Maia's melted bead spiral set off a whole round of melted bead suncatcher experimentation. We're absolutely loving the freedom of form that string and wire are allowing. And we've even tried adding glass beads among the plastic pony beads, just for fun.
First, following Maia's spiral, we strung more translucent pony beads on embroidery thread only this time instead of spiraling them around each other, we arranged them on the cake pan more haphazardly.
The beads melted flat, creating stripes since they were able to spread out completely (rather than pentagons and hexagons as they did when they were packed closely in muffin tins and cake pans). And the beads and string layers all fused together, of course.
Once the beads cooled and hardened, they lifted easily out of the pan.
Isn't it just beautiful?! This method is by far my favorite so far. I really love the line the string makes curving through the suncatcher.
We've also made a couple with the pony beads strung on wire.
Here's the cake pan on the grill with the beads half melted.
When I noticed that the beads were starting to melt off the part of the wire that was elevated off the pan, I removed it from the heat. This would work better with a more flexible wire that will stay flat against the pan.
This one is also beautiful, though, and the combination of wire and melted beads has so much potential. I can't wait to experiment more with it.
Here's the side view of the beads that were melting off the wire.
And here's one last variation we experimented with over the weekend. Adding glass beads (the kind used for floral arrangements) among the pony beads. The glass didn't melt, of course, since the temperature was around 450 F (glass melts at around 3000 F). I like the effect of the larger glass rounds surrounded by the flat sheet of melted beads.
I should mention that one of the beads popped out when I removed the suncatcher from the pan. I wasn't able to dislodge any of the rest though (I tried, in the spirit of experimentation), so perhaps it was a fluke. A fluke that provided the perfect hanging hole, I should add. :)
Okay, that's the end of our melted bead suncatcher experimenting for now. I'm sure there will be more to come!
If you're looking for more melted bead suncatcher ideas, here are my melted bead suncatcher posts so far:
- Making Melted Bead Suncatchers (Basic info for getting started)
- A Melted Bead Suncatcher Mobile (And how to make shapes)
- A Melted Bead Suncatcher Spiral (The beginning of our freeform experimentation)
- More Melted Bead Suncatchers :: Free Form Experiments
- Melted Bead Suncatchers :: Beautiful Free Form Hearts
- Melted Bead Stained Glass in Frames -- Mondrian Style!
- Melted Bead Suncatcher in an Embroidery Hoop Frame
- A Melted Bead Jack-O-Lantern Suncatcher
- Melted Bead Words
- Melted Bead Fairy Wands
- Melted Bead Suncatchers 7+ NEW Ways (Includes ornaments, die-cut wood frames, spiral mobiles, and shapes within suncatchers)