I tend to think that I’m a li’l bit from column A and a li’l bit from column B …. now I have the bead to prove it!
I was looking for inspiration for beads for another bracelet theme when I came up with the idea for this angelic devil bead. And it came out (almost) exactly as I imagined it!
From the start, I envisioned a simple shape for the base, the angel wings tucked up at the back to allow beads to sit close beside it, and the devil tail curling up around the front. The wings were easy enough to shape, but I was stuck on how to make the texture for the feathers. I wanted them to feel like they had layers to them, but didn’t want them to look like scratches. I tried my fingers and then a paint brush, but neither produced enough texture. Eventually I tried running the edge of my emery board along the wings in short strokes and that was just enough to make the wider, shallow indentations that I wanted. The tail came quickly after that and I thought that I was done. I was happy with the wings. I was happy with the tail.
But I wasn’t happy with the bead. Despite it looking pretty much as I had imagined, it didn’t feel finished. I didn’t want to put a face on it (that was my three-year-old’s suggestion) but I felt like it needed … something. So, as with most of my beads when something isn’t right, I let it sit for a day. And then another.
I’m not sure what made me think of the halo, but as soon as I did I wondered how I hadn’t thought of it before. Originally I had the halo sitting on top of the base, but felt like it needed to sit further back and there was no way I was moving the wings. Instead, I moved the halo up higher, attaching it to the wings instead of the base. While the position was better, the halo had less surface area connecting it to the rest of the bead so I worried it wouldn’t be firmly attached. Still, I didn’t see another choice, so I fired the bead, hoping for the best.
The halo survived the first round of polishing, but broke off during the second round. Perhaps I should have taken that as a sign that I’m a bit more naughty than nice? ;D I considered leaving it off, since it broke off quite cleanly, but by then I really liked the idea of it. So, I decided to use this bead as a bit of a test piece. I had read that you can add more metal clay to a piece after it has been fired to repair cracks or other damage. It makes sense in theory – the heat sinters the metal together, so why wouldn’t it sinter a new piece on?
I’d say it had mixed results. The halo is on, and seems to be staying on, but the second round of heat damaged other parts of the bead. The tail was the furthest from the heat and sustained the least amount of damage; the most damage occured at the sides of the bead (see pictures above) and where the wings join the body. The damage doesn’t look quite as bad in real life as in the picture, but it’s still noticeable.
I still like the bead and hope the damage is just cosmetic and hasn’t made the bead more fragile. And, while I preferred the halo slightly further up, I still prefer the bead with the halo in the current position over the bead with no halo at all, so I still think it was a good decision to try it out.