Giving Terra Another Go

I’ve been working with Terra glass again. I gave it up for a while, in frustration, because no matter what I’ve read about how to work with it I still can’t get the bright colors to pop out.

I do believe it’s true that all the advice in the world can’t compare with good old time-at-the-torch. Terra simply takes lots of practice and a willingness to ‘fail’ many times in order to achieve the ideal results. I like to do things perfectly the first time, so that’s a challenge for me! I also haven’t found/made the time or money to spend with Terra in order to get really skilled with it. But I’m not giving up.

My partner Steve has been making beads for only a year now, yet he’s becoming a master of both Raku and Terra. Here are two of his beads.

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I watched him make the brightly-colored encased Terra bead on the left in the photo above, and it inspired me to give Terra another go. Steve stood over my shoulder and gave me advice as I was working. When my bead came out of the kiln the next day, it was gorgeous! I finally got the bright colors I’ve been hoping for. Here is a photo of that bead:

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The next day I was torching and thought I’d try some more encased Terra beads without Steve standing over me. What I got was not exactly ‘poop’ but the colors were very pastel and faded. It’s still a pretty look, but I wanted to do what I’d done the day before. Here are the two pastel beads I got on that day:

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So I ask myself, why is Steve is so good with Terra and Raku, and I’ve been making beads for ten years and can’t get much color from either glass? I think it’s because he has “Beginner’s Mind,” and I’m already set in my ways. My way of heating, cooling and encasing is second nature; I could almost do it in my sleep. He’s feeling his way into it with curiosity, without the pressure of sales, and without those established muscle patterns I already have from working with Effetre.

Still, as I practice more I know I’ll get the hang of it. For comparison, here are some of my first encased Terra beads, LOL:

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Have a great day everyone!

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2 Responses to “Giving Terra Another Go”

  1. Wiley Says:

    I know you were looking for the bright colors but the soft pastels are lovely. I really like the colors you did get 🙂

  2. beadabundant Says:

    Thanks, I like the pastel colors too! Maybe the cool thing about this glass is you never know exactly what you’ll get, so each bead is truly unique. This is not a glass for control freaks! 🙂


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