Sunday, May 27, 2012

Third Times The Charm

Are you your own worst critic?  Do you see all the tiny flaws? 

After the first attempt at bezeling the turquoise slab using a single thread technique I had a really ugly corner with large gaps.  Not only was it ugly but it also did not bode well for longevity.  Exposed threads pulled that tight are more likely to snap.
Stretched corner on bezeled slab turquoise
On the second attempt, I used the same technique but added an additional bead making the bezel looser. The corner was better, but still not up to my standards.  The bottom two were done in the single thread technique.
Corner views of bezeled turquoise slab.
I decided to go with a technique using multiple pieces that I learned from Melanie Doerman.  I do not buy many tutorials.  I saw this bracelet in the Summer 2009 issue of Belle Amoire Jewelry and contacted Melanie before it was even in her store. 
Belle Amore Summer 2009, Fragments by Melanie Doerman

In preparing this post I made a visit to Melanie's website, The Magpie, and there learned of her recent death.  It is a loss to the beading world and I will miss her talent.

Using a slight variation on her technique, the worst corner on my turquoise slab looks like this:
Corner view bezeled turquoise slab

From the front it looks like this:
Bezeled turquoise slab, at last.

Here are a few more pictures:
Close up corner view, stacked turquoise slabs

A tangle of threads- bezeled turquoise slab in progress
Three tries at bezeling the turquoise slab.
You can see the final bezeled turquoise slab on the right, above.  The corners are sharper.  Although the end piece looks thicker and longer all three slabs are close to the same size.  I considered using Melanie's technique when I started but  opted for the more simple technique.  Next time I will know.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Thinking Ahead

Something different this week while I continue to work on my necklace. 

Thinking ahead is a reference to that day in the future when I have an inventory again and want to sell at fairs and festivals.  While shopping at Marshall's this week I saw what I think would be a great display for bracelets and earrings.  I snapped these pictures with my phone.
Moroccan Tower

Looking down on Moroccan tower
Closer view of tiers of Moroccan tower
Another close up of Moroccan tower, though this one seems a bit distorted.
All those little perforations would make great places to hang earrings.  I have earring cards and brass S hooks which would work perfectly with this.  Necklaces could be draped from the corners.  One tier could be used for bracelets. 

The tower is light weight and metal.  It does not turn.  One alternative would be to sit it on a lazy Susan.  Another alternative would be to only use the sides which are accessible.  The piece sits about three feet high.  It would look great with my very eclectic display and would help to differentiate me from other vendors.

The down side- it is large and it is currently priced at $129.00. 

What do you think?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

First, Happy Mother's Day; Second Pictures

Happy Mother's Day Mom.  I wish I could spend the day with you. I love you.

Second, pictures of the bezeled turquoise slab.

Long view, bezeled turquoise slab
 Here is another view:
Bezeled turquoise slab from the side

A view of the edge:
Turquoise slab bezeled edge
Good corner:
Bezeled turquoise slab good corner
Bad corner:
Bezeled turquoise slab stretched corner.

Yes, despite my taped measure, this is still stretched a bit too much on the edge.  I might be able to wiggle the beads a bit to lessen the tension on this corner.  I might just bezel a second slab in order to decide which I like better.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Short Cut for Bezeled Stones

Bezeling stone cabochons takes a bit of trial and error for each stone because:
1) The stones are not all the same size
2) A single strand of beads does not sit well on the stone, especially round stones, making measurements difficult.

Double sided tape would hold the strand in place, however, I am just not sure what the effect will be over the years so that is an option I choose not to use.

My shortcut?  Painter's tape.

Get a rough estimate of the circumference of your stone.
Cut a straight edge on the leading edge of your painter's tape.
Cut a straight edge on the trailing edge of your painter's tape just a bit larger than the stone you want to set.
Wrap the tape around the stone.
Mark the overlap with a marker.
Remove the tape.
Cut a straight edge through the mark on the long end of the painter's tape.
String your beads to the length between the two points.
Short cut to measure a stone for a bezel

This just makes it easier, you are still going to need to add just a bead or two extra to make up for the width of the beads. 

As you can see, I am now working on getting the bezel done.  I will have finished pictures next week; until then, here is are pictures of the first 3 rows, using Galvanized Bright Silver 10/0 delicas.

Turquoise slab bezel in progress

Another view of the turquoise slab bezel in progress