9.30.2015 - Hollow Beads & Hot Air

This week I got my mojo back when it comes to hollow beads... and as a precursor to tonight's website update, I thought I'd send out an educational video - so you can see just how these beads are made... It's fascinating for those of you who've never seen or tried it...

Earlier this week, I had sent a quick version of this out into FB , but unless you had your superhuman eyes finely tuned - you'd just miss most of it.  This version is much nicer - slow where it needs to be... etc.  

I use mostly Lauscha's Glassdaddy Purple transparent and Czech Denim glass.  I like these two particular glasses because they work hot and don't boil & they tend to be nicely stiffer than the usual Italian glass.  This property of havig a nice stretchy viscosity when molten means that it can be worked without all the drippiness.  If that makes sense to you - I'm smiling.

Instructional video on the fundamentals of making a hollow glass bead. Lauscha glass, Lynx torch, Jill Symons glass artist.

so - what you're seeing in the video is first making two disks... then applying a molten bridge of glass to connect them - making sure it's airtight.  This 'bridge' serves to stabilize the disks and also traps a volume of air inside - which - when heated, expands.  When the "bridge" is heated to molten - the trapped air literally inflates the hollow bead - rounding it out nicely.  I usually end by taking the bead into a graphite marble mold and gently working it to a rounder bead shape - simply because sometimes I prefer that to a more elongated one.  But - be careful not to crack the release at any step along the way - as that allows the air to escape and your bead will, that reads WILL, collapse.  Happy trails... or is that trials?! Jill

JillSymons.com Denim Blue Hollow Bead Set - $165

Denim Blue Hollow Bead Set - $165