Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adding Elements to A Lampwork Bead

Today's post is all about making and adding a certain element to a lampwork bead called a twistie.  These are little pieces of art all on their own if you ask me.  Simple to make to some while a difficult undertaking to others.  They add yet another wonderful step in adding design to the glass bead.  Pictured just below are the twisties I've made so far this week.  I will be making more along with canes.  Canes, are yet another element and will be explored further at a later date.  :)
As you can see, they come in as many color combinations as one can think of !  The skies the limit as far as that goes as well as how many colors that can be added to a single twistie.  For the twisties pictured, I pretty much stayed with up to 4 colors.  The sizes you see here range from about 6" in length to a couple that are 20" in length.  Twisties are put together using a few different methods and they all work perfectly.  The paddle method, adding stinger to a rod of glass, attaching several rods together with a rubber band, etc.  Once all the colors are melted in, then you pull and "twist".  Depending on how much glass you've added, you can get a pretty long twistie !    
I'm sure there are video's on YouTube showing each method but since I rarely go to YouTube I can't connect to any here.  Sorry.  I would just do a search for lampwork twisties there.  
Now that the twisties are ready to use, it's time to add it to a bead.  The photo below shows a few ways twisties can be used in a bead.  Once again, the skies the limit as far as what can be done with these colorful addtions to a bead !  In the past, I made lots of beads for Beads Of Courage using bright, colorful twisties.  Below, the large one on top left is twistie cane encased.  The blue donut bead is a twistie melted on top, no encasing.  Bottom left is one for the BOC kids, twisties just melted into a white bead and eyes added.  The bell flower next to the dime is a red, yellow and orange twistie melted into a press to make the pretty little flower.  :)  So much more you can do too !
Making twisties to use can be very time consuming but well worth the effort to be sure !  And at the end of the torching day, if you have any tiny nibs of twistie left, you can add them to an "end of the day" bead and end up with a surprise that might be the best bead made all day !  lol ! 
Thanks so much for coming by.  I hope you come back again soon ! 


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Lampwork Beads & One Way To Use Them

I showed these flowers a couple weeks ago after I made them and promised I was working on a project to use them in and the day has come to reveal that project !  :)  I am so happy to present this necklace I made with my beads and a stuffed silk cord. 

I LOVE how it turned out !  The large dark red flowers look fabulous on that stuffed cord as do the pretty little white bell flowers.  I thought it would be pretty neat to add some more red to the inside of a couple of those bell flowers.  Kinda looks like little berries inside.  :)  Sweet.  The leaves are really pretty in real life too.  It's too bad that the shiny silver doesn't show in the photo's cause it's really pretty.  

I wish there was a way for me to photograph the entire necklace but alas, I have major issues in doing that.  The photo's end up showing necklaces too far away and too dark.  I have the beads size photo tent and not the jewelry size.  Still, I think the cord and the flowers show nicely as is. 
Thanks so much for coming by !  Please come back again soon and see what's happenin' in my neck of the woods.  :) 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The "What Was I Thinking" Post or....................

..........why not just try it and see if it works post...:)  So that's what I did.  That's always the case anyway when a "new" to me idea pops into my head or into anyone's head.  I mean, I know what I'm thinking it should look like so it should end up looking like that.  Right ?  Nope.  lol !  Not most of the time anyway.  And sometimes it's just not at all about anything in our minds eye.  It's about the end of the day bead.  That bead that comes together using elements and/or techniques and/or left over twisties that are laying on the table from the days beadmaking session.  You don't want to waste those bits of glass so you put them in the  - end of the day bead and hope you get some sort of semblance of a pretty or artistic or at least something nice to look at bead.  :)  It's usually a surprise how it turns out which makes it even more fun when it comes out of the kiln. 

So why do most beadmakers not even show these little gems they are experimenting with ?  It's all a part of the process afterall.  I think they are fun to look at and especially if there would be an explaination of what they are trying to accomplish.  You might be thinking well what about the new beadmakers ?  The ones just getting started.  Their beads are all experiments, trial and error.  Yep, that's true however the difference is, they are learning all about what's already out there, what's tried and true, what it takes to become a flameworker/beadmaker/lampworker. 

All that said, I'm going to show you what I made at the torch last session and what my thoughts were at the time.  Mind you, they aren't beauties by any means but a path to what I was attempting to do.  I'm still "in process" with them which is always the fun part.  :)  So enjoy and leave a comment or suggestion if you want. 

Here they are. In keeping with the flower themes I've been working on lately, these 3 "flower" beads were made a few days ago.  The top blue one was an end of the day bead.  I had flower petals left over from making another blue flower and wanted to use that pretty light blue glass they are attached to.  I am thinking maybe if I had added more petals ???  I doubt it.
The flower bead on the lower left is actually not so bad IF less frit was used on the ends of the petals.  I will play with that one more in the coming week I hope.  The shape was exactly what I wanted to do however I didn't want that much frit and that much green frit on the ends of the petals.
The last bead.  The all blue one on the lower right.  sigh.  That is the one I had a picture of in my mind, knew EXACTLY how I wanted to make it and this sure isn't the way it was suppose to end up !  lol !  It was suppose to be a flower with nice long petals.  Oh well, yet another one to continue working on. 
Fun stuff.  :))
Thanks so much for coming by !  I hope you come back again soon.    

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

I'm Late, I'm Late for a Very Important Date

I didn't realize how late I was to posting here til this morning !  Geesh.  So here we go................

Last week was a very slow week for me as I was sick all week and got nothing done.  That said, towards the end of the week, the "boredom" kicked in and even though I still can't breath thru my nose, I had to torch.  :)  I actually started feeling better by Saturday so it wasn't like I was forcing the issue. 

Last Monday, I got a delivery of something I had wanted for years but just couldn't justify spending the money.  Well I finally decided to "justify" it and my new tool came.  A Carlo Dona bell flower press !  Wow !  A true Italian made glass melting tool made by a company that has been in the Italian glassblowing community for decades ! Well known for their quality, innovation and service.  Just below is a photo of the exact press I have.

Finally feeling better, I began playing with it towards the end of the week.  Wow !  Not only is it fun to use, it makes the most lovely little flowers !  And there is so much you can do with these cute little flowers !  My first "bouquet" is pictured just below and as you can see, there are lots of colors in there.  I needed to try various colors just for fun.  :)  Of course there is a bit of a learning curve with this tool/press which is to be expected but that's ok.  Makes it more fun !  What's really very different about this press is there is no place for a mandrel.  It is made to be used with wire only.  We beadmakers here in the US have learned to use mandrels or work off mandrel when making beads so this was really something that took some getting use to.  But using the wire instead of a mandrel also make these flowers ready to add to jewelry or whatever you make with them.
That's all for today.  I need to get my day started !  I overslept !  lol !  Thanks so much for coming by. I hope you come back again soon to see what's happening !