Monday, 1 October 2007

Tumbled blue glass and silver box chain earrings

I made these earrings earlier this year, as part of the Level 2 Found Objects project in the class. There is a larger picture on flickr. I was motivated by the beautiful items others have made from sea and beach glass: see my earlier post for links to three websites in this area.

As I didn't have any genuine sea/beach glass, I made my own tumbled glass in a rock tumbler, using pieces from a blue glass bottle. This generated lots of attractive bits of glass, which should keep me going for a while! The earrings are made from two similarly shaped pieces of glass. These were chosen after the random bottle smashing and tumbling; they were not cut to shape in advance. The holes were made using a Dremel with a 1.5 mm diamond drill bit, in water, very slowly, with eye protection and with a great deal of care. Advice on how to use a diamond drill bit can be found here.

The glass pieces are hung from short lengths of box chain, made from 0.8 mm diameter silver wire. I had made these during the preceding Level 2 project, Chainmaking, Links and Units.

I had a look for genuine sea glass when walking on beaches during the summer, but was disappointed with what I found. There was very little, and what I did see looked as if it had been left on the beach the previous week, with very little smoothing apparent.

[Edit: A tutorial about how I went about tumbling the bottle glass is now available].

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