Saturday, April 3, 2010

Some of my glass beads

Let me say first -- lampworking is hard. At least, it is for me. It's not one of those things that you become perfect at right away. This is tough for me because I like to master things FAST and this, dear readers, is just not going to happen.

But I'm learning something really interesting -- I need to melt glass for more reasons than just to make beads. Melting glass takes me to a zen state, a calming state that I can't really find while doing anything else. There's not a thing I can think of except the glass when I'm sitting in front of a torch and beside a kiln.

It's very hard for me to share my early efforts, but this IS the year of exploration, so I'm gonna. So here goes.
This one was decent enough that I made it into a pendant with amethyst for myself, a modest reminder that I'm on my way. I used Val Cox frit to make the pretty blue designs.

Lousy photo, but this is more Val Cox frit over a cobalt blue (DEEP cobalt blue) base, all in Moretti glass. It turned out even enough that I felt comfortable making a pendant out of it. Will anyone like it? No idea.
This one is a big friendly lump, kind of like Hagrid of Hogwarts, but it sure is pretty. The back, however, is (for lack of better description) burned. So this is its good side. Everyone has a good side, right?
These are made out of BullsEye glass, a glass with awesome colors but a definitely different feel from Moretti.

And these are all the beads I've made thus far. I have a small batch waiting to be cleaned, and a small batch in the kiln, but as you can see, I've not made many yet. So even though I have mostly lumpy wonky beads going on, I don't have NEARLY the practice time in to say "I can't do this".

Today I worked with a glass called Creation is Messy, and I LOVE that glass - melts like butter and fantastic colors, so I can't wait to show you my wonkies from that batch.

Thanks for looking!

Lori Anderson designs jewelry for and also writes for the blog


  1. Those are all terrific first beads, Lori! You are definitely on your way!

  2. I think they're all lovely. And I'm proud of you for trying something new and sticking with it even if it's difficult.

  3. Fabulous first beads. I can't wait to see what you have next! And, yes, it is hard. So much to concentrate on at once.

  4. Those are just wonderful! And yes, someone will want them! I especially love the "friendly lump" the colors are gorgeous!

  5. They're great! I made my first piece of jewelry today with some of my own wonky beads and I just love them! I completely's addicting and I can't wait to make some more!

  6. I wish I could make beads like those. I know it comes from a no-bead-maker but I really think you are doing a good job.

  7. I thought you said you were learning, those first two are magnificant.

    I like the wonky ones too and I wonder if I tried to learn these skills if I would get any 'good' at it as I really like the wonky quirky ones, they have their own type of beauty and would make strange and quirky jewellery pieces.

    Well I think so any way :)

  8. ooo pretty! I love your glass beads here! They're not wonky, they are beads with character, and that's something you can't buy at a store!

    Lovely, lovely work!

  9. A few more sessions and you'll be there! The beads you showed us are lovely and the pendants are gorgeous!

    I will share some tips with you I would have loved to know when I began melting glass:

    . Put an "horizontal line" (like a mandrel) in front of you down on your table and keep the mandrel you have in your hand while melting parallel to this "line" - it will help keep your beads centered, even and round. I use the tiles on my floor as my "horizontal" lines.

    . Before decorating your bead or if you see uneven edges, add more glass on the sides of your bead and melt it round.

    . Remember that melted glass is "attracted" to the center of the bead - so go ahead and put some more on each side. Don't try to make it round and perfect while first adding glass on the mandrel. The flame will take care of it and make it perfect:)

    Your right, lampworking is like a meditation. Glass has a personality of its own, in fact each color has, and it teaches you right away to go at its pace, never the other way around.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful work and Happy Easter!


  10. Lori - you're beads are beautiful! I understand exactly what you mean about wanting to be perfect right away...that's how I've been with polymer clay... I gave myself more leeway with glass, because the thought of clumsy me with a torch...well, that was scary. But, oh, so addicting. The main reason I started lampworking was to get my brain to turn off at the end of a stressful day of work. A 2000-degree torch and molten glass has a way of focusing your total attention. No multi-tasking, no watching TV at the same time. Just you, the torch, and the glass.

    And CiM colors...I totally agree. I like their colors just becuase of the names! And Cathy is great to talk with and is open to new color suggestions. Thanks for continuing to share, even if you aren't sure. I love the pendants you've made out of your beads!

  11. I am a lampwork bead artist; stick with it you are doing very well. It will get easier with practice. I agree that lampworking is a very calming craft; it is my escape when I'm stressed about my day job. Good luck and have fun!

  12. these beads look great..even the lumpy wonky ones..
    what is wonky but wabi sabi.
    I tend to keep the proto type of new ideas, it's so fun to go back and look at those first first rattle was lumpy and very odd looking, a little troll in comparison.

  13. For just learning, they look great! I really like the second one :)

  14. Oh Lori!!...You're coming along just wonderful!!! I really really like the second bead, the color mix is mesmerizing!! Congratulations and keep em coming..can't wait to purchase :)


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