Saturday, November 20, 2010

Done early with December's piece and Fire Scale Enameling

I finished early and am happy to have some time to start thinking about the 2011 BJP! Check out my beaded piece for December. This month the enamel utilizes Fire Scale detail - those normally annoying reddish or black areas that are formed when copper is heated. But instead of removing it, it can be used as decorative detail. It's a little hard to see, but try to note the reddish spots towards the top and right side of the enamel. One reason I prefer to enamel on silver is because no fire scale is produced and the colors are brighter due to the reflection of the silver metal under the transparent enamels. But enameling on copper can be interesting because of side issues like fire scale.

This piece also includes paper beads from a group of women in Africa - Beads For Life. They have a store to buy these and other items to help support themselves. My use of the paper beads is on the right side of the enamel.

Have a BEADy good day, Karen


Roberta Warshaw said...

Karen, that is just beautiful! I love the gold decal. It looks so organic. Sometimes decals look too pasted on but that is just lovely.

Can you explain how you adhere the enamels to the fabric? Mine are all slightly domed and so only the edges would be adhered. I would love to try that with some of my pieces that have no "home".

Karen L. Cohen said...

Roberta - I can't see how to email you directly, even after going to your blog and all. So, I'll answer you here and hope you get the message ....

I attach the enamel using a peyote bezel (which I learned from my sister, Susan). But first I use temporary stitching across the "jewel" to hold it in place (which I learned from Robin Atkins) so that I don't have to use glue.

Note: instead of a peyote bezel, you could use a set of stacks around the jewel and stitch through the "turn beads" to pull it tight over the edges of the jewel - some extra beads might need to be added, depending on the situation. The stacked bezel and the peyote bezel look different, but both work just fine. I prefer the stacked bezel for tall type jewels.

I can send you (or anyone else that asks) instructions for a peyote bezel if you send me your email address - contact me at I teach this technique which allows you to add virtually any item to a bead embroidery.


beadbabe49 said...

Karen, can you take a photo of all 12 pieces together? I can't remember how you'd decided to exhibit them (in a book, on the wall?)
Anyway...gorgeous year's work! And I look forward to seeing what you choose to do next year!

Roberta Warshaw said...

Thank you Karen for getting back to me so quickly! I am sending you an e-mail right now so you can send me your bezel instructions! I look forward to trying this technique as I dislike using the stinky glue!


Cyndi L said...

Oh Karen...drool drool have outdone yourself! I just don't know how you keep coming up with all these GORGEOUS pieces month after month.

Carol Creech said...

I agree - absolutely fantastic piece!! Gorgeous colors and the enamel piece is spectacular.

Robbie said...

WOW! Just a great, big, huge WOW!!!

ArtNtheheart said...

Yum, yum! I love what you did!
Bead on! Victoria