Monday, August 9, 2010

New Bead Series

I've often wondered what other beadmakers' inspiration was for new bead lines. More often than not, I make individual one-of-a-kind beads, just to practice my lampworking skills and to make whatever felt inspiring at the moment. Sets? I can make sets. Sets are getting much easier. But, a series - where I had the technical ability to carry out the vision - has eluded me until now.

In a completely unexciting effort to use up the half-used glass rods that were (are) littering my torching workspace I thought, "I'm just going to use these scraps to practice drawing lines." I've previously made beads with graphic lines and liked them, so it was a pretty simple choice. However, since the glass scraps were a mixture of stable and not-so-stable colors (colors that bleed, separate, or sink into other layers) I thought, "let's just let these flow together and see what we get".

I've done a few beads similar to this in the past and really liked them. With blues on the bottom, greens in the middle, a little brown and gray layer, with a little more blue on top, let gravity work some magic and - voila! Instant landscape. These new beads have the same look, but different colors that make me wonder what the landscape on a distant planet might look like.

Until I run out of scrap glass, I'll be working on these and exploring the glass: what thickness stringer of particular colors works well (for example, yellow stripes ... not so much - bright and spreads out), how different colors react side-by side, how the base color affects the stripe colors, how heat affects the degree of reaction taking place between the colors, and other new properties of the glass that I haven't noticed yet. Man! Beadmaking is fun!

P.S. If you are wondering why I might want to practice drawing lines on a bead, take a look at J.C. Herrel or Dora Schubert's beads. Yeah. I'm working on it.

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