Thursday, May 17, 2007
You know those "European Bead Bracelets"? The biggest name brands are Pandora and Troll, but I've started noticing others too. They're pretty cool, with so many different beads to put together any way you like. I first noticed them a year or so ago. Thrilled to see any kind of lampwork beads hit the mainstream, I've been watching them all this time. Looks to me like these are hot, hot, hot right now, so hey, I'll jump in on this trend.
I just got a really great bead rivet press from Jim Moore Glass Tools. It's a beautiful thing. Better than new shoes, and you know how I love new shoes... My technique is getting pretty good. The next thing is to get the right size mandrels and tubing to make big enough holes to fit the bracelets. In the picture above, the lavender striped bead is one I ordered from TrollBeads. All the lampwork is pretty basic in the ones I've seen, so of course I decided to cram as much detail into these little beads as possible, including CZs. The result is pretty nice, says me, but of course the prices won't be as cheap as the mass produced, mass marketed ones. My TrollBead was $21. I got a $30 Pandora bead on ebay last night at the bargain price of $26.50, just to compare the bead styles and hole sizes. A little more marketing research, I ordered a Troll bracelet to string these on. I've read that most brands of these beads fit the Troll bracelets, but don't necessarily fit Pandora or the others. This is getting complicated...
What we're looking at for now is hit-and-miss hole sizes that might fit the bracelets, or might just look nice hanging on a chain around you neck. My silver-lined beads will start at $45. They're just better beads with a lot more detail. I think we're all going to like these. They look beautiful, have a nice weight, and look more complete as a piece of jewelry because of the silver lining.
Once I get the hole size standardized for the bracelets, I'll make a big deal out of that. Meanwhile, you can expect a few of these next Tuesday, unless I give them all away to my family in Reno...
Signing off for a few days. Time to pack and head for the airport. See ya!