Thursday, February 23, 2012

Time flies...

Wow, I can't believe it's been a week since my last post!  OK, down to business.

I've been making beads, lots of beads.  Little itty bitty spacer beads, huge (by my standards) focal beads, and experimenting with all sorts of other stuff too, like silver foil, silver wire, ivory, my new lentil press, the ribbed marver, and layering different colors.  Some of that stuff, like the silver foil and the wire, I worked on tonight, so I'll post about my first attempts with silver foil tomorrow when they come out of the kiln.  Tonight I'm gonna talk about ivory and making focals.

Day before yesterday one of my coworkers was wearing a green dress with a cobblestone pattern on it, and it suddenly hit me that I could make a bead FOR the dress, for my coworker.  I saw a bead in my mind's eye, and went home that night and tried to make it.  I got close, but I think it needs some silver, maybe a fancy bail or a chain, or maybe even silver directly on the glass.  It was hard enough just to get it to somewhere resembling the shape I was hoping for so I just left it plain.  I went ahead and gave it to her the next day, hopefully she wears it with the dress.  I don't know if I'll ever know, 'cause I've noticed that woman has so many different outfits I don't think I've ever seen her wear the same thing twice!

The bead:

The dress:

Is that cool, or what!  It took forever to get the shape even and symmetrical, and no, those aren't the same thing. The bead was made with CIM olive, some brown that I haven't identified yet, and dark ivory.  I have no idea who the dress was made by.

After making that bead I thought, "Oh, I like ivory (the whitish color on the bead), I should use it more often," and proceeded to make another couple beads with ivory:

Ivory burns really easily, but it makes a great streaky, curdly effect.  I added a bit of silver wire, which, when melted, results in these little drops of silver on the glass.  It makes a great effect, both on the surface and when you're encasing.  I'll show some encased silver wire tomorrow.  This bead was made with Vetrofond Jupiter Odd Special something-or-other, and dark ivory raked along the equator of the bead, and that's it!  Simple, yet elegant.

I was wondering what would happen if you made raised flowers out of ivory, so this is what came out of that curiosity:
Sorry about the focus, this was my camera phone.
Turns out, the ivory is very soft, so you don't to heat it much to get a good groove with the tungsten pick or whatever tool you're using.  Usually I have to heat the petal dots so much I end up melting the bead below the dots, and pressing too far with the pick.  This bead was made with the dark ivory, green grass transparent, and I think CIM pumpkin for the stamen.

This next bead was meant to be a barrel shape, but it sort of got away from me and ended up being a marble with slightly dimpled bead holes!

This was my piece de resistance!  Raked and curdled dark ivory over violet, ribbed on my ribbed marver, encased in transparent purple, and premium dark purple bookending the whole thing.  My boss took one look at that this morning and claimed it for herself.  And then in the afternoon she asked for matching earrings, which are sitting in the kiln right now.

So, my daughter's in love with Kipper the Dog, a British cartoon for kids.  Emma also loves my beads, so I thought I could combine the two and attempt to make beads of the characters.  I started with the baby pig, Arnold.  Emma won't notice how wonky his eyes are, and I can always make more!

Isn't he adorable?  No?  Kinda freaky looking?  Yeah, I think so too!

Oh, and I even organized my stringer:

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