Saturday, February 27, 2016

String Pendant Variations

6mm beads, 16 gauge wire
Last time I wrote about making string art pendants using coiled wire.  Here are a few alternatives to using coils.   

The first alternative is stringing beads on a wire.  The nice thing about doing it this way, is it takes almost no time to string a handful of beads on a wire.

Finding small beads with large enough holes to fit 16 or at least 18 gauge wire can be challenging. 

Coils by design have nice little spaces for the threads to go, beads do not.  With the purple beaded pendant below, the last few thread wraps were really tight. I starting getting nervous I was going to break the thread.  For the black and silver one I gave myself some extra room, but I had to sell my soul to keep the beads evenly spaced while wrapping them. The round beads on the skull pendant were a little more forgiving and even after space between them got tight, the valley between the outer edge of the beads was deep enough to hold a few more threads. 

18 gauge wire, Toho seed beads, size 8 left, size 6 right

The next alternative is to wire wrap beads around the frame.  I recommend 24 or 26 gauge for wrapping the beads.  The best part of this is being able to thread wrap at angles that wouldn't hold very well with coil. Also since the wire being used to wrap the beads is a much smaller gauge, smaller beads can be used too. 

The last alternative that I'm going to show is cup chain wire wrapped around the frame.  This is 4mm cup chain, with a dream catcher weave combined with a little thread wrapping.   

A few more tips.  Don't be afraid to add different colors or patterns together. 

If you finish a piece and decide later you don't like it, you can always add to it instead of completely redoing it.  Here I didn't like the gap, so I added the silver.

If you don't watch your thread tension you can pull your frame out of shape.  It's really easy to use a tighter tension when you begin a new color/thread, so make sure you are not pulling too much.  The fact that this was made with 18 gauge didn't do me any favors, 16 gauge is much sturdier.  Also when the frame gets out whack, the previous threads can come loose and then the whole thing unravels.  There is no shame in crying if that happens.   

One more thing I learned, looks can be deceiving.  I wanted to see how variegated thread would play out so I picked up a spool that looked interesting. The picture doesn't do it justice, but even though I now know this spool of thread only contains black, red and gold, I still see orange and fuchsia mixed in.   

I used it for the skull pendant and this lizard one. I still like it, but it's not nearly as exciting as it looks on the spool. 

One more string spider thing coming up and then I'll lay this project to rest.