- and when adding beads in the cup of the beads, stringing through the centre hole, you get more of an overlapped pattern.
Well, at least this taught me that a small alteration -- intentional or mistake -- can make a big difference. When I take about tweaking experimental samples it really is all in the little tweaks. Like choosing the right hole to put the next bead over.
Live and learn. Live and learn...
Note: I'm using a thin beading thread here just because it's cheap, for a finished piece of jewellery I'd definitely go with a flexible beading wire instead.