I've spent far too much time away from my torch, and I can tell.
I *heart* my torch. The fire, the molten glass, the mesmerizing joy of creating something that didn't exist before I made that bead.
It's also been a really long time since I posted any pictures here. So now you're going to be inundated. If you hate pics of beads and jewelry, close this window now. You have been warned.
First is a picture of a necklace I made for a friend's mom for Christmas. I've known this friend since college (the first time, 20+ years ago) and his wife since junior high. For him, I made this pendant three times; I simply didn't like the first two. This was pretty much my all-time favorite bead when I made it. I had a hard time sending it away. I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it.
Next up is two pairs of earrings that I made for a blogger I love and admire. She made a New Year's resolution to wear earrings more often. I hope she's sticking to it!
This is a necklace I made for the lovely Jessica, my Taiwanese co-worker who is invaluable in helping make sure that all the administrative wheels keep turning for me. She requested a pink and green necklace. Again, this is a pendant I made more than once. The first one is ugly enough that I won't post a pic of it. I liked this one a lot though.
The next four pics are beads that I've made in the last few months that I don't think I've taken pictures of. I actually took the pics to show to an online friend who beads, but since I have them, you can see them too.
The bead on the left in this pic is another favorite. It's made with a silvered glass (yes, the glass has actual silver in it) that does cool things under certain conditions. This particular glass is called Psyche and is one of my favorites because of all of its cool effects. The one on the right is OK, I suppose; I just haven't gotten around to making anything with it yet.
You may notice a similarity between the bead on the left in this pic and the one on the right in the pic above. I was trying for a particular effect with the bead below -- the base glass before being heated is a sort of translucent white. Unfortunately, it's what's called a striking glass -- it changes colors after it's heated. It turned burnt orange, which is about my least favorite color, and I thought looked horrible with the pink and purple twist running through it. Strangely enough, it struck again in the kiln firing process and turned pink.
The middle bead is made with a base of white glass and two different silvered glasses. The one on the right is made with a dark clear glass for the base, with dichroic added for the big pop of sparkle, and dots of two kinds of silvered glass for accent.
The bead on the left below was the second attempt for a pendant in my friend's mom's necklace. See -- it's OK but not as great as what I ended up with. Next to it is a bead in which I was trying to replicate one of my favorite beads -- seen in the bottom pic in this post -- epic fail. The other three beads are just me noodling around with the fun silvered glasses.
There are some fun beads in this pic. On the left and the bottom right are black beads with raku (multicolored glass chips, rolled onto the molten bead, then melted in), then twisted with a pink stringer (stringer is just a skinny glass rod). Between those two is a white bead with Psyche accents. You can see all the color variation and the way the Psyche fumed the white glass -- love it! The two small beads on the opper right are three different kinds of silvered glass. Even if you don't see the silver explicitly, they're just a little shinier than other beads.
Now on to the beads I've made in the last few days... These are more twisted raku like the ones above, only these are in a lentil shape. They will either be strung with the pendant above or be shipped off to my online beading friend.
Below are two more lentils made with silvered glass -- an experiment. It's hard to tell in the pic, but they look completely different, even though they were made in exactly the same way. It's both the charm and the curse of that particular glass (Michelangelo) that it rarely comes out the same way twice. The pink ones are earring replacements for my sister, who lost one. And the large bead may be my new favorite. I like it a lot. It's the same base glass as my previous favorite, but the surface decorations are done with my two favorite silvered glasses, Psyche and Black Pearl. Yummy.
And, last but not least, I revisited the guitar bead. I figured out how to make actual strings on this bad boy. Unfortunately, I didn't consider that I should have made a "pickup" or terminus for the strings to the south of the "hole" in the middle of the guitar. And of course, during this bead is when my propane decided to run out. I've had that tank for a year. So this will be remade with a pickup, the strings will run where they should, the white decorative part will look better since that's where the gas ran out, and there will be tuning pegs. I do think the strings look cool on top of the fretboard, though.
And that's all I have for you today. I have some more raku beads and another guitar to make, but my hubby has run off with my camera, so we'll see when I get more pics posted.
If you could have a bead or bead set that represented you, what would it look like? I always like a new challenge. Comment me up!