Thursday, June 28, 2012

Cup of Bead Soup - Lea Avroch Reveal

When I received the focal bead for this challenge, from Lea, I was immediately taken with the flower "insert" on it. I have come to find out from her that it is called a murrini, and "there are many ways to make them." She kindly explained her process which I really did not understand, since I know nothing about lampwork.
  Lampwork Murrini                   Polymer Clay Cane
From what I could glean, she starts with "glass in a barrel shape onto the tip of a mandrel,  and then adds stripes of glass stringers from the point of the mandrel to the other side, all meeting in the middle," as many or as few colors as she likes. After heating it up, "glowing hot", she "attaches another mandrel into the opposite side, lets it cool for a few seconds and then pulls." She lets it "cool and then cuts it into slices with a glass nipper."

Now, not wanting to burn my house down, I stick with working in polymer clay. So I got out matching colors, made a Skinner blend, a bulls eye center, and put together a cane imitating (the sincerest form of flattery) her design. I then made blue ovals with Mica accents and attached slices of the flower cane to some of them.

To find just the right accent beads, I went to a Rings and Things Bead Show, and picked up Amazonite roundels, Natural Agate puffed ovals, and deep blue Mirage rounds, which fascinated me in the way they changed color to shades of light blue and purple when touched. They gave the same effect as the many hues of the focal when different light reflected off of it.

The agates were strung together in a floral shape with a turquoise center bead, and used as an offset to the focal.

One more trip to my local Bead Store (that's the name of it) for the pewter seeded spacers, and there waiting were the perfect Czech glass clam shaped beads to mimic the spine-like strip of the focal.

All together and here you have my humble design submission
 for Lori Anderson's fantastic Cup of Bead Soup.

Here are the other participants in this Challenge:
Marlene - You are here!
If you want to get more info on future Cup of Bead Soup Challenges by Lori Anderson, 
click here.

And please take a moment to visit these links to the creator of this fantastic lampwork focal,
Lea Avroch!


  1. Wow! You really put a lot of time and thought into this! I love the flower! Excellent job.

  2. Gasp! Oh Marlene that necklace is to die for! I also love how you went to thru your design process.

  3. Marlene, this is incredible - there is no difference between the glass focal and your gorgeous polymer clay components!
    Love the necklace - wonderful combination of mixed media and colours!

    Hehe - they must have a franchise of the 'Local Bead Store', since I have one too :)

  4. Awesome the way you were able to replicate the glass murrini in polymer. : )

  5. That is a gorgeous gorgeous necklace. So much planning and work and wow! You still have your house! I love it. Great job.

  6. I love how you tied all of the texutre and color together. Great job on the polymer beads too. Very pretty! That focal is gorgeous!

  7. That is gorgeous, I love how you made the polymer clay beads nice touch!

  8. I agree with Lori's comment; you really put a lot of time and effort into your necklace! You are a very talented jewelry artist :)

    I love how you made your OWN beads to match, too!

  9. THUD!!! Marlene, I bow down to you! I am amazed at how closely your polymer clay beads match the focal, which is glass. Truly astonishing how 1 is glass & 1 is clay. You would never know it! And the necklace is drop dead gorgeous! I am honored that you spent so much time and effort to showcase my bead in such a beautiful way. And happy to have you as a friend. :)

  10. OMG! Beautiful idea! your Polymer Clay Cane is just perfect for the focal bead!

    I like this necklace very much ^_^

  11. I hopped here right at midnight, and now time to reflect on this amazing Cup of Bead Soup: I'm blown away, Marlene! Your gorgeous polymer beads are a beautiful compliment to Lea Avroch's stunning lampwork focal bead! Your work is so impressive and inspiring... I love that you walked us through your process as a designer, and most of all, love the jewelry art you created for this event! Your necklace is outstanding in every way: gems, beads, shapes, colorway pattern, beauty. Your necklace has movement and synchronicity in an awesome dance of energy & beauty!

  12. Your polymer clay beads are amazing. I love how you were able to recreate that part of the glass bead. Love how you put together your necklace, really beautiful.

  13. Beautiful work, Marlene! You p/c beads are stunning!

  14. WOW Marlene. I JUST saw this post. THAT is amazing how you recreated taht design on Lea's lampwork bead by creating a cane in Polymer Cane. I can't believe how similar it looks. THAT is talent!!


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