To press or not to press? That is my question! For most beadmakers that isn’t a question at all. Pressed beads are clearly very popular, and when I look at pictures of beadmakers studios it seems like everyone has zillions of presses. I feel like the odd man out, as I’ve never fully embraced the press craze. A few years ago I purchased a lentil trio press and a Kalera trio press. Using a press seemed like a no-brainer way to make perfectly shaped beads every time, but in my hands getting the perfect amount of glass wound on the mandrel to create the perfect lentil proved difficult. Lumpy oozy holes, shallow holes, rounded, rather than crisp edges from melting in little rims of excess glass. It wasn’t easy, and not being a big “set” person, I never seemed to practice enough to get good at my lentils. I do better with my Kalera, probably because it makes what I consider a nice focal bead, and being more of a focal maker so I have worked with it more.
I recently decided to give presses another go. I ordered a nugget trio and a 1 inch straight sided lentil. I think the nugget is a great shape for bracelet sets, and if I every cure my ADD enough to make sets I think I’ll have fun with it, but for now it mostly sits unused. Since I am always drawn to making focal beads, I thought I’d really like the large lentil. Maybe a more refined shape is just what my focals need. After playing around with this great new press I can’t decide. I do like being able to create a nice big round shape, but they seem so chunky compared to my usual hand flattened tabs. But is that bad or just different? Perhaps I’ll have to string up a few necklaces to see what I really think.
Linda beads and blogs from her home in Salt Lake City, Utah!