I am starting this up as a means of recording my sessions. I need to get in the habit of photographing the work I do, for when I get good at it, and I also need to stay focused on progressing or I may not.
Saturday was the first torching session since my daughter was born six months ago. I've been obsessive lately. I dream about glass, spend far too much time surfing lampworking sites, have spent too much money on glass, and books, and other people's beads... Don't get me wrong - I don't regret the purchases - but I wouldn't have gone as crazy if I wasn't desperate to get back to it.
I played with some of my new Lauscha colours, and used prepulled stringer only. Didn't stress over sticking to my "things to practice" list (I did mention I've been obsessing recently) but also didn't take all the time just to play. Twelve dipped mandrels. Two and a half hours. Eleven beads - the Lauscha transparent red didn't get molten enough before I tried to put it on the mandrel and pulled the bead release off - had to abort that one before it even started.
Right off the bat round beads seemed to escape me, so I decided not to stress over it. After all I won't be using these beads anyways, so why fight something I don't care about today, when I know it will come back another day.
Two scary hearts for the heart contest on lampworketc. The first one, red, turned out better but the gravity shaping got away from me and I ended up with a sharp hole. The second, trans purple, isn't nearly as nice and I got sick of working with it and just quit.
One triangle bead and one "rainbow" bead following corina's instructions in Passing the Flame. Purple and light green don't work as rainbows. The triangle bead had some good and some bad points. I fried the light blue (sooty) , and didn't completely cover all the white dots with the transparents, but the triangles got nice and pointy, and the encasing didn't smudge anything.
A couple of small beads with stringer around the belly. As usual I got caterpillaring with my stringer except for one time. It was thin red stringer and it just went on smoothly. There's hope! I tried again immediately but no luck.
Two small round beads to try the "fast and furious" one step method of making a bead - get all the glass into a molten gather and just wind it onto the mandrel in one fell swoop. I actually thought it went pretty well. Neither bead is perfect but neither one is horrid either. No sharp edges, mostly round (well, donutty), and if they are uneven I didn't quite fight to get them perfectly round anyway. One was the light transparent red from Lauscha which is a striking colour. I didn't strike it enough and part of the bead is red while the rest is a rusty orange. Kind of neat looking actually.
Two white hearts. I tried to pull the encasing layer down over the side of the white on the green bead, and I kind of botched it. Smeared the white a little bit, and ended up with sharp holes (plural). Probably could have fixed it by adding another layer of encasing but didn'tfeel like it so didn't. The peach whiteheart is much better! Almost a keeper. I blobbed on the tranparent, didn't wind it, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. There is the nteensiest bit of a sharp hole on one side, and there isn't a pucker on either hole, but it is nice and round and the white didn't smear at all.
The bead I was most pleased with, until it broke, was my first attempt at a fish. I think I squeeze beads too thin, since so many of my squeezed beads break, and although I was conscious of it with this one and tried to leave it thick, I think it must have thinned while I continued towork with it. He's not perfect, and I forgot lips - although after the fact I decided I quite liked him that way - but I would have annealed him if he hadn't broken. Despite expecting him to, in a way I think I'm pushing it doing anything remotely sculptural without a kiln, I got hopeful when he wasn't broken coming out of the fiber blanket. Then he did when I tried to remove the mandrel. Ah well... Next time maybe.
Raspberry Key Lime Crepes
1 day ago