big hole beads

Crackled Ivory on Etsy

¬†Just up on Etsy, my photos just don’t do this bead justice. I’m having a little bit of trouble letting this one go since the crackling is so gorgeous.

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Pile of Hollow Big Hole Bead Lovlies

I hope I’m not the only one that loves these- still debating on whether to just core w/o beadcaps or do the whole she-bang w/ coring and double beadcaps. Sell them separately or in a set? Having a hard time making up my mind on this one..perhaps you can help me decide.

Beads and 100 Followers :)

This past week has been a whirlwind of travel, meeting new people, and trying to get ready for the show next month. Just noticed that I have 100 Followers for this blog!- thanks for your interest and here’s to showing you work that continues to grab your attention. Met up w/ some wonderful beady people over the weekend and look forward to our next Carolina Firefiend meeting. One member generously let me borrow her Jim Moore press since my Impress Bead Liner was too slim to fit my big beads inside to core and cap. (these three beads above are a few I’ve done so far, before running out of bead caps) Another is going to tumble etch some of my hollows to see how it compares to my usual acid etch method.
Thank goodness my wonderful cousin is nearby and willing to babysit my little man, making it possible for me to go to these meetings.

Big Hole Beads

Being part of an online exchange usually stretches my boundaries and makes me try something new. This time the exchange is for big hole beads and since I never do anything the easy way, I decided to see how well I could encase some long big hole beads, these were made on 1/4″ mandrels. The last pic is the four I made with only the two on the top pic making the cut for possible inclusion for the exchange. The second bead cracked since I admired it for too long and the one on the far right has a sharp end. I was able to make these with my Electric Mandrel Spinner– there’s no way my wrists could have managed otherwise. The short one is 14.5 mm long and the large one is 35 mm long or 1-1/4″.
I knew that thing would come in handy one day.

The Press Arrived!

My Impress Bead Liner arrived this weekend and I’ve been coring like a mad woman when I had the time. I now totally understand why beads done this way are so much more costly- it takes quite a while to get everything ready- measuring, cutting, deburring, filing, coring..THEN you take pics after admiring. I haven’t broken a bead, but I did tear the tubing on the first three beads I did- too much enthusiasm?

As much as I love this press, there is a huge problem w/ size impediments. My hollow beads are LaRgE and chubby and the press is only so wide- I supposed most people use this for their small cored beads that go on Pandora, etc. bracelets, but I had to be a rebel. So now I have a dozen or more hollows that won’t even fit into the press to get lined ūüė¶
I’ve been waiting on pins and needles for Dave to custom fabricate smaller pegs so I can core my 3/32 and 1/8″ hollow focals- now I have to concentrate to make ones that will fit into my press.

We won’t tell hubby that the next big purchase will prolly be a (whisper it now) Jim Moore press. Maybe he’ll consider it my Xmas present?
One nice thing I noticed is that there is some leeway in imperfect bead holes- you know how sometimes you have a slight high spot or not much of a pucker where your glass caught too far out? As long as it’s not too extreme, you can core it and you can’t tell it wasn’t perfect in the first place.
So here are some pics- I hope to get some of these listed tomorrow on Etsy:

Coring my Beads

It was so fun getting to try the different presses available for big hole beads. My very first try was the cobalt blue w/ the bead cap on the Impress Bead Liner by Dave Fousek. Hayley was sweet enough to give me some sterling bead caps to try on my beads. The rounded look of the tubing appeals to me.

I learned how important the length of tubing is since I ruined a couple beads by ripping the metal. Could be I used to much force btwn turns, too.
My favorite is the copper capped ivory bhb, the different metals compliment the bead so well. Sadie gave me the wonderful bead caps on that bead- all these nice bead caps make me feel like trying to make my own in metal clay…hmm.
The pretty green bead is one of Hayley’s that she let me use as a test bead.

The Jim Moore press was very nice, although you’re not able to get that nice rounded look in the tubing. And my favorite part on his press is the plastic die that helps push the tubing flush w/ the glass which makes the bead look so nice and professional looking.
Right now it’s out of my price range since I couldn’t justify spending over 300 dollars for something I may not use all the time.

Dave’s Impress is very economical the different size pegs aren’t as expensive as Jim’s. Of course it’s all a matter of perspective- if you always get the best tools for your money, then Jim’s would probably be your best bet. Since I’m just starting out w/ coring beads, I figured Dave’s is a great start and eventually I hope to buy Jim Moore’s press if I continue to core my glass beads.

I noticed Hayley and Sadie ended up using BOTH presses during coring on a lot of their beads. If they wanted the rolled look, they’d use Dave’s and finish up on Jim’s using the plastic dies to get the tubing super flush w/ the bead. Ahh, if only we could combine the two and make the perfect bead liner..

Now I’m waiting *impatiently* for my Impress Bead Liner to come in the mail so I can play!

P.S. I would recommend Dave’s Deburring Tool regardless of which press you have since it saved us SO much time in prepping the tubing!