Each bead starts out as two equal sized discs, which I cut out using my trusty Pepe disc cutter. I love this tool! The discs are then textured, some with a hammer, some with decorative metal punches before being domed in my doming block. Each disc is domed the same to make sure that they still match.
Next comes lots of filing! This has to be done to give each disc a flat rim so that each pair of discs sits neatly together with a crisp join.
Then it's over to the soldering table. When I'm doing a batch of beads like this I use solder paste as I just find it quicker to use. I put a generous helping of solder paste inside the rim of one discs and then place the matching disc on top. I'm generous with the solder as its not easy to go back and add more if its needed, and any untidy excess solder is hidden inside the bead anyway.
After soldering and pickling to clean the beads up I then drill the holes. This is the fiddliest bit! The first step is to use a triangular needle file to file a small groove in the edge of a bead so that the drill bit has somewhere to sit and doesn't slip along the join. I use a stone setting burr to neaten up the edges of the hole.
The last step is to use Liver of Sulpur to give the beads a lovely antiqued finish and to highlight the texture - and there you are! I love how tactile these beads are.
The reveal for the March CoM challenge will actually be Monday 1st April as 31st March is Easter Sunday. I hope that you will come back and join us then and see what everyone has made! And if you fancy creating something lovely with your own hollow bead then I'm currently making a limited supply of them to go in my Daisychain Extra shop!