Thursday, October 4, 2012

Let's Talk Illusion favorite style of jewelry to make is illusion style.  Well, it is at least one of my favorites and one of the ones I am most familiar with.  It's a style that can be used in either multi-strand designs, or single strands.  Plus, you can use it to make pretty much any piece.  
See this bracelet in my Etsy Store!
I prefer to use crimp covers over the crimps that I use because I feel that they give the piece a more polished look overall.  Many people prefer to just crimp their crimps normally, or flatten them using chain nose pliers.  No method is wrong, I just prefer to use covers.  This makes it appear like they are just sections of beads held in place, but you can't really tell what is holding them in place.  

With illusion style, you can be as symmetrical or as random as you would prefer to be.  Some of my designs are precisely spaced where the sides mirror eachother in beads and spacing.  This especially happens when I make illusion style necklaces, I will almost always make these completely symmetrical. 

In these pieces I not only make the spacing and number of beads match, but I will match the shapes and the colors.  When I do illusion style bracelets, I will often just be completely random; however, when I do multiple strands I try to make sure that the way the spacing ends up, there will not be much blank space when the piece is worn.  If there is a gap on the wire in one strand, I will usually try some beads lining up in that area on another strand. 

Using crimp covers can take some practice.  Believe me, I flattened or ruined many many crimp covers before I got the hang of it.  The best way I have found to close these is by using the very tips of my crimping pliers and then applying gentle pressure.  If the bead does not line up properly or if it's just a little wonky, then I will gently adjust it with the same portion of the pliers.  
Click here to view in my Etsy store!

Creating these pieces can be very time consuming, especially if you are doing a more symmetrical design that requires precise spacing.  Don't feel bad if you need to step away for a minute, or rest your eyes.  I often have to stop for a while as it can put a strain on both your hands and eyes.  As mentioned in a previous post, if you need to mark where you left off or hold beads in place, then use a bit of scotch tape (or a bead stopper) to secure them. 

I love this style as there are just so many different looks you can create.  Using different bead shapes, spacing and number of strands make the possibilities endless.  Yes, it can take some practice, but the end result is elegant and beautiful.  If you commit to creating this style, you will need to become very good friends with your crimping pliers, crimps and crimp covers. I think it is worth it, don't you?

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