I wrote last time about taking two classes nearly back-to-back and facing the frustration of learning too many new techniques.
I chose to focus on a couple of them and have been pleasantly surprised to find myself slowly veering towards my own interpretations. The results haven’t always been pretty but with each new effort I find I’m learning more and more about color shifting and layering not to mention shaping. Since I mostly worked with small beads for a long time this shift up to larger sizes is taking a little getting used to.
This series started with an attempt to use dichro at the core. You have to be careful not to burn out the metal so it was a real balancing act getting the layers to melt properly without overheating the core. Then it all went south on me and rather than toss the bead into the water pot I decided to see what I could do to salvage it. After a lot of pushing and pulling and tweaking I finally gave up and went for a heart shape.
My next attempt (do I EVER learn?) involved adding a wide stripe of gold aventurine to the layers. Same problem as with dichro … overheat and you burn it out. This time was even more problematic because the aventurine was near the top layer. And the colors I used were a bit on the dark side. I had envisioned something a little more “leafy” and was a bit disappointed to find how dark this came out:
My final effort went back to the more girly shades of purples and pinks, a combination I truly love. And no, there isn’t a chip at the top of the bead. Too much transparent glass and it looks like someone took a bite out of it.
I like that palette of colors and now am trying to decide what might enhance the base bead. A drift of tiny blossoms, perhaps? I like the little dots but feel this need to add something a bit more distinctive. More me to the mix.
Darleen Michael-Baker is a glass beadmaker who blogs out of her home studio in Sheridan, WY.