Pressed Friday Fuglies
if not fugly, at least frustrating...

One person's loss is another's gain: f2tE swooped these beads up. I have no idea what she's going to do with ’em. I suspect they were both made with the wide crush, which is a press I'm having a lot of difficulty learning to use well. These beads are made with check glass, which has a wonderful palette of opaque turquoises and blue-greens; even with the new hand-pulled colors in effetre, there's still no line of glass to touch them. Alas, I suspect incompatibility problems, especially since the cracks tend to follow the boundaries of the differing colors..

2 cracked beads. Longest, approx 3" (75mm)

Or mebbe I was just too darned impatient to let the beads cool sufficiently before getting them out of the kiln, which is a shame, because I like both of these beads a great deal.

reverse. Spring 2009. The ruffle on the floral was my effort to address the asymmetry of the bead, and I rather like it as a solution.

So, for this second lot, I ramped and annealed the beads slowly; but then needed the kiln to be back at 960 for a second session of bead and button making, ramping it rapidly from 600–700 and using my small bead schedule thereafter, on the theory that these beads were already annealed, hollow, and half an inch or less thick.

4 more cracked beads, sigh. All about 1-1/2", made with the crush—they came out this length because that's how much bead release I had on the mandrels. At least the ends are improving...

Result? More cracked beads. Though I was careful to use only check glass—even the canes are check—the fact of the matter is this glass is geared towards one and two color (machine) pressed beads, and is only marginally compatible. I've had pretty good luck with the transparents (barring the garnet and tourmaline pink) but the opaque turquoises, lovely as they are, do not react well to casing, even check glass casing. Not to mention their evil, evil habits of popping, and doing the ’crack off an inch from the end as I'm winding the glass’ thing, which I hate.

and the reverse... these beads are first attempt at genuine bearded iris. The fattest is sort an intermediate effort, and very odd looking it is as a result, too—though I like the transparency of the petals.

So: not as frustrating as the infamous PIG, but definitely not in the same ease-of-use category as effetre, which is a shame, because the colors and clarity are wonderful.


first two photos, first draft, 5mar; second pair, post completed, 6mar09.