These Ford/Forlano polymer beads were bought by collector Daphne Farago in 1999. She gave her collection to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in 2006 and the Big Beads appear in the new book, Jewelry by Artists.
The Big Bead series is still ongoing and both Dave and Steve create them, giving each bead character yet working toward a unified design. Steve says, “Dave’s beads play with opaque and translucent cane slices to add depth to the surface, while my beads are always opaque and very graphic, emphasizing a variety of textures contrasting baked and re-baked clay layers.”
These early necklaces were all-polymer. Steve adds, “The clasp is a screw-type brass clasp, covered in clay, with a technique that Pier Voulkos used and taught. The beads are formed over an aluminum foil core, another ingenious Voulkos innovation.”
Ford/Forlano have also posted a stunning picture of their latest Hydro-Top pins in which patterns in the formed metal (by metalsmith Maryanne Petrus) are repeated and expanded in polymer.