I am an independent artisan, currently focusing on hand beaded wearable and non-wearable art. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments, or to share your bead work.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bead Embroidery

So, I thought I would show you a piece in progress. I am making this bracelet using bead embroidery. This is a technique I really love. I have not done as much of it as I would like.

For some great instructions look at the book
Beaded Embellishment: Techniques & Designs for Embroidery on Cloth (Beadwork How-To series) by: Amy C. Clarke, Robin Atkins
That is a really great book, it will work if you are new to bead embroidery, and it will serve as great inspiration if you are experienced, and who knows, you might still learn something new.

The bracelet
, as it stands now, looks really garish. What you are seeing is my drawing of the design. I do that first so I have a general idea of what I would like it too look like, and there are less surprises along the way. It may be that I will not follow my pattern after all, but it is there for guidelines.

The "fabric" I am doing the embroidery on, is called Lacy's Stiff Stuff. It is a really great substrate for embroidery. It takes glue well, you can draw on it with various implements, and it is nice and stiff (so it will hold up to the weight of the beads), but the needle glides right through. You can find it at your local bead shop, or click on the name to go to Jane's Fiber and Beads, order page for it.

I decided on the size and general design of the bracelet, made a paper pattern, and then used that to cut out a piece of Lacy's Stiff Stuff. I glued down my centerpiece bead, a piece of Mookalite Jasper, and then used Sharpie pens to flesh out the design.

I knew that I wanted a hidden clasp, so decided to make it the same size and shape of the Mookalite. I am using a really great little clasp. It is a little unusual, in that it was designed to be a purse clasp. I will cut slits in the Lacy's Stiff Stuff, push the prongs through, squeeze in a little glue behind the clasp, place the washer over the prongs, and then bend them down to secure. I will use beads to cover up the washer and prongs on the top side.

I made a lot of color choices for this bracelet! I came up with many "bead soup" mixes (random puddles of beads, in harmonious colors) and some single colors to use on their own. My guess would be that I will not use all of the mixes nor will I use all of the colors, single or already mixed in. We will see! I think I will stop writing, right now, and go work on the bracelet. It is whispering at me. Does your bead work do that? Mine always has!

No comments:

Add to Technorati Favorites