Hi there, beady friends! It’s been a while since my last post, but really, I have a good reason for my absence – I have been writing a book all about ….you guessed it, BEADS. Here’s a link so that you can see what I’ve been up to, click on the title Artistic Seed Bead Jewelry .
I’m back now, but I’m changing "Maggie’s Musings" a bit because writing the book on beading has changed me. Going forward, I will be blogging from my studio beading table, sharing with you what I’m working on and showing you new fascinating products and beads. I’ll also be interviewing bead artists and asking all those questions that you would ask if you were able to sit down at a beading table with them.
For this first new post, I want to share a product called Silver Silk that I found at the Bead&Button Show. It’s a mesh chain that is available in a wide variety of metallic finishes and styles. I heard a lot of people buzzing about this product, but as a hardcore seed beader, I wasn’t sure to do with these lengths of knitted mesh. Please give me a needle, thread and seed beads! Pondering it, I was impressed by the fluid and supple nature of the Silver Silk. It really does curve to a shape without buckling or folding back on itself. I purchased three pieces of Silver Silk; a silver mesh rope with a length of ball chain inside the rope, and two pieces of flat mesh in burnished gold and black. The black mesh iss dramatic and dressy looking and as inspiration crept over me, I began to sketch out an idea for earrings to wear with a simple little black dress.
Sparkly is a good thing – this is what all the Swarovski ambassadors are telling me, so a selection of Swarovski sew-ons were invited to my Noir Earring Party.At my local bead store, I found some dark pewter bails that would look lovely with the black mesh.
Here’s how I made the Noir earrings, which are fairly large. I’m vertically challenged so I over-compensate by wearing large jewelry. Just ask me about my Wonder Woman cuffs!
10 in. Silver Silk flat mesh, black
Black crystal loch rosen or sew-on crystals in two sizes, 8mm and 4mm
Gray opal crystal sew-on crystals size 4mm
Tiny size 15 seed beads
Fireline or Wildfire beadgin thread, 6 lb. test
Beading needles, #12
1. Using wire cutters, cut 5 in. of Silver Silk flat mesh. The Silver Silk mesh cuts very easily.
2. Slip both ends of the mesh into a bail, making sure that the mesh isn’t twisted. With nylon-jawed pliers, gently close the open end of the bail onto the mesh.
3. Now that the Noir Ribbons (that’s what I’m calling them now) are connected into the bail ends, let the blinging begin! First, place the crystals onto the mesh as desired and play around with the design until you are satified. Thread a needle onto approximately 1 ft. of Fireline or Wildfire, and attach a stop bead near the end. Sew up through the mesh where you want to attach your first crystal. Pick up a crystal sew-on and a size 15 seed bead and pass pack down through the crystal. Pass the needle on through the mesh from front to back and then come up through it from back to front where you want to attach the next crystal. That’s all there is to it - keep embellishing to your heart’s content.
This is a very simple technique and my earrings were quick to make. That’s good for me because I have other bead show treasures that are calling my name.
Stay tuned and please leave me a comment.
Maggie Roschyk is an accomplished beadwork and jewelry artist who teaches jewelry making and publishes articles about designing jewelry. She loves teaching aspiring artists and seeing the "aha" moment in their eyes. Her goal is to inspire others to look beyond the empirical moment and strive to create beaded art that reflects their individualism.