Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baking Soda Beads 2

 I was pretty happy about the beads I made with baking soda.  It adds a really unique finish to the beads and there is a lot of variation in the way it turns out.  Making earring pairs using this method is going to be a trick because even a pair made with the same glass at the same time may not match.
 The set on the right turned out pretty well.  I used a twistie made from CiM tuxedo and peace, then silvered ivory.  The silvered ivory turns out even more organic looking than usual, and the peace has a sort of translucency that the baking soda treatment doesn't entirely remove.
I like the way light transmits through the translucent beads in this batch.  It seems like the lighter the color, the "harder" the glass remains.  The 2 lightest transparent colors are Effetre light brown transparent and kelp.
 Here's a family portrait.  Like all family get togethers, a couple members didn't make it to the event, but they're around somewhere and if they're any good they will be photographed in due course.
 Here is where it gets weird.  The arrows point to two beads made with the same glass at different times.  Both were made using a clear core with a coating of some stringer made from copper green and olive.  I didn't do as good a job of covering the core on the bead on the left and the result is that it is lighter in color and almost translucent.  The bottom right bead with the arrow seems almost like partially polished old jade.
I told you this was strange.  The bead marked with the arrow in this picture is before cleaning.  It is actually darker with a hard, shiny, rough coating.  When I removed these from the mandrel and stuck them in a bowl of water to clean them, the coating sort of dissolved into a slimy mess and underneath was the top left bead in the picture above.  I liked the way the first green bead turned out and was trying to match it.  Obviously, this didn't happen, so I tried it again and am waiting to see how they turn out.


  1. Very unusual, like ancient Greek beads!

  2. Thanks. I'm loving the effect. The surface depends on what's under it. My favorites so far were made with the copper glasses. The finish is like roughly polished stone.


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