Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Saying Goodbye to the Old Year

2007 ended on a good note for me. I made a little money selling my beads. That was good. I learned to make new types of beads. That was good.
I bought a new torch. That was wonderful! I still enjoy making these beads and challenging myself to improve. That's not so bad. This is one of my new beads. It was much easier to make on my new torch. It's 2 1/4" long. That was hard to do on my hot head torch. Now, with my "big girl" torch, I am producing bigger and better beads.

New Year's Resolution? None. Resolutions can spoil the best of years for anyone!

Here's my first blown vessel. This was a new challenge that was made easier by my new torch. You actually heat up the glass and then blow small puffs of air into a hollow mandrel where you have the glass hanging by a blob on the end. I've only blown the bottoms out of 2 vessels so far. Two vessels are really good, but I don't have a photo to share. The rest are a little wonky, but friends will like them.

This is one of my favorite beads. I just love it. It's actually going to be featured on a bead calendar this year. I plan to frame the calendar for my studio. I have tried to sell it, but no one wants to buy it. I don't understand, so I might just keep it for me. I call it the Rainbow Wiggle.

I wish I had a better photo of this bead. It's really pretty in person. Most of my beads are much prettier in person than they are in photos. It's a biagi bead. A biagi bead is a small bead with a bigger than normal hole. In this case, I used a 3/16" mandrel to make the bead. It will fit on a biagi or Pandora bracelet. I showed here on my viking chain knit. I really like this bead.

This bead is made with a silver glass called light silver plum. I really like this glass. If you work it correctly, many colors will pop on your bead. You can see hints of pinks and blues. I love working with these silver glasses. Since switching to my big girl torch, I have had a hard time working with the plums. So, I set up my Hot Head Torch again, and guess what? The colors are popping all over. I'm learning to adjust the way I hold my glass and use my torch, so, maybe, soon, I can make the plums pop on it. If not, I go back to my Hot Head for that.

If you look at these beads for too long, you'll get sunspots in your eyes. Wow! They are bright, and they will wake you up early in the morning! I really like the brights. I think I'm one of the few. However, it's my art. I don't think I'll change.

I enjoy making vessels. I'm in an exchange right now that is a vessel exchange. I am trying to make blown vessels for this exchange. This is a bead I sent in for another exchange. All the beads had to be less than one inch in any direction. It was fun. This little cup was a result of that exchange. I participate in these exchanges because I learn and I grow as an artist from being in them. They are fun. I look forward to more in the future.

Here are more of the plums. They are nuggets made with light silver plum. You can see hints of the colors that have popped while heating them after shaping them. All I can say is Wow! I love the plums.

I told you I like bright colors and the plums. I also enjoy making totems. This is a bear totem with the eye. It was fun to make. It is one of my beads that sold. I hope that the person who bought this bead enjoys it.

That's the end of the old year. There were many more beads. Many of them broke or were wonky. I estimate that I give away about 90% of my beads. That's all right. I don't mind. It just gives me an excuse to make more.

Resolutions? Like I said before, they can ruin any year. No, I just plan to have more fun this year. I don't know how, but I will. Beads will still be a big part of my life. Finding the right market and the right method to sell will be challenging, but there are always good causes, like Beads of Courage, who need beads for the kids.

2008? Fun, I hope! And still, for the love of beads!

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