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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Gravity beads give way to Shells...
sometimes mistakes are really cool

As I mentioned in the intro, I made (and photographed) these beads in 2007—then forgot about ’em, till a conversation about making buttons in a similar color scheme sent me hunting for the post, which of course, existed only in my imagination.

7 gravity swirl beads. Probably range between 12 and 14 mm hole to hole. Effetre. 2007

I happen to really enjoy making gravity swirl beads, which, as the name implies, come heating the center of a striped bead so the glass sags forward, bending the stripes. This is a technique I learned from Ona Sostakas, whose gorgeous gravity swirls I recently featured.

Gravity swirls can be made either solid or hollow, but obviously it's a little trickier to make ’em hollow, because if the glass is heated too much, it can collapse onto the mandrel. This is obviously what happened to the "shell" bead depicted here, and what I particularly like about it is that the glass wrapped itself around the mandrel, making a core reminiscent of real shells. The difficulty, of course, is that I can't really control the collapse and subsequent holepop to recreate this type of bead on a regular basis.

But this one serendipity is certainly cool.

beads, photo, roughly may07. Post, 08dec08.