Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Bead Chat Glossi Test Group

I belong to a great group on facebook that is made up of fellow jewelry designers, Creative Bead Chat .  As part of this group, we develop friendships, we have discussions (sometimes lengthy), and we share information and inspiration with each other.  Recently one of our discussions about the use of various gauges of wire snowballed into the beginning of a 5x5 test group.  This first test group was the brain child of  Melinda Orr, the founder of Creative Bead Chat.   Melinda also supplied the products for this test group and she sent 5 identical packets to people in our group.  I was lucky enough to be part of a this first 5 x 5 test group.  The idea was that the results of this test would be included in the April 2013 issue of the newly created newsletter, Artisan Whimsy Bead Chat Glossi!

The products included in this first test included two gauges of copper wire, bronze wire, and some new flat aluminum wire in two widths.   Melinda Orr supplied 5 members of the facebook group Creative Bead Chat with these products and we all independently started playing with these goodies.  

I have done wire work in the past but it has never been the primary focus in my jewelry making, so this was really a test for me as well.  The copper wire was great for clasps and focals and I made several pieces with the copper wire.  

Next I started to play with the flat aluminum wire.  This wire is very flexible and softer than the copper wire that I had been experimenting with.  I decided to try texturing this flat wire and I  got out my Cuttlebug die cutting machine and an embossing folder and gave the aluminum wire some texture.  It took the texturing well and looked great.  Once I had some of the flat wire textured I added beads and did some wire wrapping to make earrings and a flat clasp.  


I tried to incorporate the textured wire in pieces that allowed the wire to remain flat.  Several focals came out of this experiment.

All five participants are featured in the April issue of Artisan Whimsy Bead Chat Glossi.  You can check out their projects on their personal blogs as well. - April 2013 ~ BEAD Chat Magazine

For a closer look at their projects check out their personal blogs:    

Kumi Fisher at Mali Kai Designs, Ali McCarthy of Northwoods Creative Studio, Alicia Marinache of All Pretty Things, and Kristin Oppold of Yay Jewelry.  Everyone did a great job and there is some wonderful inspiration that came out of this process.  If you would like to be part of one of the future 5 x 5 test groups join us on Artisan Whimsy where you will be able to get all the scoop! 

For products from this most recent test, go visit Melinda's store Orrtec for supplies :)


    1. This looks like so much fun! and I'm really loving the hammered pieces


    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! I love hearing from you and your comments mean so much.