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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Torch-Fired Enamel ... it can be more than you think!

I'm preparing for bead shows in Tucson (To Bead True Blue and Tucson Bead Show) in February by torch firing some copper beads with some simple white enamel ... but, oh, it's not what you think. Adjustments to the torch during the firing bring copper oxides in the form of green speckles to the surface.  Cutting back on the oxygen creates darkened areas and flashes of pink.  Murrini slices and dots made by a glass stringer help to create beads that look a heck of a lot like lampwork beads but are lightweight because they are hollow.

If you're going to be in the Tucson area and want to learn how to make these, I'd love to have you in a workshop.  There are a few spots left.  You can sign up at my website.  But if you don't have time for a workshop, please stop by and say hello.

Here are some of the gifts from the torch ...






These wonderful murrini are from Hayley Tsang of EnVision (http://envisionsf.com). 

22 comments:

mairedodd said...

wow - these are fabulous! i had no idea so much could be done...

steufel said...

gosh, they are beautiful!

romantic decay said...

These are really cool!

Kerry said...

those do really look like lampwork! they are wonderful!! i have always wondered though, how do you get past the thermal shock that happens when glass cools too quickly? are these beads being annealed in a kiln after they are made? it was something i had wanted to ask you about last year when i had planned on taking your workshop. i was so sad to miss it!

Christine said...

Fantastic! I've never had any luck keeping murrini ON the copper after torching, so I'm curious about that, too. They really are beautiful!

SummersStudio said...

Amazing! I love how you just keep pushing the boundaries on this technique.

Barbara Lewis said...

You don't have to anneal enamel. The layer of glass (murrini) is so thin by the time it melts into the enamel, you can do flame annealing, but you shouldn't need anything more.

Laura Twiford said...

Very cool Barbara! I love the second one, i saw an eyeball as soon as I looked at it, i love it! can't wait to see what you do with them!

lunedreams said...

Those are really unique looking beads! The depth of enamel with the delicate look of glass-really fascinating! Limitless possibilities...And you could user a larger lampwork-look bead for earrings w/o having to worry about weight.

TesoriTrovati said...

Seriously? You are a WIZARD, Miss Barbara! Oh, if only I could be in those nice warm places. Bead & Button show?! You know I am there. Enjoy the day!
Erin

Lisa said...

wow...delightful and stunning Barbara..i love the transparency of the layers! be glad you're missing this northern weather..though today is the nicest that it's been in a while...

stregata said...

Barbara - these are absolutely awesome!!!! You are a magician. I am totally blown away.

Mellisa said...

Wow Barbara! These are sublime! It's like you've taken the best of lampwork, ceramic and metal and combined them :)

sundownbeaddesigns said...

Wow! These are fabulous. I'd love to learn how to do this but Tucson is out of the question.

Esther said...

beautiful effects Barbara!! i have received your enamel powders .; but my try are a disaster!! lol!! i would like to be in Tucson with you!!

eve said...

I saw these on your flickr and i just think they are amazing, love them,x

Sharon P said...

Wow, how did you ever do that? You are full of surprises that I would love to learn!

diane cook said...

Oh, these are lovely little beads Barbara =)

Kristi Bowman said...

I think it's all been said, those are super fabuously wonderful beads Miss Barbara!!! I wish I could join you!!!!!

Carol B said...

Those are beautiful! Have a great time in Tucson.

Birgitta Lejonklou said...

WOOW
fantastic beads!!
love them <3
B

Christine Damm said...

Barbara, you are really taking these to the next level! Wow! Very fantastic and glad to see your classes are increasing. On your way, girl!!!!