Friday, 14 September 2012

Etched opalite

Here's another post of things I did before Snuttis disappeared, but which I never blogged about. First because of the camera and then because of how I felt when Snuttis went missing. And then I almost ended up scrapping the idea of taking any photos as the colours and matte, transparent surface made it a tricky bead to take a sharp photo of. And you can't always tell that much of a difference between the etched and unetched opalite on top of that....

It's been a long time since I last etched glass.

I made this bead after having tidied up my worktable (not because I felt like the mess was too bad, but because of cats knocking things over) and looked through the bowl with glass to etch someday. Seeing how etching transformed cat's eye and goldstone beads into something much better than their original look, maybe the etch would work the same magic on another type of glass bead I don't like that much, opalite (a k a sea opal aka "moonstone").

Doesn't make as much of a difference as on cat's eye/fibreoptic beads, but it might partially also be because the etch cream has become weaker so the glass had to be etched twice. Partially it's also because both cat's eye and goldstone have something the opalite is missing: shiny inclusions. Cat's eye has fibreoptic filaments and add a special shine to the bead, even when etched. Goldstone has sparkling copper shavings. Opalite just have, well, a "quiet" opalescence. A slight change of colour depending on the angle of light and against what background it's seen. But etching does add a soft, velvety touch to the opalite and matte is always pretty. It's a rather romantic-looking glass bead now. So it's not a failure, just not a dramatic change in appearance as in e.g. goldstone.

For anyone who likes the opalescence of opal glass and the velvet touch of etched glass, this is something to try.


  1. Nice results of your experiment. I love a perfect moonstone, but buying opalite glass was a mistake. I should start thinking of "ugly" beads as material for enhancing through experimentation. Your experiments are really inspirational. Milka

    1. Thanks! Yes, some beads really don't look as good as one would hope. Luckily, at least some of them can be "saved" with a few alterations (I've also painted, dyed, decoupaged and in other ways altered beads and pendants that have been disappointing mistake buys).


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