The lovely beady folk at Preciosa-Ornela are giving away beads every month this year and I was lucky enough to get some Pips in two colourways.
I’ve made some beaded beads with the first set – they are dodecahedrons made with Preciosa twin beads, and I’ve also made some twin only beads so you can see the structure used to make them. Essentially they are straight dodecahedrons inside (linked circles of 5 beads), and then I’ve used the outer hole of the twins as a base for a simple peyote embellishment using the Pips (in the large beads) and 11s (in the smaller). The Pip versions also have an extra 8 in the base to get the sizing right. Quite fun, and as it’s the first time I’ve tried making dodecahedrons with twin beads it’s given me lots of ideas for using multi-holed beads for 3d work in the future.
I was sent two packs of beads – the second were black/gold/silver tweedy, and I haven’t made anything with those. The first were (I think) Crystal Transparent California Blue, and I paired those with some Preciosa twins in crystal/gold and black Miyuki seeds. The California Blue coating meant that around half the beads were dark blue on both sides, and half blue on one side and gold on the other, so to show this off I beaded the first bead with the blue facing into the groups of 5, leaving the gold showing on the reverse, highlighting the trios you get at the join of every pentagon. In the second version, I just had enough beads left to do all but one repeat in all blue, leaving the last repeat with a quintet of gold sides to look like a little flower. Then because I wanted to show the geometry behind the design I made four more beaded beads with the same technique and 11s instead of the pips on the outside. The first beaded bead joined these on some spun Indian sari silk cord to make a simple necklace, and the second has gone on one of the simple neck wires I often use to show off single feature beads like this.
It’s been a useful exercise for me to work on a design that highlights a specific bead shape, and also a bit of a push to work with three colours I rarely use – blue and gold are unusual for me, and I very rarely work in black because of the challenges of actually seeing what I am doing as I mainly bead under artificial light in the evenings. If you’re on Facebook it’s worth following Preciosa as the giveaways continue and there is nothing nicer than free beads……!