Posted by: frank Post Reply
After 40 years of making stone beads out of big heavy rough from all over the world I recently decided to rethink the bead making materials available on the island where I live. Shell beads did not work for me 20 years ago as the dust is quite bad for your lungs and the dust does not wet well so even when using copious water while grinding the dust would stick to your skin leaving a smell I find repulsive. I recently replaced my ultrasonic bead drill with a large model which can cut dust free cores up to 20 mm.so I began searching the beaches for a species of clam that had thick enough shells and which did not exfoliate when worked. On one of the few protected beaches on the island I found an appropriate cockle and cut out 10mm bead blanks. From a windward beach I got grossular garnet , red jasper and agate and made a small strand. A perfect little project for an old beadmaker.
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