The Heartbreak of Tucson: Ancient Roman Glass

As many of you know, this was my first year attending the Tucson shows, and I was so excited! I had heard stories about the amazing bead, gem and mineral shows, and saved my pennies so that I could bring home a healthy supply of beads and treasures for my new beading and jewelry-making projects.

My heart broke the same way as this piece of ancient Roman glass. How would you fix it and use it?

One of the best parts of my time in Tucson was getting to spend time with Tammy Jones of Jewelry Making Daily. Tammy and I had never met in person before, and we were both excited to finally be meeting face-to-face after all the emails and phone calls we'd exchanged over the last few months!

On my last day in Tucson, we went to The Best Bead Show. Earlier that morning, we had been talking about ancient Roman glass and how much we loved it. And wouldn't you know it – as soon as we got to the bead show, there was a vendor with a whole table of ancient Roman glass! Tammy and I were all over it, and my eye fell on one particular piece.

It was a very unusual piece of ancient Roman glass. A thicker piece with beautiful shades of green and purple had been soldered (somewhat clumsily) into a lighter, more delicate ring of glass, with two little loops for hanging. After a little bargaining with the vendor, she slipped it into a plastic baggie and I put it in my pocket, afraid that it would be damaged in my heavy tote bag without any bubble wrap.

We continued to shop, and while I was browsing at Whimbeads, I found the perfect seed bead mix, appropriately named Margarita, to stitch up a lovely rope from which I wanted to hang my ancient Roman glass treasure!

At the end of the day, Tammy and I sat on a bench and waited for a taxi to take us back to the hotel. I started to look through my purchases, and I suddenly remembered the piece of ancient Roman glass in my pocket. I reached in to take it out and felt a slight "crack".

Yes, you guessed it. The delicate ring of ancient Roman glass had cracked in two.

Now, if I had thought to take a picture of Tammy's face, that would have appropriately conveyed what I felt inside. My beautiful piece of glass had cracked right in two! So much for stashing it safely in my pocket, right?

I'm still determined to use this ancient Roman glass in a piece of beaded jewelry. Tammy suggested that I try gluing it back together, but I'm worried about what effect the glue might have on the glass. I'm leaning towards wrapping the remaining piece of glass ring in a soft cloth, gently breaking it off, and then using one of my glass files to smooth out the edges. It's still a beautiful piece of ancient Roman glass, even if it's not exactly the same as it was when I purchased it, and I still want to use it.

I'd love to hear some suggestions from readers as to what I can do with this piece! Feel free to leave a comment on this blog and let me know what you think I should do!

Stay tuned for more blogs about the amazing seed beads, vintage charms and components and lampwork glass beads that I brought home with me from Tucson!

Bead Happy,


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