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Monday, May 11, 2009

Two Ingredients = One Gorgeous Reaction...Mini Tutorial for Silver Foil Encased Beads


I love the elegant and definite bling to this traditional style encased foil bead.
But I tend to forget about making them, even though jewelry makers often tell me that these really sell.

Blonde moment. Maybe I need a sticky note, so I can remember.

And they're so easy too. You probably already know that the chemical reaction between silver foil and clear glass makes this magic. This combination is so vibrant.

Different brands of clear glass rods will create different shades of yellow/gold with silver foil. This one according to the stories, happens to be a glass of Russian origin, that is an unknown COE. Although it doesn't mix with anything else, I loved the look so much, that I bought quite a few pounds of it. Just so I could make sparkling gold beads. (Maybe it's my inner pirate coming out?) I am now offering a limited amount of this clear glass in my new Etsy shop which has just opened. From what I've seen, it gets the best reaction, but I'd love to hear about your results with your clear glass.

I make my base bead and shape it the way I want it. I add my silver foil and gently marver it onto the very warm base bead without putting the bead back in the flame. While I'm getting that done, I also have the clear rod in the flame and melt a gather to start cover the silver. I lay the clear onto the silver and marver it into place spreading it across more of the silver if possible. (brass Stump Shaper is great for that)

If I have more to cover, I reheat the clear rod into a gather, while keeping the base bead warm where it has already been encased. Repeat until the bead is totally encased. Of course some of the foil will burn off, but it will be minimal, if you keep your torch flame low and follow these steps.

If you are encasing your silver foil and want it to continue to look silver, try using the very pale transparent aqua or blue in the same way. They'll cast a very, very slight shade to it, but it won't be noticeable unless you're looking for it.

So let me know what you find out with other brands of clear glass. I'd love to hear about your results. I haven't tried it on Bullseye or any of the 96 glass as well as there have been new 104 clears introduced, since my last round of experiments. It would be great for all of us to know what you find. When you post, tell us the brand of glass, whether you use silver foil and what kind of torch and oxygen source you used- concentrator or tank. I wonder how much of a difference that makes too?

I'm selling the clear glass by the pound. If you're interested in more than a pound, please feel free to contact me through one of my Etsy shops. You can search by "StudioMarcy" and find me easily.