Twisted Polymer Beads

A couple of years ago, I was playing around with bead shapes and, as an experiment, flattened a bead and twisted it.  Immediately, I was in love.  With a little bit of careful manipulation, I could create beads that had a whole different kind of texture and motion.  I especially like using these beads for earrings.

For beads like these, you start off with regular round beads, then squish them into flattened ovals.  Next, pierce them on with whatever wire you’d use to bake them with, and while they’re on that wire, twist.  Be gentle, because the twist can distort the holes.

DSC_0181 (2)

Beads made using the watercolor technique

DSC_0078

Beads made with an extruded cane

Since one of the steps to create these beads involves making a flat bead, it also works really well for beads that start out flat, like when you use a cutter to cut a bead from a sheet of polymer clay.  It takes some experimentation to figure out the right thickness that will keep the bead nice and flexible, but also strong enough to hold up to manipulation.  I’ve found that about 1/8 of an inch works nicely to create beads like this:

DSC_0078 (2)

Beads made using a mokume gane technique

(All of these earrings can currently be found at my brand new Etsy shop.)

So, for any bead makers who’re reading this, I’m curious: What are your favorite bead shapes?

 

Advertisements

About Ali

I take pictures, make jewelry, read books, and bake things. I especially like macro photography and polymer clay.
This entry was posted in Jewelry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s