Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Stone Beads

The nights are already getting cooler and it's time for fall colors again! Time to bring out my organic and earth tone beads. This is my favorite beadmaking time of year.

In the early 90's when I first started making fabricated silver jewelry, I used a lot of gemstones. I rarely used glass in my designs. In my opinion at the time, the role that large glass beads played in jewelry making was mostly to replicate the look of real gemstones, sometimes going so far as to deceive the buyer into thinking they were real stones. I had very low esteem for glass. LOL!

Soon after that, lampworked artisan glass beads started to hit the scene. This was a completely new way to use glass, and I was transfixed by the highly skilled work of these glass artisans. Then comes the story of how I started making glass beads, but that's another post....

This year it seems I've been returning to my roots in silver and gemstone jewelry. Not making it again, but looking once more at silver and stone as ways of expressing myself artistically. Most of my beads this summer have been metallic, and the rest of my beads usually look like stone or organic in some way.

Here are two sets of my latest Stone beads. This first set (2 photos) was made by combining six different glasses into a large, layered molten blob, then stretching the blob out into a multi-colored rod. I used this rod to make these beads, which look like banded agate or jasper to me:Banded Agate Beads - BeadAbundantBanded Agate BeadsThe glass colors I used for the blob are: CiM Stone Ground and Canyon de Chelly, Double Helix odds T-106 and VK-192, Vetrofond Olive odd and River Rock odd.

This second set is River Rock mixed with silver foil. I'm a newcomer to the River Rock craze... I just bought a small amount a few weeks ago. Figures I'd wait until it's $40/quarter pound to try it. Oh well, I'm glad I did, but it's a sad time to get hooked on this glass, too. It was a small odd batch that probably won't be made again. It's amazing how it reacts with silver:River Rock and Silver Beads - BeadAbundant
So, I've come full circle with my art: now *I'm* the one who is making glass beads that look like stone! Ha ha! I promise though I won't deceive my customers as to the materials or whose blood sweat and tears went into making them :-D Happy September!

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