More about the Spike Beads

Have you noticed the new “Spike” beads? Interesting spikey cones with a hole near the wide end. When Marg showed these to me, my reaction was definitely – “Ok, that’s cool,” but all I was picturing was Gothy sorts of creations with spikes hanging down. Laura McCabe – Spikey Beaded Sculpture It didn’t occur to me that the uses would be so … architectural – like the way Laura McCabe uses them. And, in fact, these are inspired by Laura McCabe’s work using stone beads in a similar shape. Check out the very cool stuff she is making. I like …

The Skinny on Thread for Big Projects

Dear beadFX:   I’m going to be doing a large project using Size 11/0 Delicas in Peyote stitch. The project is over 15 inches across.What thread would you suggest using? signed, Thread-confused! Dear Thread Confused: Generally speaking, Fireline, PowerPro and One G have little to no stretch, whereas Nymo can stretch quite a lot. Given the total weight of the beads you will be using, this could be a factor if the project is free-hanging. If it is supported on some kind of backing – then this may not be as big a factor. Projects of this size can be …

Czech Glass Buttons – How it’s Made!

Last week, we added a bunch more of those fabulous Czech glass buttons to our site. These buttons are new, but are made with the same techniques – and the same equipment! – that they have been using for a hundred years!  We thought you might like to see just what that process looks like. First up – these are the molds that are used to make the buttons. These are a “negative” version of the button, as these press into the glass to make the shape. These are the very same ones that have been in use for hundreds …

Beyond AB – Other Bead Finishes.

Now that you know what an AB and Matte bead is, let’s look at some of the other exotic treatments. Most of these coatings are applied to only one side of the bead, making transparent beads more reflective because of the mirror-like properties of the coating, and making opaque beads more dramatic, sometimes, even making them “reversible” – completely different from one side to the other. First of all, some of the common, and not so common, bead finishes that you will find on Fire polish and pressed glass beads. Some are common on many colours of beads, and some …

Bead Finishes: Aurora Borealis is AB

AB Iris Matte Rainbow Azuro Zairit Volcano CapriWhat the heck are all these terms? Sounds like a magical incantation more than anything else! Well, as you know, there is a lot of magic in beads, but in this case – we are talking about bead “finishes” – which is a treatment to “modify” the existing colour. It is a light coating that is applied to the bead as part of the manufacturing process, and is very durable. The coating application is pretty high-tech, usually involving high temperatures and evaporating salts, and not really a reproducible home process. By the way, …