Friday, July 1, 2011

Crazy doesn't even begin to cover it...

You might call me a pyromaniac, but I like to call myself a lampworker.  I make beads out of glass.  Molten glass.  Glass which didn't start off molten, but which I put into a 2000 degree flame and melt to molten so that I can make beads.  You might call me a pyromaniac, and you'd be right.

On top of that, I'm anal.

I started a lampworking project today.  It's a project I've been hoping to avoid because it was going to be a metric ton of work with no obviously apparent benefit, but if you listen to some of the people on the Lampwork Etc. discussion boards, no time at the torch is wasted and every bead is a lesson learned.  So, with that thought in mind, and hoping beyond hope that I can afford all the glass that goes into this project, I begin.

Goal: To learn how the different glass colors interact with each other on the surface of the bead.  For a couple months now, when I sit at the torch, I've been trying to just pick a glass rod of some mostly random color and apply some stringer of some other mostly random color to see how they go together.  Problem is, it hasn't been going so well.  Either I end up always picking the same few colors (that are my favorites) or I forget what colors I used on the bead because some interactions are so dramatic they change the colors altogether.

This is how my lampwork sessions usually end up:

So I've made a plan to make a bunch of beads of one of the colors of glass I have and apply a simple decoration of stringer of each of the other colors I have to see how the color combinations work out.  I imagine it's sort of like shuffling a deck of cards, but with fire and molten glass.  In triplicate.  'Cause I'm going to do this sampling with each of the colors.  At last count I had 32 colors, so that's 32 sets of 31 beads each. How many beads will I end up with?  992!

Besides the massive amount of time it's going to take just to make enough stringer out of 32 colors of glass, I've already encountered a bigger problem.  I just ordered more glass.  More glass usually means more colors.  How many more beads will I end up with using these 4 more colors?  Mr. Calculator says 268.  *sigh*

Ok, I'll start with what I have, make a bunch of stringer, and see where it takes me.  Obviously I can't put a hold on my plans to make sell-able beads - I'd never get around to it if I just kept making color sample beads - so I'll just have to keep two sets of glass, one for the color samples and one for the sell-ables, and just spend time each day making both.  (I think I need two sets of glass so I can keep track of which colors I already made samples of.)

Torch it!

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