Purple Beads

Purple glass bead from South India.

Purple glass bead from South India.

Purple beads are fairly rare in a large number of places, and they have been fairly rare for a long time. Even when looking at beads in a modern bead store, purple is not nearly as common as most other colors.

The primary reason for this is the difficulty in creating purple beads. In general, you can make purple glass by adding manganese as a colorant. Manganese is a very powerful colorant, though, and if you add too much, the glass turns such a deep purple as to appear black. Manganese can also be a fairly difficult mineral to get a hold of. The most common natural source of it is a mineral called wad, which encompasses things like pyrolusite and psilomelane. Continue reading

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Blue Beads

CS 395Blue beads are probably the most difficult color category of beads, because there are so many variations of blue and many of those variations occur in beads. Go into any bead store and you will find a larger selection of blue beads than any other color. Continue reading

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How to Bead: Dodecahedron

We’ve done the pyramid, which is great for decreasing the size of your 3D beaded object. We’ve also done a cube, which is good for keeping it a uniform size. Now we’re on to a dodecahedron, which is good for increasing the size of your 3D object. Dodecahedrons often form areas like the hips, shoulders, and heads of beaded animals. I will say that if you haven’t done anything with beads before, it would be better to start with the pyramid and cube before moving to the dodecahedron. Continue reading

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Turtle!!!

Turtles are my favorite animals, so it was only a matter of time before I tried this one out. My main hesitation is the fact that while most four-legged mammals have the same general body shape, turtles are not mammals.

They have a shell.

Shells complicate things. Continue reading

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How To Bead: Cube

And now on to a beaded cube! We’ve done the pyramid, which is great for decreasing the size of your 3D beaded object. Now we’re going to do a cube, which is good for keeping it a uniform size.

cube tutorial-1Materials:

  • 12 beads
  • 12 inches of thread
  • a needle
  • scissors

Continue reading

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Elephant!

elephant-1

I made an elephant!

Continue reading

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Alert: Beads Can Change Color

Yes, you read that correctly: beads can change color. I’ve touched on this a little in previous posts, but let’s really look at the issue here.

I don’t mean that the color changes depending on the light, like I talked about last week. I mean that the color of the material actually changes based on environmental factors. This is mostly something to consider with archaeological beads, but it can also greatly affect modern beads as well. Continue reading

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Green Beads

Green is one of those colors that throws you for a loop when it comes to beads. Or at least, it does me. That’s partly because most beads that seem greenish are really primarily yellow or blue, and partly because most beads that really are green either don’t look green initially or look fake or plastic.

Glass collar bead from southern India.

Green glass bead from southern India.

But green is easily a color that appeared in ancient times. It doesn’t seem as common as blue or red or yellow, but they’re not as rare as, say, purple or white. Continue reading

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How To Bead: Pyramid

I’m going to start working in some how-to’s in my Sunday posts. The first is how to make a pyramid.

Materials:

  • 9 beads (any color or size)
  • String (beading or sewing, so long as it can pass through each bead at least twice)
  • Needle (one that’s relatively simple to string, but can also pass through all your beads with string at least twice)
  • Scissors (because you need to cut the string with something)

Also make sure you have a flat surface to work on and some light, so you can see what in the world you’re doing. Continue reading

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Sleipnir and a Puppy

So Christmas happened recently, and I had decided a while ago to make some rocking key chains for some friends of mine. One loves horses and Vikings (among other things). The other loves corgis (among other things). So obviously their presents had to be Sleipnir (Odin’s eight-legged horse and Loki’s son) and a corgi.

I started with Sleipnir. I’m not sure why, since it seems like it would be harder, but maybe I figured I’d get the harder one out of the way and the corgi would be smooth sailing. Continue reading

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