Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Studio Time: I've wandered over to the reactive side

And encasing side. Tonight's practice was on encasing and reactives. Sigh. I give up. Reactives just make the beads so stunning.

So, Smudgkat / MoonKatty (the only other person who reads my blog), is there a way to recover an encasing gone bad? I have a few encased beads that are pretty good. I'm getting a little better with the technique. But, I notice that sometimes if I don't keep the encasing close together, the base bead will bleed through and smudge the encasing attempt. Can you go back and add more glass? Or is it already ruined?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Artfully Meandering: 3 weeks? Seriously?

Ack! I can't believe it's been since 11/12 since I last posted! Well, that was the week I was preparing for a trip to France. Fun trip! I was quite inspired, but not from design motifs I expected. Just from the overall experience. I mean - how inspiring is this?

France is really into culture, art, creativity. And it preserves it history so well. Everything about France is so photographic. I couldn't stop! 853 pictures! I edited my Flickr gallery down to 432, but that's still pretty excessive. I love digital.

Beads. Two weeks since my last torch time. I'm missing my glass. This is my first time I've had the opportunity! I'm working on encasing. I like my beads, but I know they're not great encasing examples. I still think they're cute. And dots? Who would've thunk I might like dots so much? I think I need a lot more dot practice. I'd love to get one of those workstations that support your arms for greater accuracy. I tend to twitch just when I'm about to place a dot. It's a good thing I never became a surgeon.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Artfully Meandering: The Creative Storm

Okay all you people who have lived creative lives your whole life...how do you survive the creative storm? I've finally given myself permission to unleash my creative monster and it's going NUTS! I have all these ideas pouring out of my head and things I want to try and designs and mediums and, and, and...augh! I could explode with the creative storm!

So, to my artistic, creative friends - how do you handle this to accomplish the important things in your life? Does it ever settle into a dull roar of a creative windstorm instead of a full-on hurricane? Do you learn to work with it? Allowing it some freedom? Then reigning it in as necessary?

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Studio Time: Color Reactions

I've been working on the flowers some more. I'm getting close, I think.
I have Peacock Green color. It's a transparent green and it's gorgeous. I've been working mostly on Turquoise base tonight. But, I did one on the Peacock green with Turquoise, Purple and Pink flowers and it reacted. So cool!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Studio Time: I was having a bad orange day

Lazy Hazy Summer

Sky Blue Confetti

Pineapple Punch

Okay. I bought a bunch of Vetrofond and bought a little of the odd lots Tangerine Sparkle and Pineapple Sparkle. LOVE THESE COLORS!!!
I made some great Twistie Scribblers. I used Sky Blue, Tangerine Sparkle, and Pineapple Sparkle and mixed these up. The color combo reminds of Lazy Hazy Summer days. I want to combine this with similar color beads in a mixed up asymmetrical necklace. I want to call the necklace Lazy Hazy Summer Confetti necklace.
I also made the Pineapple Sparkle combos and LOVE THESE as well. One has a fracture. I don't know what I'm going to do when my real beads have fractures. I think I'm going to make a Yellow necklace and call it Pineapple Punch.
I was working and working with the Tangerine color and couldn't get it right yesterday. I have a bunch of REALLY primitive beads. Sigh. But, I noodled over it over night and when I got to the torch today, I nailed it. I suddenly gained control over the stringers with trailing and dots. I have a new technique I'm going to call Bubble Ribbons. I trail the stringer on and put dots on top.
I also did a bunch of Sky Blue base beads. I think I'll call this necklace Sky Blue Confetti. I did one with scrolls coming up from the bottom. I think I'll call that one Blooming Scrolls.
All in all, a great day at the torch.
From a general style perspective, I'm noticing an emerging trend. I combine three high contrast colors together and do different things with them. I ended up with 14 beads in the colors combos. When I get a little more precise, the sets might go well together.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Studio Time: My Emerging Jewelry Style

Pink Passion Necklace

I'm in South Carolina and I'm learning my niece has a crafty side. She helped me make jewelry for two hours. She has quite the creative streak and was very good at making the patterns for our jewelry. I also figured out I have a jewelry style. It's a way to rescue my so-so lampwork beads and make 'em into a cool, funky, colorful necklace. I have to work on my photography to improve it so you can see the colors better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Studio Time: Amethyst Scribblers

More progress! I'm SO excited. Below are my "scribbler" designs. The correct term is trailing. But, I feel like a kindergartner who is learn to master their fine motor skills, so my designs are more like scribbling. I think I can work with this for a while, because I like the end result.

And I was about to give up on the transparent glass because of my failure to combine colors. But, I discovered if you keep it simple with the transparents and then trail or do dots on top, it makes it very sparkly. I was reading Z-Beads gallery history and she has ideas about layering up to 16 different colors. I'll try to get good with a few colors first before I go down the multi-color path. But, I also planned this set out. The first photo is the bead with some wire-wrapping to make it a cooler focal.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Studio Time: Wire Wrapping Class

One of my lampwork beads didn't hang correctly. So I was to save it by sticking it in this wire wrap from my class. I think I learned some cool things, but I need to let it settle in.

Studio Time: Breakthrough

So, do you have to have failures to have a breakthrough? Here is my work for the past week the bottom three pictures don't have any I like. I kept trying things out but didn't get anywhere.
Then I was trying to create some beads for Tara to use. She's wearing a lot of black and brown so I wanted to create some jewel tone beads with purples, green, and ambers. But, the transparents turned out too dark. They look okay together in a string, but you don't see any details.

But, then I had my breakthrough! I planned out the colors realizing I needed high contrasts. In such small surface area, you need high contrast to see the detail. I'm taking a wire-wrap class today and some of the may end up in jewelry. They are pinks, purples, white and reddish brown. The rounds are round, the dots are better, the swirls are primitive but decent, and I even created LENTIL shapes. I had been hating the lentil


Friday, August 3, 2007

Studio Time: Color Issues

I'm having issues with color. I've been combining the transparent colors and they're pretty, but they're too dark. You really lose the detail. It's so annoying. I want to add detail. I have twisties and my own stringers (thinner and easier to control) and think I'm adding detail but it's getting lost in the dark transparent colors. I think I don't like those colors unless Iearn to combine with lighter transparent colors.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Studio Time: I made twisties! I made twisties! And stringers!

I made successful twisties! With decent length, too! My first one was the best. The others had one color thicker than the other. But, that will be a neat effect, too, eventually. My problem is I didn't choose high-contrast colors. They look higher contrast when they're in large quantities next to each other, but in the small quantity, they're too subtle. I need to learn to choose bigger contrast. But, even the subtle colors will probably look pretty cool. It will add some nice subtle detail to my beads.

I played with the silver plum color. LOVE THAT COLOR! It's a little too overpowering by itself, though. I think I'll pull that into stringers now that I know how to make stringers.

I've also been playing with clear glass beads and adding the pastel colors. I think they're turning out pretty good!

Finally...what's with the first one being the best? I'm starting to get a little annoyed with this trend. I'm really getting a feel for the glass. I'm getting dots down. I'm getting stringers down. It's only been 6 weeks! I'll start down a track and try out techniques, but my first attempt is always best. Does that make sense? Shouldn't I be getting better, not worse with practice? On the other hand, maybe I'm getting a little too confident when my first attempt is pretty decent. I dunno. Can't figure it out right now. When I come back to the technique a little later, I seem to bounce back.

Given my mistakes with color and my declining skill as I practiced a technique in a given session, I was getting a little irritated and bored. The I disciplined myself to try twisties and, guess what? I can do twisties! I'm back in the game again!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Studio Time: Green Frit Set

Here is my second set. I find I get bored with sets. But, maybe it's partly fear. Fear that I won't be able to replicate in size or color what I did in other beads. Even though these beads aren't exact matches to each other, I think they have some fun character that would still look cool in a set.

I have an odd confession to make, too. I think I'm afraid of the completely blank slate of creativity that's available to me with glass. I had finally come to the conclusion and accepted the fact that I was the type of person that didn't really create anything new. I take other people's ideas and build on them. That's my strength in the business world. I realize I'm taking other people's ideas and putting them together in my own way with glass. But, I don't want to just copy other people. I want to create. And that scares me. I don't have the design or art background so many others do. I just like it. So, if I don't have a design or art background, can I still be an artist? Can I handle the creativity?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Studio Time: Broccoli Bead

I meant to try out a gravity bead today. But, I forgot and got to playing with raking and dots. I think I'm getting the hang and feel of raking. I'm definitely getting better at dots and controlling dots. I even did a stacked dot! I thought I'd combine some retro 80's colors (hunter green, maroon, and cobalt blue). You see mostly the green. It reminds me of broccoli. With dots.
I want to explore some ideas with the cobalt blue and greens. The cobalt looks almost black next to the green. It might be interesting to combine a bunch of different greens together with the cobalt blue as the darkest color...thinking...thinking....

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Studio Time: The Beginning

I've been cleaning up my blog and re-posting the old pictures for posterity.

Here are the VERY FIRST beads from the Fireworks kit. Lumpy bits of glass that I was quite proud of - mostly for not burning down the house with the torch.
The first beads from the beginners class. The top left is THE first bead...poor little burnt bead.

Studio Time: Hi. I'm Jennifer. I'm a glassaholic...

Hi! I make glass beads. I'm quite obsessed with lampwork beads. So. Here is my blog on my glass travels. A lot of this is a diary for me to learn as I go and share with my friends who are interested in what I'm doing. I'll share everything. Even the ugly beginning beads. And there are some pretty ugly beads out there. But, I'm not afraid to share. After all, we all started somewhere.