When making hot molten glass beads, a tremendous amount of stress is put on the glass. These stresses remain in the glass after the bead has been made. To eliminate the stress on the glass, the beads are annealed inside a hot kiln. Then the temperature is slowly dropped to 600 degrees where the kiln is then turned off. The bead is allowed to reach room temperature and then can be removed from the mandrel. These annealed beads are incredibly tough. When beads are not annealed they can break or crack, so DreamStonz makes sure all glass art purchased for use in jewelry designs is properly annealed.
There are as many types of glass as there are techniques glass artists use to manipulate it. Some of them are described in this glossary, but before getting to that, there is one thing most people do not understand about the art glass pieces I use in DreamStonz designs: the colors are NOT painted on!! The miracle of these mini masterpieces is that all of the designs within the glass are created by many individual steps with molten glass.
Most of the art glass I use is created in a process known as lampworking. First a rod of glass is melted with a torch and shaped on a mandrel into a core bead. After it is cooled, another rod is melted and applied to the core in a design. The bead is again cooled and another color or design is then applied. The process is repeated several times for each bead. That is why no two beads are exactly alike.
Some of the beads have raised dots of glass on the surface; some combine irridescent glass with clear or opaque Effetre or Soda-Lime glass. Murano glass often has a piece of gold or silver foil imbedded in the glass. The variety is as broad as the imagination.
Good glass artists – the only kind from whom I purchase glass art –carefully clean the holes of the beads to remove the material used to release the bead from the mandrel on which it was made. This is important to the jewelry designer because otherwise the holes will contain sharp edges that might cut the stringing material and cause all of the my hard work to fall apart. At which point, I would fall apart. Not a pretty sight, so poorly finished art beads are avoided by all means.
The AB coating on Swarovski crystals, which stands for Aurora Borealis, adds a highly iridescent effect over half of the crystal that increases the brilliance and shine with shimmering tints of yellow, pink and blue sparkle.
Borosilicate (also known as “pyrex” or “hard glass”) is one of my favorites because it is so versatile; many different colors can be achieved from one rod of glass by using flame chemistry and can rarely be duplicated exactly. Many of the colors are translucent, so combining and layering colored rods has an effect on the color of the piece. Although Borosilicate glass is colorful, it is more muted than the bright crayon colors of soft glass, and is at its most vibrant when viewed in bright light or sunlight. Borosilicate glass is often the type used when you see bubbles locked into the layers of the glass as part of the design. The type of Borosilicate glass used for art beads is much more expensive than other kinds of glass, and the beads can take nearly twice as long to make, so the bead prices reflect this difference.
This glass is not as hard as borosilicate but not as soft as Moretti or Soda-Lime glass. Its colors are more translucent than the eye popping Moretti or Soda-lime, but as a relatively new type of glass, colors are continually being added to the palette offered to glass artists.
Also known as “soft glass”. This glass is imported from Italy, where it has been made for many, many years. The colors are vibrant and are available in opaque, translucent and transparent colors. This glass has a low melting point and is easier to manipulate with less heat. The colors are strong and vibrant, making it one of the favorite types of glass used by glass artists around the world.
This is really a style of glass art than a type of glass. Murano beads often include metal foils (usually sterling or 24k gold) within the glass. When the glass is heated and cooled, the foil cracks and folds inside the glass creating a delightful textured effect. Another popular technique known as millefiori involves slicing clusters of different colored glass rods so that when the slice is viewed from the flat surface, a flower cluster is formed. Murano glass art work of all kinds has been created in Italy for at least 500 years.
Niobium is very resistant to corrosion and other reactions and is used in medical implants because it is safe for most people with allergies. If you prefer niobium ear wires for this reason, please contact me.
Swarovski pearls are not natural pearls. They have a heart of crystal that is then coated using innovative Swarovski technology to create an unparalleled glow that seems to come from within the pearl. It is no wonder Swarovski quality can’t be rivaled! And no wonder Swarovski is the only crystal and crystal pearl you will ever find in Dreamstonz creations.
In 1892 Daniel Swarovski invented a revolutionary technique for precision cutting of crystal. In the more than 100 years since, the Swarovski brand is synonymous with the finest crystals in the world. Swarovski is the serious designer’s choice because of the unshakeable consistency in quality, cut, clarity, color and the unique and ever evolving designs. Yep, just like Dreamstonz.
A type of ear wire that looks like the image below. The metal stick attached to a thin chain is passed through the hole in a pierced earlobe all the way until the “U” shape sits centered in the earlobe and the chain swings behind the earlobe. I use the ring you see in the image to attach crystals, beads or pearls which dangle in front of the earlobe.
Vermeil is sterling silver thickly coated with 14K, 18K, or 24K gold. It is a better quality than gold plate because gold plate is a very thin coating of gold on a base metal like steel or brass, not a noble metal like sterling silver.
Dreamstonz is proud and honored to have been certified by SRAJD, an international organization of Self-Representing Artists in Jewelry Design. When you purchase from an SRAJD member, you are buying directly from and supporting an artist whose work has reached the creative and quality standards demanded by this certification.
How is the jewelry packaged?
Every purchase comes with a very cool custom jewelry bag made of high quality microfiber -great for traveling and the bag can be used to polish the jewelry!
A card describing the materials used in the piece is included (without the price) so your lucky gift recipient will know just how special her DreamStonz piece is….that is, unless you fall in love with it and keep it for yourself. In that case, may I suggest a Gift Certificate for your poor giftless friend?
We carefully wrap every piece and ship insured mail so that your package arrives safely. If, however, you find your purchase is broken when it arrives, please email us within 24 hours of delivery. We will issue a full refund including return insured shipping charges once we receive the broken item back from you.
If, in the unlikely event you are dissatisfied with your purchase for any other reason, return via insured mail to DreamStonz within 10 days of receipt for a full refund of the purchase price. Email us for a return authorization code.
Any returns sent after the 10th day following delivery to the purchaser will receive store credit for the full purchase price.
It depends (this is the standard lawyer’s response for which I won’t bill you this time). Earring changes are the easiest to accommodate and can usually be made at no charge. The earrings can usually be changed to non pierced, post, french hook, lever back, or threads.
Small adjustments to lengths of necklaces or bracelets, can usually be made at no charge. Changing the clasps is usually possible too, but there may be a charge if the clasp you select is more expensive than the original.
If you want really radical changes, well, we will just have to talk about that.
Once the art glass bead or focal is finished it is annealed (cooked, basically) overnight in a kiln at high temperatures specific to the type of glass the artist used then slowly cooled. The annealing process hardens the glass so that it becomes virtually unbreakable.
“Virtually” here means it will last for generations when it is used as intended. Throw it across a room, drop it on a stone floor, run over it in your driveway and, well, you might have to start singing “Dust in the Wind”.
DreamStonz is not for the masses. It is for women who want to exploit the advantage of being a women in business settings and beyond; for those of us who are not afraid to be different because we are different, who freely express ourselves because we know we offer something valuable.
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