Sunday, May 15, 2011

Stuff I Have No Title For

My baby graduates from high school in two hours. Freaky. I remember being pregnant with him.

I think that's my major accomplishment for the week, although in truth I really can't claim a whole lot of either credit or recent direct action - at some point you have to get out of their way and trust that they've figured this out. And so far, for the most part, he has.

On the other hand, I directly and intimately contributed to everything pictured below.

I don't feel terribly confident in my wire-working skills, though in a pinch I can manage - it's just not gorgeous, and I won't attempt anything complex or too intricate. I don't enjoy wirework as much as beading anyway.

This is one of those things at which I'm not utterly lost, yet I do it from time to time because I can't find/don't have what I need, or it's the only solution to a corner into which I've beaded myself.

Take brass.

Love it, and I often bead items which would be best finished with a brass clasp or ear wires or other findings, yet solid brass findings are difficult to find and rather limited. I'm loathe to use the popular brass-finished findings endemic in all bead stores, online or brick-and-mortar, because my skin is so reactive that it strips the finish right off, and then it looks hideous.

I've been making very simple S-hooks with 16 gauge brass wire for ages. Nothing fancy, I just bend them into shape and hammer them a bit in part because I like the look, but also because it stiffens the metal nicely.

I'v also made a batch of ear wires I rather like: some big round ones, as well as some that I can only describe as 80% marquise, as they lack about 20% of the outline. Again, rather plain, very simple.

Yesterday I needed a clasp, and the 16 gauge S-hook just seemed too clumsy and stark, so I managed to find instructions online for something which I think I actually managed well enough.
I wanted it to match the pendant, so I had to use 20 gauge wire so that it could pass through the bead.
The next one turned out even better. If I hadn't been distracted by making class samples for Tuesday's class, I might have turned out a whole collection of these clasps. I still might.
The class is essentially an add-a-bead pendant set.
Students will make simple large-hole beads in three sizes.
They'll also make one humungo bead, and a head pin.
Should be fun.

No comments: