glass

Pixie Dust- not just for Tinkerbell

Planning another shop update momentarily, spent yesterday experimenting with Pixie Dust- a tricksy powder that lends a magical shimmer to beads. Don’t know why I’ve never used it before now, but so glad I finally took the plunge. They’re a little hard to properly photograph and convey the shimmery metallic look of the beads.

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Slow Progress

I feel like the tortoise instead of the hare trying to get my inventory built up for my first show next month. But I suppose since the tortoise won in the end, this sort of progress is good. My Etsy shop will be lacking in love and new items since most everything will be going w/ me to Oakland.

After making these and falling in love it reminded me of a friend saying she could never work in an animal shelter since she’d fall in love w/ all the animals and want to bring them home. My beads have metaphorically morphed into cute animals that I don’t want to let go, lol. But just like at the animal shelter, these beads need good homes, too. 🙂

One possible reason I may not want to let them go is due to the amount of work invested into each one. The beadcaps are made by me as is the bead and then they’re cored after all the prepping is done on the tubing. At least an hour’s time is put into each bead- this isn’t including the times in the kiln for annealing the bead and firing the bronzclay.
Now I’m just waiting on more sterling and copper tubing to come in the mail so I can get more made. Ordered from Metalliferous and they were super nice and had awesome prices!
I’ve been field testing a smaller peg w/ my Impress Bead Liner and it’s mucho easier adding bead caps instead of trying to just core the bead. I’m not sure why, maybe it’s just me. Doing beads like this also makes me think sterling tubing is a little more ‘elastic’, I guess you could say, than copper. Or maybe I just need to compensate and cut the copper slightly shorter. Anyhoo, it’s still a work in progress, but I’m so glad to be able to make this style that has been stewing in my mind for a while now.
Let’s just hope they do well at the show..

Extreme Busy-ness

I’ve been absent due to extreme busy-ness, lol. I have around 70 hollows for the show in November and think I need to triple that amount. If they don’t sell, I’ll have plenty of stuff to put up in my Etsy shop. Speaking of Etsy, I just listed the trio set and finished a special order for a customer.

What I’m most excited about is my large hollow focal that I cored. The colors don’t show nearly as well here as they do in person. I’ve realized that I’m horrible at photographing jewelry, lol. The pendant is 1-1/8″ x 1-1/4″ or 28.5x32mm. The bead caps are Bronzclay and for me, the rustic/organic look is really jivin’ with me, but I’m not sure if my (potential) customers would feel the same.

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!

Etsy Update

Can’t believe it’s been more than a week since I’ve updated! This past weekend was crazy, yet wonderful since I got to see my Beady Gal friends up in San Fran on Sunday and they kindly let me try all the different coring tools for beads to see which one I like best. Jim Moore’s and the Impress Bead Liner was neck and neck, but there were positives and negatives for both. I’ll go into more detail tomorrow once I get some pics..

Here are the two things I plan to list on Etsy shortly, still not over my love for the crackle look.

I would have had tons more to list if my friends hadn’t descended upon my hollows like locusts and decimated my supplies Sunday, lol. It’s always nice to have people appreciate your work!

They also told me I was pricing my work way too low after they saw the size of each bead, hence the price increase. I realized I was barely covering cost pricing them so low- so those who got those first half a dozen sets, lucky you! 🙂