Monday, December 3, 2007

What the FRIT are you talking about?

There are many decorating techniques available to beadmakers when creating a new bead, and one of the staples of our art form is call Frit. Frit is powdered glass that hot (nearly molten) beads are rolled in to apply a speckled color pattern to the bead.

It can be melted into the bead so that the bead is smooth, or left bumpy on top of the bead. Leaving it bumpy is called Sugaring the bead. This technique works great for transparent frit since it will tend to look like ice crystals on the surface of the bead, but other colors work well too.

Frit comes in a wide range of brilliant colors and sizes from a fine powder up to very large chunks (which are not used for rolling onto a bead or other item). The size of the powder affects how the final design will look.

Rolling a cooler bead in frit will cause less of it to be picked up by the bead which makes give the beadmaker control over how much color they want on their bead.

Frit comes from various suppliers in both single colors or color blends. I use both in my work, but the color blends really add a lot of pizazz. I have also created my own color blends on occasion from jars of the solid colors. Experimentation is the key with this technique and there are no limits to what can be done!

Frit is very useful, versatile and, of course, can be used in many more ways than I have time to mention here. I'll save the additional techniques for a later posting. :)

If you have any questions or would like to suggest topics, I can be reached through this blog or through my web site or shop at

Take Care

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