Tales from the torch: Feb & March

Here are some of the things i’ve worked on over the last couple months:

Verdigris Swirl: This was a custom order for a green pendant.  Took me forever because i had the hardest time developing a great design in green (other than lime and olive, it’s not one of my fave colours).  I finally won my battle with that quirky hand-pulled glass colour copper green and this was the happy result.  The verdigris finish is a natural reaction of this glass.  (sold)

Modern Ethnic: This pendant is based on a designer room i saw in a home decorating magazine.  I really love the contrast between the smooth modernity of the red glass vs. the rustic look and feel of the ivory.    (sold)

Tribal: This pendant was an experiment in black and white – the white glass stripes reacted heavily with the silver laden black and developed a lovely antique patina.  A very cool and completely unexpected reaction. (sold)

Some additional ideas in development…

The first two were efforts to work with my Kalera long and lean bead press.  I have a bunch of presses i never use, so i figured it’s time i tried them out.  I’m sort of on the fence about pressed beads.  On the one hand (once you figure out how to use them), they offer the opportunity to make consistently formed and sized beads in shapes that are near impossible to create by hand.  On the other hand i feel like the design is a bit constricted by the shape.  Now is that my fault or the limitations of press?  hmmm…

i think i’ll etch them… a frosted finish might highlight the shape better…

That last one on the right is my usual handshaping with a 23k gold stringer decoration (love this and will have to make more!)… i think i’ll always have a preference for hand-shaped beads.  What do you think?

These organic look beads are copper green with fine silver wire, raku and/or green adventurine frit – which sure spreads a lot on copper green.  This is one of those cases where less is much, much, more. They’re small (for me) and feel just great in the hand… like smooth brightly coloured pebbles.

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Tales from the torch: Jan. 26th/08

Results from my last few torch sessions – a goddess and two pendants for a couple custom orders:

Hades GoddessHades goddess back

Hades Goddess:  (sold) Sometimes simple is best.  This is just black glass and silver leaf passed through a reduction flame to bring out the iridescence.  I had originally planned to tart her up with some frit and a latticino or two but once i reached this stage, i realized she’s perfect just as is.

Tempest leftTempest right

Tempest:  (sold)  Ever been on the beach during a thunderstorm?  As the wind rises and the sea slams against the cliffs, the water, foam, seaweed and sand all swirl together wildly. And if you’re lucky enough to find a good vantage point, you can enjoy this spectacle of nature from a safe distance but still be close enough to feel the salty spray hit your skin with each crashing wave…

Almond Blossom leftalmond blossom right

Spring Bloom:  My first serious attempt at a traditional raised floral.   Every single colour is custom blended – from the base to the premade latticino’s used for the branches and the flowers.  The branches have a bit of sparkle as i used green adventurine in the twist, then i reduced the bead lightly at the base to give it some depth.  A lot of work but i’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

And if you think it looks familiar, you’re right.  It’s inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s 1890 painting Almond Blossom.

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