Yesterday was a productive day, within reason. I woke up and went outside to take a short walk with my neighbor and her dog, then I made some (blue) beads, then I went out to lunch with another good friend for dim sum, then I went to my boyfriend's sister's house to watch the Germany-Australia game (amazing!!!), then we came back to my house and I made the rest of these beads while my boyfriend watched and I listened to Whose Line is it Anyway?. Afterwards we had some pizza and eventually I went to bed. It was the longest, nicest day I've had in a while.
So about the beads! The morning blue beads were for completing this set...
Pretty sweet, huh? Learned a lot from the middle bead about shaping.
Then at night I made the two lollypop beads from the top picture. I had a lot of trouble there with the first one, because I accidentally dropped and chipped it. Then I tried to put it back in the flame to fix the cracked part but OF COURSE it cracked into a million pieces but I persevered and kept at it until I got it back together but of course it's WONKY. The other one is pretty nice though.
Then I decided to really play with color, and I made this beauty.
But this morning it had lost the wavy part, since I don't have the bead door yet and am batch annealing... I guess it didn't make it. :( Win some, lose some.
And there it is with it's little set. I will probably make a lot more because I'm having fun with these.
I basically make a thin multicolored disk and then let it melt... it spreads into this shape and the colors kind of do their own thing. I love it. Maybe I'll try something crazy tonight... :)
These are all the finished beads I have so far. The scratched out ones are the ones I've sold. The ones that have died in the making obviously do not get counted... The first few crappy ones are included!
Do you like my system? It makes me feel organized, and silly, at the same time. :)
Finally, I made MY FIRST TWINS! I can't believe it. I thought it would be impossible to make beads that looked even remotely similar, but this time... These are an actual pair! Maybe for some earrings? :D
I'm sorry, I realize my dad's battered up table probably isn't the best surface to photograph on... Anyway, I really like these! I was practicing decorating with stringer. I got inspired and used a deep clear purple, encased it in light clear purple, and then decorated. Then I did the same but with another shade of deep clear purple... (less reddish) and then I did the same but with the decoration in red... Then I made some in dark and light clear green... I really like how they look as a set. I have a very clear idea of the necklace I will make with them.
(I'm thinking black spacers, what do you think?)
There's something silly and playful about them, yet sophisticated, at the same time. I'm so happy!
Don't they look so awesome when the light hits them? :D
Here's the rest of this set and I'll probably make more to keep practicing decorating with stringer and have matching items.
Love. It isn't perfect.
Then I proceded to take out my new dremmel and clean out all the holes of the annealed beads. My dad bought me the dremmel and I'm so so so thankful. :)
There are all the beads I've made so far.
Here are some clean bead holes I'm especially proud of. :)
Here are all the clean beads! Sooo happy.
Then last night my uncle and aunt came over for dinner and I showed them all of the beads. They had some interesting ideas.
Actually, now that I'm the subject:
And oh god, why did I get on the subject?!?!
I keep getting "interesting ideas" from everyone I run into. Advice on selling, creative suggestions... you name it. In all honesty I've done a lot of research and I think the most valuable advice I can get is from actual lampworkers. Most ideas people are giving me aren't things I haven't thought of by myself, too. I really don't mean to knock on people's good intentions... actually I really appreciate the attention and I'm really happy with everyone's enthusiasm! It's just... how do I say this...
Ok let's see... I don't know. I guess artists get this kind of thing all the time? Here's an example,
In highschool I painted this big collage of pop artist's portraits and one of my teachers told me I was so talented I should paint the portraits on the back of Panamanian public transport busses.
This is a comment I always remember with a smile on my face. When I heard it my immediate reaction was to feel insulted, because the portraits on those busses never look like the people they're supposed to be portraying, but then I laughed a lot because I guess the teacher who said that didn't mean it in a bad way... maybe she thought they were good? Maybe she thought she was being clever and creative because I could be painting on a really different surface than you'd expect from a traditional painter? Because it'd be something so different? ...I don't know.
The thing is ...... ... ... you know what I don't even know what the thing is. I guess I'm just writing a reflection on the subject.
I'm not actually annoyed by these suggestions. But I'm also not that humoured by them either. Here's a thoughtful list just so that I can feel organised about what I'm dealing with here:
I'm not going to be melting sand.
I'm not going to be melting metal.
I'm not going to be making small/medium/large sculptures.
I'm not going to make any kind of paraphinalia.
I tried recycling bottles but that kind of glass doesn't work with my torch.
I believe in profit but I'm going to try and not over-charge for my work, just out of respect for my eventual costumers. ...all while taking into consideration that I am an artist (despite the name of this blog) and I deserve to earn money for my efforts, creativity, and individuality... and how I will eventually deserve more for my expertise, experience, longevity... bla bla bla, etc.
I've thought about it, and for now I'm not going to try to sell anything in a gallery, because I like money, and I'm going to try to get enough exposure on my own first.
See... I listen, and I respect your opinions... but this is my new artform.
I gave up my painting studio out of respect for my dad as well as a healthy combination of acceptance and resignation about the fact that there is not enough space for me to paint in my house. This is the thing I'm doing now so that I can be eager to go home from work. This is art, right?
...the other creative masterminds should go melt their own sand, dye their own glass, and make sculptures, bongs, marbles, etc. And I'm going to stick to making beads and jewelry. At least for now, since that's what I want to do.
Having said all of that and kind of regretting it while still sticking to it, here's what my aunt and uncle came up with last night...
World cup flags.
I know you're laughing at this attempt at a flag.
Needless to say I got excited and even made one just for show. ...This morning I was still thinking about all the flags I could make - but then at some point I thought... ...WHAT A SELLOUT! I mean there is such a thing as taking commisions and requests... but just to make something so very seasonal... I don't know.
Am I so inspired by the world cup that I'll make a bunch of these in a rush?
Am I so inspired by the money I could make from people who are so inspired by the world cup?
I don't know... the thought of making a bunch of flags that in a few weeks will be the losing team or even of the winning team... I mean, they will be tossed aside. I don't know if I want to do that. I want to make designs that I love and that people will cherish for a long time. I want to make jewelry in durable materials. I want my work to be appreciated and valued.
I'm thinking this flag bead over and over. I don't know that I should do it. I'm probably not going to. Unless someone comes begging for it, lol.
After an hour of pulling and stretching shards into the most pathetic rods (that looked more like short stringers) and making a little bead and then only making it fatter by rolling it around on the glass splinters/frit... I made one bead. One bead that never got hot enough to get round and never got hot enough to get smooth... This bead is all I got.
This glass is definitely not soft enough for a hot head. I will definitely not repeat this for a long time until I upgrade my torch. However many years that is from now!
I'm so sad this didn't work out... because the color is lovely. :(
After the beer bottle disappointment, I made these blue beads...
I basically wanted to practice decorating the beads with stringers... I'm not getting the hang of this yet. I will keep practicing.
Here comes another post...
I batch annealed all the beads! :D
Then I proceded with the recycled glass idea. I want to use recycled glass. I started with this beer bottle.
Here's that national brewery logo:
I put it in two shopping bags and threw it with all of my strength. It bounced. Then my dad threw it and broke it perfectly.
Then I put it in a small plate and separated some pieces by size.
My plan was to melt the bigger shards and stretch them into rods, to make beads with.
Part 2 coming later today.