In 2013 I collaborated with a lampshade maker who commissioned some beads she specifically wanted to match a couple of particular fabrics: she had acquired—perhaps at a bead show—a bead for inspiration, shown below:
Earlier version of the design uses 2 rounded petal flowers, same size, without the pink flower on top and green centers. Bead in foreground is customer's inspiration for project.
After working out the design, I sent out a bunch of pix via email for feedback; and since I had all this photo documentation, I figured I might as well use it in a webpage-style supplement of my studio notebook records.
Barrel beads with pixie. Bullseye cranberry, samples made 05APR2013 (according to my studio notebook)
The page below is my unaltered (& therefore probably not very exciting) notes for making a custom bead. The time spent with this client was delightful, and I treasure some of the goodies she gave me (that as of 2020, are still in progress) but ultimately the relationship didn't go anywhere, and I think, some 7 years later, it's safe to release this page into the wild.
The following notes were adapted from my studio notebook, and as you see, they're far messier and more imperfect than would be ideal, but that particular reality is pretty typical. At least for me. Enjoy.
colors for cane, etc
- golden pink cane: opal yellow, striped w EDP 254, cased overall with gold ruby 456
- Bright pink: unknown. Possibly dark opq pink cased with gold ruby & striped with white
- “white” (used for flower ctrs, dots): forgot. ivory cased with white and striped with clear?
- ultra-thin scrolling stringer: silver pink cased with white
- leaf: opaque ‘celadon’ (probably an opacified yellow-green); mosaic green; a very dark yellow green ‘sour’; pale yellow green (e.g. 071, or old 031 coke bottle) —see studio note book for cane layout
- Val cox pink mix pale
- TE cherry pink trans
- 068 (effetre orangey) pink
The original BE was clearly too dark for the fabric, so I made these lighter beads, laying them atop the first batch to make the difference obvious.
Bead is 36mm long. Measure with sharpie, scraping a thin delicate line into release (since ink will burn off) Build oval. Touch to frit, melt in, roll gently and then more firmly as bead cools in pink powder. Heat till oval, marver (in four directions to keep bead even and flat). Heat, remarver if necessary to get a good shape.
And here's a photo of the actual studio notes from the 14th March 2013.
Using v small flame, apply scrolling (<1mm stringer). Add three leaves, covering particularly ugly junctions of scrolling. Pull out points (using stringer). Add large 5 pointed petal on left side using yellow cane; pull out points and center. Add smaller 5 rounded petal flower on right side; pull out center. Add smaller 5 rounded petal on top of 5 pointed, spacing pink petals between yellow pointed petals. Use tweezers as needed to move center, shape etc.
Use opal yellow/white stringer to dot centers of flowers and add to curves of graduated dots on outside. Heat thoroughly & place in 980 (Hot garage) kiln.
(And, then, obviously anneal. I would've used a half hour soak & fast ramp down of 600 deg/hr. which was programmed in as the default for my kiln.)
Why yes, I am aware that my being slow to develop stuff is probably one reason so many of these trail balloons go nowhere....
Unless otherwise noted, text, image and objects depicted therein copyright 1996--present sylvus tarn.Sylvus Tarn