Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Transparent Glass; Simple Can Be Beautiful

I sometimes get caught up in creating complex color schemes using layers of glass to create new shades. I spend lots of time pairing colors to see how they make me feel, and to get that one perfect purple/green/pink/aqua, etc. I love doing that - it feeds my creative soul. I get lost in the color schemes, spending more time figuring out which glasses to use than actually making the beads.

Recently, though, I've felt the need for something simpler. Something purely basic and easy on the eyes. Maybe it's that my creative muse is a bit weary these days, I don't know.

I've been inspired lately by the weak sunshine we've had - those somewhat sunny but still cool days that peek out during the springtime here in the Northwest. That subtle sunshine can be made even more beautiful when seen through transparent glass colors - rich purples, soft pinks, vivid greens, honeyed ambers and sparkling aquas. Without any opaque backgrounds to block the light, these transparent shades twinkle in the sun, bringing about feelings of summer warmth and cheeriness.

Made in 2006 with Czech Tobacco (I think) and Effetre Ink Blue Violet

It's been a long time since I made transparent flower buttons. I did a few several years ago as an experiment, and they were really pretty. Back then I was kind of all over the place creatively, so I moved on to other designs without really exploring the transparent nature of these beauties.

This last couple of weeks I have had occasion to make more, and they really can be addictive. I've been basing my bead designs to match the flowers I've been making - sort of letting the colors choose themselves by pairing transparents in pleasing combos that would look good in the sun.

Effetre Lt & Med Topaz and Vet. Light Violet
Shank on back
I've refined the design a little bit - but they are essentially the same kind of five-petaled flower that lives in my mind as a sublime shape.  It doesn't have much basis in nature - I don't model my florals after any specific type I see outside - but more after an artistic version I see in my head. 

Greens Eff. Olive and CiM Mojito
Here are a few examples of flowers I made last week, in colors that just sing to me. Below, a wonderful berry pink emerges with some layering or light and dark transparents. These are little - under 1" in diameter, with 1/16" holes through the back.

Pink is Vet. Rubino layered with Eff. Rosatto
At first I stuck with the same shape, but then decided to change it up a bit with some indented petals.  I also flattened the shank in later versions to allow for easier placement in  jewelry designs. The shapes don't look as pretty in two dimensional images as they do in the hand, but you can get the idea. :)

Eff. Olive, Dk Lavender, Vet. Rubino

CiM Mojito, Vet Lt. Violet and DH Lt Aurae

Flattened shank
Eff. Ink Blue, Dk.Lavender, Olive & Mojito
All of these have sold from my Etsy shop, but I have even more flowers made and ready to be cleaned.  This time I worked in bright aquas and lime greens.  They'll be up sometime this week. :)


  1. . . . beautyyyyyfulllllll ;))

  2. Wow, I would never have thought of pairing a light plum color with a pale tobacco brown- but it totally works!

  3. This combinations are so simple and so beautyful!