Waaaay back in the beginning of 2009, I saw a photo of a jasper called aqua terra! I loved it. I had to make it into lampwork beads! This is a photo of the first set of Silvered Aqua Terra beads I sold on etsy in January 2009!
I thought today I’d give you a tutorial of how to make your own, if you’re a lampworker!
Rod of Light Ivory (Effetre)
Rod of Light Teal (Effetre)
Sheet of Silver Foil
Marver of your choice
Bead Press of your choice
First, cut your silver foil. I cut the sheet in eighths. This gives a nice portion of silver foil for an 18mm size bead.
Next, get your bead press ready. In this example, I am using a Zoozii’s straight-sided lentil press, the middle 18mm size.
First, wind your footprint onto your coated mandrel. Wind it on and hold it above your press, to make sure you are slightly smaller than the diameter of the well you are using.
I usually roll the gather of glass in the well to make sure there’s enough/not too much glass and to get the general shape of an olive. If you need to, add or take away glass.
Once you have enough glass, leaving enough room to add a little bit
more, make your initial press. Don’t do it so hard that you break your
You do not have to press your glass into the lentil shape if you think you have enough glass – if you aren’t sure you can press the shape.
At this point, you can take your glass blob back to an olive shape, As you can see, I have my silver foil all ready and waiting for me! Next, you want to slightly heat your glass and roll it in the silver foil, making sure to go all the way around the glass.
Next, burnish in the foil. Burnishing is rubbing the foil into the glass so it sticks very well. You can do this with a tile, a marver, or your torch mounted marver.
Then, you want to put your blob back in the flame, and you slightly melt off the silver foil. This is what it looks like after you burnish and put the glass back in the flame.
Now, you want to add some squiggles of light teal. As much or as little as you want, keeping in mind you are going to have to press the glass again and don’t want to have too much. You can always add more teal, it’s harder at this point to take it away!
Melt in the teal and press the bead again in the bead press. You can see from the photo below that you will have some chill marks (chill marks are the marks you get on your bead when you press it, and as the bead cools very quickly in the press, you get marks from the press).
Flame polish your bead to get rid of the chill marks. If you flame polish too heavily and lose definition on your bead, you may want to heat, press again, and then flame polish again.
This is the finished bead! Of course you can do these beads in many shapes, as I show below.
If you aren’t a lampworker but love these beads, I have them available in my etsy store, and I’ll be happy to make you some if they sell out!
Thanks for checking out my tutorial today!