Leslie Kaplan Disk Beads

Suspend glass disks to hover around your neck vy

STRINGING / WIREWORK

Wiro makes glass disks appear to float.

I designed my original Harvest nccklace in a bright autumn color palette. The orange-red borosilicate glass harmonizes with olive and gold, and the overall look is enhanced by the varying depth of the hues. This necklace is light to wear, and its faint tinkling sounds can make a chilly day cheery.

materials necklace 19Vi In. (49.5 cm)

• 9 4-6 mm fro-polished beads or crystals

• 9 6 mm diameter flat round beads

• tapo or Bead Stopper

• chainnose pfcers

• enmping pliers

• roundnose pfers

Glass disk components

[1] On a 2-in. (5 cm) head pin, string a 4-6 mm firc-polished head or crystal, a small glass disk bead, an 11" seed bead to fit inside the small disk if needed, and a 6 mm flat round head. Make a wrapped loop (Basics, p. 87) at the tip of your roundnose pliers. Bend the loop parallel to the disk (photo a). Set aside this one-disk unit.

[2] On a 4-in. (10 cm) head pin, string a 4-6 mm, a medium glass disk head, a 6° or 1 lu to fit inside the disk if needed, and a flat 6 mm. Make a wrapped loop, but do nor trim. With the tail parallel to the disk, make another wrapped loop just inside the edge of the disk's rim, and trim (photo b). If necessary, bend the wire so it is close to the hack of the disk.

[3] Repeat step 2 three times using a large glass disk bead for each one-disk unit, and vary the length of the wire between the first and second wrapped loop for each.

[4] Cut a 5-in. (13 cm) piece of 20- or 22-gauge wire. Place one end of it in the jaws of your roundnose pliers, and wrap the wire around the tip of the pliers two or three times to form a loose coil

(photo c). String a 4-ft mm, a medium disk, a 6" or I I" to fit inside the disk if needed, and a flat 6 mm. Make a wrapped loop, hut do not trim (photo d). With the wire close to the hack of the disk, position the jaw of your pliers about Vi in. (1.3 cm) from the wrapped loop, and make a small loop at the tip of the pliers (photo e). About i4-W in. (1.3-1.9 cm), make another wrapped loop, but do not trim. String a flat 6 mm, a large disk, a 6U or 1 Itf to fit inside the disk if needed, and a 4-6 mm, and make a loose coil at the end, trimming the wire if needed (photo I). If necessary, bend the wire so it is close to the bnck of rhe disks and both disks face in the same direction. Set aside this two-disk unit.

[5] Repeat step 4, using a small disk and a large disk.

Assembly

[1] Cut a 22-in. (56 cm) piece of beading wire, and temporarily secure one end with rape or a Bead Stopper, leaving a l-2Vi-\r\. (5-6.4 cm) tail. String an alternating pattern of a 6" and an 1I ° seed bead for about 7 in. (18 cm), a large one-disk unit, and an 11". If the wrapped loop is too big and slips over the 6us on either side of the

EDITOR'S NOTE:

Make this necklace with as many or as few disk beads as you prefer — just arrange them to your liking. You can also change the beads used ¡n the nock chain — try alternating flat 6 mm fire-polished beads with 6V seed beads, using hex-cut or triangle beads instead of seed beads, or mixing a bead soup. - Tea

I I's, squeeze the loop with chainnose pliers to flatten it slightly, so it will stay between the 6°s. String an alternating pattern of a 6° and an 11° for about 1 in. (2.5 cm), a medium and large two-disk unit, and an 11'', and flatten the loop if necessary. String an alternating pattern of a (r and an 11* for about I Vi in. (3.8 cm), a small and large two-disk unit and an I 1°, and flatten the loop if ncccssary. String an alternating pattern of a 6° and an 11* for about I in. (2.5 cm), a large one-disk unit, and an 1 lv, and flatten the loop if ncccssary. String an alternating pattern of a 6" and an 11" for about Vi in. (1.3 cm), a medium one-disk unit, and an 1 r, and flatten the loop if necessary. String an alternating pattern of a 6" and an 11" for about 1 in. (2.5 cm), a large one-disk unit, and an 11°, and flatten the loop if necessary. String an alternating pattern of a 6° and an 1 (photo g) for about 7 in. (18 cm).

[2] String a 6'J, a crimp head, a 6', and the small one-disk unit made in step 1 of "Glass disk components." (Jo hack through the 6", crimp head, and the next few 6*s and I l -'s.

[3] On the other end, remove the rape or Bead Stopper, and string a crimp head, a 69, and enough 1 I's to form a loop that will fit around the small disk added in step 2. Skipping the I I'-'s, go back through the 6°, crimp bead, and the next few 69s and 1 Ts.

[4] Test the fit of the necklace, and add or remove Ixrads as needed. Crimp the crimp heads (Basics), and trim the excess wire. Close a crimp cover over each crimp (photos h and i). o

DESIGNER'S NOTES:

• I like to cut a generous length of beading wire to allow for adjustments — usually the desired length of the necklace plus 6 in. (15 cm).

• Arrange the disk beads on your work surface in a manner that pleases you. Change them around before you determine their final position.

• When making a two-bead unit, keep the larger bead on the bottom.

• The smallest bead should be used as the clasp.

Jewelry designer/Bead artist

Leslie Ktiphw began lampworkittg shortly after the beading bug bit her in 2000. Borosilicate glass allows her to work with subtle color variations, and she loves the challenge of making wearable art. She has been concentrating on disks and sculptural beads and how they play into the design of a jewelry piece as a whole. When she's not beading, Leslie teaches classes in horticulture and garden design. Visit her Web site at rushcreekglass.com.

Leslie Kaplan makes disk beads in several different colorways.

The seed bead waves in Jewels' Tidepool Shallows flow around art-glass beads by Sheila Comstock.

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