Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The really big hollow bead...

 What's on the table this week?



Another week and more tweeking to be done.  It's endless, but fun.  I've been struggling with the writing of a tutorial and I'm getting near the end - fortunately, I have a couple of wonderful people who have offered to try it out and see if my instructions are as clear as I think they are - but I suspect that after they try it there will be some revisions to be done.  It isn't nearly as easy as you might think to tell someone how to make something....

It has been a tremendous help to read other people`s tutorials to see how they lay out the material and illustrate it.  Thanks particularly to Shannon of missficklemedia and Lynda from scDiva,  both of whom write great tutorials.  Check out their stores on Etsy if you are interested in some new techniques!

The first basic tutorial is one I've had in my mind for a while, namely, how to make hollow forms without armatures or core material.  For myself, I've found that working this way has given me tremendous freedom to explore form in a way that is not possible when you commit yourself to a mold or a core to build over.  Beads can evolve and change while you work on them.  Later, I plan to do another tutorial to explain how to decorate the hollow form in various ways while it is being made, so that the decoration can change with the piece, rather than being imposed on it after curing. 

I 'm so hoping that people will be interested in this tutorial - I have plans to sell it in a couple of places, but more on that later.  While tweeking the content, I made this bead to see if I could push the limits a little!  Apparently I can make beads this large..( and larger if necessary, but is it necessary?).This could easily have changed  into a large hollow lentil at the last minute (a nice feature of this technique) but I wanted to finish a really large round bead.  When I went to pick up my husband at the arirport today, I saw 2 or 3 necklaces walking around (on women, naturally) with round beads this large or larger.   Maybe someone would use it...heck, maybe I`ll use it!

Here are a few more shots of the big bead, I've even included a shot with the ubiquitous penny (so annoying, I know...) so you can see the scale more readily.  It measures 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter.  Bigger is possible if you remember that as you increase the surface area,  the amount of clay needed  increases exponentially.


So what have you been up to?  And more importantly, would you put this big sucker round your neck?

8 comments:

artybecca said...

I will buy your hollow bead tutorial because I look at your beads that I own and I have no idea how you make them. And yes, I would wear a bead that large!

stregata said...

It is gorgeous, Claire! The surface treatment is what makes your pieces so extraordinary - I just love the details, the 'scratches and carvings' - they make the beads look old and mysterious... no matter what size.

treasureislandcrafts said...

I would love to see your tutorial. Your work is amazing! I see lots of ladies wearing "diva-size" beads this big in Tennessee.

Roberta said...

I am not sure if I could wear something quite that big but one never knows. It all depends on the piece itself, cord, findings etc.

I do know though that i would be very interested in a tutorial on how to build hollow forms with polymer clay.

We don't get very many polymer classes here where I live so I depend on tutorials to teach me the skills I need to move ahead with my work.

I admire your work very much. Keep me posted when and where the tutorial can be found.

missficklemedia.com said...

I will be first in line to buy your tutorial! This is so exciting!

I have a new necklace design that is perfect for a large bead like that, so add me to your list of emails to notify when the tut is ready for purchasing

Hope everyone is feeling better in your house?

Hinsdale's Garrison said...

All of us who make larger beads are laughing at the current "trend" for them. Look at some of Kathleen Dustin's work from several years ago. I LOVE large beads and I can't wait for your tute!

SuziCQ said...

Oh, I would love to have your tutorial on making hollow forms! I am completely mystified as to how you accomplish it; I always have to use an armature. I've actually been hoping you would write one.

And sometimes I wear beads/pendants that big. Sometimes I make them that big!

Polyanya said...

I've asked you for a surface treatment tutorial already Claire and I think my email address is on your waiting list - my that is a lovely bead and I would wear it as well.