Thursday, October 27, 2016

New AVA beads

I was one of the designers chosen to play with the new AVA beads developed by The Potomac Bead Company.  I received three colors of the beads; Crystal Labrador Full, Crystal Amber Full, and Crystal Capri Gold Full.  My friend who is a retired third grade teacher calls them Less Than and Greater Than beads, because to her that is exactly what they look like.  AVAs measure 10X4mm and have two holes.  I really like the heft of the beads.

I had a great time playing with the AVAs.  I made two bracelet designs, Holly Points and Let It Go.
Holly Points is being made into a freebie video that you can get on The Potomac Bead Company website.  I will also sell a downloadable pdf of the diagrams in my Etsy shop for those of us who like diagrams.

Let It Go will be available to purchase in my Etsy shop when the tutorial is available.

I also designed a pair of earrings called Sparkly Space Invaders.  I am hoping to get the tutorial written up and posted here as a freebie... So much work so little time!!

AVAs will be available for purchase on The Potomac Bead Company's website later this month with more colors becoming available in November.  I think you will enjoy playing with them as much as I have!  There are other new design tutorials becoming available from other designers!!

Happy beading!!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Getting Motifs to Lay Correctly

Antigonian Bracelet is my newest new it has not been released yet!  I made the prototype bracelet this past early summer. It is the turquoise and silver photo. While both versions look similar they are beaded totally differently.

 I loved the way the prototype looked but was not happy with the way the dome beads fit inside of the beaded bezel.  They had a tendency to slip and flip forward making the dome insecure.

I beaded three different versions of the motif that appeared the same but had different bezel designs. Below is a photo of the three versions taken from overhead.  See how similar they look.  (Please disregard the dome bead with a lot of blue, I think it got mixed up in the wrong color bin.)  The main difference is how much surface area of the dome is showing.  The third motif appears larger!

Here is a photo of the same versions taken from the back side.  You can see the different bezel backs. The third is the prototype design.  I used a wheel type bezel.  This is the one where the dome bead moved and could flip forward. The second and first motif have very similar backs but the main difference in the way they lay is shown from the side view photo.

Notice how the second motif does not lay flat against the base surface.  It sets much too high.  The first motif lays flat and will look the best when worn as a bracelet.

When designing jewelry there are many more things that have to be worked out other than the visual harmony of the design.  A designer has to be able to design something that will lay against the body and move accordingly.  The main focal (dome bead in this example) needs to be bezeled in such a way that it will not move around and flip forward or backward.  It needs to fit tightly, but lay flat and not sit up from the base surface.  

I hope this quick blog post will help others out there is cyber-land when designing their own jewelry!! Happy beading!!
Norma Jean