Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Crystal Bubble Experiments

Long before I tried using freshwater pearls in some of my teardrop beaded bead designs, I had always wanted to try these designs using Swarovski crystal pendants. So, when Artbeads asked me to sample their line of Swarovski crystals, I gravitated towards some clear crystal 7 mm briolette pendants (Swarovski article # 6007) to try in my Double Bubble Jacks and Teardrop Bubbles designs.

Here's the Double Bubble Jacks beaded bead with crystals, which I turned into a charm on a bracelet:

And here's the Teardrop Bubbles beaded bead with crystals, which I turned into a solo pendant:

The resulting pieces worked up very well; in terms of shape and structure, the Swarovski 7 mm briolette pendants are completely interchangeable with the 4 x 6 mm Czech teardrop beads called for in the tutorials. I did however use fireline (4 lb-test) instead of nymo thread when constructing these beaded beads, as the edges of the holes of crystals can cut nymo thread very easily. This even happened with the 4 lb-test fireline while I was constructing the Teardrop Bubbles crystal pendant, so next time I'll use the slightly thicker 6 lb-test fireline, or maybe even wildfire thread.

Next time I'll also try a color palette with more contrasting colors, since this clear crystal and light blue palette doesn't really show all the details in these beaded beads. Granted, I was going for a wintery snowball look which I think I achieved, but it's easy to lose sight of the seed bead pillars among the many facets of the crystals in these pieces. I also found these pieces very difficult to photograph, and the resulting photos still look a bit dark, but if I increased the exposure the beaded beads became overexposed very easily.

Anyway, in summary, I was happy to discover that these briolette crystals work very easily in these designs. I'm also looking forward to including Swarovski crystals as alternative materials for my upcoming beaded bead tutorials.

Full disclosure: The 7 mm clear crystal briolette Swarovski pendants used to construct these pieces were received as a gift from Artbeads.com.

1 comment:

  1. Just beautiful. I had the same thought to use the little briolettes--now I just need the money!

    I also made a Double Bubble Jacks bead in scarlet kind of by accident when I decided to try the Bubble beaded bead using a core of right-angle weave instead of pentagons. Thanks for the inspiration!


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