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Days of Glass and Pumpkins
So I've been lampworking beads for a little while now. Mostly I suck at it, as you suck at all new hobbies until the day you don't. Since there is no affordable glassblowing studio in Portland, I was inspired by my friend Danielle who is amazing at this to pursue my glass fetish at home, with a flamey torch and careful fingers.

Danielle is doing a kind of Nanowrimo for crafts, and I thought it would be a good way to hone my lampworking skills into something I could be proud of instead of insisting I suck at it. Naturally, I couldn't wait, and started early. I think part of the process has to be posting pics of the beads, so you all can see me grow as a glassworker but also so I keep with it. So this is the first post, of the first two days. (Keep in mind I have a PILE of uglies, beads that just failed on one thing or another, these are the ones that are keepers. I love the way they sit in the bowl, like ridiculous fairy candy. So candy like I want some hot pink glass to make a bead in my head called the Fairy Queen's Bubblegum!)

Because I have finally started making beads I like zomg, and I am very pleased about that. I'm still very much a beginner, but I am starting to learn what I'm interested in (colorglittershiny) and what I'm not (a million spacer beads) and find my own style. It's pretty much like writing in that way--you imitate the stuff you see around you until one day you wake up with something of your own to say. Or set on fire.

I mean to title these as I go but haven't gotten around to it yet--if you have ideas for title for any of these, please leave a comment! (I am supposed to come up with a theme for the month of beads, but haven't yet. Also need a glassworking icon.)

Anyway...shinies under the cut. EDIT: Arg, bloggerfail, I posted the same pic twice. The ones I really dig are under the second cut now.

Ooo.. I love the one all the way on the right.. on my computer screen the colors look like deep sea magic.

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I love the one on the left. It looks like a fancy mixed drink. Something with rum and kahlua in.

The green one looks like beach glass.

I actually posted the same pic twice like a dummy. The newest ones are there now!

I think my favorite of this batch is the yellow and black one. The bold, high-contrast colors...it reminds me a little of a saddle shoe.

Hit 'enter' too soon :p

I like the one beneath the yellow-and-black too; it evokes imagery of an oil spill, the way the darker blue-black layer overlays the translucent green.

The green one looks like absinthe. Green Fairy, perhaps? Or Swamp Queen.

they are pretty, and I am looking forwards to what other pretties you will share with us.

The amber one on the right just reminds me of caramel apples or the sun shining through a jar of good honey, but that may be because it's first thing in the morning and I'm a bit peckish. The one on the left ... the first thing I thought of was very old bottles, the kind you would find messages in. Which made me think of archaeology, which made me think of where I used to live in Edinburgh (I love trains of thought. You never know where the hell they're going until they get there). And the stripey one? BEES, of course.

They are all lovely and sort of make me wish I was a glass-eater.

(Deleted comment)
It's pretty much just a mapp gas tank, hot head torch head, and then all the supplies. You can get starter kits online.

Alright, Universe, I can take a hint...

I was thinking, last night, about doing this to get myself back into the habits and practices of being an artist again. Then I read this. I guess that's about as pointed an answer as I'm going to get on the matter.

Also, I love the amber one on the right. I reminds me of a drop of honey spilled on the table, and I can easily imagine it wrapped in copper or bronze, with a tiny bee. Love it!

Join in with NaNoCraftMo!


- Danielle

The first one on the left in the first picture, and the last one on the right in the first picture are my favorites. The rightside one looks like labradorite. :D

Oooh. I really like the ragged-ridged green one from the first photo. It looks like broken bottle glass!

Oooh, I really like the sort of bumblebee one, and the second from the left in the bottom picture...

I have a number of SCAdian friends who LOVE making glass beads. I'm just an hour or two shy of becoming one of their number...the fire, it calls us!

These beads are quite fabulous! I am not a brown noser - honest - but are these a fair sampling? They look quite fancy and lovely to me.

Oh yeah, the second set are definitely pirate booty. Except the red one, which makes me think of deserts and veils and the Middle East.

These are fantastic! I like the rightmost one in the bottom picture best—looks mysterious and ocean-y.

The orange and black one (middle, top photo) looks to me like a woolly bear caterpillar. :D

I really like the green and black bead right below it; I wish I could see it larger, or from different angles. It's really intriguing, with that little blue spike on it.

2nd from the left, bottom photo, looks like an entire scene/story, with a sun and moons? over water, and I don't know what the silver things represent, but the composition is really compelling.

They are all really, really neat; thanks for sharing!

The blue one is definitely meant to be a sea scene. ;)

On the second from the left on the second picture, that one looks like part of a slow motion droplet and very sea like with a greek ship's eye in it.

Considering how awesome these are I am compelled to wonder about the ones exiled to the basket of misfit beads. In some ways the flawed can reveal more interesting character than the beautiful.

I love the orange and black one on the top left though.

I can post a pic of them at some point.

You're making me itch to work glass again. I took several classes and even bought a torch for home use, but I've never been able to figure out _where_ to use it. (Not, I think, in my basement apartment with gas lines running right overhead.) But it's not like I don't have friends with garages or other working spaces.

Wow, the colors! Go, Cat, go!

Nice. They're clearly beginner work, but you've got a lot of life and interest going on there, which is great. Technique will develop with time. Elise is always encouraging when people are making stuff, but I think the major support you've gotten from her is warranted -- this is a great start.

I did say I was a beginner. I'm not sure what the purpose of reminding me of that is, but it made me feel odd to read that.

I like the bees, but I have a fondness for bees. Actually they're all nice. Beginner work, yes, but still artistic and the colors are beautiful and bold.

I hope you'll show more.

I think all expression is "artistic" whether beginner or not. And I did say I suck at it, right up top.

Your Name Here (Anonymous) Expand
Welcome to the Hothead club. Keep it up. Warning: it's addictive.

I made a glass die on Tuesday (it's not very straight, but it is the first).

Have a look at this http://www.chihuly.com/ikebana/selikeb.html

Those are lovely. I'm particularly attracted to the shimmery green one at top right--those green/gray/blue/brown/indefinable swirls of color, along with the subtle glitter, just say water to me. The one second from the bottom left has those same lovely oceanic colors. The hot gold dot and blue and white swirls make it look like a sun emerging from the clouds over the sea.

I love the way they sit in the bowl, like ridiculous fairy candy. So candy like I want some hot pink glass to make a bead in my head called the Fairy Queen's Bubblegum!)

Once I asked a fellow beader, in a rather shamefaced whisper, "Do you ever have the desire to put them in your mouth? Like candy?" and she said she did indeed. Nearly every beader I've asked that since has agreed. Glass beads are so smooth and luscious-looking, and the colors remind one of berries and juice and other delicious things.* The bead in the top picture, second from right is the one that looks the most delicious, like candy made from apple cider.

*As a person who sometimes sells the jewelery I make from glass beads, I would like to state for the record that I don't ACTUALLY put them in my mouth. I just WANT to, sometimes. The way I WANT to hug a real bear (I'm talking about the kind with claws who hibernate in winter, not the gentlemen who like other gentlemen and are also rather furry and large. The second kind I would totally hug, but not out of an odd compulsion). I'm not going to hug a bear, because bears are fairly smelly and also fairly dangerous. But I have that odd compulsion.

I see a face in the the second one from the left in the bottom pic. XD

Is it a screaming clown with uneven blue eyes? Because if so I see it too, and it's creeping me out a little bit.


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