Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Silver Glass Etsy Listings

I have two new Etsy listings tonight. The first is a set of Nyx accent beads:Nyx Accent BeadsThe silver glasses never cease to amaze me! I don't think I've ever made a set of Nyx beads that turned out so silver-y. Every day that I work with a silver glass it comes out a little different than the day before. It's almost impossible to truly duplicate a bead or set with silver glass in it.

Another case in point is the next bead, made with Triton and Kronos frit and encased with Aether clear. There's no way I could predict how the colors on this bead would turn out, and if I used the same recipe again a hundred times I'd have a hundred different beads:Blue and Green Pandora BeadLovin' it!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Siver Cored Beads on Etsy!

I've been working on silver coring beads for a few weeks now. I have quite a little collection going. I love to gaze at them, polish them, put them on my Pandora bracelet. Trouble is, I love them so much I'm having a hard time letting them go. They are my babies.
:-D Lampworkers, you know what I'm talking about :-D

Yet all babies must one day venture out into the big world and find a new home and gainful employment. Such it is with my cute little silver cored beads. The separation anxiety has been a little tough, but I've finally listed a few on Etsy! Here are their photos:

Etched organic:Organic Etched silver-cored Pandora-style beadDouble Helix Kronos with Kronos frit:Kronos frit silver-cored bead - BeadAbundantCiM Mojito with Triton (2 photos):Mojito green silver-cored Pandora beadCiM Mojito green silver lined beadCiM Slytherin and Mojito with Triton:CiM Slytherin and Triton silver cored Pandora bead

Have a nice Monday and happy beading :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Silver Coring Beads: Sources and Supplies

If you'd like to silver-core your beads, I've put together a short list of information sources and suppliers to get you started.

There are a few good threads on the Lampwork, Etc. message board that are worth checking out. For inspiration, this thread has lots of photos of Pandora and big-hole beads:
"Let's see your Pandora style beads"

The following two LE threads written by Andrew were invaluable to me while I was trying to figure out silver-coring. I have all of the tools Andrew lists, including the polishing bits and compounds he recommends. One thing I do differently from Andrew is I cut my tubing 1/16" (or about 2mm) longer than the width of my beads, not 4mm as Andrew does. This is in part because I use the Jim Moore bead press, and the 1/16" measurement works best for me with this tool.

Andrew's excellent tutorials:
"Rivet Tutorial (Da pretty silva bit)"

"Polishing ( Da pretty silva bit )"

There are lots of places you could find the silver-smithing tools, but I got most of mine from Rio Grande. Rio Grande also carries the "brownies" and "greenies" polishing bits that Andrew talks about. I've found they work really well:

The Autosol metal polish mentioned in Andrew's polishing tut can be purchased on-line from Winterbrook Farm Antiques:
The Autosol works great but has a petrochemical smell. I love it anyway though and I'm glad I bought it. It really cleans and gives a nice mirror finish to the silver.

photo courtesy of Ginko Designs

Sterling Silver Tubing
The one supply I found hardest to locate was the right size silver tubing to fit my beads and the Pandora bracelet. All of my prayers were answered when I found Ginko Designs Etsy shop! She has worked with a manufacturer to develop this unique size of tubing that perfectly fits the Pandora bracelet. Her shipping is fast and the tubing is high quality, and you're also supporting a fellow artist when you purchase from her shop!
Ginko Designs on Etsy

3/16" Mandrels
Another supply I had a really hard time finding was 3/16" mandrels. I don't know why this is such a rare size! I was very happy to find them finally at Arrow Springs.

Jim Moore bead press
The most helpful tool of all has been the Jim Moore bead press. I've tried hand-riveting with the punches, but the Jim Moore tool is faster and easier, especially if you're a beginner silver-smith. Here's the link to Jim Moore's bead press:
Jim Moore Bead Press

I hope this post has been helpful to you!
Have fun!