Getting Creative After a Class

I just got back from a 2 day class with Kate Fowle Meleney and I’m just PUMPED. As I mentioned over on my personal blog, she was so kind and generous and there was so much to assimilate, my head is spinning.

I find the challenge after a class like that is to NOT copy the instructor’s work but to use the information s/he has given to come up with something new. Which is probably why I’ve gone into a slump after every single class I’ve taken and wound up not making anything, not even my tried and true “signature beads.”

Well, not this time. I have several ideas I’m mulling over that use some of Kate’s beads as a jumping off point. While at this stage they are very similar, my goal is ultimately to move in my own direction.

This is the part of the process that drives most of us buggy. How to utilize someone else’s technique without blatantly reproducing their work. First of all, that’s no fun and secondly, people tend to get huffy when that happens (and generally it isn’t the originator who gets their feathers ruffled).

So here are my first few attempts at enameled stringer:


I’m still not real happy with the effect which was to make the enamel spread out and look like, well, batik. Either I need more enamel or less. So it’s back to the torch for more experimenting.

I also tried my hand at using copper leaf on some different colors and quickly learned that black and cobalt do NOT play nice with copper. Should have known as I know how they react to silver. duh. I did manage to save the black one but the cobalt one made such a satisfying hiss when I dunked it in the water cup.

Darleen Michael-Baker is a glass beadmaker who blogs out of her home studio in Sheridan, WY.


2 Responses to “Getting Creative After a Class”

  1. tracybeads Says:

    These beads may not have had the effect you wanted, but I really like them (love that color blue). It looks like blue watercolor, when it’s really diluted and wet and sometimes the white paper shows through a bit. The 3 in the center are my fav.

  2. Ellen Says:

    I love enamel stringers – encased or not. I know you’re not thrilled with the results but I sure like ’em!

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