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Sunday, 6 February 2011

Etching Hearts

I have been a busy bee - making lots of new beads, experimenting with new colours and techniques.  Don't worry I won't chuck it all at you at once.

Let's start off with a few that I am particularly proud off.

I have been working on free formed hearts - that is heart shaped beads that are made without the use of a bead press.  It has taken a while to get to grips with the technique and make a nice heart shape. The technique I have been practising has the hole going top to bottom, so the bead is made on the mandrel.
This really sharpens up the molten glass control skills - getting the glass to move into the right amount of droop, and not ruining the shape of the bottom end of the heart, while adding some decoration.  I have decided to keep the additions simple so as not to detract from the shape of the bead.

The first one is standard Effetre black with a little Rubino Ora and white rose.  I made a stringer by encasing some standard Effetre white with the Rubino and twirled it onto the bead.  There are little green dots for the leaves and a yellow centre.  I have etched the bead in Etchall.

This one is Effetre Rossato - the first time I have used this glass and it's lovely.  I have added some standard clear glass wings and a little coil of fine silver. Then etched it.

And finally CIM Heffalump with Effetre white and dark purple.  Again etched.

I decided to acid etch rather than tumble etching so that the whole bead was treated.  Tumble etching does not get into the nooks and crannies.  I was also worried that the tumbling would knock the raised decoration off.

Overall I am pretty pleased with the result.  The photography is a bit pants - sorry about that - but the light is really bad here today and I couldn't wait to get the post up.  I will redo them next week and upload them to my Flickr account.  Then I will probably list these in my Etsy store when it re-opens in a couple of weeks.

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