Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Search for an inspiration and motivation

I had very odd day today. I usually am full of energy and ideas when I go to torch, and it gets almost overwhelming to decide how to start, cause there are just so many things I want to do. Well, today I had no such problems, my inspiration was totally lost! I decided to start with making few pairs of beads for ear rings, since I am taking a part in an ear ring exchange. My way of making the ear ring pairs is to make them in one mandrel, to get them the right size. But this time I decided to use bead rollers to get them exactly the same size. When ever I was using the bead roller, one of my beads would break lose, and I would have to finish them as itty bitty single beads. I was so upset about it, that I totally lost my concentration and inspiration for the rest of the day.
I tried few new things, but was not happy with the results, and decided that I needed to end the session with a good note. I decided to make a tornado bead, the technique that I use often, but used new colors for me. I had used both base, and encasement color before, but never together, nor in the tornado bead. I was pleased with the results, the bead looks pretty, especially in person. But I remained unhappy with the way my session had gone.
I was just wondering what do people do to calm themselves down when things are not going like they should? Is there some way of getting calm in an instant, or is there something that one could do, that would ease up the racing (or raging) mind? I found out, that after several unsuccessful attempts I needed to have at least one positive, just to keep my sanity. I did accomplish that, but I was still upset of how much time I had wasted getting nothing done.
I will try to work on getting re-organized and concentrate on the fun and positive aspects of creating. But sometimes it is really difficult to achieve, when you feel like you are failing. How to inspire and motivate yourself then?
I know so many talented artists, that keep creating day after another amazing stuff, and I bet they have days when they feel like failures, but they bounce right back and just keep going, I'd just like to know how they do it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feather Tutorial

After few requests to write a tutorial, I will be attempting to do so.

The skill level:
Basic skills to just make a bead, plus you need to be able to make a twistie, or have purchased ones for use, I like to use the ones with reactive glass, and to get nice feathery effect, it needs to be quite tight. The little shorts of the twisties that are too tiny to use for anything else, are great for this, you only need about 1/2 inch piece. Also raking is essential part of this technique. Other than that it is all about heat control and imagination!
To rake I use pick made out of clear rod, rather than actual rake that misplaces too much of a glass, with glass pick you can pick the excess off.

Start making a base bead, I like to use ivory, for it's natural look, and because it mottles little, so the feathers get more realistic look.
Just make a cylinder shape bead, or what ever shape you want, as big as you wish.
Let the bead cool down a little, not enough to crack, but enough so that it keeps it's shape while applying the twistie.

Take the piece of twistie with tweezers, or apply the twistie directly from the longer piece. Once it is on the surface, heat it up little to make sure it attaches to the glass, and won't shatter. Then apply other feathers, if you wish to have more than one. Once all the feathers have been applied, heat it so that the twistie melts onto the surface. I over heat usually a little, it makes the twistie spread little more, and it will make really pretty feathers, but don't let the shape get out of control.

Once you have the feathers melted, and you are happy with it, spot heat one feather at a time, and use a clear glass pick, that you have flashed in the flame few times, to rake from the 1/4 or 1/3 from the top of the feather, down to the vein. If one raking motion won't do it, no worries, you can rake as many times as you need to, just don't get your pick stuck on the feather, give it enough heat to keep it flowy enough. If your pick gets stuck, just cool it down by blowing on to it, and wiggle it to break it off, and reheat the feather to continue where you left it off. Once you have nice vein on the bottom of the feather, pick up the extra glass with your glass pick, and now you are ready to either smooth out all the raking with some polishing, or press your bead.

Sorry, no photoes of the process, I would need an extra hand!
Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring is here!

The first night I can hear the crickets chirping outside. The younger cat Zubov going bonkers hunting all night for mosquito hawks. And the weather is pleasant!
I am trying to be very productive, but it doesn't always show the way I want it to. I am working every week extra, trying to study for the state boards, so I can finally do what I was trained to do. And I am trying to make some beads. If it was up to me, I would rather skip the work and studying, and just make beads. Don't we all?
This is also the time of the year, when outside requires more than I have time to give it. Trees need trimming, the old leaves need raking, and there are tons of new stuff (especially after very cold winter) that needs to be planted.
All kinds of projects are awaiting, and I would be all over them, if I had time for it. I am finally at point where I feel confident with my glass work, I feel like my new start is here, it might not be a sudden avalanche of sales, but it is a process.
I have also gotten some requests for a tutorial, so I will definitely make one, as soon as I have any time to do it!
I am loving this time of the year, perfect weather for torching. I'm trying to take advantage of it, as long as it lasts!