This piece right here has become my absolute favorite piece these days:
I just love it!! I made the bail from scratch, too!
I traded Jennifer Ionta of Spotted Moon Designs one of my beads for one of her gorgeous beadable pendant holders at the Twin Cities Bead Bazaar early in the spring & it had this mechanical clutch at the bottom of the wire that firmly held the bead in place. I thought it was a brilliant idea. I had been thinking for quite a while about wanting to design my own interchangable pendant holders, but I don't know how to do threaded ends to use with threaded bead ends... and also felt like having the threads would be really limiting as far as lengths go, since you're committing to a specific length. With the wire, you can cut it to any length! The next day I asked Jennifer if the clutch was her original idea & she said no... I told her about wanting to do my own interchangable pendants & that the clutch would be perfect... also told her that in no way shape or form was I going to copy her bail idea. It's beautiful & it's HER's. I would come up w/ my own bail designs.
I actually saw several people @ the Bead & Button Show this past weekend who were selling beadable pendant holders w/ that clutch (or a clutch)... so I have no idea how long the idea has been out there... so THANK YOU, whoever came up w/ this brilliant idea. :o)
I found some surgical steel for the wire since it's much harder than sterling & won't kink on me, but you can't solder surgical steel to sterling, bummer... so I'm still working on it.
I've been buying some neat sterling bails... mainly tube beads w/ a ring to hang something from, so I'm forming a loop on the end of the surgical steel & attaching it to the bails... they're cute, but I still want to do something that's all ME, you know??
So... I've been playing w/ PMC (precious metal clay). That's what the piece above is made from. I love it. The steel wire is imbedded right into it. I'm going to try to come up w/ several different pieces & will probably start looking into having them cast.
BTW... the complete image is going to be the front of my postcard. I'm submitting 400 of them to this year's ISGB Gathering in Oakland to be put into boxed sets along w/ a whole bunch of other artist's bead postcards... BIG NAME artists!! I'm so excited!! :o) They'll sell them to other bead artists and the public @ the Gathering this summer. Then I'll have some left over (about 600!) to have for myself at shows & to send to customers, etc...
This is the back side:
isn't it fantastic??? I just love it.
I posted the bead photo on Lampwork Etc the other day... the reaction has been wonderful & I've already had several people contact me about the bail. Yeah!! :o) One of the artists who makes incredible beads said, "Julie: It's a beautiful postcard (thanks for the reminder by the way, I need to do mine too) and it's STunning bead! and beautiful photography! You can't help but be proud of the whole thing. Everything you do is amazing though." WOW!! Talk about flooring me! I don't post my pieces there very often...didn't know if the big kids noticed me or not. Makes me REALLY happy!! :o)
Anyway... w/ the bail, I think I might have something here. :o)
Now to get some things listed for sale online!!! :o)