Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Burn, Baby, burn.

After we moved into this house, I spent about a month teaching myself to make glass beads. Then, we learned that we're expecting New Baby and the resulting sickness and lack of energy put a stop to that. It's been six or seven months now since I last experimented, so I decided one day last week to go out and clean up my little work area and see if I could do the basics. Mind you, I wasn't really good at the basics to start with, as most of my beads were shaped like lemons. I did learn, however, that this was caused by the initial footprint being too big. Meaning I put too much pressure on the bead mandrel during the initial application of glass.

Beginner's Luck was on my side, and the first bead I ever made was a lovely round bead with a nicely centered hole. This was also before I knew that purple was considered difficult to work with.

So here's my first ever bead that I made last summer:

I made various others after that, all with their own problems. The holes off center, the evil lemon shape, lopsidedness, etc. I read as much as I could about all of it from some lampwork forums and kept trying.

Then, came pregnancy and sickness and all that stuff. To be honest, I'd have given it up anyway. I have a tendency to lose interest in everything at some point, and move on to the next project.

So now six or seven months have passed, and I'm not deathly ill. I decided to give it another go. So I made a round bead. It turned out wonderfully, nice and even, no lemon shape, the hole is centered... But I'm not known for my tendency to leave well enough alone, so I added some dots. Yup. I still suck at dots. But the general shape is good!

My next task was to make a couple random beads. I don't have pictures of them yet, but they're not that good anyway. Except they're round, and that's what I was going for.

On Sunday afternoon, I set a goal for myself. I was going to do my best to make a set of beads that were all relatively close in size and shape. Mind you, I'm not using a beadroller or a press or any other fancy shaping equipment. If I ever turn this art thing into a lucrative business, I might invest in those things, but for now, I'm doing it by sight. For fun.

So I grabbed a rod of some unknown color that I got in a tube from Hobby Lobby and I went to it. I burned one bead and left soot on a couple others, but on the whole, I rather like that they're all pretty uniform. Progress! Yay!

So that's where it is now. I've been reading lots of bead books, and I'm back to being obsessed. Later I'll take a picture of the set I made yesterday. They're not nearly as good as the ones above, but still better than I was doing last summer.

I even made my first Big Hole Bead, which will fit on a Pandora/ Biagi/ Troll style bracelet. The holes isn't centered so I failed. But I like it anyway.

And now it's almost 3:40 in the morning and I think I'm tired enough to go back to bed.