Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The days after Christmas are now a blur of many meals, games of marbles, cries of delight and despair of trying out all the new beading ideas in the book Mastering Beadwork by Carol Huber Cypher that Bambi and Dorje gave me. By Monday morning I was ready to put Christmas away and get into the other book from Bambi - Making Polymer Clay Beads by Carol Blackburn. Down came the tree, two desks were cleared and shoved together, and out came the poly clay tools!

All day Monday we barely stopped for meals - cookies provided instant nourishment. We each picked a project to learn. I had tried to learn to do a folded bead earlier so I was eager to try Blackburn's method. It worked fairly well and I was pleased with the result except that we had added to our batch one clay of a different temperature (what happens when people share old clays without labelling). It evidently began to burn and darkened the white part of the beads. I gave it a bit more light by trying out another new idea - using acrylic floor wax to give the bead a shine.

Both Bambi and Dorje were great at making stacks of layers of color so I moved on to applying layers of sliced mixtures to beads. That resulted in this combination from two color sensibilities.

What I loved most was hearing one of us say, "Oh I have created a terrible bead." and then to see someone pick it up and began to work with it until there was a shout. "Hey look what I made out of your old bead!" This happened several times as we surprised ourselves and each other.
Bambi made this combination out of two different "failures."

Tuesday found us right back at the clay tables. Dorje claimed this was better than Christmas. We knew this was our last full day together so in the afternoon, after putting the clay and tools away, Bambi and Dorje took advantage of some sunshine to go to the beach.
While they were gone I laid out all the supplies for stringing and all the polymer beads I had made earlier and the new ones. After a dinner of meatloaf and baked potatoes, we settled down to string. This one piece I made with Bambi's beads.

Each of us stared at the bounty until we began to "see" certain beads coming together. On to this small pile we would add beads from other boxes and bags and began to string. By midnight (we celebrated New Year's Eve a day early) the two of us had eleven new necklaces - all with polymer clay beads.