When I started this blog I made a few rules for myself. One of them was to try to use photos taken on my phone, so that I was just capturing the work I’d done without having to set up for ‘proper’ photography. In my shops all the photos have been taken ‘properly’ as I think it’s important for customers to get the best possible reproduction of what they are buying, and I want to be able to show levels of detail only possible with a macro lens. When I take the ‘proper’ photos I use our digital SLR, macro lens and big sheets of white or black mounting board propped up in our front room window – the translucent window film which stops the neighbours seeing the mess inside gives a lovely diffuse natural light. For the blog I want more spontaneity, and definitely don’t want to wait weeks for that elusive couple of hours with no little people. When I take photos for the blog or Facebook it’s usually with my iPhone, against whatever plain background I can find and with the closest to natural light I can get – I’m after speed rather than fabulous quality, but so far I’ve been really impressed with the photos I’ve taken. Last year I particularly enjoyed being able to shoot my Fortuneteller on the lovely slate tiles in our back garden, with nasturtiums behind. However, in the depths of winter, I’ve really struggled – so although I finished my Bubble Ball before the New Year, I’ve only now had the time to get the big camera out and take some pictures for you.
The Bubble is another piece from Sabine Lippert’s new book ‘Beadwork Evolution’ and it was the piece I wanted to make the most when the book arrived. I only had the twelve chatons required in a couple of colours, and although I thought I had lots of drops, only one set matched, so I’ve ended up with a combination which makes the finished ball look quite different to Sabine’s. Black, though versatile isn’t a favourite colour for beading, and it is tricky to photograph. That said, I still love it, and the drops I used are just stunning and I think they really make the piece even though it’s not as bubbly as Sabine’s.
- Sabine Lippert’s Beadwork Evolution – page 133
- Chatons & Bicones – Swarovski Fuchsia
- Drops – Hybrid Jet Sliperit – from Beads of Bohemia via Etsy
- Seeds – Black Miyuki
- Fire polished – Black Czech
Tips & Lessons learnt
- Watch your tension – as usual with Sabine’s stuff you need to stay nice and loose. Which is the opposite of my normal tension……….
- It does turn into a bit of a needle bender towards the end so be prepared with a good light and some tweezers. And perhaps don’t use your very best needles?
- I kept forgetting to do step 4 again and again. Don’t do that.
- Whilst the sliperit drops are incredible, I paired them with black beads as that seemed best. And I normally avoid black beads like the plague – they hurt your eyes and a pig to photograph. They also mean that a lot of the detail of the construction is lost and I think that’s a shame.
- Because I couldn’t tell how much the Fire Polished beads in the core would be seen I opted for black there as well, and although the finished piece is very wearable it might pop a bit better with some contrast – perhaps a copper core or even perhaps a black core with copper seeds?
- Sabine again matches the chaton and crystal colours – I think that works really well, but would like to see what happens to the shapes with an alternative (particularly if I used a lighter chaton colour than the crystals).
- It took me about four hours to finish (including a lot of colour faffing) – I’d expect to be quicker next time, so would fit into a few evenings nicely.
- For my next version Stitch N Craft have some of the drops in Crystal Sliperit, and as I also have some Piggy Beads in the same colour waiting to be used I think I might get some for another version, as the crystal will be more ‘bubbly’. Not sure what colour chaton to use with them though, so can’t quite work through all the beads needed…….
- Or I ought to really try it with the translucent drops Sabine used – I’ve done an order since I made this so I have some more ‘bubbly’ ones in my stash now.
- Either way this seems to be very much like a design I’ll make lots of versions of, so you’ll be seeing it again soon!