Sunday, May 22, 2016

Galaxy beads

Galaxy beads are a favorite with lampwork bead artists because there is so much room for individuality, yet just about anything you do looks fabulous.  For these beads, demoed by Margo in her class at Spruill Center for the Arts, we started with a thin layer of clear glass, then wound a layer of transparent cobalt blue glass followed by threads of clear.  From here we  improvised.  I added silver foil.  I trapped some of it under clear, but left some to burn away.  I also added silver mesh and allowed it to burn into beads.  I added small pieces of dichroic to one of the beads.  I spread the burned off silver foil by gravity on another bead to create swirls.  Finally, I encased them with clear.  Below are the beads, three of which have been prepared for use as pendant with silver caps and silver wire bails:

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Raked star beads

I'm back in Margo Knights class at Spruill Center for the Arts for the spring term.  For our first class, Margo demoed raked star beads.  The concept is simple:  start making a disc bead with two or three layers of class.  instead of continuing to add layers, add dots around the edge of the disc.  Build up as many layers of complimentary colors as desired.  When you are satisfied with the layers, heat just the area to be moved, then rake towards the center of the bead with a metal rake or the end of a stringer.  It sounds simple, but the placement of the dots is critical.  Also, the dots must be uniform in amount of class used.  My attempts are shown below.  I didn't try anything more adventurous than 6 pointed stars.

For a more complete tutorial on raked star beads, see the thread on WetCanvas.