I make most of my beads using soft glass (104 COE), usually Moretti/Effetr, Vetrifond, CIM or Lauscha- along with many of the fabulous silver reactive colors currently being produced here in the US. Each bead is fully annealed, which means it has been placed in a kiln while hot, and then cooled at an appropriate rate (digitally controlled) so as to eliminate stress within the bead. Click here for a very well written and easy to understand explanation of annealing if you have questions about the process. Please visit my store for currently available beads and bead sets.
Micro-Macramé is a term which has evolved over the past 20 years or so, much as the art-form it describes has evolved. Although Macramé began as a small decorative work of knots, it is more often associated with large corded items often to do with nautical themes, or with the 1960’s revival using colorful nylon cords (or natural jute or hemp) producing any number of macramé plant hangers and wall hangings. Now, in the early 21st century, once more macramé art emerges…but with a distinct return to its roots. It’s small, delicate and lovely once again, thus earning the name Micro-Macramé.
I do use generalized patterns that I’ve worked out for many items like barrettes and earrings, and yet they are all different- depending on the beads, the tightness of the knots, etc…so almost everything is truly one of a kind (OOAK). I use an incredibly strong 3-ply nylon as the base for all my work, but frequently include other fibers for texture and color. For beads I can’t make myself, I use only high quality glass beads from around the world (including but not limited to the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Italy, France & Japan). I incorporate my own lampwork beads when I can, and several other styles of beads I make out of other materials such as hand-crafted bamboo beads. Scroll down if you’d like to read a brief history of Macramé.
I thought I would mention a little about this because so many people don’t know what this term means. I had been making jewelry for a few months before I knew. Basically, if it’s not a gemstone, bead, or other major component, it’s a finding. The most common findings are:
- headpins and eyepins
- earwires & posts
- clutches (what holds a post earring on)
- jump rings and split rings, etc
Here is a link to a really good article on the history of findings.
When it’s at all possible, I make my findings: all my French hook earwires, spiral ear posts, many of my headpins and beaded chain. I have been known to make jump rings, but it’s not practical for me so I generally don’t. I use Argentium half hard round wire, and it is work and tumble hardened.
I’m developing a new line of copper based jewelry. Some of these findings and components I will make from Copper Art Clay. Most I will probably purchase for now, so as to maintain good quality. I will note on the product page if the findings are hand made.