I recently received my Art Beads package - always a lot of fun as I am challenged either for designs or for crafting a blog post! It was an eclectic mix in the order so there will be more than one post. The beautiful and sparkly faceted red and purple teardrop briolettes from their Swarovski Crystal Beads section inspired this post.
Briolettes are either tear drop or pear-shaped beads which are side drilled so the design approaches are different. Another issue with briolettes is the fragile tip so here are 4 ways to take both factors into account.
1. USING PINCH BAILS
The small Swarovski pendant briolettes were perfectly sized for earrings. Since the crystals are so beautifully faceted, a really simple way to showcase them is to use pinch bails. There isn't much to the technique - just gently squeeze the bail together so the prongs go through the hole. Attach a jump ring and then the ear wire and you're done. The result is elegant.
2. WIRE WORK
This is a simple design but I am sure you can come up with other unique ways with wire if you play! It would have been easier if I had used small jump rings to connect the U shaped wire going through the double holed bead and the double looped eye pin bearing the briolette.
I have broken a few briolettes before when I didn't paid attention to the force I was applying. It should have been on the wire work and not levering on the glass! You bet I was extra careful with these Swarovski crystals. (You can see it in my Etsy shop).
3. CLASSIC WIRE WRAPPING
Many people love this wire wrapped style. You can make it as informal or as neatly wrapped as you like. Start by feeding the wire through the briolette hole - how long will depend on whether you want to cover the top part of the briolette. If you do decide on the covered route one tip is to choose flat briolettes like these opalite ones. They're easier to do than the round tipped ones. One wire end will be shorter. Make the long wire end upright so you can wrap the short wire around it.
The above steps can be seen in this video.
Now hold the loop end steady with a broad nose pliers and start wrapping it around the wire frame. Do you see why flat briolettes are easier?
Either tuck in the end under the other coils or just press the end down against the bead.
4. USING BEAD CONES
If you don't care for much wire wrapping and just want a quick way of concealing the tip, use a bead cone! Use a thinner wire like 24G if the cone is a tight fit.
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
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