The Arts Directory Of Transylvania County, NC
Fine Arts and Crafts
Glass, Jewelry, Textile
Handmade Glass Bead Jewelry & Fusion Fiber Scarves - Colorful limited edition jewelry designed by Elda Brown using glass beads the artist makes by hand. Scarves blend silk fabric & hand dyed silk w/ultra fine merino wool fibers creating a piece of weara
Fire and Water. Those are the elements I use to express my creations in glass and fiber.
First it was fire. Ten years ago I began learning the process of making glass beads in a bench-mounted torch flame, what’s known as flame working, or lampworking. The tip of a colored glass rod is melted in the torch flame. The melted glass is then “wrapped” around a stainless steel mandrel, creating the hole in the bead. The base bead is then decorated with more glass or precious metal foils. It is a bit like making a three dimensional collage or a painting with hot glass! The finished beads are kiln-fired at temperatures that anneal the glass to makes it harder. Once cooled, the beads are used in my unique jewelry designs. Typically I marry the beads with leather, natural brass, sterling or argentium silver. There is no lead or nickel in these metals.
Now, in addition to playing with fire, I am also often immersed in water, quite literally. The method I use to create my unique neck scarves is the wet felting process known as nuno or fusion felting. Water, soap, agitation and heat are used in varying degrees to fuse ultrafine merino wool fibers into silk fabrics. For my one-of-a-kind silk neck scarves I combine pieces of vintage silk, silk fabric, and my own hand-dyed silk. The felting process creates amazing textures in the silk and the combination of the melange of silks is amazing! I'm also making wraps, which are larger pieces designed and to be worn around the shoulders and to offer more coverage. I've started incorporating appliquéd embellishments into my scarves and wraps to even more texture.