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Glass Salmonberry Beads

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

Salmonberries are native to the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Unlike raspberries they have a glossy surface. Immature salmonberries are bright yellow, as shown at the bottom right. As they ripen, the color darkens to a lovely apricot (represented at the top of the photo) and then moves toward orange and finally orange-red. I have been able to reproduce this range of colors (except for the over-ripe orange-red, which I'm still perfecting) by hand-mixing three colors of glass together in various combinations. Because these beads are formed one cell at a time in the flame of a torch and variations in color are achieved entirely by mixing colored glass, the color will not rub, flake or chip off and no two salmonberry beads are exactly alike.

Like real salmonberries, the Glass Salmonberry Beads you see above 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 natural opening at the top. This is the ideal orientation for hanging on a headpin.

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

The smallest salmonberry beads (BBRR-VS) are shown at the bottom right corner of the photo above. 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 salmonberries, 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 Elizabeth Johnson, May 15, 2009

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