Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Posts Tagged ‘crystal’

Once again: crystal beads on spinner earrings.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/11/23

Back last March, when I was in the midst of the “Month of Earrings” challenge, I wrote several posts on designs that were inspired by a project described in Art Jewelry magazine the previous summer. It was the one on latch back earrings, although it was the look of the layered textured disks, not so much the latches, that provided most of my inspiration.

At that time, I was trying some variations, and work-arounds to problems I’d found, such as the way I had to redo a few after I chipped the crystal beads I was using, varied the doming as one way to reduce the chipping-risk, and even turned the wire structure around.

[Click on any photo to see an enlargement of it.] I returned to this design again as I was preparing some of my entries for several seasonal shows, including the h*oliday mART at the Sweetwater Art Center and the Holiday Gift Shop at the Wilkins School Community Center.

To keep up with the pace of the challenge last spring, I switched from crystal to glass seed beads. I’ve now returned to exploring the use of crystals in this style. But this time, instead of using the bicones (which is just what I’d had on hand last March), I’ve used saucer- and margarita-style beads. These are all Swarovski crystals, 6 mm across, that I got at the GemShack booth at the recent Bead Mercantile show.

The 6mm beads were the smallest they had in these two shapes, but I decided to give them a try. I figured I could always look elsewhere for some other sizes and colors if these experiments seem to indicate that’d be worthwhile.

The “antique rose” color of the saucer beads on top pair is much lovelier in reality than I was able to capture in a photo. The middle pair has Amethyst Satin saucers; that color is a great complement to the deep blues and reds of the patina colors that appeared on the wavy textures of those disks. The bottom pair has Emerald green margarita (flower) beads.

So far, I’m happy with how these are turning out. The ones shown here have been delivered to Sweetwater for their show. In the next week, I’ll try to explore another variation on my approach from last spring, where I dapped the fired silver into various curved shapes, and nestled the beads inside concave segments. These crystals may be just a tad too large to fit inside my little domes. (5 mm should’ve been OK; 6 mm will fit but may just “look” too big. And I don’t want to make the silver parts bigger to accommodate the beads: I don’t think that increasing either the weight or the price of this little style is where I want them to go.)

I’ll post more once I’ve figured out more….

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