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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Large Focal Beads, Or
Everything but the kitchen sink

Having gotten over its initial bright ’n’ gaudy phase, the art glass bead movement seems to be heading towards more subtle effects and colors—browns and greys, matte, rock-like surfaces, dull copper or silver staining instead of brilliant gold leaf.

Not me. I haven't been making beads long enough to appreciate all that subtlety. Give me bright clear colors (though I've finally come to appreciate the value of transparent tints, and not just rods in colors at full blast), shiny leaf, and, of course dichro.

Dichro comes in many colors and patterns, and in these beads, I use ’em all. Like most of the beads I make, these are hollow, though they start out as slim cylinders before I add three to four layers of glass, sometimes with additional decorations of two or three kinds of leaf, reduction frit, and of course, dichro. Lately I've been softening the dichro with pixie dust.

An assortment of dichroic focal beads—maybe my next postcard?

Most of the dichro beads shown below were made in early 2004, and in almost all of them, the bead release broke. What this principly means is that sometimes the holes are a little uneven. They don't always sit straight up and down, either. I know there are beadmakers out there who refuse to sell beads with the slightest flaw, in the holes, or anywhere else. I applaud the sentiment, but have yet to reach that level of perfection. So I settle for something decently made, and knock a few bucks off when the hole ain't perfect, which is what I'd expect if I were purchasing the bead: while I have nothing against collectors, I make my beads with the idea they're going to be strung. And stringing, thank goodness, hides a lot of problems with less than perfect holes. All of these beads are made on 3/32” mandrels, and you can click on the images below for a bigger version. If you are interested in purchase, (or even if you're not) feel free to email me (see bottom of the page for address). In any case—Enjoy.

This root beer and amber color scheme is a somewhat unusual one for me. The bead is decorated with gold, salmon and fuscia dichro, has one odd-shape hole, and measures 25x36MM.


This bead measures 33x33MM at its largest dimensions, and is built on an opaque dark blue base decorated with lime green stringer, which is nearly buried under layers of patterned dichro—crosswise and lengthwise stripes and circles in aquas and blues—and plain dichro in gold and fuscia with a touch of red around one hole. Randomly trailed aqua and green dots provide texture. Reasonably even holes.


Another shot of the above. Like all the beads except the last, these were shot on a cloudy day next to a doorwall with a sheet of drop-celing light panel diffusing.


Built on a base of one of those lovely opaque pink bullseye glasses, this bead measures 33x34MM and a lot of golden green dichro; this with gold, peacock green and cobalt blue contrasts nicely with the base glass. Rather rough hole, especially on one end.


Another view, above.


At 27x40MM, this bead is longer, thinner, and lighter weight than the beads referenced above, it's a pale transparent blue base rolled in a little opaque green frit, and trailed with transpurant gold purple and green dots over a rainbow's worth of dichro: gold, fuscia, purple, teal, and red; on one side of the bead the fuscia dichro is subtly muted with purple pixie dust. Decent holes.


Built on a transparent purple base, this 29x37MM bead extensive spot and ripple pattern dichro for the first layer; ridged blue, green, fuscia and spot dichro on the second layer that is really even more vivid than the pix, with curliQ and dot trailing in emerald green. Decent holes.


At 32x28MM, this bead is a little smaller than some of the others, but one of the most heavily dichro'ed, with mostly solid layers of green, gold, fuscia, blue and violet dichro. The dichro is slightly burnt (silvered) near one end; holes are decent. Trailed with clear. Nevertheless, a personal favorite owing to the density and layering of the dichro.


This bead, built on dark transparent aquamarine, is made of Effetre glass, and features particularly vivid rainbow stripe dichro, touches of tiger stripe pattern dichro, with red, fuscia and magenta solid dichro colors. It's trailed with teal curliQs and green dots, and the intense colors is softened on one side with a light green layer of pixie dust. Measures 28X38MM, with decent holes.


By the time I got to these somewhat smaller beads, I was getting lazy, and starting to group them. In order, the bead on the left measures 22x27MM; the next, 25x27MM; 25x34MM; 23x27MM.


My first shot of dichroic focals, left in for historicity. Glass can be tricky to photograph. Despite using a double thickness of diffuser to soften the light, there's still a shine on the surfaces facing the light source that washes out some of the color. Though not perfect, this image does give some sense of the beads, which are about 30mm long.


tags updated 13nov17 (from ‘dichro_focals’); removed prices 28dec17


[dichro] [focal] [2004]