Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Lampwork Bead: Whimsical Heart

One day I decided that making a lampwork heart shape would be fun.

The heart and matching accent bead (two separate pieces) are made of Moretti/Effetre Italian glass in a light to medium shade of red. This red, when exposed to different heat levels produces a marbled, mottled effect that can't be seen as well in the pic.

The heart is approximately 17mm high and 19mm wide. It's little rondelle friend is approximately 6 x 10mm. They were made on a 3/32" mandrel and will fit on up to a 12-gauge wire.

I made a nice little post stand out of glass from a FREE tutorial by Mary Lockwood of Mary Lockwood Lampwork Glass. It's a great little stand for displaying and photographing beads upright.

(My photography is still going to be the death of me!)

New Lampwork Beads—Rubino Oro???

The 9x6mm rondelles are now for sale in my Art Fire Shop.

There is a glass, "Gold Ruby", "Ruby Gold", "Cranberry Gold", among others, and, of course, "Rubino Oro" (which translates to "gold ruby").

It has been long known in the glass and crystal world that to get a red or ruby color to glass real gold must be added, which pretty much explains why this glass is so freakin' expensive for me to buy!

Rubino Oro is also a very finicky color and changes depending on how, and how much, heat is applied.

I am in love with the rich transparent ruby color of this glass and decided to make a number of small beads with it and got unexpected results. These beads were completely cooled then batch annealed, which means they were slowly heated up again then slowly cooled to relieve any stress within the glass. As a result, these beads took on an interesting color that is a little darker and a lot less transparent than actual rubino oro. They went dark and transucent, not the transparent I was going for.

However, these beads have an interesting property. They "color change" depending on the light. This could be a designer's dream or a designer's nightmare depending on the desired effect. In bright light these beads are transparent, like looking at the sun through a glass of fine red wine. In fluorescent light, they are dark, mysterious, translucent, and almost purple, like a garnet. The effect is really interesting!

I probably won't make any more rubino oro beads like this, I will likely put them directly from torch-to-kiln in the future to get a more transparent effect.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wooo! I'm a Member of SRAJD!

"Thank you for your application to the international organization for the Self-Representing Artist in Jewelry Design. We are pleased to inform you of your acceptance into the SRAJD."

SRAJD stands for Self-Representing Artist Jewelry Designer.

An SRAJD member sells the jewelry that they designed and created. When you purchase from an SRAJD member, you are buying directly from and supporting the artist.

Member Benefits: You don’t receive anything tangible from the SRAJD organization, but you benefit from being part of a growing grassroots effort to raise customer awareness of the difference between artists trying to sell their own creations versus middlemen trying to make a buck off of slave labor and/or assembly-line craftsmanship. Connecting with like minds and being part of a team that strives to improve conditions for the artist can be considered a benefit, too.

To apply you must: Sell jewelry that you designed and made.

I'm member number 2217. Now I'm assuming that there are more self-representing jewelry artists than just twenty-two hundred and change...
So c'mon all you other jewelry artists! Join the grass roots movement and get your own number today! (I get absolutely NOTHING for making this request, I'm just excited)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

New Lampwork Beads, Amethyst Earrings

The pinks in this photo just don't show up as they do in life. I tried and tried to adjust for color and had it until I saved the image for the web and it stripped out a lot of my red color when compressing the file to .jpg. What would be to my advantage at this time is those people viewing this on monitors that punch up the red on everything :-D.

This lentil bead set is actually quite lovely. As you can see I like to work small. The lentil bead is only about the size of a dime. It has a pink and purple theme going on even though the pic doesn't show it as well as I would like it to. Again I used that delicious Moretti/Effetre Opalino Rose. The color reminds me of pink alabaster Swarovski crystal beads. I will have to compare those to this pink sometime. I also used silver pink, rubino oro, and lavender. The thin stripe through the center of the lentil is a result of a reaction between two or more of those colors. I was kind of experimenting so I don't remember exactly what I did. The resulting bead is quite stunning. The two accent beads are solid opalino rose. The spacers, Tibetan silver (a silver/zinc/steel alloy with a nice "heft").
These beads are for sale in my Etsy shop

These are my version of Eni Oken's "Mini Mosaic Earrings". I used grade A amethyst rounds from Magpie Gemstones. Swarovski pearls and crystals and sterling silver wire. The main part of each earring is just the size of a dime, very small, like my lentil bead. Those little beads around the outside are tiny 2mm Swarovski crystals. The tutorial for these earrings can be purchased from Jewelry

Thanks, Eni Oken for providing such a great tutorial and for the photography tips (even though I still suck at it).