The Sparkle of Silver (And Other Favorite Metals)

The Sparkle of Silver (And Other Favorite Metals)


Rectangle Bangle by Stephanie Everett features silver wire.

Who doesn't love silver?

Apparently, not many! More than 1,000 readers voted in the latest poll ("What's your favorite metal?"). As I expected, silver was the clear favorite with 61% of the vote. Copper came in second (22%) and gold in third (7%). Why do we love silver so much? Silver is striking, classic, and fits every occasion–it's the quintessential "little black dress" of the jewelry world.

While I love copper (see the first part of the post "Zulu Beadwork"), I was pleasantly surprised to find that other people felt the same way. Just a year or two ago, it was not unusual for me to walk into a bead store and not find any copper chain or findings. Copper is still difficult to find in the large craft stores. I wonder whether the use of copper will continue to rise, or whether it has already peaked in popularity?

Pewter, brass, and vermeil were all in the 1-3% range. Some of the answers in the "other" category included stainless steel, aluminum, niobium, gold-filled, gold-plate, gunmetal, bronze, and shibuichi. (Shibuichi is a mix of silver and copper. You can see some examples of it at Green Girl Studios.) Thanks to the reader who made me laugh by saying that that her favorite "other" metal was "anything I don't have to polish"!

At right: Elaine Ray's Cascading Tangle uses a mix of metal chains and findings.

 

New poll: Do you work on your beading at your kitchen or dining room table?
Poll ends October 17.

Thanks to Beading Daily reader Wendy H. for suggesting this poll question (see her comment on the "Beads for Dinner" post).


 A Simple Wirework Necklace with Lampwork Beads and Crystals

This week's featured project, Afternoon Tea, is by Sandi Wiseheart. Some of you may recognize Sandi's name as the editor of Knitting Daily. In addition to being A Knitter Extraordinaire, Sandi is also a talented beader. I literally stole this pretty necklace off her neck to share with you. (Don't worry–I gave it back!) Here are three reasons I like it:

  • It's colorful. Not sure how to combine colors? Choose a lampwork bead you like and then choose 2 or 3 crystals to match.
  • It's easy. If you can make a wrapped loop and use jump rings, you can make this necklace.
  • It's affordable. This necklace lets you showcase a few special beads and a handful of crystals and silver spacers and still have money left for more beads. (Or rent.)

Five More Wire Projects Coming Soon
Afternoon Tea by Sandi Wiseheart is the first of six free projects that are featured in Easy Wire magazine. (Only photos of the projects appeared in the magazine–the instructions are exclusively for you as Beading Daily members!)

Other projects coming soon: Lotus Blossom (necklace) by Sandi Wiseheart, Drops of Jupiter (bracelet) by Marcella Austenfeld, Purple Zig-Zags (earrings) by Michelle Mach, Spiraling Out of Control (necklace) by Michelle Mach, and Ballpoint Earrings by Karen Tihor.


2007 Bead Arts Award Winners

Step by Step Beads announced the winners of the 2007 Bead Arts Award Winners in the November/December 2007 issue. Pictured at right is the second place winner in the "beaded object" category. This bracelet uses peyote stitch and right-angle weave.

Look for a profile of Christine Marie Noguere and her "larger than life" beadwork in the January/February 2008 issue of Step by Step Beads.

Titania (Jewelry for Giants, No. 5) by Christine Marie Noguere. Size: 9". Photo: Phil Pope.

See the rest of the winners in the online gallery (PDF format). I'll pass along the information on entering the 2008 awards as soon as it's available. 


Coming Friday: Wireworking tips, how to create rubber stamped polymer clay beads, plus some adorable dog beads by Lori Peterson. (Lori designed the pretty floral lampworked beads in the featured Afternoon Tea necklace.)


Michelle Mach is the editor of Beading Daily. How could it be Wednesday already?


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