In January, I had the most magical and amazing thing happen to me. I was on the way out to my studio and I looked down and found a bee. A big fat, weird colored bee. It was on my step, right outside the door. I didn’t think much of it. Until it was there for over an hour. So odd! I asked the land of Facebook and it was suggested that I contact a local beekeeper.
I attempted to find the local chapter of Beekeepers for my county. No answer. So I put a notice in our “Next Door” app. Lo and behold, it was a queen bee, awaken way too early, knocking at my door. Bee rescue ensued! Turns out there was a beekeeper just a couple of blocks from my house. She picked up my sweet lost bee and fed her and put her to bed for a few more months. Hopefully she will survive and be responsible for the birth of many more bees.
Needless to say, after that happened, this Art Journey was special to me. I went on the hunt for the perfect bee bead. However, itt started out as a “OMG, how can I have thousands of beads and no bees?” moment and evolved into an accomplishment for me and also a reintroduction to my own art beads but first the bead.
I finally found my sweet little bee from Gaea Cannady. I do so love her beads. Although, as you can see… I found more than just a bee. I decided to use another Gaea bead, one of her bird with a flower. This combination of bee and bird is quite a large set. I decided to keep the rest of the necklace as light as possible, to balance it out. I pulled some hemp and cotton cording, a few more delicious art bead and started knotting. Just a few beads… three colors of cord and a handmade clasp. I drew a ball on the copper clasp and soldered the jumpring closed for durability.
As you can see, there is even a surprise on the back of the bird. And now for my personal accomplishment. Before I went bead hunting, I had just assumed that I did not have any bee beads, but I do have a Now That’s a Jig! and I have Hex shapes… as in honeycomb????
Yay me! I was pretty excited. I set down with square 20g sterling wire and got shaping. I had three different size hex shapes and used them all. I got into my “solderable” bits and pieces and even found tiny little bees (didn’t know I had those either). Thank god I looked. So, I made my honeycombs, soldered each one individually.
When soldering 20g wire, remember that just a little bit of solder will do the job and you must have a complete flush join, otherwise you will not be successful in your soldering adventures.
Now, I do not consider myself an advanced metalsmith. Just the opposite, in fact. I describe myself as being so new, I squeak. I successfully soldered all nine of my honeycombs. And THEN I soldered all of the honeycombs together, a couple at a time and then those bits all together and sweat soldered the bee’s on. I did it! I did it! I cannot tell you how exciting it was that it all worked. And it only took me about 2 hours. Wow, that felt so good.
I have not decided what to do with my honeycomb and bees. There are so many possibilities available. I could make a cuff bracelet, make a necklace, add beads or even gold leaf… I really like the thought of gold leaf.
So happy I could share this with you! I hope you have an amazing day, filled with health, happiness and creativity!
Queene Bead Design