Petal Progression: Glass Tabs and Lentils

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My Lampwork Addiction – Why it Persists

linda morrison lampwork glass

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Dissecting A Beautiful Design

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Using Big Bead Decorating Techiques

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Working with Powders. . .A Gift of Inspiration

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Big Beads – Mission Accomplished – Done!

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Floral Big Bead - Rosemarie Hanus
(Photo by Hayley Tsang)

Half Hollow Beads Transform Into New Designs!

When I say new, I mean new for me. I’ve only been doing lampwork for 2 years and I would never be so egotistical as to lay claim to a NEW bead design, there really is no such thing. It’s a big world out there and think of all the artists who don’t post in our circles, or even post their work online at all. I always try to keep this in my mind when I think I’ve come up with something unique. I just don’t want people to have that impression of me. I really struggle with the dilemma of marketing my work, being excited about something new I’ve created but not coming across as “full of myself”.

Do I worry too much?

But I personally haven’t seen beads like this before so they’re new for me, unique in my own little world and I’m proud of the new direction my work is taking. I love my geisha but even I need a break to experiment or I’ll stagnate, my skills need to be exercised and expanded. There are so many things I still haven’t tried when it comes to lampwork.

So anyway, back to the new-to-me designs. As you may have read (or not) in one of my previous postings on glowing bubbles, I started working on an old design again. My brain tends to run on fast forward when an idea comes, a burst of images spilling through my mind. I feel such a rush of excitement when it happens, one idea building from the one before… boom-boOM-BOOM! And this is what came from one of those moments.

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This one collapsed a bit, I must have had a tiny hole somewhere or used too much glass. So on the next ones I tried to squeeze the glass thinner.

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Hot Magma bead

The dots were going to be pulled into spikes, but I chickened out, afraid I wouldn’t keep it heated properly and crack the bead.

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CZ Kronos Crystal Ball

This was my favorite of the 3. I remember my grandmother had this floral container that looked like a crystal ball. A black plastic base with a hollow glass globe that could be filled with flowers. I loved that thing and used to play with it, pretending to be a fortune teller or witch. That’s what came to mind while I was cleaning these beads so I think that’s going to be their new name, Crystal Ball Beads!

But wait, there’s more.

The drawback to these is that they’re top heavy. I placed the cz one onto a silver chain and it just flopped down. It still looked pretty cool and different, but I would have to place these onto silver headpins and then string onto a necklace to get them to sit properly. Not a big deal, but I had used large mandrels just so they could be slipped onto a chain. So how to fix? I decided to try one “off mandrel” which I rarely do. I worry about the glass rod breaking and to be honest I need a LOT of practice. As you can see from my geisha under glass…it did get a bit wonky. I may have had better results if I had used an extra large rod of glass, this one wanted to flop around as I worked it…

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Geisha Under Glass

She looks like she’s peeking out from behind the flowers. I need one of those grabby things, hotfingers I think they’re called. I’m just not comfortable making something like this off mandrel yet. Can’t wait to try boro. See? Lot of things I haven’t tried yet. Hopefully that will change this coming year.

I have a few more ideas bouncing around inside my head, maybe they’ll be the topic of my next post so Stay Tuned!

Tracy Jerrell Akhtar blogs from her home studio in Southern Michigan. To see her webpage and more of her creations, click on TracyBeads.