So the last few weeks I have been in a creative slump. I don't know whether it was doing a series of shows plus my regular work, or whether it's simply that something in my brain is saying that it's time to pay attention to necessary repairs around the house. The kitchen needs repainting, the living room flooring needs to be changed from filthy carpet to laminate, and the garden is in desperate need of attention and winterizing. As my job comes first and there are so many leisure hours in the day, the torch is of necessity taking a background spot right now.
Maybe that's a good thing, because it lets me regenerate. But when I don't torch regularly, I also feel as if, when I do come to the torch, as if all I do is to waste glass.
What to do, what to do? I still have one custom order to finish, and while sometimes one is sick of making the same beads over and over and OVER, at the same time, structure is a good way to jump start the ideas for new beads.
I also asked friends to give me assignments, and Gwacie of Gwaciebeads came up with an assignment: a blue focal with dots spiraling on it. Another friend, Tinroof, suggested beads made with two variants of copper ruby frit and silver on a black base.
The CR bead didn't work for me, but in fairness I tried it last, and was tired. As for the blue focal, first I took Gwacie literally and tried my hand at THE blue bead (first picture, made by Sarakay). This bead style became a real sensation for a while, and generated many copies after Sarakay posted her fantastic tutorial. I didn't get the right reaction, but you can see a little bit of it on my bead. It isn't THE Blue Bead, but it is still pretty.
Then I actually did Gwacie's assignment. First off was a bead
of turquoise and that lovely peachy coral, the one that can go orange and peach and all shades in between. I layered the dots (they really intersect, not swirl) and copper mesh.
Then I tried a new Vetrofond color that has a really nice streaky clear blue background, and made swirled dots for it. I just grabbed stringers at random, and found that they were some I had mixed for a floral bead. That meant that the dots were not crisp and clean, but instead were somewhat muddy. Oh, well. It fit the bill. Then I got sidetracked trying to make good chunky discs.
Next up when I get to the torch will be the Copper Ruby / fine silver reaction, as per Tinroof, and Gwacie's next assignment: the longest tube bead I have ever made, the teeniest decorated bead I have ever made, and the bead with the most colors I have ever used. Of course, I wound up taking a side-trip this last weekend ... tell you about that tomorrow.