I'm here with news of the new Chilli™ bead which has recently been launched by the PRECIOSA Traditional Czech Beads brand. Once again I was fortunate enough to be involved in creating some promotional pieces using the new beads and so I spent a couple of happy weeks turning them this way and that and having a whole lot of fun with them. The Chilli measures 4 x 11 mm and is a narrow elongated bead with a flat edge and two holes which you can see in the picture below.
I've worked with a lot of shaped beads in the last few years and one of the things I particularly liked about the Chilli bead is that it works well with either the convex or concave side uppermost, or even on its side. Modern beads come in such a wonderful range of colours and finishes that it's nice to be able to admire them from every angle and so for the first piece I made I captured an upturned Chilli between pairs of Chilli beads on their side and then added a cluster of them in the centre with the curved side on top. I used a base of black Ultrasuede and a liberal sprinkling of chrome seed beads to complement the lovely mottled black and silver finish of colour number 23980/15481 and then turned it into a brooch.
I liked the way this piece turned out and so I made another very similar piece using Chilli beads in colour number 23980/86800 which has a really nice speckled finish. Again I used black Ultrasuede as a backing, but this time with slightly smaller black seed beads and a burst of shiny silver seed beads in the centre for a touch of drama. Rather than a brooch I turned this one into a pendant by creating a hanging loop of seed beads and threading a length of black satin ribbon through it.
For the next piece I used silver Chilli beads (colour number 00030/27000) with shiny silver seed beads and black Twin beads to make some star-shaped components. Because the Chilli beads have two holes they mix perfectly with the other two-holed beads and so Chillies and Twins are a match made in heaven. I attached the individual components together using jump rings and some more Twin beads as connectors and then whipped up a pair of matching earrings to complete the set.
As much as I love the classic black and silver combination, I wanted to introduce a little more colour and femininity into my final design and so I decided to make a romantic flower bracelet. For this one I used some beautiful transparent purple Chilli beads (00030/15781) and a lovely transparent pale blue (00030/14464) and mixed them with silver seed beads. I popped an 8 mm crystal AB fire polished bead into the centre of each one and attached the completed flowers to a simple herringbone rope.
There is a Flickr album full of stunning photos of Chilli bead pieces made by other designers which you can scroll through for inspiration and you can also see the full range of colours and finishes available in this album. Preciosa has four free Chilli bead projects available to download from their website and some stores around the world already have the new beads in stock too so you can get started right away. Don't forget that Preciosa is always happy to see your designs using their beads, so be sure to show them your Chilli bead creations via their Facebook page.
See you next time!