Black and White with a Hint of Red: Beading On The Diagonal


Beading Yoda Jeri Schatz is at it again, this time with a quirky, funky bracelet design


Black and white diagonal stripes with just a hint of red.



Jeri finishes off the diagonal portion of the bracelet with herringbone worked in 15/0 seed beads.   


The snap closure is easy to fasten and virtually invisible.



Jeri teaches beading locally at The Bead Garden and she also does custom orders.  If you want to inquire about classes or custom work, leave a comment and I will pass it on to her.

More Glass Beads from my Work Shop

I had a friend who traded working in polymer clay for glass. She reasoned that when she screwed up polymer clay it was ugly but no matter what you do to glass, it’s still beautiful. It’s hard to disagree, although some of my glass work might be an exception to her rule.


 I only make lamp worked beads in the summer because I do not have a proper exhaust system to suck out the fumes. In the summer I can open windows, doors and run a series of fans to keep the air moving. But when the autumn becomes brisk, I put the glass away.

beads4.jpgSilver.jpg  Being a summer only lamp worker means that I don’t have the torch hours necessary to get as adept as I would like. On the other hand, I find that I am pretty much able to pick up where I left off when I light the torch in the spring.


 The beads above are made from  lead glass or moretti glass and some of them  are enhanced with fine silver.  I love the blue bicone.  That’s blue and a bit of green translucent lead glass fumed, raked and paddled smooth on the bead.  The beads are sitting on a fiber blanket in my kiln waiting annealing.  I cool them in a fiber blanket when I first make them, but that does not anneal them!


I batch anneal my beads rather than heating the  kiln going every time I light the torch.  I think it’s more energy efficient.


Here’s the Jen Ken Bead Annealer that has served me well.    It has a manual control and for a few years I had to monitor the kiln like a hawk  and make sure it was moving through the annealing cycles properly and making adjustments. 


Then  I found this baby for a reasonable price a few years ago.  Thew price has gone up since then.  A digital controller  is great though and  a separate controller can be used with different kilns.   I like the flexibility.  Now all I have to do is enter my annealing schedule and the kiln does the rest.  Yes, I still have to watch and monitor but fiddling with the dial is a thing of the past.


Big Holed Bead on the mandrel



Lead glass silvered


The same bead cooled.  Aren’t the colors great?  That’s translucent lead glass similar to what you see in the picture below.


Happy bead making!

Don’t  miss Beadfest this weekend!

Where I Make Glass Beads

Welcome to my summer lamp working studio.  I work with City gas and an oxygen concentrator.  My glass is mostly moretti or scrap class that I find or friends give me. 


My lamp working station with home made arm rests (cigar boxes).  The top of the table is an old door protected with pieces of thick aluminum flashing.    I drilled holes in a wood block to hold the mandrels.  I only make lampworked beads in the summer when I can have the windows open and the air moving.



The workshop.  I batch anneal and when the kiln is on the area around it is cleared!


Glass shards



Stringers pulled from scrap glass



Disk beads and silvered glass.  I wear a respirator when I am working with fine silver in the torch.

Blended and Silvered

Here I’ve mixed blue and green scraps and added some silver.  I don’t know the COE of these glasses but they behave  similarly and I think they must be very close in COE if not the same.



More beads


My home made mashers (rebent barbeque tongs)



From the Dollar Store, these also work as mashers but you have to quench them in water to keep the glass from sticking.

I’ve made a lot of beads this summer.  I even like some of them.  I will share them with you in a later post.

After the Rain

I live in South Philadelphia which is an urban area  and the only grass that I have growing this summer is that which is germinating under my feet.    The agricultural activity on my block, however, is another matter.    This area has seen record rainfall this June and July and this has affected the flora of South Philadelphia.  Probably the Fauna too.    The flower beds are full of exotic-looking mushrooms and green mossy stuff is growing all over the tree trunks.  Wildflowers abound and I even have clover growing under  my front steps.  Here are the pictures in case you don’t believe me.


Still no leprechauns though.

Enjoy one of my all-time favorite songs and dream away; mushrooms not required.

It’s Not Done Until I Ruin It

The Corning Museum of Glass has a YouTube channel  with a huge collection of videos.  I was watching a video of Stephanie Sersich  demonstrating how to make a flower pendant when she commented,  “It’s not done until I ruin it” – the perfect answer (in my mind) to the age-old artistic conundrum of how to tell when the creative act is finished.

Sersich drops many gems of wisdom during her demonstrations.  For example, she notes that a good lamp worker is one who knows how to correct mistakes.   This is second nature to an accomplished lamp worker-so much so that  during  a demo,  he might not think to point when he makes a mistake  and how he fixes it.  Sersich, on the other hand, talks about everything that she is doing during the demonstration including when she has made a mistake and how she will correct it.  She also talks about characteristics of different types and colors of glass, tools, and why she makes  certain artistic and technical choices-all while she is at the torch making a bead.   Here’s a link to the video.




Corning’s YouTube channel  also includes lamp working demonstration videos by artists like Kristina Logan, Heather Trimlett, Paul Stankard and Loren Stump.    If lamp working’s not your thing, there are   videos on glass blowing and cold-working techniques.

The Corning Museum of  Glass has generously make these videos  free to the public.  This is a great resource so check it out.