Sep 28, 2014

I’m not sure “silver lined dots” is the official name for this technique…but I think it sounds good. This is not “my invention” – but a little “trick” cooked up by the fantastic British beadmaker Diana East.

“What on earth is she doing, giving away someone else’s secrets?” you might wonder – but no worries, Diana has “released” this technique many years ago, not only in her classes (during which I asked her whether it would be okay to share…), but also in writing, on page 13 of Jim Kervin’s booklet on Diana East, published in 2005:

A lot of the “younger” beadmakers don’t even know about Jim Kervin’s great publications, we are now so focused on “e-tutorials” that we tend to forget that there is still a bunch of PRINTED information out there, that is often much less than the average e-tutorial.
All of Kevin’s booklets on some of our favorite beadmakers (Pati Walton, Leah Fairbanks, Sharon Peters, Akihiro Ohkama and more) have so much wonderful information (Diana East’s is probably my favorite), you would have to buy 5 or 6 e-tutorials to gain the same amount of knowledge presented in one 32 booklet. His language is a little tedious at times and layout can be a little confusing – but the information makes well up for it. You can find these booklets either on Amazon, or from your favorite glass supplier, like Frantzartglass, ABR Imagery etc…for just $ 15 or less….
But back to the Silver Lined dots – I don’t use them all that much, but whenever I do I think “oh, darn, I should make more beads with these…”
They are not a design in themselves, but more a little “dudas” to spice up a bead that needs a little “pizzaz”, kind of like a broach on an outfit…here are a couple of examples from my archives.
(I almost always use silver-plum glass to “plunge” my dot into – Diana uses mostly bright opaque colors, it really doesn’t matter, I think the more you play with this technique the more you find out what appeals to you and what goes with your personal style of beads.)

This free tutorial is a combination of written comments and YouTube videos – personally I actually prefer written information, but Sheri wasn’t around to take pictures, so I duct-taped my ipad mini to the tripod, attached a didymium lens and created this 3-part video (pitifully, I have not yet figured out how to edit videos in iMovie….considering that I worked for television for 10 years, I should be ashamed…sorry!) Oh, and I word of warning: Part 2 ends with “Damn it”….so that part is probably R-rated….

Before you dive into the videos, there are two things I have pictures for:

Cutting the SILVER FOIL (silver leaf won’t work) into little squares, but cutting some “fringes” first and then cutting across to get the little squares (it’s always a good idea to cut more than you need, they have a way of floating away as you breathe….)

(Okay, not the most descriptive picture, but I’m sure you get the idea)

Second, you need something to put the silver foil squares on that is CLOSE TO THE FLAME. After heating the tip of the thick stringer (Video part 1), you only have a very (!) short time to get the stringer down onto the silver. If you have a torch mounted marker, you’re good; but if you don’t, like me, you have to “jerry-rig” something. I have a couple of wooden boxes with a graphite plate on top that I place behind or next to the torch for these occasions (the one in the picture is actually different from the one I used in the video, it’s nice to have those in different heights and sizes….)
One last comment, about the diameter and color of the stringer: If possible, I use commercial stringer (call me lazy) – about 3 mm in diameter, and I like VERY pale transparent colors…. if you chose a darker color, you might not see the silver ….

Having said all that, I hope you enjoy the videos (you can watch them in full screen….) – sorry about part 2, but I thought you might like to see a little screw-up as well….