Monday, August 19, 2013

The Elusive Striped Bead

Ah... the striped bead. It has been my Holy Grail of lampworking. All these years in and I still suck! I still read tutorials and try one from time to time. But last week, it was just driving me nuts. I'm really good at some things... WHY can't I get THIS??? Grrrrrrr!

These are the ones I've deemed O.K. to show you: 
I always seem to have some color gap or a twist going on. I know the twist is heat control and the color gap must be volume control but when I've added the right size / equal amounts of glass, WHY do I still have this issue???

Well, the heat control turned out to be a bigger factor than I thought. I make big beads and... I LOVE to work hot and fast! Most of my big beads take me an hour or more to make! It seems really hard to justify "wasting" 5 - 10 minutes on ONE LITTLE bead!

So I sat down and read every tutorial I could find, one MORE time! And I finally made some decent stripes! See that pink and brown donut on the left... That bead has been in my head for a decade! 
Heat control is HUGE. I remember Kimberly Affleck demoing that she could tap her bead on her marver without smushing it before encasing! You can't case a soft bead and not have it distort. Working UNDER the flame is key!

And volume control... having equal size dots is imperative and still an issue!

But's patience. After making these for an hour and a half, my old tricks started coming back. I was losing patience waiting for glass to melt and they started to distort again. The pink twisted one is the last one I made.... SIGH.
But it is FINALLY starting - just beginning- to click! OY!

These are links to the tuts that helped me:

Corina's Subtle Stripes
Basic Stripes by Melinda Melanson

Candice Mathewson's Cased Layered Triangle Bead
Karen Mitchell's Advice (Post #8)
Kandice Seeber's Striped Tutorial (for sale) 

1 comment:

Dzign by Jamie said...

I think they're turning out great!!

I feel the same way about drawing with stringer. Good thing we have lots of glass to practice!