More…

img_1344I HAD to make more of these big-holed, bracelet beads, I had no choice…

img_1342They’re so delectably sparkly, i’ve completely fallen in love and will be making even more… I’d planned to etch them but now i’ve changed my mind.  They definitely don’t need it.img_1343I’ve been wearing a mix of beads from this and the last bunch on my Pandora bracelet and I can’t believe how well they catch the sunlight.  As is, they are the perfect summer bracelet bead – simple yet dramatically beautiful.img_1339Now i just have to finish cleaning and list this pile as well…

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Beap poop sucks…

You know how there’s one chore that always just truly SUCKS?   Could be anything, it’s just one of those necessary things that have to be done but yet (if you’re like me) you hate to do it so much you delay and delay (and DELAY!) and don’t get to it until it absolutely cannot be left for one minute longer?  At home it’s cleaning the bathroom.  At work it’s filing.  I hate both of those chores with a passion and can find many, many other things to keep me busy before the grime (or the pile) forces me to face up to my responsibilities, chin up and just “git ‘er done”.

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In the case of beadmaking, the chore i hate the most is cleaning out the bead poop (the bead release/clay left in the bead hole after i remove the mandrel).  There’s no just way around it though.  Compared to the speed and excitement of sculpting a molten glass design in a roaring flame, it’s gotta be one of the most creativity-killing, boringly tedious, soul-suckingly rotten chores that exists on this entire planet.  And no I’m NOT exaggerating. 

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But whatev.  This morning I resigned myself to the inevitable, put on the news and set myself to cleaning the pile of pooped-up beads that has been steadily accumulating in my studio over the past few months. 

Only stabbed myself with the bit three times too – barely bled at all…

(If you look closely you can get a glimpse of some of the new designs i’m working on… not telling ya nothin’ yet though)

Tales from the Torch: May 19/08

It’s long weekend here so instead of gallivanting like i normally do,  i decided to stay home and make some beads.  I’ve been either sick with the flu or so busy for the past several weeks that i haven’t been able to enjoy much torch time.  This weekend has really made up for that though – just got all these out of the kiln and i’m pretty happy with the results.

First, some focals:  I’ve had a really positive response to my floral attempts so i’ve decided to practice some more (plus a couple other ideas)… all about 2″ long.  From left to right:

Swamp Daisies – (sold) this is a big bead and it really wanted to be made:  I ran out of fuel about halfway through, had to pop the bead in the kiln, wait for the torch to cool down so i could change the propane canister and then slowly reheat and finish it off.  It’s my ongoing attempt to develop a love for that finicky copper green glass – the verdigris colour is intriguing but i’m still struggling to control the amount of that dark residue it develops.  (and yes i know the name isn’t very sexy – if you have a better suggestion let me know)

Blue Lagoon – another encased floral, this time i added the flowers first then the encasing.  I had planned to add another layer of encased florals but frankly i ran out of patience.  It’s encased with Lauscha clear and while the optical clarity is truly magnificent that clear layer was so stiff it took bloody FOREVER to melt.  At several points i was ready to through the whole damn thing (burning molten glass and all) across the room.   

Part of the problem is the limits of my torch, part is due to the Lauscha clear being really quite stiff but the other though is just the process of encasing florals – you have to slowly heat the clear layer enough to smooth it out but at the same time not get everything so hot that you soften and distort the layer of flowers and the core just underneath.  So you’re constantly twirling and swooping the bead in and out of the flame and slowly, slowly, slowly melting smooth that clear layer – an incredibly tedious process.  Somewhat like toasting marshmallows to a delicate golden brown at a bonfire except that each marshmallow takes a freaking HOUR to roast.  (ok, i’m done venting.  perhaps i’ll just put the Lauscha clear aside until i get a hotter torch). I must say, I have now developed a new respect for the beadmakers who make encased florals for a living… (siiigh, i must really not have cooked it properly as it has slowly cracked in half over the last few weeks)

Summer Garden – This is me playing to create something cute and fun and completely unlike my usual stuff (do i even have a usual yet?).  The Teenager declared this one as his fave while making sure to gruffly add the qualifier that of course he “…doesn’t like flowers but it’s still nice.”

Buttercup Swirl– Again something a little different and summery with some encased stringer spirals.  Those spirals were supposed to be a pale pastel yellow but came out bright buttercup yellow instead.  Now i could go into a rant about paying a premium for an “odd lot” glass that looks soft and creamy in the store ad but then strikes to a colour pretty darned close to something i could have bought for a 1/3 the price but i won’t. cuz i’m done venting.  so there. 

ZigZag – this is a weird one.  i was inspired by a room in a decorating mag designed with these colours – it’s odd but i like it.

And here is a custom order i’m working on – pregnant goddesses.  These were too much fun to make.  As i was sculpting each one it reminded me of the last few months of my pregnancy and how alternately excited /scared /annoyed /exhausted I was as i heaved myself around with that huge belly. 

Here’s a side view – they’re not just a little bit pregnant – these babes are nine plus months and ready to deliver at any moment! (i think that grey goddess is having triplets…)

And finally a rear view – cuz no pregnancy ever passes without this extremely important question:  “Honey, does my butt look big?”

Tales from the Torch: Feb. & March (part deux)

I’m back on the Teenager’s computer again as the kitten Busta finally finished chewing through my laptop’s power cable.  Now doesn’t having a cat usually mean no pets chewing random valuables around the house??? i might as well have a dog.

Soooo… until i decide whether to replace the power cable and harddrive on my laptop vs buying a new one, i’m trapped in that teenage hellhole again… damn cat.  Anyhoo, i did manage to backup most of my pics from the last meltdown so found a few more from February and March. (I didn’t torch much in April/May as I had the flu.)

These random beads were for a long bead exchange on LE.  They’re all about 2-2.5″ long (except the purple one) which isn’t huge for me at all – my beads are normally 1.5-2.5″ long.  I think the winner made a bead something like 11″ long.  not sure what one would do with a massive (and fragile!) piece of glass like that…  I wanted to try bigger but about 4″ is my max. anything larger seems to be beyond the limits of my current torch – i can get there but it takes forever to melt all that glass and the results are seriously ugly.

 

This Chocolate Goddess was part of a gift package for Valentine’s Day… 

 

My sister snapped up this Winter Garden pendant as soon as it came out of the kiln… Note my improved stringer control – that Corina stringer DVD has really helped.

I’ve been torching all weekend and have some new beadies cooling in the kiln right now.  I’ll try to post them tomorrow…

What the…????!!!

I know, I know… i’m just as shocked as you.  seriously.

It’s a set.  And I don’t make sets. 

Really.  i don’t. 

I’ve only ever made one other set before and it was pure torture.  Took me over a year to finish those too. 

But this set?  just took a me a few hours yesterday morning. barely.

I just don’t know what came over me… must be some sort of sickness: 

matchie-poo-beadyitis.  

…or something. 

In any case i’ve decided to name them: Deep Blue Sea