The last couple of days I've been busy with beads for a project related to a course I'm doing. The project involves 'stone' beads - you might have seen some smaller ones in this style in my Etsy shop recently. Check them out here if you haven't!
Yesterday I made some medium-sized beads using ivory glass mixed with blue, and ivory glass mixed with black. It's great fun mixing glass in the flame - although I think having a cauldron bubbling over a firepit would make it even more exciting. Still, I can't be precious about such things!
Stone beads are matte and smooth, rather than shiny. Glass is of course by default shiny - my beads aren't like ceramic objects which are matte to begin with and then glazed to make them shiny - no, it's the other way round! To get matte beads I need to take the shine away, and to do that I tumble them for several hours with some fine grit.
Let me show you what the process looks like!
The grit gently abrades the surface of each bead (and each marble), leaving a 'ground glass' effect rather than a shiny surface. The difference is quite astonishing!
Here's that Etsy link again if you'd like to have a closer look at some beads in this style.