Saturday, 14 November 2009

Cava bottle beads

I am not at my stall today, with the forecast being for the weather to be so wild and windy, from experience, I just know it's always really difficult to cope with on an outdoor market. For anyone who does venture into Cambridge to see my stall, I apologise for not being there. I think this is only the second time this year I have missed a Saturday due to the weather.

So, I have a "free" day, time to make good on my promise to update my website with new jewellery and I am going to get on with it any minute now ... can you tell I'm putting it off?! Anyway, in the meantime, here are some photographs of the glass beads I made by recycling the Cava bottle I photographed early in the week.Handmade lampwork beads made from recycled Cava bottleAs you may be able to tell from the photograph, the glass is in fact a very dark brown rather than black, the top edges of the beads reveal this where the light shines through most. When I was making the beads, I was a bit worried they were just going to look the same as the beer bottle beads that I make but these are quite a bit darker than those.Handmade lampwork etched beads made from recycled Cava bottleAnd when they're etched (as the bottle is), as you can see, they transform into these lovely velvety black beads.

I made quite a few more beads than I have photographed. As this is a new type of recycled glass to me, it's difficult to know what the COE of the glass is precisely and therefore ascertain the correct temperature to ensure the beads are properly annealed. The beads will have to pass several of my own personal quality control tests for durability before I turn them into jewellery for sale to all my lovely customers. I'll keep you posted!

Shadow of jewelleryI leave you for now with a photograph that I took last weekend when the weather was much nicer - I noticed this shadow made by the sun shining through my jewellery.

Whatever you're up to this weekend, have a lovely time and I hope the weather doesn't disrupt it too much.


  1. I'm scared that we think alike on recycling wine bottles this way...

    Just kidding. Seriously, I have been in a thrifty mode and keep glass jars and bottles and the occasional wine bottle. I look at the pretty glass colors they come in and had been planning to experiment on them and have been thwarted in my efforts due to moving to a flat that doesn't permit a home studio.'s been forcing my mind in other directions. I can still use my kiln and I've been checking into fusing which led me to Brad and Jody Walker's website. I ordered his book based on book reviews on Amazon. In the meantime, I've been poking around the website and the summary and there is a great reference regarding float glass is in the 83 to 87 range. Thought that might help. the bracelet and beads are fantastic. Can't wait tto see what you do with them and hear the resulting quality test.

  2. That's a good resource, Jenn, thanks. It's nice to have my own suspicions and research confirmed by a site I'd not come across before. (Could well be tempted to put the coldworking book on my wish list!) I always knew bottle glass COE was quite a bit lower than Effetre as I ran some experiments with my kiln based on the temperature at which the glass became tacky and the fact that it takes longer to melt leads one to believe its harder and therefore lower COE. My reading elsewhere led me to believe that glass can be annealed within a range of temperatures rather than just one specific one for the COE, ie the higher the temperature you soak within the range for specific COEs, the less time it takes to anneal and vice versa. My annealing schedule for recycled glass is to anneal at around 10 degrees higher than Effetre, soak for much longer to be sure in case the temperature is on the low side (2 hours), the temperature is then ramped down by 100 degrees over an hour, a further soak for 30 minutes and then the kiln is turned off. I then do my usual freezer test (overnight freezing and then plunging into tepid water) if they survive that, there's then an impact test - I make up a heavy bracelet with at least 10 beads and drop it from head height onto concrete outside and then again on my ceramic floor tiled kitchen. (You can see how scientific I am ... ;-)) If the glass beads survive (not lost any yet), I keep the bracelet for myself :-) and then happily convert the rest of the beads into jewellery for sale, safe in the knowledge that the beads should be able to withstand most of the usual stresses that my customers can subject the jewellery to. I've also recently heard about a test you can do with a light box (or torch) and a polaroid photography filter whereby you're supposed to be able to actually see any stress in transparent beads. I've asked DH if he can rig something up for me as this fascinates me.

  3. I like your testing process! I've inadvertently done a lot of this type of testing on my own glass beads. ;-) I'll have to subject it to the official rigors, now. ;-)


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