Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Lapped Beads

I've been having great fun since participating in Jeri Warhaftig's focus group for "Creating Glass Beads". One of the projects we did was to lap beads made in a unique "Jeri kind of way". I love making them and am getting excited about making them into jewelry pieces. I've posted these photos on Lampwork, etc. but wanted to show them here too. I'm using an Inland Swap Top grinder and they just shine on the flat surfaces. It's not as hard to do as I thought it might be and I'd recommend the technique to everyone. The book will be on the shelves in a week or so and I know I've said it before but I'm going to repeat myself. BUY THE BOOK! Aside from this technique there are nine others - - - including how to silver the inside of a bead - PMC work on glass - and more. To be totally honest -I'd buy the book because the techniques are not widely known and I love trying something new.- but Lark has been gracious and generous and is sending each of us in the focus group one.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I was thinking about the first out of state bead making class I ever took. It was a wild ride….I mean like literally. Susan Lambert called and asked if I’d like to take a beadmaking class with Jim Smircich. Okay. Although at the time I wasn’t sure I had heard of him.

Susan and I had met but not “hung out” – we had mutual friends. I was game – then she told me we’d have to go to Kentucky. Uh, alright – that sounds like fun. Both she and I were working full time…she an art teacher and me, I worked with the kids who didn’t quite make it in school and had already been arrested. Actually, our jobs required high energy output. Cool, I thought – kindred spirit and I could use some really professional lessons. We left for Kentucky after work one day and drove off to Kentucky.

It was an over night trip and we talked all the way. Instant bonding and Susan and I are still kindred spirits – as are so many of us in this crazy fire+glass=beads club. She was even kind enough to nudge her new friend when I fell asleep during one of Jim’s demo’s. I was fine as long as I kept busy but when it came to a late day demo I was fading fast. That was when I realized how much stamina Susan has compared to me. I’m good – but she had the cat-nap thing down to a science.

I’m not sure why I was revisiting this first “big name” instructor in my mind. Maybe it was because I was wondering where the constant references disappeared about puckering the ends of your beads. Jim was huge on heat control and getting the base of the bead correct before you moved on to the decorating part. Hey, he was a very good teacher for a virtual newbie. I still pucker my bead ends. I Googled puckered bead ends and up came tons of explanations and instructions for them. Here’s the one I like the best:

"Lampworking is the art of making handmade glass objects, such as beads. An accomplished maker of glass beads has the ability to create miniature works of art using a torch and different kinds and colors of glass. The hallmark of a high-grade, professionally made glass bead is its smooth, puckered bead hole openings, also known as dimples."

Read more: How to Get Puckered Ends on Beads for Lampworking

I like that. Jim taught us to be professional about our work. To create a standard puckered dimple on the bead ends so it wasn’t sloppy or sharp. Whoo Hoo – my friend Susan sure can pick ‘em and I’m glad she asked me to join her on our first adventure.

Now go forth and pucker!!! That's good advice and just in time for Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

It's February!

Holy Snow Storm Batman! I was going to put a photo here of some guys digging a car out and the snow was over their heads - but, it's not my car/ or my fellah. LOL

What I'm putting here is a Nasa photo of where I live from space with the storms swirling overhead. I live in the Mitten - appropriate isn't it? Luckily, we didn't get the blast that others got. We added a lot of inches (I'm in the center of that mitten) but compared to the Detroit area/lower right of that mitten and Chicago way to the lower part of that long lake on the left of Michigan we were spared. I can't yet get out of my driveway - the snow plows blocked the end.

Good reason to curl up, stay warm, list beads, and make quilts.

If you'd like to look at a Nasa photo of your area just click here.