Bead Fest Philly August 2015

It has been a number of years since I myself have sold my work at Bead Fest Philadelphia.

In fact, it was 6 years ago because I was pregnant with my son.

I have picked up an Artist Table (570A) around the Artisan Alley section of the show and will have some great new stuff.

Marsha Neal Studio Booth 570A. D7 Studio Booth 366.

Marsha Neal Studio Booth 570A. D7 Studio Booth 366.

Darlene from D7 Studio (booth 366) has her booth and will have lots of my beads at her table.

Marsha Neal Studio Work for BeadFest

Marsha Neal Studio Work for BeadFest

I will have my new bracelet kits, and more of my sculptural work with me.

So make sure to swing by both while you are cruising the show!

Print this pass and pay $5 for your Bead Fest Weekend Pass!

Print this pass and pay $5 for your Bead Fest Weekend Pass!

Glazed Ceramic Beads

I am beyond  delighted with how these last few bead glaze 5 firings have been coming out. Lots of new color ways…  

I love this above cinnamon glaze.


And the abundance of finished beads for the Bead & Button show in a few days is exciting!


But sometimes in the studio I get to see pretty things that disappear into more solid things and I wanted to share a pretty moment of mixing glaze colors (Mayco Stroke and Coat) to make a new glaze color.





Above is the finished color all mixed and a finished, fired bead. You can see it loses the powdery pastel of the dried glaze.


These are just about to go into the final pre-show glaze firing.


Above are my 13+ year used Roselli bead trees. I love the patina they have achieved over the years…


And above is a pic of what a just opened post-firing full of finished beads (cone 5 is around 2230 degrees F – which takes about 8 hours to reach, then 16 to cool back down). 

Check out my Instagram and Facebook for kiln firing opening pics 🙂

Firing Ceramic Beads

 With the Bead and Button Show (Milwaukee, WI) right around the corner I have been nonstop glazing and firing beads!  

This is what I unloaded last night! 


Oh the colors!


I just love the way the glazes puddle on this chocolate stoneware…


It feels like Christmas opening the kiln!


And then there is my quality control expert Peeves our cat. I think that late at night her attitude is a bit more “Woman they look fine, now put them down and give me some scratching & petting. Dang!” 

So today I will be glazing even more!

I am pretty delighted so far and hope nothing interrupts this flow.

Beaded Silk Wrap Bracelet Directions Long Pinterest Image

I thought it might be a good idea to have a Pinterest Friendly photo of my Beaded Silk Bracelet Design.

I have updated my Etsy Shop with both the Bracelet Kit and the Beaded Cord Kit (for those of you that already have your own buttons or beads).

For full directions and supply kits, check out my previous blog post HERE.

YouTube Video HERE.

Marsha Neal Studio Braided Silk Wrap Bracelet Directions

Marsha Neal Studio Braided Silk Wrap Bracelet Directions

Beaded Silk Cord Bracelet Instructions

Do you want to make an adult version of simple braided jewelry that you can use as wrap bracelets?

Beaded Silk Cord Color Palettes Marsha Neal Studio

Beaded Silk Cord Color Palettes Marsha Neal Studio

You can purchase Marsha Neal Studio Beaded Silk Cord Wrap Bracelet Kit supplies in over 20 color palettes through my Etsy shop.

Printable pdf directions: Beaded Silk Bracelet Instructions Marsha Neal Studio

Here is where you start:

Beaded Silk Cord Bracelet Supplies: 2mm silk, 1mm cotton cord, (51) custom TR5 glass bead mix, closure bead/button.

Tie a gentle knot at one end of the cotton cord. String 50 beads from other end of cotton cord. You will remove that gentle knot later – either by untying or cutting it off.

Measuring for button closure loop.

This simple loop should fit closure button/bead through with a little room. Leave at least 1 inch tail. Pull tight.

At the mid-point of the 2mm silk, tie the 2mm silk cord onto the cotton cord with the 1 inch tail.

One knot pulled tight will work fine.

Tie a knot with one of the silks around the other silk, and two cotton cords. Pull tight.

Repeat previous step with the other silk. Pull knots tight.

Straighten the silks, pull it all tight, then cut off any of that tiny tail of cotton cord that is sticking out.

Secure the loop so you can begin braiding. I prefer a mini macrame foam board or clip board. Tape or binder clips onto a surface you will not damage will work too.

Begin braiding, moving the strands from right to middle, left to middle, repeating, always moving over top of the other cords. When you move the cotton cord, you push a bead up.

As you braid, your fingers will find a comfortable way to position the beads so they stay to the outside of the braid.

This image shows you my working position for braiding. I try to keep the beads up close to the working braid area, and move it as I need more space.

This image shows you my working position for braiding. I try to keep the beads up close to the working braid area, and move it as I need more space. Notice my relaxed and even braid tension? If yours is too tight or short and squatty, simply unbraid it and start again. It may take a couple of times for your brain and body to relax.

As you near the end, measure the bracelet around your wrist (intended to go 2x). Remove the extra beads from that point on. Having some braid only in the area where you end allows you to tie a knot right below where you want your button to sit. Remove the gentle knot and the excess beads.

Put your disc bead onto the cotton cord, then a TR5 glass bead. Then put the cotton cord back through the disc bead. Move it down and find its final stopping point and tie it on.

Tie the cotton cord around the other cords a couple of times to secure the disc bead (Pull tight!). Then if you have silk left, tie a couple of knots, pulling very tight. I tie two very tight knots with just the two silks to end mine. If you are unsure, you can use fabric glue to extra secure your knots.

Cut off the excess length of cords.

Your bracelet is now ready to wear! You can get these wet, but please avoid salt water or pool water as these are silk, and harsh environmental conditions may cause these to not last as long as they would otherwise. Hand wash with mild detergent and pat with a towel to dry.

Overall bracelet image: Loop end, braid, closure bead.


The 2mm silk is 40 to 42″ long.

The 1mm cotton Cord is about a yard (ends cut to a point to put beads on).

With a consistent braid, I use between 45 and 50 of the TR5 Miyuki glass beads.

My wrist is a solid 7″ wrist (to measure my wrist, I wrapped a string around my wrist – comfortably – not tight or loose). The finished bracelet length for a double wrap around my wrist is from the button to the end of the loop: 15.5″. By this calculation, I’ve added an inch and half to the doubled size of my wrist (7″ + 7″ + 1.5″ = 15.5″).

If I want to wear layers of these, I may make some that are slightly larger so that they can go further up my arm.

If yours is too long after you are done, you can always try tying a “decorative knot” somewhere in the braid to shorten the length. Or you may just have to find a friend to give it to, and make yourself another, learning from the previous one.

Fabric glue or epoxy (such as E6000 – a flexible epoxy) should be used in a well ventilated area. Please read and follow instructions for the product you choose.

For those of you that want instructions printed, click below and you can download the pdf (you may need to print at 95% if the edges get cut off). And you will need adobe acrobat reader to view the pdf.

Beaded Silk Bracelet Instructions Marsha Neal Studio

Thanks to Sara and Kyla of Sarafina Art House for helping me with this video! CLICK HERE.



Ceramic Artist. Garden and Nature Enthusiast.

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