La pièce de résistance

I’m really happy with how my Hannibal bead turned out, even if I ended up designing it on-the-fly!

I originally envisioned this as a three-sided bead: the wine bottle, cutting board and carving knife, and cleaver. I really wanted to keep the bead small, so I knew that I’d have a challenge making some of the pieces.

I started with the wine bottle, figuring that it would be the easiest. After trying – unsuccessfully – to form the wet clay into something resembling a wine bottle, I took a different approach. Instead, I formed rougher shapes that approximated the end shape that I wanted, waited for them to dry, and then sanded the dried shapes down. It was so much easier to get the finer shapes that I needed. Looking back, I don’t know how I would have done the small carving knife otherwise! I will definitely try that method again if I need small details.


After I had the final pieces, I faced the next challenge: getting them to stay in the triangular shape that I needed long enough for the pieces to bond. After trying for a while, I decided to add a fourth piece so that I had a bit more leeway when placing the pieces. I thought of making a wine glass for the fourth piece, but worried that the stem would be too thin and fragile. I thought of making a stack of recipe cards, but didn’t know if it would be obvious what it was. I discounted the idea of a frying pan, and roasting pan, before finally deciding to make a dinner plate. It still didn’t seem quite substantial enough, so I added the placemat and cutlery set to make the piece a bit bulkier.

While waiting for the place setting to dry, I changed my plan a bit and decided that I needed a fifth piece too. So, I returned to the idea of a stack of recipe cards. Despite my initial reservations that it wouldn’t be easily identifiable, I realized that I was overthinking it. The bead is for me. I know that they’re recipe cards. It doesn’t matter if it isn’t obvious to others! And, it gave a nice sequence of events for the bead, from finding a recipe to sitting down with the meal and wine :)

By that point I was happy with my plan. But, I knew that trying to get five pieces to stay in place while they bonded wouldn’t be easy. So, I made a thin circle to use as my base, waited for it to dry, then attached each of the pieces to the circle in turn.

A little more drying, a little fire, some polishing, and I had a bead!

One resolution done!


  1. I really love this bead, don’t watch the show but it sounds like you’ve captured the character perfectly and such a clever use of design!

    Love the story of how it evolved as you tried out different combinations!

    Mars xx

    1. The bead was quite a bit of fun to make, so it’s nice that it worked out (in the end, at least :D). I just wish that I had been able to show it off before now. It was hard holding it in until I finally got Brainiac.

      I’m glad that others like to follow along on my little explanations! :D

  2. I love how you showed all the steps. Very awesome bead! You have such great ideas that translate into lovely beads.

    1. Thanks! This was one of the most satisfying to make; I was finally able to make a bead at the small scale that I wanted and also that the end result mostly matches the original idea! I’d say that most of my ideas don’t translate that well into beads, I just don’t show the ones that fail :D Maybe I will one day.

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