I suppose, somewhere, somewhen, there's a glass beadmaker who's never made a dottie, or sputnik, as my first teacher prefers to call them. However, I don't think I've ever met one, and some quite famous beadmakers have built their reputation on dots alone (Kristina Logan comes to mind.) Perhaps the most highly prized glass beads of Antiquity, the Zhou Warring States beads, are nothing more than dots piled on dots. There's something just intrinsically wonderful about this form of the trailing technique, and attempting to space the dots on a beautifully shaped bead will always remain both a challange and a form of meditation for me.
These particular dot beads are very simple: a hollow glass bead of transparent glass with a contrasting transparent dot. Each bead has, or should have 15 dots, 5 in each of 3 rows. I find spacing them that far apart more difficult than putting them close together, but I like the clean look of large expanses between dots. The stock color combinations are as follows, though really, I'm happy to make these in any color combination for which glass is available:
- slate/black dots
- grey/black dots
- smokey quartz/golden brown dots
- garnet red/black dots
- amber/red dots
- grass green/aqua dots
- teal green/dark teal dots
- aqua/dark aqua dots
- medium cobalt/dark cobalt dots
- lavender/purple dots
- blue-violet/dark cobalt dots
- pale blue|violet shift/gold ruby dots
- pale pink/gold ruby dots
- pale pink|pale green shift/gold ruby dots
This image features standard colors aqua, pale blue|violet (they look rather pink in the picture), and lavender (all the way to the right!) dotties; and special order pale amber and uranium yellow-green dotties.
This is my most popular product; measured hole to hole, beads 10–13mm in diameter retail for $9, and beads 14–17mm for $11. Larger sizes are special order. As always, I recommed checking my shops list to see if your local bead store carries these beads, but if not, you can order direct. Allow 2–4 weeks for delivery; shipping is extra. All beads are annealed, diamond reamed, and water-cleaned. And yes, they really do bounce when you drop them. N.b. Shift colors change, showing one color in natural or incandescent light, and the other color under fluorescent light. Below I show samples of some stock colors—so far, I only show 3, but as time and energy permits, I'll add more. Click on the link to see a bunch of them—this will give you a better sense of the variation you can expect.
pale blue|pale violet shift with gold ruby dots. This was shot in natural light, so it shows the violet end of the spectrum.
medium cobalt blue with dark cobalt dots. Also available in a very pale cobalt blue with dark cobalt dots (not shown.)
My first kumistrung necklace in a long, long time. It's also the first to feature my own lampwork beads. 07sep2015
Page designs another lovely necklace featuring one of my BE floral vases. Collects together all the PMC posts, both finished jewelry & components. 15apr2014
An old page from 19may2012 features an equally old beadcurtain strand photographed 29may2012. 14nov2017
How I got from dotties to harlequins . (With some minor not-quite-friday-fugly-worthy efforts along the way.) Here are some originally posted 18dec09. 18dec2009
Collects the 2008 glass bead pages. Still needs some add'l pix, titles, but page is outlined. Photographed 22jan08, edited 28apr14, needs to be revamped *2020*** 31jan2020
A series of chain-link bracelets featuring lampwork beads and bold, clean design (but with texture!). Originally featured 29nov07 29nov2007
Beads as a bowl of little, rich, delicious treats. (If only... both the beads and the photography need to improve.) Originally posted 3may07 05may2007
Why yes as a matter of fact you can put two hollow beads with no marvering on one mandrel. 23apr2007
a rainbow of dotties redux. Needs add'l pix from 20070125, plus photograph relevant sample strands. 07feb2020
These two sequences of seven size-calibrated, color-graduated dotties celebrates a blue/violet color scheme. Originally posted 17jan07. 17jan2007
Unless otherwise noted, text, image and objects depicted therein copyright 1996--present sylvus tarn.Sylvus Tarn