Sunday, 26 February 2012
Lynn's Lampies - March 2012
A regular spot from team member Lynn Davy, a self-confessed bead addict whose unusual designs often feature lampwork beads. In this series she shares some of her secrets and shows you how to use FHFteam’s handmade beads and components in your own creations!
Cooking with Colour
Colour is fundamental to everything I make. It took me a while to figure this out, as I have a butterfly mind when it comes to beading and have played with all sorts of styles…
from minimal and monochrome…
To lush and rainbow coloured.
I’m often asked how I put my colour palettes together and the short answer is that I don’t exactly know. I tend to do it by a process of subtraction: I have an idea, then I grab a huge pile of stuff from my stash, put it all on a tray, sit in a really good light and weed out all the colours that don’t really work. Here is a typical trayload – I’m trying to pick colours that will go with these gorgeous ‘graffiti’ beads by Helen Chalmers:
If I’m stuck for an idea I go to my lampwork box. Close study of handmade beads can give you some unexpected but wonderful colour combinations, like the ones I found in these ‘Mojito’ beads by Jo Wolfe.
Or these pretty springtime beads from Sue at Flaming Eck:
We are all drawn to particular colour combinations; here are a few of mine.
Pinks with a touch of olive green, bronze, cream… the more ‘fleshy’ pinks are good for this, as they have more yellow in them than the ‘sweet’ rose and baby pinks.
Earthy neutrals – you can’t go wrong with these. Add touches of cream or green for contrast
Zingy opposites – lime, red, aqua, orange – this always seems to me to have a Mexican vibe about it.
Blues and greys. Use graded tones from light to dark to make the colours really glow. These beads were made for me by Julia Hay and are designed to pick up the colours of labradorite – my all-time favourite gemstone!
Apart from a stash of labradorite, there are a few other colours that I really can’t do without. Lime green and black and matte cream, of course. And these…
‘Silver lined gold olive’ seed beads – these are somewhere between a green and a gold and they tone or contrast with almost anything. The bracelet is a bit of a flop on the design front, but I really like the colour combination and will be returning to it!
Haematite. Not as bright as silver, but more interesting than black. The equivalent seed bead colour is often called ‘gunmetal’ and it gives a vintage feel to your beadwork.
‘Silk’ crystals – they’re pink… or are they? They add a lovely touch of warmth to creamy palettes, they add highlights to browny mixtures, they blend in with pastel shades, and they contrast beautifully with my favourite acid ‘olivine’ and ‘lime’ sparklies…
Crystals can be hard to put together in palettes because so many of the colours are strong and well defined. Here’s a little geometric construction that’s quick to make and useful for exploring different colour combinations before embarking on a major project. And equally useful for mopping up that handful of spare beads when said major project is finished…
Tutorial: Sparkly Hexagon Pendant
You will need: Twelve 6mm bicone crystals and six 5mm ones; 42 round 2mm metal beads (or little acrylic pearls or metallised rounds); nylon beading thread such as ‘Fireline’; ribbon or chain; needle and scissors.
1. Thread your needle with an arm’s length of thread. Pick up seven beads in the following order: round, 6mm, round, 5mm, round, 6mm, round.
2. Tie the working and tail ends together in a double overhand knot.
3. Go through the first three beads again.
4. Pick up the following five beads: round, 6mm, round, 5mm, round. Go through the same three beads again as you did in the previous step.
5. Go on through the next three beads (round, 5mm, round)…
6. … and through the next three beads (round, 6mm, round).
7. This is just like step 4: pick up (round, 6mm, round, 5mm, round) and go through the three beads you went through in the previous step.
8. Go through the first three beads of step 7 again (round, 6mm, round).
9. Continue adding sets of five beads as in the previous steps, until you have a total of six 6mm crystals forming a wheel shape. This is much simpler to do than to explain, honest! At the very last step you will add just three beads (round, 5mm, round) to complete the ‘rim’ of the wheel. Make sure you weave through the beads to connect the last set of beads to the first. Exit on the rim of the wheel.
10. Now start to add a second layer of 6mm crystals to form the other side of the pendant and hold the structure in place. These crystals will share the ‘rim’ of 5mm crystals. Pick up (round, 6mm, round, 6mm, round) and go through the set of ‘rim’ beads you exited in the previous step.
11. Pull the new beads firmly into place and go through the first three beads of step 10 again.
12. Add three more beads (round, 6mm, round), weaving through the existing 5mm ‘rim’ beads…
13. … and keep going until you have added all six of the 6mm crystals to the second side of the pendant. Make sure you weave through all the connections, and reinforce any that are loose. When you’re happy, exit somewhere along the edge.
14. Now add a round bead in each of the gaps between the ‘rim’ sets, to give extra stability.
15. When you’ve filled all six gaps, weave all round the rim to tighten it, and exit through one of the extra round beads.
16. Add six rounds and make a loop for hanging. Go round it another couple of times. Weave the thread into the work, knot and trim the end. Weave in and trim the tail thread too.
17. Now use a jump ring to hang the pendant on a chain or ribbon. Or hang in your studio window to make rainbows when the sun shines!
Members’ shops mentioned in this article
Flaming ‘Eck http://www.etsy.com/shop/FlamingEck
Helen Chalmers http://www.etsy.com/shop/helenjewellery
Julia Hay http://www.etsy.com/shop/Pandanimal
Diane Turton http://www.etsy.com/shop/SowZeRe
Jolene Wolfe http://www.etsy.com/shop/KitzbitzArtBeads