Thursday, 24 June 2010

"Making" frosted glass beads

Today I listed these earrings on folksy and I thought I'd share with you all how I "made" the frosted glass hearts.


I cannot make glass beads. I don't have the kit or a kiln for annealing. One day... maybe. These hearts started out as shiny glass beads. I decided to experiment after thinking about sea glass. I love the look of sea glass. Some people make fantastic jewellery from it. Well, the frosted look of sea glass is caused by the buffeting of sand in the sea.... so I thought I'd try popping some glass beads in my rock tumbler with some rock tumbling grit. (I also put some pebbles in there too but I prob wouldn't do this again as I did get some broken beads.) DO NOT use the same barrel as you use for polishing silver. You'll end up scratching your silver if you do. If you don't have polishing grit then you could probably use sand- it works in nature after all!!

I haven't got a before pic for the beads I'm afraid. I didn't think about it. It was a spur of the moment experiment. I do have some of the same beads that I didn't pop in though but not all. Basically I chucked in any glass beads I didn't really care about and one or two of ones I liked.





These smokey drops are interesting. I put 6 in the tumbler but took out 2 after about an hour. I left the remaining 4 in there for a couple more hours. Different looks with the same grit!! I have 3 different grits (46, 220 and 360) and the beads were all tumbled with the very rough 46 grit. I wonder what would happen if I moved up the git sizes? I would imagine the frosting would become more refined. More experimenting is required, methinks :o)

10 comments:

Bigbluebed said...

i like the frosted look and those smokey drops look gorgeous.

Sue, Lynwoodcrafts said...

I think I've just been admiring these on Craftjuice - lovely work
Sue

Chloe said...

I love these, I really like how sea glass looks too and these are very convincing :)

averilpam said...

I like the half done smoky drops best

hannelore_cossins said...

They're great, I love frosted glass beads and seaglass,but I didn't know it was that easy to do. What kind if tumbler are you using?

Gemma said...

My tumbler looks like this but i don't know where mine's from. It was a present from Dad. I like the small barrels and the fact it has room for 2. That way I can tumble stones and silver at the same time.

I've just put some of the beads back in with my medium grit. Watch this space for how they turn out.

Sugarmice said...

Oooh, what a great effect! It could be a really nice way of giving any chipped or slightly flawed glass beads a new lease of life too.

Gemma said...

One of the reasons I did this is that I had some cheap glass hearts that had seams from the moulds. I sanded off the seams but obviously had a great big sanded section I needed to do something with- worked a treat.

Well I've done a bit more experimenting. The medium and fine grit are too fine to make it worthwhile. They work but take forever (and they're more expensive!!) I'm going to eperiment further with coarse grit and look at timings etc.

SteamPunkGlass said...

Interesting idea! I like the effect on those grey ones too!

Milliscent Morgan said...

I know that stopping here is so nice that's why I'm here at this moment and willing to give my reaction to this blog. All I can say is this blog good for those girls who love earrings because this kind of frosted glass earrings look so unique and cute.

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