Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cupcake Wars

Alternate Titles: Bead Maker Goes Mad Over Cupcakes or OMG! What Was I Thinking???

Yes, I AM obsessed with all things cupcake! I watch every show about them. I've long been mesmerized by the myriad of cupcake shops that have popped up in LA and once spent a day driving to many of them, just because.

And long before that, I was obsessed with glass pastries. If you remember back to the beginnings of this blog (has anyone been reading that long???), beadmaking started for me when I couldn't get a bead maker to make me a wedding cake bead like I wanted. With my cake decorating background, I knew that no one wanted a white cake with green leaves. And yet my bead maker could not help herself from placing green leaves on the cake!

A few weeks ago, I published my own answers to a questionnaire I like to give to other glass artists. And in that article, was this photo:

I made these on a whim... just to see if I could. No thought, very little effort and by some miracle, they were the same size...something I find very difficult to do.

That photo led a friend of mine from real life to ask for a custom pair of chocolate raspberry earrings. No problem, I said. My God! What was I thinking????!!!!????

My first torch session yielded a bunch of these... no two in the same size.

Two problems with this. This is three times the size of the others and... wrong color. They were supposed to be chocolate with raspberry icing. So I dipped more of my micro mini mandrels and hit the torch again.

I proceeded to make ALL kinds of cupcakes. This is the largest and the smallest. I made smooth top, I made swirly tops, I made dotted tops. I made them big and small but never the same! I was pulling my hair out!

I sat there staring into my flame not knowing what was wrong. I made more and this is when I noticed... the mandrel was moving! And no, I don't mean spinning. It was sagging!

 I was working so hot ( I LOVE to work fast and hot!) that I actually broke the mandrel in the flame! Not one to lose a bead, I grabbed my tweezers and finished and tossed the mandrel bit in the kiln! With that I quit. After that batch cooled, I cleaned the mandrels and dipped them and really gave some thought to what I was doing.

I pulled thin stringer and quit working with whole rods. I turned the flame WAY down and tried again and FINALLY came up with 3 close matches for pairs.

Hopefully, my friend will like one of the sets! If not there may be more cupcakes in my future!

Here's the whole batch:

What craziness!!!

I wanted to mention the 10% Christmas in July Sale goes on. Save 10% on Artfire and Etsy and get free shipping. Fan page members get an additional 10% off and I've extended the sale to my glass beads website for Fans ONLY.

This is a new bead on Artfire.


rottrover said...

Oh my...but they are lovely. Maybe we can make something out of all of them...

belvedere beads said...

so sweet - it looks like you love your glass.