The Raku Barrel beads all began when I was trying something out for someone in Australia, and we were trying to come up with a shape and style within some parameters for her.
I've used glass raku frit (tiny shards of crushed glass) for a long time now in my beads, and have always loved it in combination with red and black. As I understand it, the colours in Raku glass are made by using a lot of metal in the recipe, and that metal is usually silver. Anyhow, it gives a lovely effect rather like that of tiny pebbles or spice sprinkled around.
Being an ex Cantabrian (that's the province in New Zealand where Christchurch is located, for you folk overseas), I have a penchant for red and black, especially in these post earthquake months, when our hearts go out to the people there. I wanted to combine them both in some beads but in a kind of subtle way that's more wearable than the usual sporting colours.
So...without further ado...here they are...
This is the first necklace I made with the smaller shards of raku glass.
And this is the set that I made with the larger shards - I can't decide which I like best!
I think they look vaguely oriental, and because they're smooth and long, they're lovely to wear and quite neat and dainty looking.
There are a few more to look at here.
So, what do you think?