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Glass Blackberry Beads, top, bottom and side views Glass Blackberry Beads

Glass Blackberry Beads with Vertical Bead Holes
BBKB-VM (Life-sized, for necklaces)
BBKB-VS (Small-sized, for earrings and bracelets)

Like real blackberries, each of the Glass Blackberry Beads you see above contains a few reddish not-quite-ripe cells and the center plug that remained inside when it was picked. Completely ripe (all black) blackberries are available by special order. These beads are formed one cell at a time in the flame of a torch, and variations in color are achieved by hand-mixing colored glass. As a result the color will not rub, flake or chip off and no two blackberry beads are exactly alike.

Like real blackberries, these beads are essentially hollow. However, I have filled in the space at the lowest levels to reinforce the base and add weight to the bottom of the berry, helping it to hang straighter. The beadhole extends from the bottom center of the berry up through the "plug" at the top. This is the ideal orientation for hanging on a headpin.

The black cube in the picture above is 1cm (10mm) per side and is provided as a reference. The standard size for BBKB-VM, a "life-sized" blackberry bead, is about 16mm tall. This is the size of the two largest blackberries shown at the top right and all the blackberries in the first picture. I can also make them slightly smaller (about 14mm high). This is the size of the two medium blackberries shown on the lower left side of the photo. This medium size is useful for making jewelry with graduated sizes of glass blackberries. Since it takes the same amount of time to make the blackberries in either 14mm or 16mm size, both are the same price.

The smallest blackberry beads (BBRR-VS) are shown at the bottom right corner of the comparison photo. They are about 12mm in height and are the best size for earrings or bracelets. Since they take less time to make than the larger blackberries, they are slightly lower in price. If you want to use them for bracelets please specify when you order. In that case I'll make sure they are solid all the way through the centers to give them extra strength.

Ordering information is available on the Order and Contact Page. You may also view and print the entire Berry Bead Catalog in PDF format.

Image by Dean Johnson, February 17, 2009

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