I have recently come across several feet of plastic tubing. ID ranges from .25'' to .75''. I am experimenting using coloured floss and beads, cutting the tubing into 'beads' with seed beads strung inside, some various peyote patterns twisted inside chunks, painting the tubing, and seed bead embroidery around the tubes, including peyote tubes and just strings wrapped around, passed through with a very large needle for some interesting effects.
I'm wondering if anyone else has played with tubing/has any inspiration or something I just have to try....
it's all fun, it just looks kind of 'kid' ish.
You see those bushes over there? I've tried them berries green, and I've tried 'em red, and I've tried 'em brown. And I have come to the conclusion that they just ain't good berries! --Tommy, the Aging Groundskeeper at the Community College
I know that this lady experiments with clear plastic tubing to add strength to her pieces and help them hold the shape, for example in this piece, a bangle:
Sadly she shut down her blog and does not show her fabulous beadwork anymore. But maybe you can find some inspiration in her old posts.
In the finished piece swap we did a while ago Jeni sent me a fabric bangle, where she put a plastic tube inside to hold the shape, wrapped it with fabric and sealed it with mod podge. Might be another idea.
I have made two memory wire bracelets using tubing, saw some in one of the beading magazines, though I would give it a try. I cut small sections of the tubing, strung it on the memory wire and added beads and dangles between the sections of wire. They turned out better than I had hoped, I have a couple of shows coming up so I'll let you know what kind of response I get. I used black and brown tubing so you don't see the memory wire. I also just found some frosted white tubing and I'm going to adapt an idea I saw to make a lariat. For this one you string beading wire through the tubing. I have several different colors of beading wire that I want to try running through the plastic tubing and see if it changes the look of the tubing.
I also used the memory wire to run through some etched silver tubes I have and again added beads and it came out nicely. I'm going to be making more of all of these bracelets using the plastic tubing and the metal tubes. If I can ever figure out how to photograph my jewelry with my digital camera I'll post some pics.
Hope I helped give you some ideas. Good luck.
Thanks for the feedback, guys! I'll have to do something about the fact that it's clear if I want to use it as beads, it just looks funky. But I hadn't even thought of using it to hold the shape *silly me*. LOVE the bangle in the link you posted, kokopelli.
I need to do some more with tubing. I wanted to try filling clear tubing with seed beads as in the book "Fabulous Fabric Beads" but I didn't have anything to seal the ends with. I need to find a better solution for that. The bangles I've done turned out pretty well and I plan to make more of them. I've done both beaded and fabric versions.
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