Sunday, 10 July 2011

From broken bead to beautiful cabochon!

This is the story of a bead that was supposed to be so large and beautiful but tragedy struck. Carefully designed and made on a mandrel in vivid orange, ivory and black glass reminiscent of the coat of a wild animal it should have been a talking point and a bead of note.
The bead maker was demonstrating the process of making lampwork beads using a torch and took a completed bead out of a pot to show me. As he removed it from the mandrel it just broke into 2 pieces. This can happen if the bead has not been annealed properly and the larger the bead the more likely there is stress in the glass.
Understandably annoyed after all the time (and glass) spent making the bead it was cast into the 'ugly jar' a place for all failed work or ideas that didn't quite meet the high standards of the maker - there was nothing else in the jar.

I didn't think that should be the end and asked if I could take it away with me to work on it. The broken pieces were removed from the ugly jar and handed to me - a dubious look conveyed the unlikelihood that there was anything that could be done to improve things.

Several days passed...... I have been quite busy of late working on new ideas for my upcoming fairs and the bead pieces were left on the side, not forgotten but sidelined for now.

On Friday I cleaned the bead release from the channel with a diamond tipped reamer and put the 2 pieces, channel side down, in the kiln alongside some other work.The transformation had begun.
The worst part of fusing glass in my opinion is waiting for the kiln to cool and I was impatient for the chance to see what had become of the ugly bead.

And here they are! The bright orange has mellowed somewhat and some of the dramatic edging pattern that was originally in the centre of the bead is now underneath.
 Size 35mm x 45mm.

From ugly jar to a new life as 2 oval cabochons, I look forward to seeing what jewellery these become.
 For many more gorgeous makes pop on over to Handmade Monday


Ali said...

What a brilliant rescue! They look stunning. Looking forward to seeing the finished pieces.

Ali x

Carolee Crafts said...

Well done for turning something around and now two beads for the price of one.

Shpangle said...

Congrats on saving something so beautiful and creating two more beautiful items from it! Looking forward to seeing what happens to them next :)


Wendy said...

Love to see something being rescued and not wasted - looking forward to seeing the finished items! x

Caroline Lovis said...

I had to look up cabochon before I read this post! Lovely transformation though, looking forward to see what you're going to do with them next and maybe I can learn another new technical term.

Aviya Glass said...

Thank you for the lovely comments! I must hasten to add these don't belong to me, I just couldn't bear to see them wasted! They have been popped in the mail today for their owner to complete the transformation. I will of course suggest I get piccies so I can share.

fatmonica said...

They're gorgeous-what lovely colours!

dreamstar said...

What gorgeous colours both before and after and how great to rescue something. They look great