Thursday, March 29, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice! Forty Round Beads

Once in a while I get a line on something really cool in the world of lampwork. Just yesterday I saw a post about Heather Trimlett's 40 Bead Challenge. My first thought? Forty Beads??? Using no tools? Are You Kidding???
But then I passed a restless night thinking about that and a few million other things. And when I woke up this morning I was determined to give it a go!
I am not proud to say that I am a little bit 'round bead challenged'. That's right, I can make fish and cats and even draw a pelican on a bead now and then, but ask me to make a couple of spacers to match a focal bead, and I want to shout "WHY????" So off I went. I picked out a couple of contrasting colors that I don't normally work with, just so I wouldn't feel too badly about using up some of my precious glass.I took a little bit of a break after each ten, and here's where I went with it....

The first ten
The first ten beads were ok- Started off a little bit small, which is always my downfall. And what had I learned when I was done? Well, let's see- remember to look down the mandrel to make sure they are round (ish!). Hide your paddle or you may pick it up by 'accident'! Oh, and remember to have Perry Como's song 'Round and Round' going through your head the whole time! Time for a bit of breakfast and some coffee before I'm on to the next 'round'!
The second set of ten
 And here are the second ten Shoot, I'm starting to like the colors I picked, but they'll be mostly gone when this is over- looks like I'll be using about 3 rods of each by the time it's all over. It's starting to make a bit more sense to me overall. I think my brain is trying to make this a bit easier on its elderly self! And what's new? Well, gravity and heat keep working on your bead whether you're paying attention or not! So pay attention! And it's time to switch songs- Rawhide now, you know 'Rollin', rollin' rollin' keep those beadies rollin'.....
The third ten
Whoot! Halfway there. On to the next 10. When I got to bead #28(!) (third from the right) it was round pretty much all by itself- no adding a dab of glass here or a blob of glass there- it was just round. Well, at least until I added the dots.... And I've been able to add more dots than I normally succeed in adding to a wee round bead. That's called heat control my friends! The theme song here? Oh, the Beach Boys wanted to join in the fun with 'I Get Around'

The final ten
Thirty beads done and the distractions are pouring in- I was using up a little tank of propane that I'd bought for demoing, and it ran out. There is some pressure to decide what I'm doing with my life- now!- but I am determined to finish these last ten little beads! And the final theme song? Well, The song list would not be complete without a few words from Joni Mitchell in 'The Circle Game.'
Although y'all may not see a lot of progress from start to finish, I really feel good about this project. I now know I can make round beads without the use of tools or marvers, and I have a better feel for using gravity to make things nice and round.
So get on over to Heather's 40 Bead Challenge and give it a roll. You'll be glad you did!
Click here to see all of Heather's tutorials. Heather- thanks so much for this! It was best fun!

1 comment: said...

Such a great and cool idea!

I love what you did with it!