Monday, September 13, 2010

TOGGLE BEADS (aka Bead-on-a-Bead)...

I've been so interested in toggle beads (aka Bead-on-a-Bead) since I read about them in Cindy Jenkins' book Making Glass Beads when I first started making beads. I've seen other artists make these, Jill Symons for one,  they're so interesting... playful. I've wanted to try my hand @ it, so I made a bunch of big hole beads one day, cleaned them the next, put them back into my cold kiln & let them heat up as my kiln ramped up. After an hour or so, I made my base bead, got the disc wall up on one side & then tried to put the beads on, but my base was too thick. So I tried it again, thinner base... & went to put the beads on &  just wasn't coordinated enough to get them on quickly enough. I lost the base (crack) & one of the beads cracked in half, so I gave it up for the day @ that point. I needed to figure out how in the world I was going to do it. A friend gave me some instructions & it was really obvious, I was making my beads too small. I was barely giving them much room to slip on. They needed to be much much larger than the base. It made sense. I still haven't gotten back to try it again, but in the meantime, I've been playing w/ the idea of making FAKE toggle beads. I had already made several different batches of big hole beads in preparation for making real ones, so I made long tube beads & then some separate disc beads to match. Last night I started playing around, figuring out how I wanted to put them together... this is what I came up w/.

 I especially like this set because it's a bit more random than the next one, feels really good in my hand & has a really great sound
But I wasn't really sure about the wiring. I love the silver spacer beads, but the holes aren't big enough for me to put a piece of silver tubing through & line the beads together, so this one got wired up.

I think I'm going to completely finish this piece unless someone jumps me & says NO!!! :o)
 LOVE the colors in this piece... the beads are cool, but not quite as fun as the other, more random sized ones. They're thinner, too, so they don't sound as cool as the other. This one has a piece of sterling tubing that lines the entire length & holds it all together...
including a couple of etched copper bead caps. I love the look & it leaves a hole all the way through, still, so someone can easily integrate it into a piece of jewelry, using it just like any other bead.
They're pretty good size, as you can see... I like them!!

How about you? Am I onto something that I should pursue further?? Should I sell them completely made up into a piece of jewelry... or do I sell them as-is so you can do your own thing w/ it? Or do I leave everything loose in pieces & let you REALLY do your own thing w/ it? What would you pay for such a thing? My beads don't tend to be really inexpensive, but I want to hear from you...

Until then...

~ Julie


Barbara Collins said...

Julie, I love those toggle beads!

Jen V. said...

I think they're cool...I would rather have all the pieces, but of course then I'd just have them in stash to play with and probably never make anything! haaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Thanks for my nutty treats! Jen Judd Rocks is sending you some linkin' love!!! Plus, I'll have another follow-up once you see the oak leafy set of earrings that I have coming out in the October Bead Trends. :)

Julie Nordine . Credit.River.Art.Glass said...

Thank you, ladies!

That's what I was thinking, Jen... maybe @ shows, I'll have a few samples set up & then have a bunch of bases & a bunch of big hole beads... some in sets, lots in "pick your own sets", so people can do their own thing.

You're very welcome, Jen. Thanks for the mention, that's awesome!!

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