Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Happy Holiday Season

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year.  It's going to be rainy here in Georgia, but the weather will be warm so we don't mind.  I'm going to take a break from beadmaking and blog-writing until March, when I will be back in full spirit.  See you then!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Devardi blues

I mentioned buying an assortment of green glass rods from Devardi recently.  At the same time, I purchased an assortment of blue glass rods:

Most of them have a distinct turquoise hue.  I've been using them for larger hole beads, some for 2mm leather and some with big holes (greater than 4 mm):

It looks like these colors will expand my available colors in the turquoise range.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Transparent-opaque mixtures

One of the glass rods which I worked with in the "40 shades of blue" project at Spruill Arts Center last summer was a rod which looked like it was a mixture of opaque sky blue and transparent blue-grey.  It was labeled "Capri", but it wasn't the shade of aqua blue normally associated with that color.  That gave me the idea of mixing transparent and opaque glass.  I take two rods, tape them together and use them as one rod to layer glass on my mandrel.  This is the result:

I like the effect and I'll be using the beads in my jewelry.  Watch my Etsy site (www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss).

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Devardi greens

My kiln is waiting for a new relay, so in the meantime I'll report on a project I've been working: playing with a stash of Devardi green glass I recently purchased from Amazon.  The glass is a mixture of rods of various colors and transparancies:

Using different frits, enamels and pixie dust, I've come up with an interesting assortment of basic round beads to use in future jewelry projects:

I especially like pixie dust---more on that later.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Autumn colors

The temperatures and the humidity are dropping in Georgia and there is a definite nip in the air.  It's time to start thinking about fall.  I've made an attempt to reproduce the Pantone fall colors in lampwork beads and here's the result:

As usual when attempting to reproduce the Pantone colors, its sometimes difficult to find an exact match in lampwork glass.  The glass I have selected is as follows, from top left to top right (Effetre unless otherwise noted): Alabaster turquoise (352), Lipstick (CIM 140), Avocado green (210), Weimaraner (CIM 811), EDP (254), Leaky pen (CIM 508), Heat wave (420), Desert pink (CIM 957), unknown color (label lost in the move from Fort Wayne to Atlanta), Lichen (Vetrofond 986).  All of the beads have a stringer of silvered ivory wrapped round the equator of the bead with silver wire melted in, and have been distorted out of round to add interest.  They are currently on sale in my Etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss.

Sunday, September 6, 2015


Awhile ago, I purchase Timeless Purple frit from Bead Goodies.  I've been experimenting with it and one combination I like is the frit over a base bead of Plum (CIM 658).  After melting in the frit, I let the bead heat up and flow under gravity.  When I like what I see, I cool the bead, add dichroic sparkles (magenta), encase the bead in clear, and shape it.  Then I add cubic zirconium or two for good measure and this is the result:

Similar beads will be on sale in my Etsy shop soon (www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss).

Sunday, August 23, 2015

40 shades of blue

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, Spruill Center for the Arts is holding a gallery exhibition entitled 40x.  Spruill students and instructors are encouraged to submit work which relates to 40 of something.  Those of us enrolled in Margo's Lampworking class decided on a theme of "40 shades of blue".  We each brought in various shades of blue glass rods, divided them up and made donut beads from each of the rods.  Here are the beads as they came out of the kiln:

Each of the students in the class has the option of submitting their own take on 40, so check back and see what I come up with.   The submissions will be on display at Spruill from October 9, 2015 to January 4, 2016.  Hope you can stop by!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Copper cut outs

In a second week of working with copper at Spruill Arts Center, we used copper cut outs.  Using paper punches and very thin craft copper sheet (greater than 38 gauge), we cut out butterflies, leaves, dragonflies, etc.  and applied them to glass beads.  If you apply the cut outs directly to the hot glass bead, then encase with clear, the copper will burn to a red color.  If you encase the cut out with a gather of hot clear, then add that to the bead, the piece will retain its metallic copper sheen.   Below are some of the results:

All of the beads but the one on the right were made with a white base bead with copper foil overlay followed by addition of frit, then the copper cut outs.  The bead on the right was made on a white base bead with a mixed green frit followed by the copper cut outs using the two different methods of positioning the cut out.  Looks like autumn!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Unexpected visitor

My daughter had an unexpected break in her work schedule and decided to pay us a long overdue visit.  All lampworking is suspended until she leaves.  I'll be back in two weeks.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Copper foil

It's summer so it's time for Margo Knight's lampwork bead class at Spruill Arts Center in Atlanta.  For the first class of the session, we learned the tricks of how to apply copper foil to beads, something which I have done before without much success.  It turns out that you must lay down a thick layer of enamel prior to placing and marvering the foil (except for white---more about this next time).   Then you must heat the glass to develop the blue-green color.  I applied frit (Georgia Peach from Val Cox) on top of the heated copper, followed by teal and white stringer, and finally gold foil:

The tabs in the above photo were made on white glass with enamel, and the tube bead was made on turquoise with enamel.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Garden lapidary lampwork bead

Last week at a meeting of Southern Flames, members had the opportunity to grind down a lapidary bead they had created to reveal the hidden layers underneath the outer coating.  We use equipment provided by Stephanie White of Beads by Design.  My bead consisted of a core of dichroic glass.  I then wrapped green filigrana glass around the core to create "vines, and added millefiori to resemble flowers.  After encasing in clear, I added opaque green enamel to hide the garden.  After grinding and polishing, this is what my bead looked like:

For full details and pictures of everyone's beads, see the Southern Flames website (www.southernflames.org).

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Turquoise and enamel

I've already done quite a bit of experimenting with enamels on glass and below is a combination that I like:

Thompson Enamel transparent beryl green (9443) on top of light turquoise (Effetre), with and without melted silver wire.  I like the ocean waves effect.  Look for these soon in my Etsy shop:  www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Lily pads

I bought a new frit color a while ago, Lily Pad from Glass Diversions, and I have been experimenting with it on different backgrounds.  Below is the frit on Nile Green Opalino (Effetre):

I've already made earrings with the combination and they are for sale in my Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss);  bead sets of these beads will be on sale soon.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

New toys

I just bought new mandrels and some new glass from Franz Art Glass and Supplies:

On the bottom, new mandrels (3/16 in) for big hole beads, in the middle Effetre Nessi, a limited edition transparent blue-green glass and on top, Effetre Spanish Leather, a shade of terra cotta.

I'll be experimenting with these over the next few weeks and I'll share what I find out.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Metallic black on black

I've been doing more experimenting with shards, this time using metallic black.  This Effetre glass is more viscous than other glass that I've used for shards, so I haven't been able to get the shards as thin as I'd like, but they still look nice on CIM Hades with a cubic zirconium for good measure:

These beads will soon be on sale in my Etsy shop (Etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss)

Sunday, April 12, 2015

On the beach

After a brief vacation to visit my daughter over the Easter weekend, I'm back in Georgia, experimenting with stripped beads reminiscent of a beach landscape.  Here are some of the combinations I've come up with:

The small beads are made as described in the previous post:  a single color with a stripe of silvered ivory around the equator, accented with silver wire.  The larger beads made with stripes of various Effetre colors laid over Seashell Swirl (Vetrofond 955):  light turquoise, Nile green opalino, transparent teal and light lapis with a stripe of silvered ivory and a twist with a cubic zirconium in the middle.   The larger bead on the left has been fitted with sterling silver bead caps and a bail made from silver wire fitted with a silver bead.  As usual, similar beads will soon be on sale in m Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss).

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bead sets

Working from Pantone's colors for Spring, 2015, I've been preparing bead sets using glass that match as closely as possible with the Pantone colors, such as aquamarine, classic blue, lucite green, custard, strawberry ice and tangarine:

 Some of the beads utilize the frits that I have posted on previously.  These bead sets will be on sale in my Etsy shop (Etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss) in early April.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spruill Center for the Arts Jewelry Market

I'm a little early this week, but I will be a participant in the Spruill Center for the Arts Jewelry Market, which will be held tomorrow (February 22) from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm, at Spruill Center for the Arts, 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road.  if you live in Atlanta, stop by and see what my fellow students and I have for sale.  Below are some of the new bracelets I have made, featuring shell beads that I have reported on in this blog over the past few months:

My Etsy shop (etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss) is closed temporarily, but items I don't sell tomorrow will be on sale starting Monday.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hollow beads

A couple of weeks ago, I took a workshop at Flametree Glass in Roswell, GA on how to use a puffy mandrel to make hollow beads.  Puffy mandrels are hollow tubes with a hole about two inches from one end of the tube.  When you dip them in bead release, you close off the end of the tube with your finger and blow through the tube.  The release will be blown out of the hole.  You add two discs of glass on either side of the hole, gradually tapering the glass until it meets in the middle.  Then you heat until the bead is a uniform temperature and gradually puff through the hole until the beads expands to the desired size.  Sound easy?  It takes practice, practice, practice.  Here are the beads I made in the workshop:

These need to be mounted as pendants, but you can expect to see these and other like them in my Etsy shop soon. (etsy.com/shop/DeborahDRoss).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New inspirations

Well, I have to apologize for being remiss with my posts, but for an excuse, I have been inspired by recent workshops and have been busy experimenting with new techniques.  Two weeks ago, I attended two workshops sponsored by Southern Flames.  one was a workshop given by Brad Shute on how to work with his own handmade silver glass and the second was one by Marcy Lamberson on how to combine basic shapes into new combinations.  Both them have inspired me to extend my horizons.

Brad showed us how to get color combinations with his glass, especially purples and blues:

I love the blues that come out on repeated striking.  And I learned something important about the striking sequence.  I used to quit when I got a dark brown color---I thought that I had gone beyond the point of no return.  But I leaned that that color is the starting point of the striking sequence!  So instead of stopping, I should have kept going.

In Marcy's class, we combined old shapes in new ways:

The bead on the upper right is reminiscent of a house, and gives me an idea for a line of landscape beads.  Who knows what I'll come up with!