Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Rivoli Madness - Part Deux

Well, the Rivoli madness continues. I think maybe the reason I resisted playing with these for so long is that I subconsciously recognized the potential for serious obsession with them. Which, of course, is turning out to be absolutely true.

I wasn’t happy with the stitching or color combinations on a couple of my first attempts so I re-did them and I think they are definitely much improved:

I'm now calling htis pair "Amethyst Glitz" and I think they look a lot better than the original design.

When I first made this pair, I'd used some green AB and light amethyst AB seed beads and they ended up looking kind of weird. Much better in just amethyst and gold, I think.

I also have to mention that Rings N Things’ customer service department was kind enough to send me some free additional Rivolis after reading here on the blog about the non-matchingness of a couple of crystals I used in one of my early pieces.

This is the original pair. After I make a second pair using the new Rivolis they sent me, I'll have TWO matching pairs of earrings. {insert happy OCD dance of joy here}

This really went above and beyond the call of duty on their part and I’m beyond grateful. You can be sure I always recommend them as a vendor to fellow beaders whenever I get the chance!

After re-doing those earrings, I decided to hunt around and see what else I could with all the Rivolis I’ve since been compelled to purchase and I found Laura McCabe’s book: “Creating Crystal Jewelry with Swarovski.” Even if you never want to make a project from this book, it’s worth the purchase just for the eye candy factor alone. Wow – gorgeous stuff.

Whereupon I was of course compelled to go out and buy more Rivolis and coordinating crystals to make some of the things from the book. And what luck that there just happened to be a bead and gem show in town where I was able to hit up crystal vendor for a bunch of really unusual Rivoli and bicone colors and sizes.

Sadly, the book also requires size 15 Czech charlotte (or one-cut) beads to finish nearly every single project. Were there any to be had at the massive bead show? Umm…no.

And by “no” what I really mean is that there were several vendors selling size 15 charlottes, but, after purchasing them and bringing them home, I realized that these beads could not possibly be what McCabe is calling out in her book. Because they are larger than regular size 15 beads and the book clearly states they are supposed to be smaller.

Confusing, right? Because a size 15 should be a size 15 regardless of the facet cut, right?


Turns out that what I had purchased were size 15 charlottes, but they were JAPANESE size 15 charlottes…which are BIGGER than regular size 15 beads. They are, in fact, closer to a size 12.

McCabe’s book requires size 15 CZECH charlottes…which are smaller than regular size 15 beads.

And also, apparently, nearly impossible to find.

Not to be deterred, I decided to finish off my Rivoli bezels with just another row of regular 15’s although I culled out the smallest ones I could and pulled my tension as tight as I possibly could. It seems to have worked out tolerably well (other than being a pain in the ass to do) and I should have a finished pair of earrings based on a project from the book to share here in fairly short order.

My other purchases at the show were fairly mundane as I stocked up on a lot of basic findings and other boring stuff. I wish I’d realized while I was doing that that I was running out of both Power Pro and Fireline and need more of both – especially if I’m going to tackle all these crystal projects.

Of course, before I can get going on any more of them, I’ve got to stop staying up til 1 AM watching the Olympics. I’m so glad I lost sleep last night in order to see the US Women’s Gymnastics team completely fall apart on balance beam and floor exercise. Oh, that was SO frustrating and sad. I can only hope things go better for them on the individual events.

Oh, and here's one more necklace (having nothing to do with Rivolis) that I managed to get finished over the weekend after it'd been hanging around for about 3 months in a half-finished state:

These cute, buggy lampwork beads came from an on-line vendor and then I added crystals, pearls, Czech cubes and some sterling and Bali silver beads and spacers. The chain is sterling silver as is the lobster-claw clasp.



Dave Robertson said...

Hey KJ,

I'm so glad we could help you explore the world of Rivolis some more! Thanks for the nice words.

It occurs to me that people might not realize the amazing range of colors that Rivolis come in... If they're curious, this link gives an idea:

I vote YES for your idea of a bracelet made of Rivoli links. Please please please post a picture when you make it!

Take care,

at Rings & Things

Silver Parrot said...

Okay, Dave, I'll be sure to get right on that!

R&T could do their part by stocking some size 15 Czech charlottes for me ;-) I'm having a devil of a time finding them and the color selection is VERY limited.

Also, you guys do have a truly great selection of what I consider the basic Rivoli colors, but considering the current high level of interest in them in the beading world, you might want to consider stocking some of the more unusual colors such as Sahara, Sphinx, Volcano, Saturn and Tabac. They are featured in McCabe's book and I saw some in person for the first time at the show this weekend and they are SERIOUSLY drool-worthy.

Just a thought ;-)

Dave Robertson said...

KJ, awesome comments. I've now passed these straight to our purchasing & customer-service humanoids.

Watch this space (er, watch our website...) for possible size 15 Czech Charlottes & more colors of Rivolis.

Take care,