This is the process of start to finish on a necklace and earring set by Susan and Tim Heaton.
Tim is a glass bead maker who works over an oxygen/propane surface mix torch. Susan uses Tim’s custom made beads to create, unique one-of-a-kind necklaces. Picture 1 shows Tim’s studio and torch.
Picture 2 shows Tim doing the first wrap of glass onto the mandrel, in the flame.
In picture 3 Tim is shaping the bead in the flame.
The final outer layer of clear glass is added to the bead in picture 4.
Picture 5 shows the finished bead being placed into the kiln, where it will slowly cool down for several hours (this is called annealing the bead). The next day, after removing the bead from the mandrel and cleaning it and doing final finishing steps, the beads arrive in Susan’s jewelry studio.
Susan selects which hand made beads, Swarovski crystals, other beads and sterling silver will be considered for use in this necklace, as shown in picture 6.
Picture 7 shows Susan’s selection and creation of an earring to match the necklace. The necklace is designed and laid out on a bead board in picture 8.
Frequently many designs are produced, before the final design is decided on. Picture 9 shows the completed set, truly a labor of love and art.
Susan and Tim are #178 in the Open Studios Art Tour Catalog (Los Osos, North County portion of the Catalog). Stop by their studio October 22 & 23 or 29 & 30.