As I have been unable to make beads, I have been looking at the ones I made long ago. The truth is, I love etching. The effect of this unusual matte finish on glass fascinates me. Of course, you can "get rid" of the shine and sparkle if you put some baking soda on your creation at the end, but while I'm making a bead I never actually know exactly what I'd like it to be. So there is always a choice when you get them out of the kiln: to etch or not to etch.
Full etching is easy. But, of course, now I like the idea of combining the matte and the shine, and this is where it becomes extremely time consuming. I remember, several years ago, when I was only starting, Clare Scott wrote about a set on her website how it took her ages to create this effect covering the dots with nail varnish and etching the background. Now not only I cover things, then, when they dry, I go round with a magnifying glass (no, not really, only kidding!), inspecting all the areas I want etched, cleaning the bits which were accidentally covered with varnish, or adding more nail varnish on the tiny spots and lines if I want them left shiny. Ridiculous, I say to myself. But what can I do - I'm addicted to it!
This bead is only just over an inch long (28mm), with Effetre Cobalt Blue transparent base and various stringers and twisties made with Double Helix Triton (I believe, as I made it literally ages ago!). Not a difficult bead to make, just takes time to prepare :) The "ribbon" effect in the middle is a simple twistie of white and Periwinkle Blue. I liked the "ribbon" being uneven, it adds a certain character to this pattern, it also echoes the asymmetrical effect the mirrored Triton twisties turned into. Here is a close-up. I have to say I am very pleased with the result.
I've got this very dotty bead which I now decided to etch too, so I'll show what happened later!