Sunday, May 3, 2015

Making Glass Beads - Pure Joy !

 It would seem my muse has made a comeback - finally !  lol !  Not sure the creativity has returned (if I ever had it) but at least the joy of melting glass has returned. :)   It feels wonderful !  I have to say of EVERY craft I have dabbled in or attempted, making beads - melting glass - lampworking - flame working - whatever one chooses to call it, is my first love.  And I have dabbled alot over the years.  lol !

I was able to torch several times over the past week.  Since I am still "recovering" from that long absence of melting glass, I am taking things slow and steady.  Not jumping into sculpting or anything too detailed.  Returning to tried and true color combo's, easy twisties and using alot of frit - which I hadn't done in a long time prior to the absence.  The thing about frit - it's soooo easy to use and make gorgeous beads.  Just a matter of how you use it.

Let's talk about frit.  It is a conversation that has been discussed over and over and on many places on the net.  It's in every beadmakers stash whether they are just trying a bit or have hoards of it !  lol !  There is such a variety to choose from these days AND we can even make our own.  It's easy to do - find what colors of glass you like and either crush them up or melt the rods on the ends.   While still red hot, stick them in a container of water that has a coffee filter in the bottom to catch the glass and wha - la, you have frit.  The color combo's or even single color frit is limitless !

Using frit on a bead is about as easy as it gets.  Just heat up your shaped bead and roll it in the frit and melt in.  Put the frit on the entire bead or on just one section.  Easy. Another way to use frit, heat up a ball on the end of a glass rod and dip it into frit, melt and pull into stringer.  Use stringer on your bead.  Easy.   Another trick, put silver foil on your bead then put the frit on.  Gives your bead a pretty sparkle.  :)  These are just a few ways frit is used to make gorgeous glass beads.  There are plenty more tips and tricks out there but I don't have all day to type them here or the room.  lol !   Do a search on the internet and see what you come up with.  You'll be happy I'm betting.  :)

On to this weeks eye candy  - beads !  Yay !  Simple, basic beads but I enjoyed very minute of making them.  The first photo are all focal beads.  That's what I've been into these days plus some cones.  I got some new cone mandrels and am practicing with them.  As with anything it's a learning curve here.  Anyway, the beads are all frit beads and all have silver foil melted in as well.  My favorite - the upper left.  LOVE that frit and it's no longer being made.  sigh.  Oh well, it happens.  I still have a bit of a stash so that's good.  :)  

The next photo, below, is of 3 frit beads and one twistie bead.  The 3 frit beads are called faux boro because it LOOKS like boro glass but it's not.  It's soda lime glass or soft glass.  Boro is called hard glass.  Anyway, that's for another day.  There is another way to make faux boro but I found some frit long ago that did that in frit form so thought I'd try it.  It's pretty and shows all the blues and greens that come out which is what the description said it would do.  Those beads are also encased.  The twistie bead is a favorite combination of mine and many others.  That color combo has been around for a very long time.  First published in one of Corina's how to books.  Anyway, it certainly didn't start out that way but all beadmakers know, what isn't working can be made into something that does work !  No wasting glass if at all possible !  lol !
 Then of course we have more bell flower beads/headpins.  Still alot of fun to make and still need to make more.  I was trying a couple of colors I've never used before with the flowers and like the outcome.  I have so many now I need to start listing them.  Want any ? If you do, they are $3.00 each with a minimum of 3.  Just send me a message here or in my Etsy shop.

That's all for this week.  I have more beads in the kiln, a necklace waiting on findings, and another project in the works.
Thanks much for coming by !  Please come back again soon.

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