Sunday, 16 March 2014

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones necklace
You might remember that I made a piece using bits from my bead stash. Well the idea is now a fully
fledged workshop and it's proving to be great fun to teach. To make all the beading I really wish I could... there would have to be three of me at least! but each time I teach this workshop I find myself inspired to delve into the stash and make another piece.

In class students are invited to bring along focal stones and cabochons they've purchased, but find a bit tricky to incorporate into a finished piece. I've seen some amazing cabcohons, from the epic scale nugget of Amber which got encased with 24 carat gold beads, to dainty Victorian buttons rescued from obscurity.

The first half hour of class can be a bit nerve wracking, as I get presented with such a diverse selection of shapes and sizes. But you can see my shoulders drop bit by bit as students get started on their individual creations. The second part of the class is about how the newly bezelled pieces can be made into wearable art necklaces, this is the sticks bit. I share a pattern for beaded links that can be used in lots of different combinations. A starting point that soon morphs off in all kinds of directions and total fun to participate in.
I have a few more Sticks and Stones classes coming up (you can find links to them on the workshops page of this blog), and, time permitting, a few more pieces to show and share.
The latest is worked around a dichroic glass cabochon, it was gifted to me by a lovely student. Sadly no amount of trying can get the digital camera to capture the vivid oranges and reds, but I had the best fun beading the colours to go with it. The necklace part is beaded rings linked with antique copper chain. I also used the CzechMates two hole dagger beads; they are great for fringe ends and so much easier to get to lie well in the same direction!