The new challenge on the Textile Challenge group is beads. It's a great opportunity to try new things. Today is the first day I have felt like going into the studio and what better way to spend the day than making beads. When I was studying for my City & Guilds the two things I got hooked on making was tassels and beads.
Norman made me this little bead making machine. Of course you don't need one of these but it's nice to have.
I used some blue wire. You can buy these in little packs which have a nice selection of colours.
As you can see I just wrapped different coloured coils around each other. You can of course use them on their own but I think they are rather nice together.
Still using wire. I wrapped wire on the sewing machine. This is easy to do. Set your machine for free motion zigzag. Set your zigzag stitch to it's widest setting - mine was 6mm. You can either use the same thread in the needle and bobbin or try using different threads. I like to use a metallic in the bobbin - usually the ones that won't go through the needle. I don't use a foot when I do this I take the foot off the machine. The Pfaff has clip on feet which makes this easy. Hold your wire under the machine, lower the presser foot and start to zigzag over the wire. Once you are finished stitching just coil the wire around a thin knitting needle.
For these beads I wrapped hand dyed and rusted silk around a metal knitting needle. I took a piece of brightly coloured velvet (the kind that burns well) and stitched a design on the strip of velvet on the machine. I cut the velvet into small pieces about an inch and a half. I then wrapped the stitched felt around the silk using wire. I zapped the felt with the heat gun to distress it.
I used a triangle of wrapping paper for these beads. I then painted them randomly with silver Stewart Gill paint and whilst the paint was still wet I rolled them in Stewart Gill embossing powder. I then heated them using the heat gun. You can still see some of the wrapping paper.
I used the same wrapping paper for this bead as I used for the ones above. This time I painted it with Stewart Gill Byzantia paint in lilac and wrapped the bead with wire. When the paint was still wet I rolled the bead in Stewart Gill Byzantia jewel Bright textile and craft media. The colour was Rapture. They are like tiny little slivers of plastic.
These are all made from tyvek. I first painted the tyvek and some of them I wrapped with wire before heating with the heat gun.
These are also made from tyvek. I have shown these before on my blog but I think these pictures are clearer. Instead of heating with the heat gun I used a hot stencil cutter to make the marks through the tyvek. You could use a soldering iron instead.
These beads were made from metallic net which was backed with bondaweb. The one in the middle is made from Angelina fibres.
These beads were made from hand dyed silk which I cut into triangles. Before wrapping them around the knitting needle I burnt the edges in a little night light candle. If you try this then you should keep a little saucer of water and a damp cloth next to you. I just dabbed the edges with a damp cloth to extinguish the little flames.
I had fun with these. I wrapped triangles of wrapping paper around the knitting needle. I dabbed a little glue stick on the end to hold it in place. I then heated up some friendly plastic and whilst the bead was still on the knitting needle I rolled it in the friendly plastic. I then took a darning needle and teased the friendly plastic a little - a bit like peaks on icing sugar - if you get my drift. Although the friendly plastic was coloured the black was mostly showing on the bead. I then painted the whole think with Stewart Gill Byzantia - I love this colour it's called Laurelius - I then poured some gold embossing powder randomly on the beads and zapped it with the heat gun. I really like how these have turned out. Nice use of friendly plastic don't you think?
These beads started out with tyvek painted on both sides with silver acrylic paint. I then wrapped some wire around them and applied some Xpandaprint in between the wire. I rolled the beads in Stewart Gill embossing powder and gold embossing powder (the kind card makers use). I then zapped them with the heat gun.
I have some beads drying at the moment. These were made using water soluble paper which I stitched and embossed. They take a little while to dry. I will post pictures tomorrow - if they work!