Friday, April 29, 2011

Industrial Squirrel and Other Finished Jewelry.

This bracelet was going to be called Industrial Swirl but somehow the translation was misunderstood and it became Industrial Squirrel and that was just too much fun to pass up and also a name that won't be easily forgotten. 

As you can tell by the multiple photos that I really like this bracelet.  I changed up my swirly clasp for a triangle one to match the industrial looking "Devo - Whip It" cones that cap the ends of the viking.  The color of the viking wire is a new color I picked up about a week ago.  I've used copper, brown and other dark colors but I hadn't seen this exact color before. It is very earthy and goes nicely with organic beads.

Here is the finished Green Zebra bracelet and coordinating earrings and necklace.  I hope I hit the mark as to what my customer wanted but if not, these will be up for sale on my artfire site.  I had zero direct conversations with the actual customer and no exact measurements so this should be interesting. 

I also wanted to show a finished piece that a friend of mine made with my beads.  She has been making this type of jewelry for about 6 months now and I think this bracelet is great!  She took a nice variety of my beads, added some charms and other glass beads all in colors that look very nice together.  The placement of all components give it a very balanced feel.  She will be selling her finished jewelry on her own artfire site soon!  Way to go Sue G!
Bracelet by Sue G.
I have a list of beads I hope to make over the weekend so I can't wait to get back at the torch!  Happy weekend to everyone!!!!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A New Favorite Bead For Me!

A quick blog post today.  It was an experimental day at the torch and I had a lot of fun.  I have some new favorite beads too!
I liked the last set of beads I made with Val Cox Ocelot spots so much that I went back and pulled some more stringers of that frit with ivory and applied them in swirls this time.  I used ivory and copper green bases and am very happy with them.  The photo does not show the pattern as well as I would have liked but you get the idea. 

I also made my first ever hollow beads.  What fun they were to make!!!  I had been holding off giving them a whirl because I was a bit intimidated thinking it would be harder then it was and that I might get frustrated too easily.  Well I have to say I really enjoyed making them and they were fairly easy.  You can see in this photo that I got the hang of it pretty quick.  Took about 3 or 4 tries and I had a decent one!  The last 3 on the right are my best attempts.  Can't wait to make some more of these with some cool decoration!

I have decided I am never going to be a flower girl - well I was a flower girl in my brothers wedding when I was about 8 but I'm talking about beads here.  I decided to try my lentil press because I hadn't really touched it in about 6 months and I wanted to get a little practice in and you will see by the poor lentil shape that I need a lot more practice.  So anyway the only thing I could think of to put on the lentils that would cover up the terrible shape was a flower.  But like I said, I'm not a flower bead maker.  I'm posting these just for my own reference as I'm certainly not proud of these beads and they will never be sold or even given away.

I did have some fun with some twisties though:
These are always fun to make and while the focus is not sharp these beads are pretty cool in person.  The first 3 are cores of aqua with the white and clear twistie applied around and then encased in clear.  The 4th and 5th bead have the same core but the twistie has white, clear and black in it.  The 6th bead is just made with a little bit of leftover twisties laying around on my work space.  The 7th bead is actually a gradation of aqua and emerald base with the white and clear twistie wrapped around it and no clear encasing on this bead.  The last bead is a white and green twistie on a clear base and clear encased.

So that's it for my short post.  I'll be making jewelry tomorrow and I hope to make some more beads over the weekend.  I've been going through my old and new books and magazines so I have lots of bead ideas I am looking forward to trying.  Can't wait to get back at the torch!  Thanks for stopping by and reading my bead blog!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Beads and Jewelry Sketches

I saw these plaid type beads on a bead making video a while back and I can't remember who the artist was for sure but they were fun to make and it was a good exercise in stinger control.  Plus they look a little Easter like to me too.
 I made a sketch bracelet with these beads.  I think it looks nice with the black viking instead of silver.

This next batch all came from some testing I did with Val Cox Ocelot Spots frit.  Some are made with the frit alone pulled into it's own stringer, some made into a stringer with ivory and some with copper green.  I especially like the ones made with ivory frit stringer and applied to ivory bases.
This bracelet may be my next personal use bracelet.  Not sure if I will keep the center bead or change it out for another bead in the set.  The bead that will go on the other side of the clasp on the finished piece will be one of the two beads on the rod.

Next are beads I made with hufalump and count von count.  I heard that count von count is a color change glass depending on the light and as you can see in these photographs it truly is.  It looks purple in florescent lighting and very blue in natural lighting.

I ran a test on some orange glass.
From left to right: clockwork, clockwork encased in rose quartz, batch one of phoenix, batch one of phoenix encased in rose quartz, batch 2 of phoenix, batch 2 of phoenix encased in rose quartz.  I had made these rose quartz encased beads before and they had turned out a very cool shade like the inside of a pink grapefruit but that didn't happen with this batch.

For spring I made these beads again on request however, they (the color) did not turn out the same as they did when I made them last time.  Another example of why I tell people I can never create the exact same bead twice.  It was also hard to capture the true color of these beads no matter what light I put them under.

I usually make my tiger striped beads with clear encasing but I had seen another bead artist make them without the clear encasement and I liked the way they looked.  I gave it a try and while I am not all that happy with this particular bead I think I would really like this application if I used a dark transparent brown instead of (or with) medium and light transparent brown.  The new style of tiger striped bead is on the far right.  The center bead is made with a twistie and the wavy application I discovered a couple of months ago.  Also gave a green and white twistie a try that I had laying around on my work space.

Next up are some extra beads I tried while using ink blue and dk. aqua on ivory and accented with raised black dots.  A bit too dark for my taste.

And lastly I am posting a bracelet I am working on for the customer who asked me to make a green version of my pink zebra bracelet.  It's a work in progress but so far I like the way it looks.
 The additional bead on the rod is the bead that will go on the other side of the clasp.
 The two additional beads on the rod are the ones to be used for the earrings if the customer decides they want them.
And the large bead on the rod is for the necklace.  I love making this style of bead and bracelet.

Well I did find a few more beads from my last bead making day.  I have decided I want to work on my stringer control and get better at scrolling.  These beads are my most recent pathetic attempt at scroll work.  But I won't get any better unless I practice, practice, practice.  I think I will always be a dot/pattern girl at heart but I love the look of the beautiful scroll work I see out there by other lampwork artists so I will keep trying.  I want to post these for my own benefit so some day I can look back and laugh at these and see how much better I got - keeping my fingers crossed!
I do like this color combination!  It's light steel gray (two of the beads are over white hearts) and scrolling is done with copper green.

Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Finally got a little torch time in

Almost everything is caught up now - moving the studio north and setting it up again was a big task.  I just finished up my jewelry making room along with all the other things that needed done in the house.  I did squeeze in one day at the torch during all that.  It was a very cold day and we didn't have heat in the house so that is how I justified my bead making before all my duties were done.  After 6 days of freezing in our house with no furnace we have a brand new furnace and we are warm again.  Funny how today it's sunny and warmer.  Hope this works like carrying an umbrella around keeping rain away - my hope is warm spring weather will be here to stay now that we spent the big bucks on a new furnace.  It was 20 years old so I think we got our money's worth on that one so no complaints about that.

Now for the beads.  After I made my pink zebra bracelet and earrings I had a request to do the same concept in green.  These are the beads I made and I will see how they look with the black viking style bracelet.
Some will be used in the bracelet and hopefully the larger one will be a pendant. 
 I really like both of these beads.
 I made lots of black viking weave last night - 4 1/2 hours to be exact!  Good thing I was content to sit and watch a few episodes of storage wars (I enjoy that show way too much) and extreme couponing.  I think it's nuts to buy 75 of anything but it sure is a thrill to watch them get a grocery bill totaling a thousand dollars or more reduced to around 10 bucks - wow!

So today I'm going to make more beads and put the green zebra bracelet together.  I hope to be back blogging more frequently now that I'm caught up with everything.  Thanks for reading my blog!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Last Batch Before the Move? Maybe...

Just give me black and white glass and my love of patterns and dots and I'm happy.
I love this bead and can't seem to stop making it.  I like to add transparent colors to the basic black and white design and just see where it takes me. 
 I love this view.

This red looks amazing and goes very well with my "Red Zebra" beads!

On these next beads I still used Aqua as my transparent color but the raised dots on these is CIM Freeman.  I'm liking this combo.  It's the first time I have paired these two blues.

Another pretty pattern:

This next one reminds me of a bow tie or a tuxedo bead.

 These are 9 dotted stars.

 These are 8 dotted stars.

These are 4 dotted starts.

These are also 4 dotted starts but with a different pattern.

This bead is a bit of a reverse.  The aqua was a bit darker than I'd hoped.

I felt like making some spring colored beads.  Eh, nothing spectacular here but the colors are pretty.

I also etched a few "Sea Glass" beads for a customer of mine.

I still have a few more dipped large hole mandrels left that I may use up before I pack up the last of the studio.  I'll be back blogging after April 15th - when the taxes are finished and my studio is all set up again in the North.  Hope everyone is starting to enjoy some nice spring weather!!!