Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Ancient Eye Beads...

I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across these ancient glass eye beads and fell instantly and madly in love with them.  I tried to search them out with the sinking feeling that they probably belong to a museum collection or were out of my price range.  I looked and looked, but was unsuccessful in tracking them down.

It made my fingers twitch to want to make some beads that looked like these.  I love the graphic eye motif and the crustiness of the beads.  There's just something about that patina that makes my heart quicken. It conveys that these things have a story.  They are survivors of time and humanity.  When other things were lost and forgotten... these remained.

So, I set about making my own version.

I was never very good at lampwork glass and no longer have a set-up, so I moved my focus to polymer clay.  It's a magical material that can be coaxed into looking like all manner of materials.  Here is what I made:
I used all kinds of tricks to get them to look like this.  I started out by carving a mold and then pressing out the beads.  I rolled them in salt and hand-painted each bead and then did glazes and washes of antique mediums.  I wiped and sanded and altogether distressed the beads until they took on an ancient feel.

I have a feeling that these will be the first of many!  Sometimes things move you and you don't know if others will resonate with them or not.  Happily I can report that most of them found homes all over the country!  I, of course, kept some for myself!

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