Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bargello Beads

Check out the new beads.  Finally, a little time to get to the torch.  Of real interest to me is the bead on the right hand side.  It's a Bargello design - where the glass is pulled to create the patterning.

blurry close-up of the Bargello pattern of the bead

I love making these kinds of beads.  Bargello is an interesting pattern to make.  It's not always easy and for certain doesn't always go the way you'd like but it's always interesting.  Bargello patterns are generally done in needlework and the designs can blow you away.  I wish I could do more of them in lampwork but the one I chose to do is pretty straight forward.

I'm so visually oriented I thought I'd add a quick sketch. 

I make a base bead in the main color I'm using and then add stripes around the circumference of the bead, melted in.  Any color or variety of colors you choose is okay since it is traditionally seen in many colors.  Then I use my steel paring knife to "barely" drag it down the length of the bead.  Since steel drags and graphite doesn't it's good to use a steel knife to do this.  You are carefully pulling the lines down the bead - this isn't like a plunge and drag, which would be messy.  You lay the knife edge on it and gentle pull down.  When one line is done you do another going in the opposite direction.  This, once you are all the way around will create the pattern.  There WILL be ridges across the bead length from this - don't worry.  Gently melt the bead back into it's shape and roll carefully along a graphite paddle...remember, not much drag on this one.  Be gentle and it will reshape itself to a nice form without ridges - just pattern.

Remember the old crocheted afghans in a zigzag pattern?  Yup, bargello.  It's on clothes, on quilts, beads in polymer and glass, all over the place.  Above are some simple patterns but if you go to the link I included above you will see a ton of images you can use for color combos and possibilities.  Pretty cool stuff huh?

1 comment:

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

We do bargello in clay work (there are several methods) but I bet it is way more challenging on hot glass ;) They look great, Sharon!