Wednesday, October 14, 2015

BIG Beads!

Just a short while ago, Lori Anderson of Pretty Things/Bead Soup Blog Party fame (link to her blog here) held an auction fundraiser, where she offered these stunning beads for sale.  These beads are made by Sarah Moran (Zbeads on Etsy link here).  This type of bead is not my normal style - they are fairly large beads, and quite colorful --- I tend to stay on the earth tone side of the color spectrum, with just a splash of color here and there.

However, I have been an admirer of Sarah's beads for quite some time now. They are absolutely nothing short of spectacular!  The craftsmanship is jaw dropping.  Please zoom on the picture and I know you will agree with me!

Sarah calls these beads "Coral Cocktail", with intense coral, lavender, red, orange, and purple with bases of transparent pale lavender and blush on white. After taking a million photos of these beads, I do not believe there is a camera or photographer out there that can capture the true artistry in the details.

Frankly, stringing one of these stunners on a shoe string would be beautiful! But, alas, all my shoes close with velcro! :)

I knew that I would use one bead at a time - as I said, they are on the large size, appropriately so.  I did what anybody would do with a work of art - I framed it! One night while perusing You-Tube videos on my I-Pad (this is a nightly ritual for me), I found this great tutorial for an earring bead frame by Janice Berkebile at Beaducation (link here).  I thought it would be perfect for a pendant frame.

Janice's tutorial specifies 10 gauge fine silver, as the frame is fused.  I actually fused Argentium silver instead of fine silver - but I also soldered the seam.  Her tutorial also has one more side to it - I kept mine at an even number of 4 sides.

I added two hand textured/cut sterling silver bead caps. One of the design elements for three sides of this bead frame are what Janice entitled "Dew Drops"  - balled headpins, similar to a heat rivet. These can be tricky to make - too much heat and the balled headpin will melt and fuse to the frame - I used Argentium for the heat rivets, as well.  But, luck was on my side...thank goodness!

I recently made a heavy gauge copper bracelet similar in design to this bead frame, so the technique was familiar to me.

The hardest part, for me, was selecting which bead to wire in the center of this frame!

While many thanks go to Sarah Moran for creating these beads, I also want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to Lori Anderson for selflessly selling these beads for another artist in need.

One bead down...and six to go! :)  I am hoping I can come up with different ways to highlight these absolutely exquisite beads!

Thanks for stopping by today!!



  1. This is a very beautiful piece, and you did it justice for sure!

  2. What a great idea! I love this framed bead necklace. I have one set of Sarah Moran's beads, and I'm just hoarding them because how could I ever do them justice. But this is a great idea. Highlight one at a time.

  3. Incredible! I just knew that you were the person to due justice to these beads.

  4. This is a gorgeous frame for this bead! Great design! Love it! Masterful!

  5. So beautiful! I'm in awe of your talent!

  6. Beautiful bead and perfect setting! You always amaze me.