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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
My favorite Thing to make when I don't want to Think

I suppose, somewhere, somewhen, there's a glass beadmaker who's never made a dottie, or sputnik, as my first teacher prefers to call them. However, I don't think I've ever met one, and some quite famous beadmakers have built their reputation on dots alone (Kristina Logan comes to mind.) Perhaps the most highly prized glass beads of Antiquity, the Zhou Warring States beads, are nothing more than dots piled on dots. There's something just intrinsically wonderful about this form of the trailing technique, and attempting to space the dots on a beautifully shaped bead will always remain both a challange and a form of meditation for me.

These particular dot beads are very simple: a hollow glass bead of transparent glass with a contrasting transparent dot. Each bead has, or should have 15 dots, 5 in each of 3 rows. I find spacing them that far apart more difficult than putting them close together, but I like the clean look of large expanses between dots. The stock color combinations are as follows, though really, I'm happy to make these in any color combination for which glass is available:

  • slate/black dots
  • grey/black dots
  • smokey quartz/golden brown dots
  • garnet red/black dots
  • amber/red dots
  • grass green/aqua dots
  • teal green/dark teal dots
  • aqua/dark aqua dots
  • medium cobalt/dark cobalt dots
  • lavender/purple dots
  • blue-violet/dark cobalt dots
  • pale blue|violet shift/gold ruby dots
  • pale pink/gold ruby dots
  • pale pink|pale green shift/gold ruby dots

This image features standard colors aqua, pale blue|violet (they look rather pink in the picture), and lavender (all the way to the right!) dotties; and special order pale amber and uranium yellow-green dotties.

This is my most popular product; measured hole to hole, beads 10–13mm in diameter retail for $9, and beads 14–17mm for $11. Larger sizes are special order. As always, I recommed checking my shops list to see if your local bead store carries these beads, but if not, you can order direct. Allow 2–4 weeks for delivery; shipping is extra. All beads are annealed, diamond reamed, and water-cleaned. And yes, they really do bounce when you drop them. N.b. Shift colors change, showing one color in natural or incandescent light, and the other color under fluorescent light. Below I show samples of some stock colors—so far, I only show 3, but as time and energy permits, I'll add more. Click on the link to see a bunch of them—this will give you a better sense of the variation you can expect.

pale blue|pale violet shift with gold ruby dots. This was shot in natural light, so it shows the violet end of the spectrum.


medium cobalt blue with dark cobalt dots. Also available in a very pale cobalt blue with dark cobalt dots (not shown.)


warm gray dottie with black dots.


spring pinks & greens dead mouse 20dec2023


Olive, tan and brown single strand floral lentil redux. 07nov2023


covid earrings to go with the 2020 orange beadcurtain strand. 19dec2022


3 big beads with twisties 24nov2022


Chickadee 1.5" lentil bead pendant. 01dec2021


red, yellow orange memory wire bracelet: 2021 reprise 15jan2021


Christmas covid beads & earrings 05jan2021


Making the 2020 orange beadcurtain components 03jan2021


2 of 3 cracked is a fail. 29apr2020


Dead mouse featuring ivory dots... 27apr2020


guild xmas bracelet redux 10dec2020


Earth toned single strand lentil necklace featuring olive green, tan & black. 18mar2020


Page's blue 2006 charm bracelet 11mar2020


Page Brunner's 2006 fuchsia & purple charm bracelet 09mar2020


Necklace for f2tY's nihongo tomodachi (Japanese friend). 16mar2020


2019 orange beadcurtain strand integrates some long-running themes


Green dead mouse made with love. 31oct2019


1st in a series of lamp pulls for upgraded lighting in the basement. 15feb2018


Jeannie Galt's black & ivory raked dot choker with matching button & macrame closure.


3rd—or 4th—iteration of my car keys dead mouse. Page created 27dec17. 08nov2019


J's rainbow beadcurtain strand 29nov2017


2015 orange beadcurtain strand featuring yellow scrolling. 23nov2017


Rainbow beadcurtain featuring rainbow fused focal 30nov2017


2013 orange beadcurtain strand 24nov2017


2016 fuchsia beadcurtain strand with gold-fuming 23nov2017


2016 orange beadcurtain strand 21nov2017


2017 entry into the orange beadcurtain project 20nov2017


green and pink bead curtain strand featuring Peggy Prielozny's beads. 20sep2017


new bead curtain strand in amber 19sep2017


golden green beadcurtain strand with fuming & dichro 26jun2017


Another brown mini-beadcurtain strand. 26jan2016


First in a series of 5 `mini' 18inch bead curtain strands 25jan2016


My first kumistrung necklace in a long, long time. It's also the first to feature my own lampwork beads. 07sep2015


orange dead mouse 13oct2014


Page designs another lovely necklace featuring one of my BE floral vases. Collects together all the PMC posts, both finished jewelry & components. 15apr2014


An old page from 19may2012 features an equally old beadcurtain strand photographed 29may2012. 14nov2017


2010 graduated dotties featuring pink, aqua, & violet. 03feb2020


How I got from dotties to harlequins . (With some minor not-quite-friday-fugly-worthy efforts along the way.) Here are some originally posted 18dec09. 18dec2009


3 varations on the dottie-pixie in a warm color scheme . Originally posted 21jan09. 21jan2009


Collects the 2008 glass bead pages. Still needs some add'l pix, titles, but page is outlined. Photographed 22jan08, edited 28apr14, needs to be revamped 2020 31jan2020


A series of chain-link bracelets featuring lampwork beads and bold, clean design (but with texture!). Originally featured 29nov07 29nov2007


Fuschia dotties, one of the most popular colors . Originally posted 09oct07 09oct2007


Beads as a bowl of little, rich, delicious treats. (If only... both the beads and the photography need to improve.) Originally posted 3may07 05may2007


Each pair of beads on these mandrels has something in common. Originally posted 24apr07 24apr2007


Why yes as a matter of fact you can put two hollow beads with no marvering on one mandrel. 23apr2007


Another color-graduated string of dotties . Originally posted 04apr07 04apr2007


a rainbow of dotties redux. Needs add'l pix from 20070125, plus photograph relevant sample strands. 07feb2020


Page's 2007 dottie bracelet featuring royal purples, blues and greys. 06feb2020


2007 dottie bracelet in sea colours. 05feb2020


2007 autumn colour dottie set 04feb2020


These two sequences of seven size-calibrated, color-graduated dotties celebrates a blue/violet color scheme. Originally posted 17jan07. 17jan2007


The local Guild does a themed multi-bead exchange. December 2002 22may2004