Saturday, February 25, 2012

Jumbo Blown Beads..........

.....are just too much fun to make.  :))  I know, I've said it enough already.  Can't help it.  Still I do need to get back to making some butterflies so that will be on my agenda next week.  I just got some enamels so will be playing with those on the beads as well.  I never quite got the hang of using them before but will put forth the extra effort this go round.  They are so intense in color and make beautiful beads - when they're used right.  

So, I did make some jumbo blown beads this past week with some success.  I am beginning to think that even the off shape ones can be used for something.  lol !  I don't know why not.  I guess it depends on what one would do with them.  :)  I did manage to make some good ones too of course.  I added two more to the blue ones shown in the post below so there's a nice set of 4 that something could be done with them.  Maybe a nice necklace of some sort.  They are 4 different sizes too which will make it more fun to play with.  I figure when the yellow pollen hits and I can't open the window for make up air when I torch, I'll start making some jewelry or something with these beads I have made.  If I don't, they're going to sit around collecting dust and just be in the way.  Already need a bigger container to put them in as it is !  lol !     
Here's a picture of the 4 together with the sizes printed just above each one.  I really like this color alot.  I'd love to get more.  Maybe next glass order.  :)  So with this "set", I now have two same color sets.  Believe me, sets are NOT my forte' so to speak.  Making same beads has never been a good thing for me.  The more I try, the worse the beads get.  lol !  So with these I've made only one or two of the same colors at a sitting.  Makes it easier for me to actually make a set.  This was not my intention when I made the first two but I like the color so much I figured what the heck.  :)  It'll be fun to try and figure out what to make with them.  Jewelry is only one option.  I can think of a few things to try with them.  When I finally do sit to figure out what to make with them, it'll be a surprise to me as well.  lol !  

Thanks so much for coming by and having a look at my blog.  Come back again soon to see what's happenin'.  :)  

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Giving In To The Inevitable

It happens to us all.  The inevitable failure or mistake or faux paux when we are trying new things.  :)  So instead of wallowing in frustration or anger or just plain giving up I decided to have fun with it all.  I mean, why not ?  It's all part of the learning experience isn't it ?  Falling down then picking yourself right back up and doing it again !  Or any little ole' cliche' you can think of.  lol !  So that said, my newest "series" of blown beads is called The Blow Outs.  Can you guess what they might be or look like ????  LOL !  Beads that almost made the grade but I just couldn't stop blowing and wah-lah, a blow out !  :)  Take a look at the 2 latest additions below:

 Pretty aren't they !  lol !  I mean, for blow outs.  They're BIG measuring in at 33x45mm for the one on the left and 31x49mm for the one on the right ! 
The blue one just below, 31x49mm !  Yeah, he's BIG !  lol !  
I like them all !  lol !  These go with the amber fish pictured  in one of the posts below.  

I plan to add to this series as I continue to make these jumbo blown beads.  :)  Oh you can count on seeing more.  lol !   

So, now that you've seen the new "series", below is a picture of the successful beads I made yesterday.  :)  I LOVE this glass !  Can't remember the name right now.  The beads are part opaque and part transparent all from one rod of glass.  The two beads below are from two seperate rods of the same color.   There is a brand of glass that's very similar to this called Gaffer veiled cane but this is NOT that glass.  Anyway, it was fun to play with and these jumbo blown beads turned out perfect and THEY FLOAT !  lol !   The top one measures in at 27x37mm and the bottom one 25x35mm.  Nice and big !  And NO blow outs !  lol !

Thanks so much for coming by and taking a peek at my blog !  I hope you come back again soon to see what's new.  :)  

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

An Eventful Week

Yep, a week filled with making jumbo blown beads !  lol !  Some good, some not so good.  A fun week playing with a glass color that has been reborn.   It's a silver glass so it takes some learning to get the colors to show but when they do, they are gorgeous.  And a week filled with just learning and figuring out when to blow into these beads and when not to blow.  :)  It's so much fun learning new things - figuring it out by yourself or getting some tips and tricks from those that have been doing the same thing but for MUCH longer.  

Every day this past week I was at the torch for at least an hour, usually longer and made blown beads.  I need to photograph most of them but I did get a few pics done and will show those below.  Every day I tried something just a tiny bit different.  Testing the water so to speak to figure out what works the best in what situation.  I have learned a few things to be sure !  lol !  One thing for sure, you can't keep melting and blowing numerous times in a spot.  It just won't work.  :(  Oh it could work if you don't mind getting a big hole.  At least then you could make some sort of creature.  lol !  Like the one below

I haven't given it a name yet but yeah, it has a big mouth !  lol !  I was going to add some apendages but the bead release started giving way so it had to go into the kiln.   Oh and it has some of that reborn glass on it that I was talking about above.  :)  This bead measures 30x37 mm.  

If the spot is just short of being blown open, you have a very thin walled bubble.  lol !  That bubble will break VERY easily so really the bead can only be "admired" and not used for anything like hanging from a necklace.  Like this one pictured to the left.  It's the bead in the center.  It's a biggie alright measuring in at 28x53mm or 1"x2" !  I guess you could put it on a necklace and wear it but I wouldn't trust it.  lol !

The decoration I put on these beads was a first for me as well.  It's called fuming and I LOVE the look.  Very organic.  I will be visiting this method again and getting a prettier finish.

Basically what I'm trying to say in a long drawn out way is that the walls of the blown bead need to be as thin as possible without blowing thru or making it too thin.  If it's going to be used it jewelry, it needs to be lightweight enough NOT to weight down one's neck.  :)  If it's just for viewing pleasure, the skies the limit.  lol !   Since I've shown you two what NOT to do beads, here's one that is good all around.  Perfectly light enough for a necklace and no thin nearly blown out areas.  Made with that new glass mentioned above and if you look close enough, you can see my camera !  lol !  I wasn't able to get the full color to show thru but rather ALOT of the silver that's in this glass came out.  Still, it's very pretty I think and so far one of my favorites.  :)  This one measures in at 27x37 mm. 

Thanks so much for coming by and having a peek at my blog.  I hope you come back again soon to see what's happening !  :)   

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Monday, February 6, 2012

An All Consuming Addiction............

Yep, I am so hooked on making these blown beads !  It's what I look forward to every morning when I wake up and every night it's what's on my mind before falling asleep !  lol !  Just like when I was first starting out making beads back in 2004.  What a fabulous feeling !  

So ever since my last post, I've made at least 3 beads a day.  Some torch sessions are good - some not so good but even the not so good sessions have something to teach and I sooooo appreciate that.  Yesterday was one of those not so good sessions - or so I thought.  But I don't want to get ahead of myself.  The picture just below is a collection of what I have made so far.  It doesn't show the beads that broke or the ones that ended up in the water can.  Just the ones that survived.  Of course nearly all of them aren't perfect but I think I'm gonna be one of those people that goes for the "organic" look of non conforming shapes.  :)  Oh I'll make some round beads for sure but I think I enjoy the challenge of making the odd shaped ones more.  It's kinda fun to heat up a spot, blow it out and see what happens.  Maybe a blow out, maybe not.  lol !  
And I'm sure there would be more beads however my kiln is pretty small on the inside and only so many of these blown beads will fit at one time.  Just depends on the size of the bead.  

I'm also gonna show you the bead that survived being THROWN down when I burned my finger.  This is Blister.  I was able to finish him the other day even though I thought that at any minute, I was going to lose him from bead release cracking or a crack in the bead would show up & that's why he's very simple.  He just plain survived it all !  It's amazing just how strong glass really is even in an unfinished state.  I love Blister !  He'll be going to live in my Fantasy Fish Tank for sure.  :) 

So there will be LOTS more blown beads to show and stories to tell.  :)  I just can't stop !  lol !  As I sit and type this post I am thinking what colors of glass I'll be playing with today.  I need to go to the grocery store.  Hmmm, it's a toss up - grocery store - making blown hollow beads ???????  Yes, I could do both I guess but who wants to !  lol !  

Thanks so much for coming by and having a peek at my blog !  I hope you come back again very soon to see what's happening.  :)  

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Thursday, February 2, 2012

My New Addiction

Blown Beads !  Oh dear, I'm having SO MUCH FUN making these !  I don't know why I waited so many years to actually try them.  I am at a loss for words.  And that just doesn't usually happen with me !  lol !  I had been infactuated with another bead artists work, Aja Vas of Wandering Spirit Designs for many years as I've seen her work on a glass forum I belong to.  She's made gorgeous blown beads for a while now and I never even considered trying what she does.  I just loved her work.  Finally I got that urge and there it began.  My husband bought me a wonderful book for Christmas by Jeri Warhaftig called Glass Bead Workshop and in it is a tutorial on blown beads using her puffy mandrels.  That was more than enough to get me going.  Bought the mandrels, bought Jeri's second book, also wonderful, and began.

My first attempt you've already seen in a previous post.  It's also included in the photo I'm showing today with more beads that I made yesterday.  Those three are what turned out of six attempts yesterday.  The three that got away, well, they all didn't make it for various reasons.  lol !  That does happen.  The thick blue stripe on the green bead is only there because I didn't have any more green glass handy so I had to finish it off with the blue.  It worked and the colors go well together so all is good.  :)  Lesson learned - make sure there is enough glass on the table to finish the bead. :)   Anyway, I'm just hooked.  I haven't had this much fun making beads in a VERY long time.  :)   I've put up two pics with dimes in them just to show the size.  I couldn't figure out how to hold all those beads in my hand and take a picture though so that will have to wait.  lol !

So there will be more coming that's for sure and of course I will get back to making butterflies as well.  Still need alot of practice there too.  :)

Thanks so much for coming by and taking a peek at my blog !  I hope you come back again soon !  I'll keep posting !  :)

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