Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Studio Time: I'm so excited about a direction I'm taking...

I don't know if I'll have the patience to schedule this as a post for tomorrow or if I'll just shoot this off tonight...but, here is what I've been working on the last few days. That's 130 beads, plus a few from a previous session. Except for the florals, these are small beads...5-7mm range. This is a rice bowl we use here in Hong Kong. (The florals are another story for another post.)

What I'm really excited about: I think I'm beginning to find the foundation for my artistic voice. I've been looking for it for two years. I pulled out some of my new, new, newbie beads a while ago and was contemplating some swirl beads I had made and thinking about how I would go about that again. It was using a lot of stringer and encasing in various colors. One of the beads had a neat faux malachite look to it. Anyway, it's one that's been rattling in my mind for the two years since I originally made it.

What returned me to this path: I made some Kiwi Bead Berries as a giveaway. It was a Vetrofond Odd Lot of transparent green encased in opaque and it made a swirl bead. Kristin, at KS Jewellery, was my lovely winner. She made a beautiful set of earrings and a pendant out of them. Then she requested a set of swirly beads in specific colors. Oooh, that spun my brain off on a wild, and wildly fun tangent for me. It created a challenge, because I couldn't exactly replicate that Kiwi...it was a 4-5mm rod with a thin, 1mm sheath of opaque. Hm...I tried a few experiments and then came up with a method that created a stronger striation but was still pretty close to the original Kiwi. Then I started experimenting with multi-colors...up to four in one beads and I'm really, really excited about those. They offer such richness and depth. (More on the multi-color swirls later.)

But, back to the more classic beads in two-tone colors...here are the six sets of six beads I just finished off for Kristin last night. They're in demure sizes of the 5-7mm range.

Sorry for the lighting and the colors possibly not showing up that well. I had to use late-in-the-day lighting, with artificial fluorescent lighting. Even with photoshopping and camera settings, it's still not as good as daylight. I'll give you the overall color (I'm debating on releasing the actual "recipe" at the moment, since it's such a new thing for me...you experienced beadmakers will probably easily recognize the colors...)

The purple swirls.

The aqua swirls.

The Lilac swirls.

The Pink Swirls

The Blue swirls

And my favorite, the Cherry swirls.

I'm going to share this recipe because I'm really delighted with it. I've been struggling with the striking reds like Tag Black Cherry and the Aroncio Perfecto. I'm sure it's just my newbieness. The Tag just turns black. The Aroncio, I get varying results. With the swirl method I developed, I decided to use two shades of opaque red...medium red (I think it's Effetre) and CiM Sangre. Both of these are really, really strong colors. Although the pictures show the swirls, these are blown up in the photos. The beads are still quite strong in person, but the striations are there. It helped to "cut" the red by swirling the two around clear and letting the clear be the main color. This cut the reds down a bit and allowed some swirliness. I've been aching for a transparent red and I think I've found a way to get it. It's interesting, I did a batch of the Aroncio with the Sangre one night, then the next night I did the Medium Red, Sangre, and clear. When you put them together, they look very, very similar. But, the latter combo was more consistent since the Aroncio is striking and needs skill (that I'm still learning) to get a consistent color. Plus the Aroncio has just a slight orange hue to it. I love the deeper, Spanish red. I need to attempt this in some bigger pieces. But, that's a project for later. Right now, I'm a swirly binge and can't wait to try all kinds of color combos.

And finally, the beads belows are available in my Artfire shop. I am a very big fan of CiM colors. The first reason, is that Dana and Kathy are so responsive to artist requests...even newbie artists like me. I only have a teeny, tiny, itty-bitty presence in the glass world being new, and not having a definable style yet. CiM welcomes artist suggestions and feedback. Anyway, I suggested a chocolately brown. And I was actually heard. I was able to experiment with the Tamarind as an answer to that request and I'm so happy with it! It's a caramel, chocolate, coffee-with-cream type of brown. Paired with Adamantium (a dark chocolate with a gray tinge) and Phoenix (a warm orange-peachy), it makes a beautifully, yummy autumn set of beads. Below is the three colors swirled together.

Below is a set of 10 spacers that complement the above bead set.

I have so many more swirl combos to show you, but I think that's enough eye candy for tonight. Toodles for now!


  1. Oooooooooo scrummy beads, they are beautiful xxxx

  2. Oh lucky me to be the future owner of some of those beads!
    Kristin :)

  3. ...WOW...berries & bouqets...so colorful...luscious & delightful...you are


  4. Thanks bunches everyone! I'm having a ridiculous amount of fun. I'm even enjoying the administrative part of preparing the beads for presentation, priting and making the packaging. usually I'm not a favorite of admin work, but sometimes it's kind of fun!

  5. OMG!! Those are absolutely gorgeous!! I really love the lilac & blue


  6. Thanks, Shai! I do have two more sets of those waiting to be posted. They are a smidge (8-9mm) bigger than the ones in the above post.