Friday, March 28, 2008

Other folks who use my beads

Here are a few folks who have used my beads in their work.
It's about time I gave them a bit of credit!
First is my partner in a cooperative effort on etsy, Sue at Signature Sterling- I made some beads, and she'll be using them in a piece of jewelry. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.
Here are the beads I made that she'll be using:

They don't look like much in the picture, but I know Sue's going to come up with a great plan to show them off! And they look so much nicer in person- a bit of blue opalescent Italian Moretti glass rolled in goldstone and white enamel, with some sapphire blue scribbled over it all.

The jewelry Sue makes will be sold as a benefit for Creative Minds for Charity , which will benefit an etsian in need through the helping others street team (HOST) on etsy. For information and updates, go to the Creative Minds for Charity link. There is also a Flickr Group set up for the project.
To see the progress on the piece Sue's making with these beads on her blog, go to

You've got to go to Sue's blog and see what she's been up to- she stays pretty busy, what with the kids and her- shall we say obsessive? (sorry Sue)- love of OSU!

Next is Paula Berry, who made some lovely earrings out of a pair of fish she purchased. She also encouraged me to make seahorses- which was fun, and I actually did a decent job of it! Here's one swimming past now!

Here is the picture of the fish earrings Paula made. She did a great job with her photo!

And here's her shop on etsy:

And last is Nancy and the kitties who have the frillz shop on etsy:
She took an odd piece that I had fused from bits and pieces of glass I had left over, and made a lovely bracelet out of it. Here's a picture:

I'm so excited to have others using some of my pieces in their jewelry, and to actually get to see photos of the pieces is great. Thanks to all of these lovely women for their help and support!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Making Disk Beads

Another in a series of basic techniques, here are some disk-making tips and techniques:

Disk tips:
Be sure each layer of glass you add adheres well to the layer below it. The glass must be wrapped firmly on the previous layer as you spin the bead.
When wrapping the glass, your bead should be slightly behind the flame, while the glass rod is in the flame. Make sure the glass rod is heated all the way through, not just on the bottom, so that you don’t pull the base bead around misshaping it or breaking the bead release.
You may be able to wrap and spin as you go, or you may want to pull a bit of glass off the melting rod and attach it to your disk at regular very small (like 1/8-1/16 inch) intervals. This requires a certain rhythm- melt, pull, attach, melt, pull, attach, etc.
Push the hot glass onto the disk as you add it to make the layers adhere to each other nicely. Make sure the layers of glass are adhering all the way around, and there are no gaps between the layers.

Making a basic disk:
Start by making a pea-sized bead. Shape into a small cylinder. This will be the core of the disk, and should stay pretty much as is during the whole process.
Start winding the glass onto the cylinder (see above for tips). You can add colors as you go if you want, or leave it all one color.
If necessary, the disk can be straightened using the flat part of your tweezers, or a masher. Don’t pull up on the disk; just flatten all the way around.
Remember to look down your mandrel to see how even and round your disk is and add glass or use gravity to correct.
Flash the disk often to keep it warm; otherwise pieces may break off. Cool in the flame for a minute or two before putting away in your kiln. Keeping the disk warm without melting it down and cooling the disk without breaking it are the two hardest parts of this process.

What to do with your disk:

Disks are the basis for a number of different bead styles, including hollow beads, folded beads, 3-dimensional flowers, and fluted disks.