Friday, October 25, 2013

Life's a bead of roses, how the cuff was made.

Just finished a bracelet cuff yesterday evening that was almost a year in the making. I've been working on this cuff off and on, between many other projects. I was inspired to show the process this bracelet went through. As with many projects for me, it started with the beads. I had made some pendant necklaces and statement rings with these beads. They were perfect to make a beaded bead, that results in a bead that looks similar to a magnolia or a wild rose. So late last year I ordered more of these beads online, to continue making the pendants and rings, adding some new colors. My order arrived and I order the wrong size. I try to be careful about size, but I slipped up this time. As it turned out it was a happy mistake. I thought about sending the beads back, but one evening sat down and made a beaded bead with one color, and then another, and another. After a couple of weeks there was a pile of beautiful beaded beads with sparkly crystal centers.

I played around with the beaded beads and laid them out in different ways. At a point it became obvious, I was making a cuff. This meant I had to make more beaded beads. Now, how to bring it all together and close the cuff. Most people do not realize there is a lot of engineering involved in making some jewelry. The piece must have movement, be comfortable, and still be beautiful. Out came the sketch book to play around with some possibilities.

From my sketches I created a platform spanning a wide hook. On the platform, I was intending to add Sterling Silver flowers with a rivet at the center. These flowers would mimic the beaded bead flowers. The wide hook would mate with a squared "D" at the other end of the cuff. Once I had soldered the platform in place on the hook, I added the two Sterling Silver flowers with a rivet in the center of the flower.I left just enough space between flower and platform so the flowers will spin. I love doing things like that with my jewelry designs. It's a little surprise for the wearer, and, of coarse, me having some fun.

Next I created the beaded beads attached to the hook. As I made the beaded bead, I including the bar the platform sits on, and the wire that all of the beaded beads would be strung on crossing the length of the cuff. This was tricky, to say the least. At the other end I did the same and included the "D" and string wire, as I created the beaded beads. This bracelet cuff was not a bed of roses to make, but turned out fabulous. Now there is a "Bed of Roses", made of fun petal shaped beads, Swarovski crystals, and two spinning Sterling Silver flowers.