Friday, April 19, 2013

Bails, Buttons, and Beads

I promised some ideas about what to do with tubes. I am sure there are lots of other ideas out there but here are a few that I have come up with.

I will have to go a little lightly beads. I sometime use slices of tubes as spacers and you can make long beads but I am leave that to your imagination for the moment.

Button backs
 Slices of tubes make great loops for the backs of buttons. This buttons should be sewn on with yarn. I worry that polyester might cut through that clay eventually. Since most people buy these buttons for hand knit items, the  buttons are rarely fasted with thread. I have been making buttons this way for years and there has been no problem yet.

Now we get down to the really meat of this post. That is bails. Slices of tubes make great bails. I really like to use clay as much as possible and while metal bails look classy, polymer clay bails do have a certain humble charm.

This is not really a tutorial so no hand holding or bum wiping here, just a few suggestions.

Here are the three ways I use tube slices and bails.

A.) The bail at the back of the pendant.
The slice of tube is tucked into the back of a precooked disk and held in place with a layer of raw clay that gives that back of the pendant a finished look. Liquid polymer clay is painted on the cooked clay to make the uncooked clay stick better. (I use LPC for this when ever I have to stick raw clay to cooked.)  I often drape a slice of cane over the tube slice but it is not necessary - just looks neat.
This is my favourite type of bail.

B.)The bail at the top of the pendant.
For this one I will sometime cut the top of the precooked disk of to make it fit the tube. If your bead is square this is not necessary.  This time I have drapes a large slice of clay over the tube. If the slice blocks the tube it can simply be drilled out after the pendant is recooked.

C. Filled and drilled bail on top.
 For this one I have used a large tube with a piece removed so it will clamp on to the top of the precooked disk of a pendant. Some times fill the tube with raw clay so I can centre the hole . I make a guide hole with a needle and then drill it to my cord size after it has been recooked.

I have included my notes that might give you a better idea of what I am talking about. I have used 1,2,3 instead of ABC but I ma sure you get the idea.

That enough blogging. Production and relaxation beckon.