Tales from the torch: Dec. 24th/07

Another bunch of custom orders: requests were for oranges, reds, browns, golds… plus your first glimpse of anything “floral” from me.  They’re all around 2inches long or so.

 Red, orange, browns and golds

From left to right:

  • oval floral: (sold) this bead is my fave, I’ll have a hard time letting it go.  made with my new crunch bead press received for my b-day.  I’m realizing more and more I’m not really a “press” person – i find i only use them to start the bead and then refine the shape to suit my own tastes.  wish I’d realized that BEFORE i bought a pile of them…
  • rectangular tree: this bead was a total surprise – i layered the gold from the oval to the left over the orange from the teardrop to the right expecting a more muted orange but got this earthy brownish gold instead.  pretty cool… It has a bit of sparkle from the silver and gold leaf plus a bit of reduction around the bottom.  i left the frit partially raised so it feels great: all nice and nubbly
  • floral teardrop (sold): I like the shape and pattern on this one so much i think I’ll try it again with different colours.  Most noticeable here is how much my stringer (spaghetti sized threads of glass) control has improved – I can actually draw stems and leaves now!
  • flattened teardrop: this bead is a completely different and slightly retro direction. love it but the bottom half broke coming off the mandrel.  I’m thinking it’s either incompatibility between the glasses or else i didn’t keep it warm enough while making it.  I’m going to remake it to see which…

Tales from the torch: Dec. 23rd/07

 Here are the results from my last few torch sessions:

(Yup, I finally have my mojo back)

Earthy goddesses

A selection of earthy goddesses with a slimmer profile.  The last one on the right is sold, the other three are for a custom order – the client gets first pick then any remaining will be posted for sale on either Etsy or eBay.  Update Jan 2/07: Goddesses #2 & #3 are sold as well.

Spring Rain #3The Spring Rain design has been very popular, so I’ve decided to turn it into a collection – this bead is #3 (sold). The Spring Rain series is made with various combinations of transparent and opaque light blue glass, silver, and blue and white frit.  I love the way each bead maintains its own unique shape and personality while still remaining in the same family. In this bead, one of the middle frits turned slightly green (a lovely but unexpected reaction!) and the white frit was fumed a deep gold by the silver leaf.

Periwinkle SwirlPeriwinkle Swirl is a little more of an advanced bead style for me (sold).  It also begins with a base of transparent and opaque blue glass, silver leaf and frit. I then wrapped the bead in some thin blue stringer and a white and clear latticino (twisted glass cane) followed by a sprinkle of clear frit. I love the way the silver sparkles in some areas and has an opalescent shimmer in others.  Plus my stringer control has really improved!

Olive GardenOlive Garden is made with olive green glass with some darker green frit and just a touch of pure gold leaf (sold). Simple and absolutely lovely.


Winter Dove (sold) – This bead was my biggest challenge to date!  I’ve never made a bird (or any other kind of animal) before and I was asked to make a dove that could be wearable as a pendant.  I wanted it to be lifelike, full of movement and suggestive of a dove rather than a literal interpretation – plus it still had to be comfortable to wear.  It took quite a bit of planning but I’m pretty happy with the result!  The wings slant slightly to the back allowing it to rest really nicely against your chest…

Three beautiful things…

I’ve had a pretty dreadful past few weeks.  I won’t go into the details but there have been a series of recent events that have really just kicked me in the guts and sucked out all my creative energy. 

Since this blog is meant to be my happy place, I’ve decided instead to focus on some of the good things that happened during the same period and helped to pull me out of my bad mood.  (Credit for the title and subject of this post goes of course, to this fabulous blogger.) 

My Three Beautiful Things:

1. My new desktop wallpaper – that my son made for me.  Everytime i boot up either my work or home computer and this pic appears, it just makes me smile.birthday gift from my son

2.  The Golden Compass – My neighbour stopped by the day before my birthday and surprised me with a beautifully wrapped gift of the book His Dark Materials, a trilogy by Philip Pullman.  So far, it’s been a fabulously, enjoyable read along the lines of the Tales of Narnia or Harry Potter – meant for kids but great for adults as well.

I’ve just finished The Golden Compass, the first novel of the trilogy.  It’s currently in theatres and i’m now really looking forward to seeing it over the Christmas break.  You can view the trailer here.

3.  Christmas Parties – I’m on my third so far for the season.  I don’t think it’s physically possible for anyone to stay in a bad mood after basking in the glow of a few of these… I love Christmas.

Goddess beads off to their new homes

 All on sterling silver wire with a sterling snake chain.  Each bead averages approx. 1.5-2.5″ in length:

View from the front:

Goddesses front view

Spring Garden Goddess was created from a base of turquoise opaque glass. She was then lightly reduced to bring out the copper trails and sprinkled with a blend of pastel pink, yellow and white frit (tiny glass chips). She seems to have just returned from lying in a field of wildflowers.

Lime Fizz Goddess was created from a base of juicy lime green opaque glass. She was then lightly sprinkled with tiny turquoise flowers and a deep purple frit. The tiny bits of purple and blue create the effect of dancing in flower gardens.

Ocean Mist Goddess was created from a base of white opaque glass. Her thighs were encased in deep blue, before being lightly sprinkled with periwinkle frit. The periwinkle reacts with the white to create a soft, smoky mist over her torso.

Purplicious Goddess was created from a base of opaque glass. She was then rolled in a deep purple glass powder before being sprinkled with a frit blend of pink, purple and white. The powder and frits intermingle to give her a soft, dreamy effect.

View from the back: goddess beads rear view

Tales from the torch: Nov. 21st-22nd/07

Results from my last few torch sessions: 

The four goddesses are sold (custom order).

two goddess beads and a tube focal 

From left to right:

  • still playing with a warm palette – this focal combines enamels, frit and clear.  i’d originally planned to completely melt the clear encasing smooth and then decided to leave it lumpy.  The bumps feels great.
  • turquoise goddess with several shades of pastel frit.  i reduced her a little to bring out the earthy copper trails.  i think i’ve finally got the hang of reduction – at least with blue glass.  at one point i had her completely red and then was able to add and remove the red copper on her surface by waving her in and out of different parts of the flame. very cool.
  • i love purple – it’s my favourite colour but it’s one of the hardest to get in glass – the rod colours tend to either be greyish or do weird things in the flame.  This goddess is rolled in purple powder and then three shades of frit.

 last few torch sessions

From left to right:

  • another experiment with dark raku – this time i heated and cooled it a lot so the colour development progressed further – moved past the olive to more gold and hints of purple. will have to play more…
  • trying to find a way to get orange, reds and silver to play nicely together.  not quite there yet.  i’m happy with the shape though.
  • started a goddess but didn’t like the strong reaction between the light blue frit and the ivory – plus i ran out of fuel…lol.
  • tried again with a white base instead.  the softer reaction between the white and the light blue frit is much better
  • love this one!  bright green and purple frit – aren’t they awesome together??!!!