Just when I think I've looked at every lentil bead on the web, I'm drawn back to some spectacular variations. Valerie Aharoni's lentils are something to behold. I can't really tell how they're done. Is it Gwen Gibson's image transfer technique? Is it some sort of rubber stamp trick? Whatever, it's terrific.

And I love the bursting lentils in the necklace at the right that Gwen Gibson created some years back.

All these beads were shaped over a form and were not created using the familiar bicone bead process. I have this old picture of Carol Shelton's beads which illustrates the technique. Two circles were cut out and formed over a large ball bearing. After baking, the two halves were glued together and rebaked making a very lightweight bead.

Some interesting variations on the theme.

  • reply Sherry Bailey ,

    I think these lentils are the kind made in two segments on a rounded form (like a light bulb or wooden sphere), baked and then joined. Some of the lentils look like mokume gane to me, and others maybe were made with that mold technique using deeply incised rubber stamps for a wedgewood sort of effect — I don’t remember exactly how it goes.

    A few years ago I was on a kick making what I called “shadow box beads”. These were hollow lentils, but with a square or round hole cut out of one side before baking. Then I would attach something inside the “bottom” half before joining, such as a bit of old costume jewelry or decorated clay, so when joined you could see this item through the windowin the bead. (My web site is under re-design, it’s massively outdated and ugly, but there are a couple of ancient examples of this idea there.)

    • reply Betsy Baker ,

      Funny, but I just came in from my patio after enjoying a glass of wine and perusing the book 400 Polymer Clay Designs that features Gwen’s necklace.

      I figured it was molded over something – I was thinking of large marbles, but ball bearings also make sense. I wonder where you’d find great big marbles or ball bearings…..Any ideas?

      • reply Sherry Bailey ,

        Christmas ornaments can be used as long as you are careful. And they come in all sizes! You can even construct filagree designs or other open-work on them, bake and then carefully break out the glass and remove it. (I do this inside a brown paper shopping bag which I then discard, since the shards are lethal! Filagree lentils would be pretty — have to tray that!

        • reply Debbie KirK ,

          Why don’t you try using a 40W burnt out light bulb. It gives a nice gentle curve. Let it cool on the bulb and then it pops right off. Put a back on it and you have a pendant or join two together snf you have a lentil.

          • reply Bettina Welker ,

            Meesage to Betsy Baker:

            In Gwen’s DVD it is shown how she molds the beadcaps. She covers the baked red beads with Armorall – this is an automotive spray for plastic surfaces. this spray prevents the clay from sticking to the beads – that’s all;)


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