Blogs

Blue Wisp Beads

Blue White Swirl Boro Bead at Alaska Boro BeadsBlue Wispy beads are sprouting like a field of blue grass at Alaska Boro beads. These wispy looking beads combine hints of blue and white swirls on a bed of blue boro glass. Some would call these organic, but at Alaska Boro the name ‘wispy’ seems to be a better description.

In the next few days the blue wispy beads will be listed on the site in the ‘3/32 Hole Beads’ category. To make these easier to locate, all of the ‘wispy’ beads will have their names starting with ‘Blue’. i.e. Blue Lichen, etc.

Some organic beads look like the eye of a hurricane.Red Tan Swirl Boro Bead at Alaska Boro Beads Not a ‘wispy’ look. However beads at Alaska Boro, especially of the tan and red variety, have a most interesting organic look. Less wisp and more organic. These also, will be posted in the ‘3/32 Hole Beads’ category with their names starting with “Sunset”.

July 6, 2010

Wispy Bead Design

Orange Wispy Bead at Alaska Boro BeadsAlaska Boro is working with a new technique for that wispy bead look. It is similar to high altitude thin clouds. This is a design that has almost unlimited possibilities.

The process takes longer, but also produces some interesting results. The beads look great in normal room light and just ‘out of this world’ in sunlight. The key is to lighten up both transparent and opaque colors. The right amount of clear mixed with color is the answer. How much? Well that all depends on the desired outcome.

Some colors, especially striking types require more rod. While opaque, may take a lot less. The aim point is to thin to a consistency that produces that random wispy look.

Additional colors can be added for effect. Blue Wipsy Bead at Alaska Boro BeadsA little white, adds highlights. Some black for depth. Two striking colors can be used in different combinations for interesting effects. Just flame strike to the desired colors.

Adding amber and a blue striking rod will be blue prior to flame striking. After striking, the blue turns to a nice pale green. How much green, will depend on the amount of and the number of times the bead is flame struck.

Mixing colors expands the palette. The same colored rod can produce many shades of color and in combination with other colors some most spectacular beads.

June 22, 2010

Summer Time Bead

Summer Time Bead at Alaska Boro BeadsSummer in Alaska is filled with greens and blues from the sky. Here it is a wonderful time of the year in both light and spirit.

This bead from Alaska Boro pictures our present Alaska season. Greens, blues, a hint of black and white to remind us of coming times.

The interesting part of this creation is that the bead is heavily encased in clear. This clear provides a nice lens effect. The clear encasement magnifies the central core of color to provide that extra measure of boro sparkle.

Scorpion Torch

A new GTT Scorpion lampworking torch has been added to the arsenal at Alaska Boro. The present Cricket torch is adequate for making small beads and pendants. However, the Scorpion has both an inner and outer ring of fire. Thus more heat for larger projects.

Boro (Borosilicate glass) in comparison to soft glass requires more heat for the same project size. Harder glass plus bigger creations all add up Scorpion shipping box at Alaska Boro Beadsfor more heat and a larger torch. Thus the newly designed GTT Scorpion lampworking torch will fit these needs.

The Scorpion was worth the wait. It was one week short of six months for delivery. The packing was well done and sent by USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate Box. The shipping and handling cost from Pennsylvania to Alaska was $28 while for UPS it would have been in excess of $40.

The shipping weight is three pounds, much lighter than expected. GTT could have used a smaller flat rate box, but then the added protective packing would have been comprised. The product was shipped on Friday and arrived in Anchorage on Monday. Great USPS Priority mail service.

The torch will burn more fuel due to the 8 jet outer ring, but what a flame. Scorpion torch at Alaska Boro BeadsThis Scorpion will melt 12 mm boro rod much faster than the smaller Cricket. And with a four stud unit, the outer ring can be turned on or off as needed. Of course, the inner ring must be on at all times.

The Scorpion runs very nicely with three 5 LPM 9 PSI oxygen concentrators combined into a manifold. The added feature of a four stud torch is that one can add a foot pedal to turn the outer set of flames on or off. Thus if more heat is needed, just hit the foot pedal for additional heat. This also saves on fuel as more heat is not always needed nor desired.

So far the Scorpion is Scorpion torch front at Alaska Boro Beadsbeing run through its paces. In addition, plans are being made to construct a foot pedal with valves to control the outer ring. And maybe, add an oxygen storage or surge tank to keep the oxygen flow even and steady.

June 9, 2010

Reverie Pendant Necklace

Pendant Necklance Using an Alaska Boro BeadShadow Dog Designs, in Hilton Head South Carolina, has once again designed an outstanding necklace. “Reverie” utilizes amber nuggets along with a made in Alaska lampwork boro glass focal point pendent with sterling sliver spacers, chain extender, clasp and findings.

Alaska Boro is proud to feature creations made with handmade boro beads torched in Alaska.

June 1, 2010

Bead Designs

New Green Blue Bead at Alaska Boro BeadsAlaska Boro is working on additional designs for its boro bead collection. These new beads just scream, color and more color. One process uses a mixture of clear with a striking color. When coated with a thin layer of clear, this bead provides a wispy look of swirling clouds.

The next approach is a bead with a built in magnifier. By heavily encasing a bead in clear, the design is magnified. Much like that of a colorful paper weight. The color under the clear moves as the bead is formed, creating a most interesting pattern.

The best part is that when viewed in room light these beads offer a color brilliance that can only be New Red Bead Design at Alaska Boro Beadsachieved through the wonders of boro glass. In sunshine, the beads offer a super spectacular color display.

This design will be incorporated into bead sets to provide the jewelry designer with sufficient material to create both a necklace and bracelet. Some sets will additionally include two smaller beads on 1/16 inch mandrels for earrings.

May 25, 2010

Lathe for Lampworking Projects

Sometimes it is necessary to grab the bull by the horns and move forward. At Alaska Boro that is just what is being done with a new metal working lathe.

Metal Working Lathe Alaska Boro BeadsThe new Shop Fox bench top lathe arrived this week from Springfield, Missouri. It was a long journey both by truck and by ship to Anchorage. The installation procedure required the use of a engine crane as the packaged lathe weighs in at 514 pounds.

A bench was built to accommodate the lathe constructed from plywood and 2 x 4’s. The ideal height of 43-1/2 inches from the floor to the dead center was accomplished.

But why a lathe for lampworking?

1) As an experiment, it will be interesting to turn down a 3/16 inch stainless steel mandrel so that when it is coated with bead release the OD will be at 3/16 and not oversized. This will also apply to other mandrel sizes.

2) A new designed bead coring tool can be constructed that will both be easy to use and accurate.

3) A variety of tools can be constructed that will facilitate the bead making process.Engine Lathe at Alaska Boro Beads

And for the wire wrap jewelry maker, rounds of various sizes out of brass can be made for repeatable jewelry designs.

There will be other uses, not to mention threading and tapping. But having an additional tool, which is conveniently available, will be an asset for both boro bead making and jewelry design.

May 21, 2010

Deep Majestic

Deep Majestic handmade boro bead necklace at Alaska Boro BeadsA bead creation by ‘Shadow Dog Designs’ is using one of Alaska Boro’s made in Alaska boro glass beads. The creation nicely blends the outstanding depth of the boro bead colors with other natural elements.

As a service to our users, Alaska Boro is pleased to provide an image and link to your creations using our handmade glass products.

A job well done by ‘Shadow Dog Designs’.

April 18, 2010