Blogs

Purple Oboe Earring Set

Purple Oboe Earring Set using Alaska Boro BeadsShadow Dog Designs, based in Hilton Head has come up with a very unique one of a kind copper earring set using a pair of Alaska Boro beads. Catherine’s “Purple Oboe” deep rich purple earring set is complemented by the use of bright copper and sterling silver earwires.

Catherine stated: “To add even more richness to the boro glass, copper bead caps and 3mm copper beads frame the top and bottom of the lampies.”

March 29, 2011

Gold Bead Fuming

Gold at Alaska Boro BeadsAlaska Boro has developed a successful workflow for making gold boro glass beads. A few were made this past week and all came out well. The use of 22 carat gold is a success as demonstrated by the pocket test.

One of the gold fumed beads has been in a pocket along with a set of keys for over three weeks. No surface abrasions, scratches or other negatives.

The process first involves making a boro bead out of clear. Then real 22 carat gold is fumed on to the cooler bead surface using the lampworking torch. Depending on the light source the bead either has a solid gold look or a combination of gold with a transparent rose appearance.

So far the fuming process has been using sheets of gold leaf. It is so very thin that a sneeze in the wrong direction will launch the leaf into unknown locations. The next test will be using a Gold Eagle coin, pounded down thinner for better usability.

The current price of the 1/10 Troy ounce coin is $148. Where did the $32 per ounce of gold go? Should have bought a pound or two!!

March 21, 2011

Elemental Necklace

Very Large Hole Bead Necklace at Alaska Boro BeadsOne of Alaska Boro’s very large hole beads has been placed into a most interesting necklace creation by Catherine. The bead has a 10 mm or 3/8 inch hole.

Catherine's creative use of robles wood beads combined with new jade (serpentine) stones play off the dark brown colors of the very large hole bead. The name of her new creation is “Elemental”. Most fitting.....

March 14, 2001

Custom Bead Coring

Silver Cored Bead at Alaska Boro BeadsCustom silver bead coring is available at Alaska Boro. Any bead made with a 3/16 inch mandrel can be Sterling silver (.925) cored. In general, the cost is similar to that of a listed cored bead of similar size with a recent listing. Contact Alaska Boro for costs

Each cored bead uses one piece of Sterling silver tube. No half glued in rivets as found in beads produced by others.

Silver, like all precious metals is on an upward price spiral. The cost of one foot of Sterling tube used to core beads has increased eight dollars per foot over the last few months.

Alaska Boro does not increase cored bead prices in tandem with market prices. Instead, the price is increased when new stock is purchase and old stock is exhausted. This keeps the price lower than the market price of silver.

To order an existing non-cored 3/16 inch mandrel bead contact Alaska Boro with the bead name and SKU number.

March 2, 2011

Faux Sea Glass

Faux Glass Beads at Alaska Boro BeadsAlaska Boro has been working to archive a Faux Sea Glass or Beach Glass bead look. A frosted or matte finish to a shinny boro bead makes for an added and interesting design element.

The light blue in the center right bead is not frosted. The other three beads are. This smooth silky look is most impressive. And when compared side by side the matte finish really stands out.

The process at Alaska Boro is the same as that used by Mother Nature. The only difference is time. This mechanical process does not use any chemicals. Soft glass can be etched with highly dangerous chemicals. But in general Boro can not.

Boro is a scientific glass and is highly resistance to chemical etching. Especially clear glass. Some colors can be etched, but the results are not always positive. i.e. blotches across different colors as an example.

It is possible to custom order an etched bead. However, once a bead is etched it can not be easily returned to a shinny surface.

The anticipatedBead press at Alaska Boro Beads cost schedule for a custom frosted bead selected from an existing bead or beads will be based on quantity. From one to ten selected beads a flat rate matte charge of $5.00 is applied per set. For eleven to twenty beads $7.50 per set or about 38 cents per bead at a twenty bead quantity. This cost is in addition to the listed bead price.

The hard part for Alaska Boro will be determining which beads would like to be smooth and silky and appear similar to sea glass.

Note: this offer applies to beads that are currently listed on the site in any size - existing silver cored beads can not be frosted. The frosted finish is applied after the bead/s is/are selected. Contact Alaska Boro with questions or for additional information.

February 23, 2011

Primavera Spice Necklace

Primavera Spice Necklace using an Alaska Boro Focal BeadPrimavera Spice is a creation by Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs. The drifting sands look of the handmade boro focal made by Alaska Boro is complemented by the use of turquoise rectangles, freshwater pearls and bright copper. The copper used in this design merges perfectly with the focal and yet is accented by the use of turquoise.

Catherine stated “The bead has a 3-dimensional quality - you can actually look down into it! Amazing! The chalk turquoise rectangles are a fabulous green color that reminds me of new Spring plant growth.”

February 5, 2011

Bead Storage

Bead Storage at Alaska Boro BeadsStoring completed boro beads can be an issue. At Alaska Boro, bead storage has been simplified by using Stanley yellow storage bins. These are available for about seven dollars for eight boxes at either Home Depot or Lowe’s.

Each set comes with four box hangers and screw holes for wall mounting. It is best to mount to a piece of half-inch plywood in place of drilling many holes in an existing wall. Sixty holes to be exact!

At Alaska Boro, beads retain the camera image number as their SKU number. Each bead is placed into a 2x2 inch 2 mil plastic bag with a number tag. Bead Lables at Alaska Boro BeadsA group of ten is then placed into a 4x6 inch bag in numerical sequence. This grouping is then placed into a yellow bin for easy bead retrieval.

Some lampworkers, also wrap each bead in tissue and label prior to storage. It does make for easy and quick packaging. But also uses up materials for beads that may not be sold.

February 2, 2011

Remembrance Earrings

Rememberance Earrings with Alaska Boro BeadsLatonia has created a set of earring using beads from Alaska Boro. Her choice is a bead with a clear base and five dots of red embellished with boro blue.

The handmade boro beads are crowned with a halo of red garnet faceted rondells that are hand wire wrapped on fine silver headpins A step-cut iolite briolette is suspended beneath. In addition Sterling silver bead caps and ear wires are used to complement the design.

February 1, 2011