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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.