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  #1  
Old 2005-08-21, 11:29am
Nicole's Avatar
Nicole Nicole is offline
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Default Nicole’s Square Tabular Bead Tutorial

Nicole’s Square Tabular Bead Tutorial

I started making these beads in ’97 because I had a really hard time getting my beads on center. (I was having way too much fun in class to pay attention or get the details down). The one lesson that stuck in my head was “if it doesn’t turn into what you want fairly quickly, turn it in to something else” So there I was in my little studio flattening the heck out of most of my beads! ‘Not round I squish you!’ It wasn’t until I got some really nice mashers that the shape really took off for me. I use a super sweet pair of Carlo Donna mashers that I picked up at Pilchuck. Carlo Donna Rocks!!!!




“Special’ Tools needed – One pair of parallel mashers – Torch Marver – Graphite paddle

1. Make a basic bead – let it cool a little bit before step two

2. Shape the bead into a cylinder – I use my torch marver and graphite paddle, gently reheat to a warm glow after shaping.

3. Slowly Press flat with the mashers – I hold up the bead and look through the mashers as I press. This gives me a very good idea of how thin the bead should be.

4. Square up the sides with the mashers. Square up the top and bottom too. A bit of reheating might be necessary.

5. Firepolish the chill marks off the tabular bead. You may need to reshape the bead a bit at this point. Be gentle with the heat to prevent too much distortion.

Tips:

It will be easier to make a square bead if you start with a very round bead. It should be as wide as it is round. A narrow roundel just won’t cut it.

I use my torch marver and paddle together to shape the cylinder. I place the paddle on edge against the bottom of the torch marver. This boxes in the bead and makes it easier to shape.

Some patterns and decorations are applied before the shaping is done, i.e. Frit, Silver Foil, and Silvered Ivory. It you press slowly it shouldn’t distort the pattern too much.

I think the rule of thumb with bead is simple. ‘If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. I didn’t figure this shape out in an hour. It took months/years of practice to get it right.

I should mention that I didn't 'invent' this shape. It's been around forever and the Venetians currently produce beads just like this.


Hopefully I’ll get a chance to add some step-by-step photos to this soon. Here are a few images of the square beads for you to enjoy!
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  #2  
Old 2005-08-21, 12:32pm
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AZ Joolz AZ Joolz is offline
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Nicole...I have so many of your beads...just got the pink and white ones... love them!
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Old 2005-08-21, 12:57pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Joolz
Nicole...I have so many of your beads...just got the pink and white ones... love them!
Cool! I had a lot of fun making those Pink & White beads. I kept trying on the strand in the studio. Good thing I don't have a Pink & White outfit to match them, or I might not have sold them.

Do you have something planned for them yet?
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Old 2005-08-21, 1:00pm
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AZ Joolz AZ Joolz is offline
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Not yet...I'm still petting them myself...

I've got the fuschia ones to make up too. I have good luck using them with watches because they are so comfortable...I'll post what I do with them though.
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Old 2005-08-21, 1:21pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Joolz
Not yet...I'm still petting them myself...
The flat dots have a nice feeling under the fingers, 'eh!

I've been playing around with wire rings. They need more work, but the square flat shape is very wearable.
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Old 2005-08-21, 2:29pm
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That is cool too...but now I feel like I hijacked your tutorial thread...
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Old 2008-09-27, 8:30am
volkanokaren volkanokaren is offline
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I love square tab beads.I make bracelets with them.I make mine about 15 to 18 ml across and7 to 8 ml thick.I am pic challenged but am curious as to what others have out there and pricing,I make mine with 7-8 tabs.small sterling beads and clasp.

Karen
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  #8  
Old 2008-09-27, 11:28am
jerrybeads jerrybeads is offline
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Thank U so much for posting an easy 'to do' tutorial!!!
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Old 2008-09-27, 7:27pm
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Nice tut I guess I have a lot of mashing to do since nothing ever turns out like I want quickly
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