Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Technique Time Basic Beads Part 2

This is the final part in my series about basic beads. You can find the first part by clicking on the link below:

1) Technique Time Basic Beads Part 1

In this post you will learn different ways of making those basic beads really look great. For the most part I show pictures of the round bead, but what I show can be put on any sized or shaped bead. :)

Why Should I Spruce Up Beads?

There is a time that a plain bead goes perfectly, especially if your pendant is already very colorful. There is also a time when one wants to make a colorful necklace made simply out of beads. In this instance one may want more then just a plain black polymer clay bead strung up on some cord.

Another reason is it's a lot of fun. You think just polymer clay beads are addicting wait until you start decorating them! ;)

How Do I Spruce up Polymer Clay Beads?

There are several ways of making a beat look different, many times one simply has to change materials. I shall explain some of these ways below, but remember there is always room for experimenting.

1) Two Colored:

a) Take two contrasting colors, such as black and white. Blend them either using your hands or even a pasta machine. The point is to blend the two colors so that both colors show.

Tip: With my hands I like making snakes, one for each color, then twisting the snakes together to get a blended look.

b) Form the blended colors into any shape you desire for a bead. In the picture below I made an egg shaped bead that is black and white.

2) Sparkle Beads:

There are a few ways of getting a dash of sparkle onto your bead.

1. Glitter it Up:

a) You will need heat resistant, very fine glitter for polymer clay, so it can bake in the oven.

b) What I do is make the thinnest sheet of transparent clay on my pasta machine as I can, then with my finger I spread glitter over that sheet. Here is an example of my gold glitter sheet:

c) Form a bead of any shape and size, and put put parts of the glitter sheet on the bead. This makes for a very sparkly bead, especially in the sun.

2. Fooling With Foils:

a) A lot of foils can be put directly on a bead without making a sheet of it first with transparent clay. I do like making sheets though, as it can be easier to put the foil on the exact spot I want it on.

b) You prepare a sheet with foil on it the same way you do a glitter sheet. Only with some foils you will rub it on the transparent sheet all at once, instead of sprinkling bits on one at a time like the glitter.

c) As you can see from my foil sheet above, this not only will add a little sparkle, but also colored foils reflect their colors in the light. This makes for a very shiny, colorful bead. :)

3) Twisted Beads:

a) Twisted beads look especially well as tube beads, it is similar to the "Two Colored" only you keep a twisted look of two or more colors.

b) Start by taking two or more colors and rolling them into snakes.

c) Twist the colors together, if more then two you may wish to braid them.

d) At this point you can leave it as it is to get a more twisted look:

or you can roll the twisted colors with your palm to blend in seams to get something that looks like this:

e) One can cut these twisted colors to make interesting looking tube beads. One can also curl it up, or even wrap it around a round bead. Experiment and have fun with it. ;)

4) Slicing Canes:

Cane work is much more complicated then what I have on here, but since I already have a tutorial on canes, I thought I would make it short and sweet. :P

a) Make a cane, any shape, size, and colors. Then slice them to make some colorful and interesting looking beads. Below I have a very colorful bead made from a jelly roll cane.

b) One can also slice very thin slices from a cane, then put it on a bead. Blend all the seams together. Using the same jelly roll cane, I got this look on a black bead:

My Final Words:

This is really just a small fraction of things you can do with beads, but I don't want to give them all away. It is much more fun to experiment with different materials, and techniques. Off the top of my head mica powders, micro beads, stamps, and inks come to mind. :)

5 comments: said...

I am a huge mica powder fan. I never get tired of playing with mica powders.

I would be very curious to see what would happen if we sprayed glimmer mist on a sheet of translucent clay and let it dry.

Miss Gina Designs said...

Very cool beads!

CB said...

I like playing around with Mica powder too missficklemedia. I have never heard of glimmer mist actually, could be a fun experiment! :)

Thanks Miss gina designs.

rkdsign88 said...

Wow...thank you so much for sharing this cool information....cute beads

Yes, it's slowly disappear, thanks for your lovely comments.

PolymerClayTutor said...

Tim Holtz made his own version of glimmer mist in a demo video the other day. He mixed a small scoop (1/4 tsp.) of perfect pearls mica powder, a dropper full of Distress Re-inker and water in a mini-mister and shook it to mix.

Perfect Pearls is a mica powder with a binder in it, so it will bond to whatever it sticks to, when mixed with water. I guess his distress re-inkers do better mixed with water than alcohol inks and apparently the Mini-Mister he carries won't clog either, so it sounds like he has a winning combination.

Haven't tried it myself yet but it sounds real cool! ~Cindy Lietz