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Author Topic: Beads won't stay in shape.  (Read 9083 times)

AnnieG

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Beads won't stay in shape.
« on: June 11, 2013, 10:19:43 AM »
Hello all. Question... My beads won't stay round or whatever shape I'm doing, when I make the hole through them. Once they are out of shape I struggle to get them back again. If you have any tips you could share I would appreciate it. Also should my beads be perfectly shaped or is it ok to have the odd slightly wonky one now and then. I'm really struggling with them.  :(

Sylvia

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 01:00:43 PM »
Leave them for a while before you pierce them - recently worked clay gets quite soft,  they can firm up quite a bit after an hour or two.  Some people put them in the fridge.  I sometimes leave stuff overnight to be really sure.
Chalfont St Giles, Bucks, UK

Elizabeth Campbell

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 07:16:28 PM »
Hi,

It is difficult to make holes through beads if the clay is really soft, so 'resting' the beads, or chilling them in the fridge (or freezer!) will make the clay firmer and the hole-making process very much easier.

Also, it can help to make a little 'pilot hole' in either side of the bead, and then work from the outside to the middle; rather than starting from one side of the bead then pushing through to the other side.

You WILL get the hang of it.  Honestly.  :D

And as to whether it's OK for beads not to be 'perfectly shaped', well yeah, I don't think that's a problem at all.  It shows the beads were made by a real person and not a machine!   

Eliz

Bev

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 09:23:32 PM »
The advice from Sylvia & Elizabeth should do the trick. I got so frustrated with this problem I got into the habit of cooking them before piercing & then using a pin vise & small drill bit & hand drilling the holes in  ;)

Carrie

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 10:03:33 PM »
What they said, and, beads can be the shape you want - perfection isn't essential - if they look nice that's absolutely OK  ;) 

AnnieG

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 11:31:36 PM »
Thank you all. I put them in the fridge for half an hour and they were easier to handle.

jembox

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2013, 07:37:17 AM »
Annie perfectly round beads are nice. but another important thing to do is to make sure you hole placement is as perfect as possible. Because when you string them if the holes aren't centered the beads wont line up correctly on the string. and you will notice that much more than a slightly off shape bead. in both cases - Practice Practice Practice.!!

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 06:15:54 PM »
Annie perfectly round beads are nice. but another important thing to do is to make sure you hole placement is as perfect as possible. Because when you string them if the holes aren't centered the beads wont line up correctly on the string. and you will notice that much more than a slightly off shape bead. in both cases - Practice Practice Practice.!!

I haven't got around to this yet - but I want to, and I just wondered - HOW do you make sure your hole is centered?
FranOnTheEdge

MelMcG

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 10:45:42 PM »
It takes practice like Jan said.  This is hard to describe, but you need to keep looking at the bead from different angles (from the side with the needle tool facing left to right, and then straight on down the line of the needle tool) and work really slowly while turning your needle tool (toothpick, reamer or whatever) so if it looks like it's going off you can get back on track easily.  Hopefully I haven't made that sound too confusing.  ???  Maybe someone else can explain that better than me.

Mel  :)

Cara Jane

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 12:12:32 AM »
I always say to my students, 'If you want perfectly round beads - have  them made in a factory in China!'

One of my customers once told me about a necklace she had where she could feel the artists finger marks on the beads and she loved it because she knew it had been hand crafted and felt a connection with the artist. Personally I like to sand my polymer so it's smooth and shiny  and has no finger prints but I see her point about it feeling like it had been made by someone.

There's been lots of good advice on how to do it so I am sure you will find a solution that works

Cara
Cara Jane Hayman - UK Polymer Clay Artist and Tutor
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ejralph

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2014, 09:36:58 AM »
I don't think I have ever made a perfectly round bead - and if I did, it would be by fluke.  I spend AGES on my round beads - which is why I have to sell them for more than the other shapes I make! Even then, they get pretty round but never perfect.

The best to do is work on consistency.

It doesn't matter if your round beads are closer to potato shapes, if they are all similarly sized and formed.

That way, when you are making a set of beads they look like they belong together.

With focal beads - freeform and irregular shapes are cool, so long as they look like that is what you meant to happen!

Emma
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FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2014, 09:44:39 PM »
I don't think I have ever made a perfectly round bead - and if I did, it would be by fluke.  I spend AGES on my round beads - which is why I have to sell them for more than the other shapes I make! Even then, they get pretty round but never perfect.

The best to do is work on consistency.

It doesn't matter if your round beads are closer to potato shapes, if they are all similarly sized and formed.

That way, when you are making a set of beads they look like they belong together.

With focal beads - freeform and irregular shapes are cool, so long as they look like that is what you meant to happen!

Emma

Well I can manage round beads, until I try piercing them.  And as for freeform that looks as if meant to be that way, well that's the hardest part of all.
FranOnTheEdge

MelMcG

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 05:09:29 PM »
Fran, use a really sharp needle tool (I use a bead reamer).  Leave the beads in the fridge for a little while to harden a bit and then twist the reamer really slowly.  It just takes practice, and you'll have it sussed in no time.

Mel  :) 

FranOnTheEdge

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2014, 10:01:17 PM »
Fran, use a really sharp needle tool (I use a bead reamer).  Leave the beads in the fridge for a little while to harden a bit and then twist the reamer really slowly.  It just takes practice, and you'll have it sussed in no time.

Mel  :)

I've got a kitting needle (sewing sized) and a darning needle now, what about a pokey tool?
Fridge!  Of course.  Thanks for the reminder, Mel.
FranOnTheEdge

delphinium

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Re: Beads won't stay in shape.
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2014, 08:48:03 PM »
I had the misshapen bead syndrome going too...OK, misshapen just-about-everything syndrome, until I started refrigerating them before poking. Fridge as PC tool, whoda thunkit?  :P  But it works, so I'm happy.