Thursday, May 9, 2019

Day 16

This was an especially interesting one because Dena Cowlishaw, who wrote the 21 Day Bead Boot Camp, had some trouble figuring out exactly how she was going to make it.  There's an excellent post on her blog here.  She tried several different methods and goes into some detail about them.  There's really no reason for me to reiterate her trials, but I truly appreciate that she shares with the world that some of these fairly simple looking beads are not as easy to replicate as one might assume.

She is working from a chart of bead designs that she links from her site.  This is a practical choice, since few of us have access to a lot of historical beads and the ones that really get the most exposure at museums and online tend to be the really outstanding examples, not the beads that are typical and run of the mill.

Here's the bead for today:

 And here's her result:

In my online explorations of bead sites, I found this picture:

In case you can't see the circled bead well enough, here's a close-up:

By the way, the site where I found this was here.  On that site, the photo was credited to Bornholms Museum, Ronne, Denmark. 

My own effort is based on the photo, not the chart.  For this, I created a striped stringer, shown here with one of my beads:

I made wider and narrower stringers and tried larger and smaller swoops, trying to get a reasonably representative example:

I also used a couple of base bead colors to see which I think comes closer to the original.  I'm thinking the aqua colored glass to the left looks better than the medium blue on the right.  Or at least looks more accurate.

I think the one all the way to the left looks most like the original.

I rather like these beads.

The use of the painted charts can be a good way to get a wide variety of beads to look at, but there are times when I know the person who painted the beads wasn't making this for bead makers to look at.  I'd like to see the point where the stringer is joined up in the zigzag/squiggle.  That would answer a question about how these were made.  I would love to see such a chart made up all of good quality photos of beads.  That would be such a gift to those of us who love historical beads.

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