Monday, February 26

Distressed and Tumbled - The Beads!

I wanted to share some new beads recently posted in my Etsy shop.
These beads have a distressed stone like appearance as they have been tumbled in my rock tumbler.
I do not use etching chemicals as I prefer a more natural process and do not like to have harsh chemicals in my studio. As well, there are a number of glasses that are resistant to etching chemicals but all can be naturally tumbled.

There is a variety of brands of glass bead sets that have been tumbled to create a natural stone like finish. 

Many jewelry designers will use these with semi precious stones to create a mixed media design. 
Each set paired the glass with fine silver wire wrapping creating droplets of silver around each bead.

First up, this set gives both a distressed and aged look. CiM - Creation Is Messy's Marble was used as the base glass. You will notice the reaction where the silver meets the base glass producing a gold yellow cast reminiscent of ancient marble statues in Europe.

CiM's Nymph is a green misty opal glass on which I wrapped a stream of Effetre Light Ivory and a wrap of fine silver. This is a beautiful color of green that when tumbled seems to glow from inside.

Another variation of this bead style was created with Bullseye's Sunset Coral with a wrap of French Vanilla and fine silver. 
I had expected this glass to be a brighter orange coral, but the silver fumed the glass creating a deeper red brown effect. Still beautiful with the tumbled matte stone finish.
Note the reaction to the silver in the second photo creating the weathered burnished look to each silver droplet.

I purchased this next glass as part of a special bundle at Nortel Glass. 

Vetrofond Pink #068 is a peachy pink transparent that I wrapped with a stream of Effetre Light Ivory and wraps of fine silver. This glass tumbles so nicely and allows the light to transmit through the bead 

This last bead set used just the base glass of Bullseye Juniper Tint with a wrap of silver wire.
Bullseye Tints are extremely light transparent glass colors that are beautiful in this application style,
I thought the color of the glass reminded me of sea glass once it was tumbled and it really didn't need the ivory added to the design. The silver droplets do look sea tumbled with the distressed edges of silver.

I primarily purchase all my glass from Jennifer and Jean at Nortel in Toronto so I am not sure if they have any of these specific colors in their back stock. 
You are welcome to reach out to them to check or they may have suggestions of similar offerings for your needs.


Saturday, February 10

Sugar'd or Snow'd - You choose!

After the huge snowstorm that the east coast experienced last weekend, I have to bless the universe that our local area got a small dump but not the +150 cm that our Nova Scotia neighbours received.

On this snowy note, I wanted to share some sparkling beads that some call snow beads. 
I prefer to call them sugar beads.

The beads within this blog post are simple glass frit beads, but the combination of base pale color and clear frit raised frit create a beautiful tactile finish.

These beads are rolled in clear glass frit, which are small pieces of crushed glass. 
The frit melts and forms a thin layer of transparent glass over the sugar beads, enhancing their appearance.

The clear glass frit was from Glass Diversions. Reach out to Julie Miller for more information or to place an order!

I purchased the base glasses from Nortel in Toronto. 
The pink peach is part of a SALE BUNDLE currently being offered

First up, these beads are on a base of Italian Vetrofond Peach Pink 068 transparent glass.

This set is over Italian Effetre Light Yellow Emerald #071 transparent glass.

These sets are currently available in my Pendragonfyre Etsy shop.

Have a great Saturday!

Monday, February 5

Lampwork Glass - The History about Italian Effetre Glass

As a lampwork artist, I use many different "brands" of soft glass. 

In much of my work over the last decade, three brands are most constant in my studio are:

  • CiM Creation Is Messy
  • Double Helix - my favorite silver infused glass
  • Effetre glass 

The oldest of the three brands is Effetre. But what is it and how did it come to be? 

In this blog post, I will tell you everything you need to know about this amazing type of glass and its history.

Effetre glass is an Italian basic when it comes to glass used in lampworking.

Lampworking which is a technique of shaping glass by melting it with a torch. 

It is considered a medium-soft glass, meaning it is easy to work with when hot. 

It comes in a wide range of colors and can be used to make beads, jewelry, sculptures and other artistic objects.

Effetre glass is also known as Moretti glass, because it was originally produced by the Moretti family in Murano, Italy. 

Murano is an island near Venice that has been famous for its glassmaking since the Middle Ages. 

Murano glassmakers developed many innovations and secrets that made their glass unique and highly valued.

One of these secrets was the method of making millefiori or murrine, which are glass rods with layers of different colors that create beautiful patterns when sliced. 

The Moretti family rediscovered this ancient technique in the 19th century and created many new colors and designs of glass rods and millefiori. Click here for their pdf catalog of patterns

Effetre Murano SRL is the only company that still makes Effetre glass in Murano today. They use modern technology but also preserve the traditional skills and quality of their products. They offer a variety of items, such as filigree, glass sheets, frits, blocks, tubes and zanfirico-reticello, which are all made with Effetre glass.

Effetre glass is a wonderful material for anyone who loves glass art. It has a rich history and a vibrant beauty that can inspire your creativity. I recommend exploring their website to learn more.

Above is a sneak peek of a link to download their color catalog which I have printed in keep in my studio for referencing color combinations.

Nortel Glass in Toronto is my Effetre supplier in Canada with quick shipping and most colors in stock and ready to ship to you.

Until next time,



Sunday, February 4

Just Another Spacer Sunday (To the tune of Manic Monday)

I love going to the glass studio on Sunday to create some new spacer sets. 
It's like a ritual for me, and I always have this song in my mind...

"It's just another manic Monday (Woah, woah)
I wish it was Sunday (Woah, woah)
'Cause that's my fun day (Woah, woah, woah, woah)
My I don't have to run day (Woah, woah)
It's just another manic Monday"
Credit: Manic Monday by the Bangles.

That's why I'm showing you these Sunday spacers today. 
I never plan ahead what colors I'll use, I just pick them randomly from my glass shelves and enjoy the peaceful and relaxing process of making spacers.

A lovely peachy pink that I received in a order from Nortel. An older Vetrofond pink #068 that I would describe as yellow pink that transmits a peachy hue.

A lovely Effetre Light Teal transparent #026.

Effetre Light Yellow Emerald transparent # 071. This glass is lovely in both it's natural state as well as etched to a sea glass feel.

Next up, a few new Bullseye color spacers. It has been a while since I played with rod in my collection, so these are the first few colors that drew my eye.

Bullseye Raspberry Cream # 4002. This was a special offering of glass that seems to now be out of production, but it is lovely for Etsy 2024 Year of Berry.

Bullseye Pale Steel Blue #1506 is a lovely blue, much different that what is offered in other glass palettes. It reminds me of denim blue.

Bullseye Aquamarine Blue Tint # 1803 is one of their pale tint glasses that seem to glow from inside. These glasses are lovely also as etched faux sea beads.

Last but certainly not to be missed, CiM - Creation Is Messy's two spacer sets from this Sunday session

CiM's Burnt Sugar which is a rich amber hue that looks like maple syrup. Yummy!

CiM's Midnight, a dense transparent that color shifts between purple in daylight and navy blue in fluorescent light.


Saturday, February 3

New Focal Beads with Kronos 2 and Transparent Glass Streams

Today's post shares some recent focal bead designs.
Each set was created in a similar design style with a variety of rich transparent color streams.

I have recently revisited my collection of Effetre transparent colors in my designs. 
In a future post, I will share some of my insights on Italian glass and how I manage my collection which I have collected over 16 years of bead making.

Each set of focal beads were created on a base of Effetre opaque ivory with streams of rich jewel-tone transparent glass with twisted decorations of Double Helix Kronos 2 blue silver infused glass.
When dots of Double Helix's silver glass were added, the glass was fumed to a metallic sheen with lusters of blue. 

First up, the streams of deep rich Effetre Cobalt Blue #60 in these 2 focal beads.

The 3 cobalt blue spacer beads are included as a free bonus in this set!

The streams of deep rich Effetre Medium Topaz #14 in these 2 focal beads.

The dragonfly metal beads and 1 topaz spacer bead are included as a free bonus in this set!

This set of 3 focal beads Dark Violet Glicine purple # 39 transparent glass

The metal dragonfly and crystal accents are included as a free bonus in this set!

This set of 2 focal beads Striking Red #76 transparent glass  This striking glass produced a rich jewel tone!

The dragonfly metal beads and 3 red spacer beads are included as a free bonus in this set!

This set of 3 focal beads Effetre Red Wine Purple #45 transparent glass. I enjoy that Effetre has a variety of purple transparent tones. 

The metal dragonfly and crystal accents are included as a free bonus in this set!

Each of these sets were posted on my Etsy shop on Feb 1st and have already been snapped up by a client. I hope to see what this talented artist creates with these beads!

Effetre  and Double Helix glasses are readily available from Nortel Glass in Toronto. 
Reach out to Jean or Jennifer at Nortel to add some of these glasses to your collection.

#effetrecobalt blue