Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Size Does Matter

So, I'm not always the best at really understanding what size a bead actually is when shopping online.  Sometimes I just get drawn in by the shape and color of a gemstone bead and fail to pay attention to exactly how many millimeters long and wide it measures.

On more than one occasion, Eric has just stood there shaking his head as I unpack an unexpectedly gigantic strand of gemstones wondering what in the world I'm going to do with my new oversized monstrosity!  Here are a couple of examples of beads that were much bigger than I had expected.

Going clockwise from the top, we've got a 18-20 mm amazonite rondelle, a 20 mm carved Brecciated Jasper piece, and a 13x18 mm muscovite teardrop along with some change for size comparison.  Now there are certainly much larger beads out there (such as the 60x40 mm bronzite pillow bead that I got as a free gift from Lima Beads for instance),  but when you were originally imagining stringing a whole necklace out of these puppies, their size can come as quite a shock!

In all three cases, I found my solution only after letting go of the idea of needing to use all the beads at one time in one necklace.  First up, two different takes on a long necklace using the amazonite with a chain fringe for movement at the bottom. 

Next, a simple front-clasp necklace of two sizes and colors of seed beads featuring the carved jasper as a pendant.  
Last but not least, the item that was the hardest to figure out...the muscovite teardrop.  It's not terribly big, but for the shape of the stone and what I had originally wanted to do with it, it threw me for a loop.  These languished in my stash for years until I embossed and painted this brass blank.  Once I added a sheer coat of bronze patina to tone down the super bright orangey pink it started as, I knew just the bead to go with it!  
These pictures were hastily taken before my holiday sale last December and don't do this stone justice at all.  The color is really rich and it has a lot of crystalline sparkle to it that you don't see here.  

I'll be the first to admit that it has sometimes taken me awhile to come up with a solution for working with those oversized beads, but I'm often at my best when I go into problem solving mode.

Do any of you beaders/jewelry makers out there have this problem too? or am I just math challenged?  I'd love to hear someone else's size related missteps!


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