Then it changed to pinks with purples...
I played with more lampworking this week. I'm learning as I go, the design part is coming easily enough it's the technique of getting consistently round beads that has been a bit tougher. Now that I have found the sweet spot and correct mix for this torch things are going a little easier. However it seems that the glass in my starting kit has different "stiffness" according to color. Maybe that's normal, but not having any lampworking pals in my vicinity I have no one to test this theory for me.
As I have continued working on technique a few other things have become very clear.
1. I had read in a review that the bead release in the kit isn't the greatest when it comes to releasing. I have to agree, unless I am doing something horribly wrong, but this stuff doesn't release for me most of the time without being rather strongly persuaded (that is to say I have to put the mandrel through a hole in a piece of wood and whack it with a hammer to loosen it).
2. 10 mandrels is not nearly enough, once you get going you are disappointed when you get to bead 10 and are done for the time being while the group of beads rests.
3. The starter kit contained several not so favorite colors and most of the colors don't go that well together, at least in my opinion. I should however just keep using them to try to perfect my technique of a nice round bead.
4. I need to order a whole bunch more glass since I am quickly running short.
5. This an addictive artform, as most things that involve fire are for me.
6. I really want to sit with an experienced lampworker for an hour or two so they can give me some guidance and constructive criticism. Did find a class for beginners up in Buffalo, so I will be emailing her soon.
All that said here is what I have pics of, like I said before feel free to laugh along with me, my feelings won't be hurt :)
The bead on the far right has release that crackled and spattered off the mandrel onto the molten glass.
These are a little better, even got the black one round and mostly balanced!
When all the mandrels were full I played with the new torch making some realllly cool enameled copper tube beads. Going to try and get a tutorial together soon on how to make the swirl effect ones. I really liked them and thought others might want to make them too. Try to ignore the St. Bernard hair on that black speckle bead, it was in every darn photo.
Here is one with some copper inclusions, the little copper discs are leftover from when I punched holes in some discs. Hey, make use of every scrap right?
These beads turned into a bracelet inspired by a design I saw by Mary Hettmansperger. Hers uses different types of tube beads. I strung them on leather cord for durability, I would have preferred something more supple like waxed linen but was worried about wear. Maybe next time some suede cording?
Front side, see how it doesn't quite lie flat, that's the stiffness of the leather.