Thursday, May 24, 2012

Purple and Turquoise

I'm trying to stay focused and get new work listed on Etsy. I put two purple and turquoise combination sets up today. I've been playing around with silver coring some larger holed beads and I'll post pictures as soon as I have a few done.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Well darn, I was trying to put a silver tubing inside one of my floral beads and I must have pushed the limit and it broke. The tubing is scrunched so that must be it. It was only my second time to try this so this has to be a learning process. This could get expensive!
You can see what a nice floral it was with really deeply plunged petals. I'll try again after I get back to the torch! What we go through to create our art! Some successes, some failures!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tiger By The Tail

Isn't this fun? Beads that have a number of steps are much more interesting for me to make. There are a number of interesting things going on in this bead! First of all the two stringers are each separate items that must be made before you start the bead itself.

One of the stringers is a combination of a reactive glass shaped into a barrel or cone and then small black stringers are placed on and then melted into the sides of the barrel in a symmetrical pattern. The barrel is heated up to almost molten and then pulled into small string-like pieces, hence the term "stringer" as you twist the glass before it hardens. The colors are enhanced, sometimes more sometimes less, in the barrel by the heat and the twisted black lines form an interesting pattern as you can see by the small lines that cross diagonally on the stringer. As these pulled pieces cool they can then be added to your bead; once it is created.

The second stringer is a rod of ivory glass that is heated. The tip end is rolled onto a piece of very thin sterling silver sheet. The heated glass causes the sterling sheet to stick to the glass. By pressing on the sterling you burnish the sheet to the glass. This keeps it from flying away when you reintroduce it to the heat; it's very thin. Put back into the flame, it is burned into the ivory glass. This becomes an almost molten ball, and is then pulled into small string-like pieces just like the 1st stringer. When it has cooled it is then used on your bead as a design element. In the above bead I used the sterling silver stringer to place dots around the "tiger tail" and on the bead. The sterling silver can actually be seen, because as the dots are heated on the bead, to melt them into the surface, the silver tends to ball up into little tiny balls. I love the way it adds a bit of sparkle to this bead, in particular, and really makes your beads elegant additions to jewelry designs.