July work in polymer

It’s been a while, I know. May was a doozy of a month here. June was spent on packing, moving, and unpacking in a new place. And then in July, I finally had time to focus on Dan Cormier’s BBB class. BBB stands for Building Better Beads and he means every word. We built. Beads. And they were better than most of us had ever made. Here’s my first one:

The class was nothing short of amazing. Detailed videos and explanations to take even a beginner through the process of building a bead worthy of admiration. Until this class, I didn’t know my hands could produce a bead of this quality. It’s my favorite red with a bit of black and white mokume and black backing. It’s flat where it should be flat and curved where it should be curved. The stringing hole is positioned perfectly. The surface is smooth, very smooth. I love it.

Then, because I was trying something different, came this teal bead:

Teal bead

There’s something very intriguing about mica shift. I like how it’s all one color without looking like one color. It also makes it easy to start over if something doesn’t turn out quite as envisioned. When Dan showed us pictures of some of his older work, there was a red he used for mica shift. It inspired me to continue my mica shift journey. There’s no red pearl in the Premo line these days but Polyform helpfully provided a recipe for it: 4 parts Pearl, 10 parts Pomegranate, and 1 part Purple Pearl. So I tried that and then played a bit to see if I could get closer to the red I had in mind. All of these reds look quite useful and pretty, don’t you think?

Pearlized red samples

Eventually, I turned my attention back to the teal veneers I had sitting on my desk. They’d make a nice bracelet and earrings and it would be a chance to practice what Dan taught us about composite veneers. And it would also be a chance to see how I can translate these newly learned techniques and concepts into my own work. Here’s how they turned out:

Teal jewelry set

The bracelet is much better than my previous work. More even, with smooth joins both on the outer surface and where the lining joins the outer veneer. And all that work was pure joy. Somehow, in the process of teaching us how to build a better bead, Dan managed to teach us to slow down and enjoy not just the finished product but also every step of creating it. It’s a wonderful thing and I’m already seeing it play out in my sewing, even though I’ve only been sewing muslin lately. I have a few days off coming up so “real” sewing should be happening then.

See you soon!

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7 responses to “July work in polymer

  1. Wow, those are some gorgeous beads! Nice work!

  2. Beautiful work! I’ve dabbled in polymer in the past but never got close to this level of creativity and skill. I’m inspired.

    • Thank you, Cindy! If you get a chance to take one of Dan’s online classes, jump on it. It will propel your creativity and skill forward in so many ways.

  3. You’re back!, and such beautiful work. Would you ever consider opening an Etsy shop and selling some of your pieces?

    On another note, I can’t believe you’ve moved again! I hope you are able to replicate your beautiful sewing room in your new home.

    • Thank you, Sandi! I have thought about selling but my preference at this time is to do custom work on request, at least until we settle somewhere permanently.

  4. Alex, these beads are beautiful!

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