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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
More Pixie floral rounds
Practice becomes product

This is the third in a series of posts of pixie rounds, which have been serving as practice beads for floral techniques. In the first post, showed traditional circular venetian roses; in the second, I did a sort of tulip shape (not very successfully, I might add.

floral rounds on alabastro/opalino ‘ends’

These are simple 5 petal (or sometimes 4, or 6) type flowers, such as wild geranium or roses, which Leah Fairbanks does so well with striped cane. I decided to practice, piling the flowers on small (typically 10–14mm) hollow rounds. The nice thing about these beads is that unlike the vase shape, they don't really need warming, allowing me to concentrate on making good flowers. Or at least better flowers.

The ‘ends’ were from my friend Kristin Perkins. I'd stick a 1 or 1-1/2 piece of rod onto a handle of the same kind of glass, and that is usually just about the right amount for one bead. I don't like pixie dust on opaques, but I think it looks nice on the translucent 300 and 500 series Effetre.


The secret to getting good 5-petal flowers is to pull the center to a sharp point, either with the stringer, or if necessary a pair of #5 forceps, and let it ball up.


I still haven't worked all the bugs out of this lime and purple ribbon stringer, but when I do, I'll publish the recipe, cuz it's very pretty for bearded iris (which are blooming gloriously, if sparingly, in my garden.)


These blue beads were the largest, and also the ones when I really started loading on the flowers. I think the color scheme needs a touch of poison, or at least for that saturated blue to be toned down, but I imagine someone else would just love it. Really piling on the flowers as dense as they will go not only gives me plenty of practice per bead and covers up deficiencies in my technique it also uses up lots of striped cane. Like this stuff, now gone, gone, gone, which means I can now make some blue stripe cane I like better.


I've now made so many of these pixie rounds decorated with floral trailing that there are enough to show and sell. And they're a great way to practice florals (even simple round base beads) , use up semi-failed striped cane, and rod ends—without Kristin's little alabastro and opalino pieces, I don't think I would've tried these on the 300 and 500 base glass, and I'm really quite happy with the effect. So they've accomplished a lot of things for me.

Opalino, alabastro base beads, decorated with hand pulled ribbon cane. Effetre. Beads are approximately 10–14mm in diameter. Made during late May and early June.