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Bumpy Beads

These beads I made a week or two ago. I just discovered that some stones I had tucked away – from when I was just randomly buying stones – matched perfectly with the green color here. Now, the trick is to make the glass beads stand out and not get swallowed up by all the green of the stones. I think the way I’ll solve this problem is just to put all the lampwork together separating each bead with silver spacers and then have the stones on either side also with spacers in between. Not a very complex design, but I think it will look very nice. I’m actually quite excited about the prospects of this piece.

I had a lot of fun making these beads – playing with the different colors. Dots can be fun – I’ve been making quite a few beads with dots recently. But, I haven’t been able to come up with a set of colors I enjoyed working with as well as these colors here.

I’ve also been playing with frits that I got a few weeks ago. I made a bunch of test beads over the last week or so, and started making lentils with the frit. Now I just have to figure out what to do with the beads. I don’t know if I want to try and make bracelets or if I want to make them into pendants or what. I don’t think the size I’ve made would work for earrings – perhaps if I made some smaller lentils.

One thing that I am trying to work on is my stringer skills. It finally occurred to me today that I could use some of the leftover stringer I have for practice. So, I used up some stringer and got some practice all at the same time. What a great way to use all the extra stringer I have. I wish I had thought of that before, but no matter – I’m sure I’ll use plenty of it practicing. I’m getting better, but I still end up melting half the stringer flat when I make spirals. I can make four or five practice beads and then I have to go on to something else.



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Tuesday was a good bead day. I made all these beads – I was at the torch for 4 hours! That’s the longest I’ve ever spent at the torch. My mother also really liked what I did that day. I felt like I was really making progress – it felt very creative. I picked six shades of blue – three opaque and three transparent – pulled some stringers, and just played with dots. It was loads of fun, and I came out with some nice beads.

Wednesday was not such a good bead day, but it wasn’t bad either. Today was a bad bead day. First I was making a landscape bead, and I noticed that the orifices of my torch were glowing, so I turned it off and had a cigarette to let it cool down. I dumped the bead – I hadn’t gotten very far with it anyway. Then, after the torch cooled down and I got to the landscape bead again, I was almost through when I noticed that the rubino oro I had in the sky had turned grey. So, I turned the oxygen up and reheated – I think I saved the bead but I’m not sure. It’ll come out of the kiln in about half an hour.

Then, I tried to make a couple of fish and they came out all wonky. Then, I was trying to make some encased pink and purple stringer, and I had a time with it. I finally got something I could use, and started on a transparent aqua hollow bead, and it came out round, but not terribly hollow. So, I gave up for the day. *Sigh* Hopefully I’ll have a better day tomorrow.

So, I haven’t posted in quite a while – I’ve been busy with the beads. A couple of highlights…

I went to the Southern Flames meeting on April, 28. It was fun, I met a couple of people and I joined up. I couldn’t make the May meeting because I had bell choir practice. And I can’t make the June meeting because that’s the day that we’re getting back from the NAMI convention.

I’ve spent a couple of weekends with Clay. He is tolerant of my incessant bead talk, and considers the bead making as art. His assessment of my chances is good. He says that I have the two things I need – a genuine enthusiasm and “stick-to-it-ive-ness”.

I went to a Mad Housers work day. I’ve been wanting to do that for years and finally could be in Atlanta on a Sunday when there was a work day. We were pulling down a hut close to the warehouse. It was eye opening – not revelationary, but definitely gave me something to think about and I’m glad I had the experience.

Also, this past weekend, I helped with the NAMI Jacksonville yard sale. We raised a lot of money – more than I thought we could. So, that was eye opening to me too. Then it was the Music at McClellan concert. We always enjoy these concerts. I think they are nice, my mother won’t go so far as to call them “nice.”

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