Dotties,
My favorite Thing to make when I don't want to Think

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.

 
 
 
20180215

1st in a series of lamp pulls for upgraded lighting in the basement. 15feb2018

 
20180209

Jeannie Galt's black & ivory raked dot choker with matching button & macrame closure.

 
20171129

J's rainbow beadcurtain strand 29nov2017

 
20171123

2015 orange beadcurtain strand featuring yellow scrolling. 23nov2017

 
20171130

Rainbow beadcurtain featuring rainbow fused focal 30nov2017

 
20171124

2013 orange beadcurtain strand 24nov2017

 
20171123

2016 fuchsia beadcurtain strand with gold-fuming 23nov2017

 
20171121

2016 orange beadcurtain strand 21nov2017

 
20171120

2017 entry into the orange beadcurtain project 20nov2017

 
20170920

green and pink bead curtain strand featuring Peggy Prielozny's beads. 20sep2017

 
20170919

new bead curtain strand in amber 19sep2017

 
20170626

golden green beadcurtain strand with fuming & dichro 26jun2017

 
20160126

Another brown mini-beadcurtain strand. 26jan2016

 
20160125

First in a series of 5 `mini' 18inch bead curtain strands 25jan2016

 
20150907

My first kumistrung necklace in a long, long time. It's also the first to feature my own lampwork beads. 07sep2015

 
20141013

orange dead mouse 13oct2014

 
20171114

An old page from 19may2012 features an equally old beadcurtain strand photographed 29may2012. 14nov2017

 
20091218

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

 
20090121

3 varations on the dottie-pixie in a warm color scheme . Originally posted 21jan09. 21jan2009

 
20071129

A series of chain-link bracelets featuring lampwork beads and bold, clean design (but with texture!). Originally featured 29nov07 29nov2007

 
20071009

Fuschia dotties, one of the most popular colors . Originally posted 09oct07 09oct2007

 
20070505

Beads as a bowl of little, rich, delicious treats. (If only... both the beads and the photography need to improve.) Originally posted 3may07 05may2007

 
20070424

Each pair of beads on these mandrels has something in common. Originally posted 24apr07 24apr2007

 
20070423

Why yes as a matter of fact you can put two hollow beads with no marvering on one mandrel. 23apr2007

 
20070404

Another color-graduated string of dotties . Originally posted 04apr07 04apr2007

 
20070117

These two sequences of seven size-calibrated, color-graduated dotties celebrates a blue/violet color scheme. Originally posted 17jan07. 17jan2007