my Etsy shop, they should be listed soon.
This idea went through many evolutions and trials and errors before I arrived at the style here. It's a really fun process and I'm totally obsessed with it!
How they're made:
First I use Double Helix Zephyr glass to make the clear beads. After they are annealed in the kiln and cleaned, I paint the insides of the holes with mica powders and acrylics. I use teeny tiny paint brushes and a magnifying glass. I leave the paints to cure for a couple of days, then cut sterling silver tubing to core the inside of each bead. Finally I give the silver a shiny polish and they're done! Below are some photos of the process.
Lampworking the bead. I think Zephyr is the best clear for this:
Measuring and cutting the sterling silver tubing. After this step, I use the Jim Moore Bead Press and silver-working tools to put the cores in the beads:
What is mica powder?
If you've ever been curious where pixie dust comes from and how it's colored and made, you can find some of that out on the Wikipedia page about mica here (just in case any of you are science and information geeks like me)!
Mica is found and mined in many places around the world. It comes in different forms like crystalline and sheet mica, but pixie dust is made from a powdered version called wet-ground mica. It gets its vivid range of colors by being coated with different thicknesses of TiO2 (titanium dioxide). Mica is chemically and electrically inert and can withstand very high temperatures. By the way, do you wear eyeshadow? Lipstick? Blush? Do you do drywall work, or house or automotive painting? Do you brush your teeth with sparkly white toothpaste? Then you use mica powder all the time!
I'm so excited to share these new beads with you!
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