November, at least in Canada, seems to be the month where things start to lose their shine. Less brilliant sunlight, more cloudy grey days and the last leaves falling to blanket the backyard in layers and layers of texture.
In the last few weeks I’ve blown hundreds of small beads on the end of a 4mm stainless steel pipe. I’ve worked with a number of different types of glass and enamels to come up with a wide variety of colors and- something I don’t do often- texture. One easy way to do this is to blow a large thin bubble over 20 cm. When you break the bubble the shards can then be applied in small pieces to your 2cm bead while still on the end of your blow pipe. All the sparkly beads I’ve made use DH iridescent glass with either a thin 1mm ribbon or with a small odd shaped piece of shard. It’s also possible to create texture with enamel sprinkled directly on to your warm bead. As enamel is condensed glass pigment the viscosity and melting/blending capabilities can add some very interesting effects to the outside of your bead. Of course not all colours play well together and there were a lot of hit and miss moments; useful lessons learned.
With the beads in the photo above I’ve gone a step further and etched them. This takes the outer layer and shine off of most of the surface and gives one the ability to both see and feel the detailed texture.
After the multitude of beads were blown I spent a few more hours stringing them together to make light, easy to wear necklaces. Some glamorous, some just for fun. All in all time well spent.