Do you ever have so much going on that you get over loaded and get absolutely NOTHING done? I had one of those days. I was up late working and woke up early knowing I had to attend to an important call. Before drifting off into sleep I had some ideas for that new 500 rings series too :D So how does that relate to my post? Well I knew I needed to write a few more blogs, and I was putting off my other bagillion million tasks, so I said f*it and decided to post about my newest bead and how it came into being :D
The background story...
Ok so I don't have the original bead so I will have to start by telling you how the "Tri-flower Trumpet" came about. I have been doing some work with my friend Evan( Yes, yes, I know. Evan needs a website. Be sure to pester him about it on his fb page ;) OK so... Evan and I are doing some light tests on Messy glass. Our test had to be a bead in a solid color that was photographed in: sunlight, incandescent, and fluorescent lighting.
So Evan being the photographer was trying to help me come up with a shape that would demonstrate the color of the glass in thinner amounts and thicker amounts, while being visually appealing. At first he described a shape to me that when he was explaining it I went over to my jewelry box and pulled out my swirl earrings made by Steve Rhoades of Bokamo Designs.
I handed them to Evan and said "You mean like this?" He was like "Yeah, actually." I explained to him that Steve already made them and that they wouldn't be very stable made from soft glass. These beads were going to be made purely for testing purposes. So we kept thinking about shapes.
I had talked with Kathy about making some hearts. This is where we use our imagination(ok so the part I wanted to insert is at 1 min and 30 seconds, but this is the best I could find) since I don't have a bead to show you ;) So I made a heart(to show thick spot) with raked down wings(to show thin spots) and put a twist in the middle. It was cool, but Evan and I still weren't completely satisfied.
So then Evan says to me"Can you make a cone with 3 discs on it." I say "Yeah". So after creating our test bead I immediately thought to myself how can I make this design more complex? Filligrana's OF COURSE, and more colors!
Ta da! Here they are! The very first trumpets :D So the bead on the right was the first one. My favorite colors, of course ;) I actually meant to use a lighter filligrana on the very front flower, but goofed and grabbed the same rod twice. Still pretty f*ing sweet, if you ask me! The bead on the left made it's way to Mary Harding, my bead soup partner :) I can't wait to see what she makes!
Here is the back view of the beads. You know generally when you create a new design you think of ways to tweak it after you are done. As you can see on the right the first bead doesn't have the petals raked towards the center. Does that make anything wrong with it? Nope! It just means it's unique :)
On the bead on the left you can see that there are 6 petals instead of 5 and that the petals have been raked towards the center. I thought it just pulled the design together a bit more. Now I was actually shooting for 5 petals, but when I noticed that I had more room I added another.
Now people have all different ways of trying to make things even. Some like to start in the center crease, then go to the opposite side of the bead, crease and then divide up those sections. For me, I always botch that stuff so I just crease and eyeball about how big I want the petal to be then crease. I guess I just get lucky judging the negative space ;) I think it comes with practice ;)
So speaking of design, I thought you might like to hear about my trials for the clasp bead I made for Mary as well. I did a few different things with each button. Starting on the very left I tried my spacer on the mandrel, added a blog of glass, flattened and built my button face around that way. Then I raked the layers inward. Yikes! You can see it didn't quite work out.
The next button I made a spacer bead and put it in the kiln, then made the off mandrel flower and stuck it to the back. Didn't quite work.
The next flower I did off mandrel and then made a loop with 2 flat ends sticking out and heated and mashed it into the back for the shank. It worked out pretty good, but the front of the flower petals kinda wobbled around when I creased them.
Now the last button is the one I ended up using. This bead I made in the normal way I make buttons. I made a spacer bead first, then put a large blob for the button face, heated and made it flat and built around it. As you can see it worked out the best out of all of them. I have been flattening the backs of the spacers so they sit more flat on the skin instead of sticking out if they are round on the bottom. I think they feel more comfortable.
Here you can see the backs. You can't really tell on the second flower from the left that it was off mandrel. That large orange spot in the middle was where I bonded the off mandrel part and the spacer bead.
In the 3rd from the left you can see the skinny mandrel I bent into a loop with 2 ends and heated into the back of the flower. I added glass to each side where the metal flat parts stuck out. If you click onthe image you can see what I am talking about a little better. They really need some program that lets you doodle pictures and attach them when you are chatting or typing!
The last button you can see where I pushed the back flat.
Well I hope you enjoyed reading about how the designs came about!