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.)


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

  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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