Hot Pink Problems

29 Mar

The striking pink bead I posted last time has turned into quite the learning experience. A friend saw the photo and asked for a similar one, also sparkly, which could be worn on its side like a lifesaver, about an inch in diameter. A great challenge! Here is the breakdown:

  1. Worn on its side – I think this means another row of dots should be added to the sides, so there is less transparent core showing through and more of the hot pink awesomeness. Of course, I had already made an attempt at bead before I realized it needed more dots. See second bead down in the below photo.
  2. Also sparkly – keep up the dichro.
  3. About an inch in diameter – Okay, let’s built that sucker up!

In practice, here are ways I’ve gotten all three of those requirements wrong in the subsequent attempts:

  1. These extra dots mean working closer to the mandrel, and with thinner stringer. This has caused an uptick in dot-placement errors. Worse, the first dots that get laid down are in white, which is an extra gooey color. So whereas with another color of class, a misplaced dot can be knocked off the bead, the white immediately gets welded to the bead and cannot be removed. Ooh, I have an example of this catastrophe in action. I present to you, in the third bead down,  thirty minutes of work, ruined:  ClioDonuts
  2. Also sparkly. I thought I’d use a different color of dichroic glass for the bead, one with blue, which I thought would go well with the bluish pink. Unfortunately, as you can see in my first attempt for my friend, in the bead second from the top, this blue doesn’t sparkle much. Initially I thought it was because of the way I applied it, but as you can see in the fourth and most recent bead attempt, the blue just doesn’t show much.
  3.  Bigger. Yikes, this has been a pretty big issue. All beads have been too small, despite real attempts to make them bigger. I had to watch a youtube video of Kristina Logan working on a donut to get at what my problems were.

So here we are. I have another attempt in the kiln right now, which for the most part got things right. It’s much bigger, and has a nice donut shape, well placed holes, and the right dichroic. However, right near the end, disaster struck, and the bead release broke. A bit of it got stuck to the bead (AGHHHHHHH), and I didn’t get to do a final shaping to get everything as smooth as I wanted, because the bead was sliding around. It won’t be nearly as nice as I had hoped, although I’m guessing it will still be pretty bitchin’. No regrets though, each of these projects, even the ones that are laughable when they come out of the kiln, are learning experiences. Three hours of glass practice a day are doing wonders.

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