I think the failure here is in my over confidence. I get an idea, I sit down to make it with a deadline only a day away, and I think I’ll be an expert at the first try. Yeah, right.
Months ago, I signed up for a “Artful Media” swap with the Etsy Trashion Team – sending only recyclables to a swap partner and receiving the same in return, with the goal of making sellable art with what we’ve received. As I packed up my paper goodies, I kept thinking “Oh, these papers are great, I’d make beads out of them.” Because I had that book on my shelf about paper beads. Because once I rolled a few up and glued them together. Years ago. So long ago I had forgotten what a pain it was.
Then I received my swap package. Not what I expected. Nice, but I didn’t think the beads could work. Neither could I think of anything else to make with them. So, beads it was going to be. I was determined.
I sat, cut, rolled, glued. Let them dry overnight. They didn’t look so bad! They just needed to be sealed. Since I had only one day till the deadline, I knew resin wouldn’t work, so I pulled out the heater tray thing and poured in powdered UTEE (Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel).
I dipped. The straws the beads were on melted. The beads fell in.
I found some skewers to use to fish them out of the melted plastic and a couple fell through the slats on my deck (I was working outside.) Did a limbo to crawl underneath and rescue the fallen pieces.. (because after rolling and gluing for an entire day, all I had was a handful of beads and nothing could be wasted!) If I redipped each one, the powder melted again and I was able to spin them as they dried to be evenly coated. Then the powder in the tray started to burn. Everything started getting a yellowish cast. Maybe they could look like amber? caramels? Maybe I should just throw them all under the deck?
What? You want a close up?
After these, the remaining beads got a traditional treatment, stamping and embossing with a heat gun to finish them off. I blogged about it here – so if you really want to, you can read about it and see more pictures. I ended up donating them (not the ones shown here!) as bracelet-making-kits because after that weekend of making the beads I couldn’t bear to work with them anymore.