We've reached week 3 of the 8 week course and are having a breather during half term. So, what will the learners be doing ready for week 4? Well, they've all had a go at making paper beads now and at least two have totally embraced the craft, producing the most beautiful and unique designs that they will develop into finished jewellery pieces. I will be showcasing these at a later date but I am amazed at how a simple craft like paper bead making can turn, in the right hands, into an art form! Well done ladies.
It is still early days and not everyone has decided yet which of the five recycled materials (paper, plastic, fabric, glass & metal) they will focus on to make their chosen artefact. Of course, they may choose to incorporate more than one of the materials and so long as at least one is of a recycled nature, this is fine. We will be looking further at shrink plastic in week 5 but it does not have to be this product that is used for the plastic requirement - recycled pastic beads are readily available at charity shops and probably in our jewellery boxes. One of our new starters has a lovely collection of beads in both pastic and glass which will look great in a number of designs...the next step there, is to gather ideas together for inspiration. I touched on some of these ideas in an earlier post -Upcycled blog post.
|Recycled wooden beads, large metal beads wrapped in scrap material and tied with strands of cotton.|
|Mood Board Ideas|
I've fallen a little bit in love with tassels lately and have just set up a new board on Pinterest (click here) in honour of these fab little dangling delights. I hope the learners will be equally inspired by some of the designs as incorporating upcycled cotton/leather or chain tassels would be a perfect project for completing the course requirements.
|Cotton tassel & recycled jewellery parts|
In all classes we use the following: Flat, round, narrow nosed (sometimes called snipe) pliers, top or side (flush) cutters and a needle file. Buy sturdy ones and they should last you a long while, I recommend buying from Beads.co.uk as these are great for starter jewellery makers. Jilly Beads is another good supplier for a range of items, including tools.
For wrapped loops, do not cut the headpin/wire short but allow a few centimetres spare. Create a loop as stated above but leave the spare wire for wrapping. The loop needs to be postioned close to the bead before wrapping so turn and check it is snug. Grip the loop with the flat nosed pliers and use narrow nosed ones to tightly wrap the spare wire around the base of the loop. Squeeze ends around for a neat finish.