You never know from where inspiration will come….

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Jester Lampwork Focal
Jester Style Lampwork Focal

When I was cropping this photograph it occurred to me how the gray in the design blended so well with the background. It almost seemed as if the bead was completely transparent except for the red and black detail in the center. I like the effect so much, at least the illusion of it, that I have added it to my list of things to do in one of my next torch sessions. Hopefully the reality of the design will match the imagining!

For those who don’t remember when I named this design, I remarked how the pattern ¬†reminded me of a court jester’s collar. I had also called this style “zipper” but everyone liked Jester so much that it just stuck.

What to do with Disk Beads

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Borosilicate Disk Bead Pendant Idea Though I love the visual impact of a series of disk beads strung together,a singular bead can also create its own impact.

I enjoy making this shape and wearing it, though it does carry with it additional working time. Sometimes I case the bead with a heavy layer of clear because I love the depth and play of light it creates in the design, but many times, such as with the bead above, I prefer to have the colors sitting closer to the surface and so only thinly case them. It is rare that I make a bead without a clear casing of glass.

Currently when creating my beads I don’t use any special tools. I have used the same ones for years and they consist of only mandrels, tweezers, a graphite marver and, on occasion, a small pair of mashing pliers, though I am once again eyeing the lentil bead press I experimented with years ago.