Glowing Bubble Beads

I love glass and I love glowing lights! I’ve always enjoyed neon signs and used to want one to hang on my wall when I was younger. I’ve always been attracted to black paired with bright colors, especially green. I love to see those plastic glow bracelets and jewelry the kids wear, bouncing around the evening landscape like floating magic rings, the wearer almost invisible.

And remember those black light posters popular in the 70’s? Spencer’s displayed them in the back with a large black light fixture so you could see the colors pop. The big angry tiger, dragon, the landscapes that looked like they came from a Conan The Barbarian book cover. Those.

tracy akhtar jerrel glass beadsSo anyway, I had made this big green and black bead not long after I first began lampwork. It’s basically a bead with “half hollows” around the edge. I had the idea of hollow domes of glass on my bead instead of huge solid dots. I placed white dots of glass on the bead so the transparent would have a lighter background and then coiled the transparent green on top. It really catches the eye and almost appears to be lit from within. You really need to see it in person, photos just can’t catch the glow.

As you can see, my wire wrapping skills weren’t so great back then. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I had made this bead into a zipper pull and used to wear it on my coat. And I think this was the last one I made.

But I’ve been wanting to make some more. I tried doing another bead like this but it was much smaller and it just didn’t look the same. So what did I like so much about this bead anyway? The glowing bubbles. I decided to try making simple drops with the little “half hollows” on them. I also made a couple long spiraled drops but they didn’t turn out how I imagined.

I still need some practice. They’re just not as clear as I would like, the bubbles inside seem to be a bit off-center. They look ok on the outside but I tend to be a perfectionist and am always finding fault with my work. I still like them and plan on using them in my own jewelry though, I have a special necklace in my head and these are going to make great accent beads.

tracy akhtar jerrel glass beads


Tracy Jerrell Akhtar blogs from her home studio in Southern Michigan. To see her webpage and more of her creations, click on TracyBeads.

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5 Responses to “Glowing Bubble Beads”

  1. angelinabeadalina Says:

    Tracy, the big hollow bubbles are a cool idea, and I think you ought to try your next version using the same colors as that original…some combos just cry out to be used certain ways ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. tracybeads Says:

    Thank you Angie ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Beth Ruth Says:

    Hi Tracy, Being a neon sign maker I thought I would chime in and say that your lime bead really does “pop” like neon. It reminds me of a color called “veep green”-really lime-like. I love it! I dabble in making beads and usually like the fun, bright colors and your work is a terrific inspiration!

  4. tracybeads Says:

    Thank you Beth! Making neon signs sounds FUN. I’m happy to hear my work inspires you, what a great compliment!

  5. Watch Me Create » Half Hollow Beads Transform Into New Designs! Says:

    […] back to the new-to-me designs. As you may have read (or not) in one of my previous postings on glowing bubbles, I started working on an old design again. My brain tends to run on fast forward when an idea […]


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