Rainy day fun with beads…

A couple of times each year, I go on the road to New York with my friend Pam who owns BelloModo Beads.  I am briefly a roadie – a schlepper of her pretty dang vast mobile inventory, coffee gopher, and whatever else is needed.  During the show, I sit in a corner of Bello Modo’s space and cut chain and leather bracelet making materials to length, and also help customers pick out components to make their own jewelry.  It’s fun!  And naturally, I wanted to make some bracelets for myself and my daughters, and as it has turned out, sell some to the galleries that carry my pottery.1 Tools and Materials

Here what’s needed to make a style of bracelet I particularly like.  I was really pleased when I learned that 3/0 glass beads slip neatly onto 2mm Indian Leather, my favorite size to work with.  Here are three metallic colors of leather cord that I like to combine.  You can see the two clasp components slightly to the right of center in the picture.  To their right is a great leather cutter that BelloModo sells, and a little squeeze bottle of the super duper glue that joins it all together.  It takes 6 – 20″ lengths of leather cord to make the bracelet – I will be be using two strands of each color. The color of the beads is “Topaz.”2 Leather cord ready

Work the lengths of cord with your hands until they are all laying side by side in a natural curve,  Then double them in the middle to form a loop.3 Slip on the closure

Slip the end of the closure component through the loop and over the hook, and pull the strands snug to make a reasonably trim loop.  When I am satisfied with the way the strands lie together, I will slip the copper ornament on from the loose ends and snug it into place.  I like to glue it in place about 1″ from the end of the loop – fiddle around and make sure there is room to slip the loop through the ring and over the hook once the ornament is glued into place.  Be sure to work with plenty of ventilation with ANY glue…  who knows what’s in the stuff…..

Now here’s a simply dreadful picture!  Photos for this post were my first experiment ever with a tripod and camera timer to photograph Self doing something….  better next time. You can see the ornament under my thumb, and my right hand squeezing a droplet of glue into the space between the edge of the ornament and the bundle of cords.  4 apply the glue

Once several drops of glue have been applied into the join between the ornament and the leather cord, lay it carefully down to set up.  It’s a good time to go for a snack or change the TV channel; or even pet the dog.  I like to give the glue four or five minutes to be sure before further work.5 setting the glue

Here’s the bracelet at rest with its’ ornament in place. Next, bead are slipped onto each strand of leather cord.  I like three beads per strand; you can do as you like.  Snipping the end of each strand at the sharpest possible angle can make it easier, and a few of the beads simply are too small.  But most glide right on;  and I set the dinky ones aside for other bead work.6 threading on the beads

This is the slowest part of the making the bracelet, but the beads add so much…7 Checking for Length

Next, I hold the strands together and check the size of the bracelet.  There is enough leather cord that it can be trimmed to any needed size.8 clean Cut

Using the cord cutter, I cut a nice straight edge across of all of the strands.  I have already twiddled around with the strands a bit to give them a sense of motion, when you make your own your will see exactly what I mean.  The twelve cord ends will fit tightly into the open end of the clasp component.  I used to fill the component end with glue, and then push the cut ends into the space.  Messy!  Now, I put them in dry and get them exactly as I want them, and the carefully drip the extremely fluid glue into join between the cords and clasp.  Much neater, and works better. 9 Securing the ends

I the bracelet down for the glue to cure, and later I will test every strand to make sure it is firmly glued, and re-glue any willful escapees.10 All Done

Here’s the finished bracelet!  Thanks to all you potters who stayed with this to the end…  I’ll be back to pottery making  soon!

Everything I used is available from Pam at www.BelloModo.com…..


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