So… I’m sure many, if not all of y’all bead makers, have some frit mixes lying around. Back when I first started to make beads, I didn’t use frit. And it was in the old ‘dinosaur’ days before Val Cox and her ‘Frit Secrets’ book came out, so frit mixes were not yet a big part of the glass bead world. Nowadays, a nice mix of frit can decide the colors of a bead, making that part of the process easy. They are a useful crutch, especially for days when one is feeling a wee bit less than inspired. Just grab a mix and enjoy making the bead! Val’s book has a lot of different ideas for how to use frit in a bead; it is a great resource.
I often feel like I am kind of cheating when I use a prepared frit mix in a bead and it takes a little bit of the creativity away, so I try not to lean on them too heavily. That said, I seem to be in a bit of a frit loving stage. I mean Gaffer’s or Reichenbach’s royal purple or purple rose frit is simply irresistible!
While thinking about some of the things that happen when a couple of different frits are mixed, or just a touch more of something is added to a mix, I realized that maybe the frit colors could basically be stacked instead of using them all at once in a mix. Say, for instance, you are inspired by the colors in a violet. Instead of using green and purple together, why not put on some green and then add some purples randomly on top of it. Would this not give more of a violet feet to the whole bead? (Without all the trouble of having to actually put wee violets all over it). How about rolling the bead in a larger size purple frit and then a smaller one~you can see in this example that little bits of purple are on larger dots of purple. Those larger bits of purple must have been sticking out when the smaller purple frit was added, making it look like glass dots were placed on the larger purple bits. Another fun idea!
Today was a ‘frit stacking’ experiment day. I was pretty
happy with the results. As a bonus, interesting reactions sometimes
occur between the frits. Here are a couple of the beads and how they
This pink bead started with a base of clear, then CIM rose quartz with
triton frit at one end and then another layer of clear all around. The
triton was reduced to bring out some shine and then encased for a little
extra background play, though that was rather lost in the shuffle after
everything else was added. Some Reichenbach iris amber green, opal
raspberry and copper ruby were added over the clear layer. These
three frits were all about the same size. You can see that some rather
interesting things ended up happening on this bead.
bead was a play of organic colors and purples. I didn’t write down the
colors on this bead, but I believe I started with a background of amber
green iris (which changes colors a bit as you go), then some large
Reichenbach purple rose frit, and then small Gaffer purple rose, which I
put all the way across the bead. I don’t believe I added any actual
green frit to this bead; the iris amber green can make its own green in
Here are closeups of both of these beads to show some of the yummy reactions that happened!