Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Loving Hollow Beads

I am enamoured by all the hollow beads other artists have been creating in my on line  groups and at my guild(BRPCG).  I ordered  Pardo transparent clay and used alcohol inks to create a variety of coral hollow beads.  I fashioned a very thin sheet around small Christmas bulbs, up to the neck but not covering the neck with clay sheet, after having removed the hanging wire and top cap of the bulbs, then baked in my convection oven for 30 minutes.  After baking I used a large set of pliers and gently pressed all around the bulb  and top of bulb to crack the glass inside and removed the glass pieces into a small trash can by shaking out the glass( you will have an opening about 1/2 inch in diameter in which to shake out the glass pieces).  Wear glasses and be extremely careful when removing the remaining glass pieces that will not readily come out of the hollow bead.  On one necklace I used brass chain, large brass bead caps to cover openings and head pins, cut to size and looped to attach to chain section.  The necklace is very light weight and easy to wear.  I also created earrings  and filler beads to use to complement the necklace.  I have more hollow beads ready to create another necklace fashioned in various tints of my favorite teal color.  I have included a photo of the coral necklace.  If there are questions regarding the technique, I will be happy to answer them at:  marilyn@bitsofclay.com