As promised, today I shall brag about something I made this past week. You have actually already seen it, in the group shot of most of my rings. (which I will repost, as I love this picture!)
There in the middle on the black ring stand is a small ring made from last week's pattern. I delayed the post because I wanted to take a separate picture of it alone, but that just didn't happen. So, here is a close up from the picture above.
I am really happy with the look of this ring, but I was having a few issues with the feel. Let me start this by explaining that I have learned to choose my beads very carefully when making a ring. I have learned the hard way to avoid any bead that has an applied finish to it. This unfortunately includes most metallic seed beads. I avoid these beads because rings take a lot of abuse. A lot of rubbing on the finger and on everything your hand comes into contact with. I have found that the applied finishes very quickly wear off on a ring, and your ring ends up looking like it has mange... lots of bare spots.
However, I really wanted this ring in silver so I did some looking and some research. I read some very good things about the Duracoat finishes. So, I ordered some Delicas with a silver Duracoat finish and made this ring. And the finish seems to be sticking! I have been wearing the ring nearly continously for a week (including during hand washing!) and have not seen any wear. However... when I first completed the ring, I noticed some scritchy bits. The Duracoat beads, some of them anyway, were not as smooth as I am used to. There were little bits where the coating had wrinkles and pointy bits (this was why I wanted the better picture - to try to capture this). I couldn't really feel these pointy bits while wearing the ring, but if I rubbed my other finger over the ring, it was there. Scritchiness.
My very hesitant solution was to rub the ring with some denim to lightly sand away the scritchy bits. I was hesitant because I was afraid of sanding away the whole finish! But, after some careful rubbing and inspecting, the ring is now much less scritchy and the finish seems to be intact. Woo and/or hoo!
So, my final impression of the Duracoat Delicas? This batch at least required a little extra finishing you don't normally see with beadwork, but if the finish lasts I say it is totally worth it!
Quote: When I'm working on a problem, I never think about beauty. I think only how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
R. Buckminster Fuller (1895 - 1983)