Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Surface Exhibit at the Bead & Button Show

I am pleased to announce that one of my multilayered beads has been juried into the Surface exhibit, to be shown at the Bead & Button Show in June. When I read the call for entries, I thought it seemed written for these beads.

"ISGB invites its members to create a bead that answers one of two questions: What lies beneath? When is it actually what is on the outside that counts?" 
Koi Pond is an electroformed enamel bead, with multiple layers of hand-painted enamel and a wrap of carved copper.

Here's the process for its construction:
  1. I drew the black outlines for the fish onto a flat tile of clear glass with finely ground glass mixed with oil.
  2. I did the same for a second, smaller tile of glass, drawing water grasses, sand, a snail, etc.
  3. Both pieces were kiln-fired to make the enamel permanent.
  4. I painted colored enamel onto the tiles in reverse (the enamel is buried under the clear glass in the finished bead) and then fired again.
  5. To a base bead constructed on a mandrel with a lampworking torch, I added a wrap of dichroic (metal-covered) glass for a little sparkle in the depths.
  6. Next I wrapped the grass tile around the bead.
  7. Finally I wrapped the fish tile around the bead, then heated the bead to flatten and shape it.
  8. The bead cooled slowly overnight in my kiln to remove stresses and enhance durability.
  9. I added a coat of conductive paint to the bead.
  10. Suspended in a vat of acid solution, copper was electrically moved from a sheet of metal to the surface of the bead.
  11. After many hours of deposition, the bead was rinsed, polished and patinaed.
  12. Voila!