Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Evolution of the Ladybug

Picking up where I left off a couple months ago, I mentioned that my ladybug beads would naturally evolve into bigger and better things. This post will work backward chronologically.

A “special request” led me into attempting to make sculptural lampwork beads. I began with creating ladybugs. As I played with the glass, all the time experimenting with colors, shapes and sizes, my ladybugs eventually evolved into…bees?
When you look at the bees you might think, “Well, that's easy, just make stripes of black and yellow going around the bead.” Wrong. That would be true if the bead hole ran horizontal—from nose-to-tail, so to speak. To get the stripes with a vertical bead hole I need to actually “build” the stripes one on top of the other.
You can see the stripes aren't “uniform”, and that drives the OCD in me crazy, but in nature the stripes on bees aren't “perfect”—in nature bees don't have awesome oogly-googly eyes either…

Wasn't this post about ladybugs? Oh yes, the ladybugs…
I wanted to call this yellow ladybug set, “Who farted?” but it sold too quickly!
One of the most recent changes to my ladybug beads is the option of horizontal, or nose-to-tail stringing holes. These are a little more rounded in shape and are slightly flattened on the bottom side so that hopefully they don't “spin” too much on the stringing wire.
Back detail of a couple of the newest vertical-hole ladybug beads. Another change is the size. The ladybugs are all now slightly larger than they used to be. I have also made their heads blend into the body quit a bit more. They are now more egg-shaped than pear-shaped.
I have tried a bunch of different colors and they do well, but red does remain the most popular, of course!
You can see the shape changing from my earlier style to the newest style. I have a preference for the newer, slightly larger, rounder ladybugs. They look less like ticks!
The size makes no difference in how easy it is to make the ladybugs. I know the slightly larger ones are a lot easier to get a “matching pair”. There aren't a whole lot of ways to measure out molten glass. It's mostly just “eyeballing” it as it is put on. It isn't unusual for a lampworker to make at least six beads, even small plain round ones, to get just one decently matching pair!
In the beginning…I made ladybugs. little red ladybugs. I'm happy with their “evolution” and I never know where they are going to take me next. Loving the creative journey although I have far more ambition than I have oxygen…