Tuesday, October 20, 2009

BE and 104 collide into AWESOME

Hello friends!

As you may have noticed I am getting a WAY late start! I was wisked off to Taco Bueno for free lunch so I started my day there. I then went to see my chiropractor, which is another event not to be missed! We went over to his new practice to help him get some things put back in his car. It is a GORGEOUS location right over in Briar Cliff Village. You can find out more by visiting his clinic at 1201 NW Braircliff Pkwy, Ste 325, KC, MO 64116.

Anywho... on to the good stuff!

**DISCLAIMER**
**Sorry, but I will NOT be taking special orders for the beads shown below.**

So this little entry begins in a studio in Kansas City....

I had this request for a friends birthday to re-create this bead color combination into a set of 3 beads for a necklace that were a bit larger and then 2 smaller inverted colored ones for earrings. I started out with my BE (that is Bullseye glass to the non glass workers ;) odd lots, but after flopping 2 beads I had to come up with something else. Why? Well the glass I was trying to use was an odd lot and I only had one rod of the lime green and that wasn't going to be enough. So that is when I had to get creative....
Here you can see the original glass flower made out of BE odd lots(The bead shown above is currently available in my Etsy shop). The BE freaky, streaky, striker pack was a special addition released by BE for the International Society of Glass Beadmakers when the gathering was in Kansas City about 3ish years ago. This makes glass practically extinct by that time period so re-ordering colors wasn't an option. So here is what I came up with... I looked to my trusty 104 glass palettes to come up with a color combination as close to the original as I could. On the left you can see the currently available 104 glass colors I used to make up these beads: effetre Kiwi, Messy Plum, Messy Simply Berry, and Messy Heart Cored Cane in Cranberry and Gelly's Sty.

The next obstacle was trying to figure out the best way to get the flowers larger, but get the creases all the way down the petals. Trial one started with making a large disc and then cutting the places where the petals would be. As the gamer boys would say"Epic Fail"! As you can see this one didn't turn out....So you would guess using a razor tool right? Well that does work for smaller scale flowers like the one above, but the larger you get you will actually get your tool stuck in the glass and not be able to get it loose before the glass cools which causes a load of other problems! So what did I use instead? Well I went to my local store and got a paint scraper! It creases like a razor would, but is much taller and wouldn't get stuck in my glass!So on to the beads I went and finally SUCCESS!

The BE flower is the smaller one on the top of the picture. The 104 glass flowers are the 3 larger ones on the bottom. Pretty sweet eh?

So for the successful ruffles I creased them with my paint scraper and then used my raking tool(not shown) to heat and pull down the petal creases to their desired placement. You may notice a tiny bit of devit on the petals from the heart cored cane. To keep that to a minimum you need to first put the heart cored cane in the kiln to warm the glass so it isn't shocky. So you begin making your disc in the desired layers until you reach the outer pink. When you are ready, pull out your pink rod from the kiln. BE CAREFUL WHERE YOU GRAB YOUR ROD, it HAS, afterall, been sitting in a 960 degree kiln warming! Add your layer of pink and then begin heating and creasing your petals. Next rake in your petal creases to the desired place. When you are done re-heat all of the pink areas molten in a slightly oxidizing flame. This makes most of the devit disappear leaving a shiny smooth surface. The little bit of devit you see on the petals is actually smooth to the touch and isn't as bad as the camera makes it appear.

Here is a size model of the necklace flowers in my hand. I didn't crop out the rest of the picture because I found it visually pleasing to see the other glass and tools in the background ;)
Here is a picture of the flower with light going through the layers.

Here is a picture of the earring beads. I did one in the inverse color for the earrings like was requested, but found it to not be nearly as pretty as the original order.


I hope you enjoyed my journey through glass and that you learned some helpful tips.

Stay tuned for the finished piece....

Much love,

Genea

2 comments:

Silver Parrot said...

Very cool insight into what lampworkers go through to create those beads I love so much. Thanks for sharing.

Genea said...

Thanks :) I think it's really interesting to learn things like this. It really gives you a good idea of the work involved and the process.

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