Friday, August 12, 2011

Making a "Color Profile" for a glass design and inspiration

Hello friends!

I'm excited to share some of my design process with you. While I was visiting one of our local bead shops Beads at Dusti Creek, I was gathering a few strands of hand-dyed fairy silk to finish my "Coffee Lover's Cup" design . I also grabbed an extra strand of silk to work on a new "Vortex Flower" necklace. What does this have to do with designing? Well I bought the silk cording first before creating the "Vortex Flower" bead. In my head I knew the new colors of Bullseye glass I bought would be just perfect!
So let's start with the colors. Hmmm... ok I see: olive, a warmish orangey brown, a raspberry pink.
So being a long time lampwoker, I learned a few things along the way. This happens when you make an entire set out of beads only to find out when they cool that 2 of the colors you used are so close that your design is totally botched!
So first I took my silk and picked out colors of glass I thought matched. Next I wound each of those colors on the mandrel to see the colors together. I was pleased with my picks so I chose the order in which I would layer the glass and layed the rods out in order.

As you can see the way in which I layered the colors there is great balance in colors, transparency or opacity and glitter and streaky.

BUT... that "Vortex Flower" pictured above was NOT the finished bead.

This was the first one! The shape was REALLY beautiful too! Perfectly color layered and a wonderful gravity shaped wavy flower. So what went wrong? Well when you use gravity to shape your bead one end of the bead hole suffers and becomes pointy. When I went to "touch up" the end by adding more glass the base became too warm and the flower began to fall. It kissed the mandrel on the inside of the flower leaving bead release stuck to it :( I also spent too much time fixing the end and not enough time warming the rest of the bead. When I re-introduced the edge of the flower into the flame I heard the most HORRIBLE sound a lampworker will hear.  
A teeny tiny *tink* sound echoed from the inner windings of the glass. This my friends, is the sound of glass cracking from chilling. The fine tuned lampwork ears can hear this very quiet sound(imagine a pin dropping) and know exactly what it brings. Yes, DISASTER. 

So you know I was even more determined this time. I knew the colors were perfect and the layering was spot on. Now to re-make my beauty.

But why does my thumb hurt? Where did these strange cuts come from? I didn't use a razor tool. Hmm...

OH, it was YOU! The end of a rod of glass. You see I was pushing and winding the glass so hard and so involved in my piece I didn't realize that I was cutting my thumb with the sharp end of the glass rod! These cuts are NASTY. You know when you open a card board box or you feel that sharp paper? When you move the cut you can feel your flesh open? YES, it feels like that! OUCH! Thank God for newskin( that is the shiny stuff you see on my thumb in the photo above)!
So what you may not know about making the "Vortex Flowers" is that as you layer many, many layers the glass gets harder to wind because you need to work fast to keep the inner windings warm. So switching from the glass you are working to warming the other layers doesn't allow the glass to get as hot and flow as well as a smaller bead.

But anyways... Back to the color profile....
I also did a second "Color Profile" to match a GORGEOUS pendant I received from my very talented friend, Cindy Buehler . As you can see from the photo, it's a good thing I chose a few different whites. I chose a regular white and "French Vanilla". As you can see from the photo the clay white is a bit off whie and looks pretty sweet with the off white rubber o's as well. You can pick some of those over at Yvonne's shop! This is a great example of why it's a great idea to do a "Color Profile" before making a set of beads.

So I was a bit inspired by Cindy's pendant and wanted to see if I could translate it into glass. I wound this glass into a pretty sweet ring for myself ;) The outer rings of purple do have some lighter blushes to it more like the purple on Cindy's pendant.
In the 104 glass palette we have a lot of murky purples that turn silvery or are pretty gray. The hue of this pendant is a hard match. It's somewhat pastelish, but still somewhat vivid. Kind of like a bright lilac. Bullseye, Gold Purple was the closest match I could find and it matched my rubber o's :D 

I hope you enjoyed my blip on my "Color Profile" technique for designing in glass :)

COMING UP NEXT...
If you remember before I moved I was going to get a give-away going of one of Cindy's Amazing pendants!
I got side tracked with the move and getting a few other things together. I had wanted to add some of my lampwork beads and a few other beadies for the give-away before offering it. Now with that done I will be getting the give-away ready next week! Stay tuned for your chance to snag one of these AMAZING pendants and other goodies!
See you soon!

xo Genea

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