Wednesday, 29 June 2011

"Lampwork" beads



I was looking though my bead and jewellery photo file on the computer as I need to erase old photos to have room for the new when I found this pic, which I've never shown ayone before.

Not very pretty perhaps, but can you see what it is? It's coloured glue gun glue that I played around with one day when I was bored. Sort of making my own hot glue lampwork beads. I did one or two using the actual glue gun, but then I switched to just melting the glue sticks over a candle. The blue beads in the back have patterns in red. Let me tell you -- it's not easy making little stars/flowers on a glue bead using stringy hot glue!

Is hot glue a good bead making material? Not really. The beads feel almost like rubber beads, but with a somewhat sticky surface even after it's been drying for days. It's also difficult to control the glue once it starts melting. It's stringy and messy. Though, I suspect it's not easy to work with glass rods either as a newbie... So far from ideal, but useful enough to kill a slow afternoon.

And why on earth did I get the idea to do this in the first place? I suspect it was a combination of having watch lampwork tutorials -- using glass -- on YouTube and looking at African plastic bead bracelets. The kind of beads that are made by hand using recycled plastic that's heated over a flame or other heat source and wound around a mandrel to form it. Hot glue is sort of a plastic. (But if I'm going to make any plastic lampwork beads in the future, I'll definitely use recycled plastic and not soft, sticky glue.)

2 comments:

  1. But I'll bet it was cathartic and soothing to melt stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  2. *hehe* Yeah, melting is always fun. It could be a good blog label: this, my melted oranza flowers and torched seed beads on wire. (which you can read about here.) I like melting stuff. And I know I'm not the only one who does!

    Messing with glue can also be like releasing the child within. :p

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