Tigers are the popular (big) cat to do, but I love working with frits and powders, so I made these little (25mm or less) hollow leopard heads. I photographed these beads 9jun2010, so they were probably made shortly before then.
Like all of my cat heads, they're originally based on Joy Cichewicz's tiger heads, which she makes by casing an ivory bead with ivory and black twistie, and then casing in amber (SOP for making ‘tiger’ beads). However I've messed with the formula a good deal to achieve my own look, though I'm still using the colored transparent to build the nose. The muzzle is Loren Stump's method of laying down black, then three dots for each of the cheek pads and chin and letting them flow together to make the black chops. One change I've made to Joy's design is to case the ivory parts of the muzzle in clear to make it flow better into the rest of the bead, which Joy does not, as she prefers to have a sharp, graphic distinction.
The scum and bubbles (especially evident in the ears) from working too hot or using crummy glass are all my own, however.
I used fine blue goldstone frit and a special coarse white enamel my friend Cindi B gave me to represent snow or clouded leopard fur.
Unfortunately, Cindi wasn't precisely certain where she got this wonderful enamel—she told me the name of a teacher, but the woman had no memory of it.
I contacted Fusion products, who are still waiting on me to send them a sample of this stuff, to see if they can duplicate it. But they had no records of anything this size either, and it's a very strong, opaque—not at all fritted 204, which is translucent at that size.
I'm pretty lazy about signing my beads, but occasionally, I do, particularly if they have an obvious ‘underside’ as these do (and I'm really happy with the way they come out, of course.)
Side view of a golden eyed snow leopard. This bead is not quite as good, and I got tired of loading images...really it's pretty similar.
14apr2018 —added caption to last photo, as its lack was borking the page indexing.
Collects the beady sculptural pages. (This is where all the birdie bead links went, btw...) 17apr2014
The December bead challenge has a palette of red, green, white, black and/or grey. Metal color: silver. Bribe: cardinal birdies. New technique: building on wire. 15nov2013
A purple, green and gold birdie made as a hostess gift for a New Orleans themed Fat Tuesday party. 21feb2013
I make a bunch of heart-breasted beads to satisfy a Valentine's challenge and practice sculptural beadmaking. 16feb2013
In which I discover why casing ivory with effetre 068 transparent pink is not A Good Idea . Originally posted 13feb10. 13feb2010
Scaramouche or Severus Snape, this fella with the lank black hair and big nose has provided me with hours of beadmaking amusement. Originally posted 06jan10. 06jan2010
Wendy Zollars and I participated in a collaboration as part of the joint GLBG/GlassAct challange, exhibited at the Lawrence Street Gallery in November of 2009. Originally posted 04dec09. 04dec2009
One of a series of `magnificent' tigers that went off to China. Originally posted 12jan10. 12jan2010
So, Easter morning, cuz I'm so good at planning ahead, I made the f2 generation some easter-themed gifts from these bunny beads . Originally posted 13apr09 13apr2009
I got inspired to try tigerheads again, and was actually not too ashamed of this one. Originally posted 09apr09. 09apr2009
second in a series of sculptural head beads for 2007, which is perhaps the third time I've returned to this theme. Originally posted 16mar07 15mar2007
Actually, I'm inclined to believe Cindi was correct, as her memory, like so many people who are not obsessive list makers, tends to be very good—whereas a teacher, teaching hundreds of classes over the years, could easily forget a long ago material.
Unless otherwise noted, text, image and objects depicted therein copyright 1996--present sylvus tarn.Sylvus Tarn