Lotus raking
in black, red and ivory

These beads date from a series that I made in 2015, playing with stripes, both gravity swirl and these large (for me) hollow ‘lotus raked’ beads featuring opaque ivory and a nearly opaque luscious, slightly greasy red, reminiscent of marachino cherries—possibly a CiM sangre (or even marachino—they had a red called that, for a while, but I think it had more orange in it.)

Assorted raked beads; the one in the lower right measures approximately 22mm. Soft glass; some (possibly all) manufactured 22Aug2015. Photographed 16Sep2015, f/3.5 1sec (so, obviously, with natural light...) The highlights on the two closest beads have been retouched; image is also cropped.

I liked these beads a lot, but they were problematic because the raking causes thin spots, particularly in soft glasses like ivory, which led to holepops, or worse, holes breaking through the thin spots in the walls. (My studio notes include the instruction to sharply rake just the very surface of the glass, rather than pushing around a big wodge (as for the bead in the bottom left, frex, to prevent this problem. It also provides for a sharper, more dramatic look, especially in the thin black trailing.) —So I never really pursued these beads, at least not at this scale. Smaller beads might have roughly the same wall thickness, but it's a considerably thicker ration to the bead's volume (and for the same reason smaller beads act more like solids, making them a little easier to melt round after the raking process.)

f14, 1sec also (meaning I was trying to combine a low level flash—hence the high fstop, which, combined with the lowest setting on my lumopro would have made the natural light a greater percentage overall) but without any image manipulation. Ugh, those hot spots & ugly shadows...

I also wasn't terrifically happy with the photography. After failing to get pix with flash that I liked, I opted for natural light, but then there were all these annoying reflections of fluorescent lights, the photographer, etc, in the highlights. Ugh. —However, now I need to show the beads for another page, so I finally buckled down & cleaned up the highlights, enough so the photography doesn't actively annoy me. However, this image is considerably more manipulated that what I usually post, so I've included a second, un-retouched one for comparison.