Skip to content
March 8, 2012 / prismcgirr

Poppies Galore!

I’ve been having fun lately with Astrid Reidel’s tutorial on murrini making with enamels, and have produced one that looks more like a poppy than anything else…..being red it adds a bright focal point to any bead, and I love them so much I’m adding them to just about everything I make at the moment!

You can find the tutorial in Astrid’s Etsy shop here:

They look good on my new silver leaf focals range, giving them a new, brighter focus. 

Also tried the smaller ones at the end of the pull on some sets.

Set of five tabular beads

Lately have revisited the Pinks, and with the addition of Effetre Ivory, my Clio beads are now dressed up with red poppies….and are very bright indeed…sunglasses at the ready.

Recent beads with poppies


Big Daddy of the Poppies

The really big one!

Roll on Summer!

February 22, 2012 / prismcgirr

Foiled Again!

My previous attempts with silver leaf have never been very successful and it has taken me till now to realise that you can’t actually melt it onto the glass….you have to melt the glass onto it!!  Otherwise it all disappears.

Interesting how some glass makes it then turn gold.  Encasing it with  the Reichenbach Soft Crystal that I like to use does this, while Effetre transparent Lilac and Baby Blue keep the silver colour.   Here are the results…..and for once the seven that went into the kiln came out  without cracks and perfectly saleable, which doesn’t always happen!

The first bead is actually using gold leaf….hard to tell the difference, although it was the devil to keep still.

February 9, 2012 / prismcgirr

New Colours from Silver Glass

I’ve been playing with two lesser known silver glasses this month…Psyche and Elektra, which give some unusual colours, specially when mixed with my favourite Clio, and also am still a bit stuck on the lovely Gaffer frit called Purpur.

This is Elektra,  giving vivid greens and yellows under encasement with Reichenbach Soft Crystal Clear, with purpur frit.


And here is the same treatment with Psyche, which is dark red in the rod, but turns blue and purple under encasement.


Here’s a mixture of Elektra with Clio over white, decorated with my murrini made with Multicolour Dark, not reduced, as reduction turns the frit copper coloured:

Tropical Flowers

And Clio with Psyche over white,


I called this one Circus because it’s so colourful and bright!

And finally my favourite which is just good old Clio over white , encased, with Psyche swirls top and bottom. This time the murrini is reduced.  I find I can reduce quite selectively by using a tiny flame, and then cleaning up the surrounding area with a pointy oxidising one.

Tahitian Sunset

I’m absolutely fascinated by the changeable nature of silver glass, and determined to explore the possibilities which I suspect are endless!  Just small changes in the state of the flame, and different  glasses used as a base can make such a difference to the result.

I think that is the attraction. I like to be able to see into the bead, through the bead, in different light, and always find something different.

January 17, 2012 / prismcgirr


So….during this month I have been building up new stock for my etsy shop, as my pre Christmas sale left it looking quite empty.

A batch of lentils, always a nice job for me, and I seem to have settled on the 36mm press as the ideal size.

Midnight Sky

Red and Green Apples

Lily Pads

Won’t bore you with any more, but they are all on my Flickr, link over to the right.

Big Hole Beads also needed :

Ruby Crown


Rasberry Sparkle

Fuschia Dreams

These have all now  sold, and I was rather sad to see that last one go, but it now belongs to a dear friend of mine.

In fact all but one of the beads I have sold this month so far have been big hole beads, and all the brightly coloured ones, so I need more, but am waiting for a delivery of my favourite silver glasses from America….should be here on Thursday!
That same dear friend has sent me some of the hard to get hold of Gaffer Purple Rose, Royal Purple and Purpur frits, and I’ve been having a play:



Drama Queen

Oh boy, still having so much fun…as they say’so much glass, so little time’, which actually is not true because I have plenty of time in January once my accounts have been done!

(and they have)

January 14, 2012 / prismcgirr

My Own Worst Enemy

Oh dear….I’ve just been wondering why I don’t get many people following this blog…..and then I realise that I havn’t actually posted anything new since before Christmas!


That won’t do!

So here goes.  I got back into the saddle, or rather the chair next to my torch soon after New Year, and had a brief flirtation with tree beads.  I’ve always liked the concept but felt I lacked the stringer control necessary to do them well so have put it off up to now.  Still not happy with my efforts, but it’s a start.  I discovered that it’s easier to work from left to right or root to branch rather than the other way round and got better results that way.  The main thing is to make all the branches start at the root and then melt the bundle into the trunk, that makes it look realistic.


Golden Ivory Tree


Golden Multicolour Tree


Golden Ivory Spring Tree

Golden Ivory Spring Tree

Murrini Tree


Quite enough of those for now… in progress I think!

November 20, 2011 / prismcgirr

Once Upon a Time

I reckon as it’s the season for magical things to happen coming up, I would make a series of Fairytale beads, as  the semi-transparent lentils I have been making rather lend themselves to this theme.  Some I’ve made into pendants using rather nice beadable ones I have found which make life easy, and also mean that you can use them again for different beads.  Certainly I’m finding them ideal for wearing any of my own collection as I frequently change my favourite.

This was the one that started the whole thing off , which I shall keep…  I often find the first bead of any series becomes my favourite:

Snow Princess

A handful of Fairytale pendants

Smiling Pixie

Gossamer Gold

Pink Princess


Christmas Morning

Couldn’t resist a Christmas one …or two…..

Christmas Tree

I’ve since made a few more along these lines but won’t bore you with all of them.

Ah well, back to making fudge next week, so just as well I have built up a bit of stock, three markets before Christmas, two of them outdoors……. hopefully we’ll be busy, and the weather will stay kind!

November 11, 2011 / prismcgirr

No Time, no Time, there’s plenty of Time!

Time seems to be going very fast at the moment….perhaps it’s the thought of Christmas just around the corner.  I seem to be getting through a lot of different phases of my work in the last couple of weeks.

I did some experiments with coe 96 glass, as I was intrigued by the Gaffer ‘purple rose’ I’d seen on Etsy, which is not available yet.  However, Sue from Frit Happens kindly swapped some other coe 96 with me including chalcedony and rasberry which I  tried out, rather spoiling the effect by adding too much intense black.

Chalcedony Garden


Then back to the safe and familiar coe 104  for a series of’ long ‘Twisted’ focals:

Caterpillar Twist

Twisted Princess

Twisted Eggplant

A quick flirtation with Reichenbach purple rose and EDP:

Purple Rose

And back to my beloved lentils.  I’ve been waiting to try some new silver glasses, and started with Aion which gives a lovely colourless silver gleam…..using very pale transparent colours as a base so as not to swamp it.

Snow Princess

Pink Fairytale

Elektra with baby blue:

Winter Fairytale

And Clio with rosato:

Midsummer Fairytale

Oh, and I forget the lovely Clio-patra, who has now found herself a happy new home!

Still have lots of ideas churning away though….watch this space!

October 23, 2011 / prismcgirr

New Press….and I love it!

I’ve just had delivery of my new 36mm lentil press from Beadpress,and I’m having fun with it…’s a great size and makes a really hefty bead, but still nice and slim.

I had a bit of a splurge on butterflies…’s taken me a while to work out how to do this as I’ve always thought of them as being totally symmetrical, and that’s hard to acheive with my limited glass skills, but I hit on the idea of making them slightly off-centre so it didn’t matter if Ipressed them slightly skew-wiff, in fact it looked quite nice specially if I filled in the spaces with a bit of stringer work.

Turquoise Butterfly

Obviously I used silver glass for the wings…that was the whole idea, to get the irridescent look.

Purple Butterfly

Green Butterfly

I made quite a few of these, and was happy with how they turned out.  My beadholes still need some work however.


Next I had a go at some ‘floating flowers’….not my usual style, but I wanted to explore different ways of decorating these large lentils, and also making the most of transparent glass, without the dulling effect of silver glass. My placement of the petals is not very accurate, but the whole effect is still pretty when they are worn as a pendant.

Lavender Floating Flower

October 18, 2011 / prismcgirr

I Still Think Pink

Back again, and the Indian Summer has well and truly gone, although there’s usually enough bright sunshine in the mornings for me to photograph my beads.

After a brief flirtation with Christmas beads, I’m back to my beloved Effetre Stripey Pink and Double Helix Clio.  I never would have described myself as a ‘pink’ person, my favourite colour being a sort of vibrant magenta, but I am definitely stuck in a bit of a pink rut at the moment!

A couple of sets with Striped Pink on Petrol Green and on Dirty Martini:

Pink Petrol

Pink Martini

Here’s the Stripey Pink on Ivory, and I’ve left it devitrified which gives a really lovely effect, plus it’s reacted with the ivory.

Frosty Heart

And finally, back to the ivory with the Clio again, my favourite ‘Bolleywood Pink’.

Mount Etna

Mount Etna reverse


I think I’ll be in the pink for a while yet!     Oh well, it’s cheerfull.

September 30, 2011 / prismcgirr

Early Autumn

I’ve had quite a few sales in my Etsy shop this month, probably because I’ve reduced my prices. (Well you have to do something to get the global ecenomy growing again)

So I’ve been busy making new stuff …this lovely Mermaid bead has flown off to Australia.   I’ve had a hard time replacing it….all my best beads seem to be one-offs that I can’t quite do again!

However I have made some more BHBs, some uncored, but mostly with stuck in silver rivets.  I’ve got my eye on  a coring machine, but with the price of silver I’m still not toally convinced it’s a good idea.

This week I’ve been thinking about Autumn colours in spite of the glorious Indian Summer we’re having, here’s a trio that rather carry the theme:

Rather looking forward to October (good heavens! that’s tomorrow) and making a whole new raft of beads with the Christmas season in mind.  Not the holly and ivy variety you understand….just lovely things people will want to buy for presents.   Oh, I just love melting glass!