Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Beaded Bead Reflection Photography

I've been playing with photographing some of my beaded beads on a reflective surface.

It's a fun but challenging photography technique and I think it works particularly well for silver beadwork. I used a piece of dark reflective plastic to generate the reflection, which does the job quite nicely however it also picks up every single speck of dust in the light tent. I had to spend a ton of time editing out the dust specks in post-processing to generate these shots.

Here's a shot of a Fairy Triangles beaded bead. I like how the reflection picks up the lower part of the beaded bead as well as the top.

Here's another shot of the silver Half Tila Technocluster beaded bead, which I previously tried to photograph in a previous post.

For reference, here's my previous attempt at photographing this beaded bead. The big difference is in the reflective surface; in the older shot I used a clear piece of plastic to generate the reflection (instead of a dark piece of plastic), but since both the top and bottom sides of the clear plastic show, it makes a double reflection rather than a single reflection.

I like the reflection in the new shot, but the beaded bead is a little overexposed. I prefer the way the beaded bead looks in the older photo.

Finally, I used this same technique to photograph the Diffractions Necklace, which is the project that I'll be teaching at the Beading by the Bay bead retreat in March of 2016.

This necklace features both cube- and dodecahedron-shaped beaded beads that use a unifying set of materials and embellishments, and I'm looking forward to teaching this project because it's a great example of beading with different geometries to make different types and sizes of beaded beads.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, November 2, 2015

New Beading Video and Kits: Dainty Prismatic Right-Angle Weave Flower Charms

A few months ago I had the opportunity to film a series of videos based on four different areas in beading. The videos are now available at the Interweave Store both as instant high definition video downloads as well as in the DVD format. This is the last in a series of four blog posts on those video projects; check out the previous posts herehere and here.

Together with the team over at Interweave/F+W, we organized these videos with each level of beader in mind. Beginners can watch me weave each step of the project one stitch at a time, I share several variations for experienced beaders, and throughout the course of each video I include many tips and tricks that are useful for beaders of all levels. If you're new to my Bead Origami style then these videos are a great introduction to my approach to beadweaving, but if you're already familiar with my work then you'll want to check them out too as I cover a new project in each one.

For the last video I focused on a topic that often shows up in my work; stitching beaded flowers using Prismatic Right-Angle Weave (PRAW).

Stitching Flowers with PRAW

Last spring I put together a webinar on Prismatic Right-Angle Weave where I talked about the geometry behind the term, and I showed several different examples of beaded art that use this technique. I also explained how to stitch four different kinds of basic PRAW beaded ropes in a detailed supplementary PDF file, which was then adapted into an article for the August/September 2015 issue of Beadwork Magazine.

In this video I talk about how to use PRAW to make dainty beaded flowers using a collection of shaped beads and seed beads. I start with a brief review of PRAW, and then I show how to weave three different sizes of these flowers using PRAW-4 (CRAW), PRAW-5, and PRAW-6. When we use the same materials and vary the PRAW count, we get flowers with four, five, and six petals (respectively).

I also discuss petal-shaped beads in this video. For this project I chose dragon scale beads in a specific finish that gives us many different colors in one bag of beads, but I've also used lentils, rizos, rose petals, and even drop beads to emulate flower petals with beads.

Quick Petite Earrings

In the next part of the video I show how to make a quick pair of earrings using 5-sided charms with matching pear-shaped crystals. I also cover how to balance the earrings so that the flower faces forward.

Delicate Bracelet

In the last part of the video I show how to make a matching bracelet using 4-sided charms, including how to connect them together and how to attach a magnet clasp.

Once you're comfortable making these charms and connecting them together, try creating a collection of charms using a different number of sides. You can mix and match and connect them together to make more intricate necklaces, bracelets, and earrings!

This video is available both as a High Definition Video Download and in the DVD format, and includes a supplementary PDF pattern with step-by-step written instructions and a complete materials list for the bracelet and purple pair of earrings shown in this post. Additionally, a special limited edition kit is also available for this project, and it includes the video download, the PDF, as well as all the beads needed to make the bracelet and earrings shown here. The last time I partnered with Interweave to sell a kit it completely sold out, so you won't want to miss your chance to snag this one!

Thanks for looking!
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