with Carol Chapman
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January 22, 2000:
.Dianne> Carol, when I made cylinder beads for the memory wire, they were
too stiff to put on...any suggestions?
.CarolC> If you want to use the cylinder beads you already have, you can
1.Put them on headpins and dangle them from the bracelet, either
by looping the tip of the headpin around the actual
wire of the
.CarolC> bracelet, or by dangling the clyinder from the loop at one of the
.Dianne> ends of the memory wire bracelet.
.CarolC> 2. If you want to put the whole cylinder bead on the curved
mwire, cut it into several shorter beads and string them on in the same
order as the original longer bead.
.Dianne> Have you ever tried curing beads while strung on the memory
wire?? Would that work?
.CarolC> I have never done it that way. One of the earliest clay people
did make 'bangle' bracelets with a single long cylinder going in a single
circle on memor wire.
.Dianne> Oh, I bet that was cool.
.Dianne> Another idea that I have for these bracelets--they are bright and
.CarolC> I'm trying to remember which of the early books it is in.
.Dianne> is to do some wire wrapping in some manner..do you have ideas
.Dianne> I am not sure if I could wire wrap a bead and put it on the
bracelet or wire wrap a portion of the bracelet wire itself. I have
.Dianne> colored art wire.
.CarolC> I have never done much wire wrapping, but any kind of filler bead
is good to have when you start making Mwire brcelets.
.Dianne> What kind? Seed beads??
.CarolC> What about wrapping a cylindrical tube of the art wire, maybe 1/4
inch each, and stringing those colored little cylinders between the clay
.Dianne> oh, yes, that would be so sweet.
.CarolC> By the time a turn of wire is strung with beads, it is about 7in
.Dianne> ?? I don't understand what you mean.
.CarolC> and I think the nicest looking bracelets are 3 or 5 turns...
.Dianne> Oh, ok.
.Dianne> I cut my wire with 4 loops.
.Dianne> Is that right?
.CarolC> so that means 21 or 35 inches of beads...or 28 for 4 loops
.Dianne> What size beads??
.CarolC> ...so glass seed beads, etc. or Czech glass beads (rondels, for
example) come in very handy!
.Dianne> Ah, I understand...so I can set up my beads on my bead caddy by
.CarolC> Size 6 seed beads (e bead size) work well in the center of the
bracelet for spacing the clay beads.
.Dianne> I haven't tried them yet, but will #10 seed beads work....oh, I
do have some sweet little #6.
.CarolC> Yes, #10's will usually fit on the wire.
.Dianne> The #6 are glass ghost beads.
.CarolC> Ihave made lots of bracelets with just glass beads. If the two
outer turns (the edges of the finished bracelet) are #10 beads, it looks
.CarolC> Since clay beads tend to be larger, #6's and #8's seem to
.Dianne> Yes, I thought I would use my larger button beads for the outer
.CarolC> I usually use the larger beads for the center.
.Dianne> Oh, ok, I see what you are saying outer turns are like 1 and 4
.Dianne> How do you finish the ends? I was thinking that I would do
something dangling..but haven't get a picture in my head yet.
.CarolC> Do you string your bracelets directly onto the wire? I like to
string the whole bracelet on monofilament first.
.Dianne> This is the first time using memory wire...;)
.CarolC> Finishing the ends: Any which way you can, and it always looks
barely passable, no matter how well you do it; the wire is so hard and
brittle that you just have to make the best little loop you can
.CarolC> and then live with it.
.Dianne> I remember someone talking about claying the ends in some way??
.CarolC> You can dangle a small (or large) bead on a headpin from the
.CarolC> If the bracelet is all glass beads (so no problem with the firing
temp) I frequently wrap a little 'string' of polymer clay around the loops
on the ends of the bracelet.
.Dianne> Oh, now that sounds interesting.
.Dianne> My bracelets will be a combination of pc and glass, perhaps some
.CarolC> I have also heard of epoxying a half drilled bead onto the end of
the wire instead of making a loop at all; I wouldn't trust that; I want my
loop, then I'll work froim there.
.Dianne> Ok, I appreciate your advice on that.
.CarolC> Another thing I like is to paint the end loops with either "Paint
It Pretty" acrylic pens (the kind that are supposed to color metal) or with
just regular acrylic paint.
.CarolC> Do you suppose you could wrap fine-gauge art wire around the end
loops in the memory wire?
.Dianne> Oh, I have some terrific metallic acrylic paint. I could try the
.CarolC> I think it just comes down to experimenting and doing whatever
works for you.
.CarolC> What are you using for pliers and cutters?
.Dianne> Yes, but your perspective helps me focus on where to go and what
.Dianne> I have a variety of pliers and cutters that I purchased through
that wire place...can't think of the name.
.CarolC> The very best pliers to use with memory wire are the ones that
cost about $3.95 at your local hardware store.
.Dianne> What kind??
.Dianne> Just regular pliers??
.CarolC> The wire is so hard that it will ruin the good pliers and cutters
from the wire place or R&T. It will also ruin the elcheapos from the
hardware store, but they only cost $3.95, so who cares.
.Dianne> Thank you for that piece of advice. Now I am forewarned...hmmm,
wonder where those darn pliers are? :>)
.CarolC> The pliers I am thinking of are the needlenose pliers with a wire
cutter at the junction of the jaws.
.CarolC> Use the cutter to cut the memory wire, the needlenose jaws to
make the looops in the ends.
.CarolC> Another thing to consider:
.CarolC> Instead of cutting your 4 loops before you make the bracelet...
.CarolC> take a piece of one of the fat red elastics that comes on, for
example, bunches of celery.
.CarolC> Thread the piece of rubber band onto your whole coil of memory
wire, and push it along the wire as you string the beads on.
.CarolC> When all the beads are strung, then make your loop in the end
where you just placed the last bead...
.CarolC> then go to where the piece of the rubber band is holding the
other end of the beads, make sure the beads are settled firmly against the
loop you just made, then cut the wire from the 'slinky', being
.CarolC> sure to allow about 1/4 inch for the final loop.
.CarolC> Less wasted wire that way.
.Dianne> Oh, fantastic. Thank you so much!! Your advice is so good.
.Dianne> I will be keeping it on hand while I make my first bracelets too.
I will let you know when they are up and posted.
.CarolC> I'm sure you will do just fine, Dianne.
.Dianne> Since I have you all to myself, may I ask another question??
.CarolC> go ahead
.CarolC> I have made so many memory wire bracelets because they seem to be
one of the things that sell really quickly almost anywhere.
.CarolC> ...and if they're mostly glass beads, they are so durable that
they don't get dirty or damaged when people handle them.
.Dianne> I think, if all goes well, I will make some for the Grand Rapids
shop..they like arty pieces. I have a series of collaged necklaces that I
make -- they includes using several mediums -- I really
.Dianne> want a classy clasp..and would like to make one myself that would
go with a very contemporary, "out there" style of necklace.
.CarolC> How many strands? Would the standard barrel clasp be heavy
enough? If so, I know a quick trick that works really well.
.Dianne> I used the standard barrel on the first one and the weight is
fine. I am using beadalon and art wire so the necklaces are fairly rigid.
The barrel is too 'shiney'.
.Dianne> And, too standard.
.CarolC> That's why I like this trick.
.Dianne> Yes, yes?? All ears and eyes here.
.CarolC> I'm talking about the cheap, strong barrel clasp that has the
raised ridges of little 'teeth' around it.
.Dianne> Oh let me check real quick.
.CarolC> ...if you unscrew one of these clasps, you will see that it has
two paralell ridges around each piece.
.Dianne> Yes, those are the one that I have.
.CarolC> Good. Now, if you take a tiny little piece of polymer clay and
roll it into a tiny little log about an inch long and about as big around as
a small pencil lead..
.CarolC> then wrap the tiny little log around the clasp between the
paralell ridges of little teeth, going around the clasp maybe twice, maybe
three times, but staying between those paralell ridges...
.CarolC> ...then roll the clasp on your work surface..
.CarolC> you end up with a neat little smooth inlay of polymer clay in
whatever color goes with the rest of the necklace.
.CarolC> If you do this little inlay between both sets of the paralell
teeth, it looks really good, and it's so easy to do! If a little of the clay
gets into the teeth or spills over, just scrape it off with
.CarolC> the blade of an exacto knife.
.Dianne> Carol, so you keep the teeth free of clay??
.CarolC> Dianne, I don't necessarily keep the 'teeth' free of clay, but I
think the clasp looks neater if the little inlays are bordered by the rows
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