Sunday, July 31, 2011


Yesterday's little medallion spawned a prettier sibling which grew up into a fairy princess, but that's not where it started.
It started with a lampworked bead on a necklace that I happened to wear on Friday, but that's not where it started either.

Probably about ten years ago or so, my friend Gayle got into lampwork, and we happened into a conversation in which a lampworker who sells on eBay was mentioned. I promptly clicked over to look at her work, fell in lust, and fell into a deep depression (I'm embellishing here; I was somewhat disappointed) to see that her beads went for many hundreds of dollars a set, not infrequently in the thousands. I once saw a final price of over four thousand dollars, though that was unusual.

I went over to her personal site and saw that she offered sets for about $250, which while way more expensive than any beads I'd ever bought, didn't seem that excessive, especially when compared to the feeding frenzy that was her eBay listings. (They're no longer listed on her site).

Current boyfriend thought a gift certificate for a set of beads would make an excellent birthday present (it would have), but she was sadly no longer offering $250 custom sets since her auctions were so much more profitable. Disappointed, the gift certificate for the offerings of a particular artist transmuted into any set of beads on eBay, but after looking around some more, I realized that I could make that money go way further than a single set of beads, as there were so many incredibly talented artists selling for an order of magnitude less, and so started a period of obsessive purchasing of lampwork beads on eBay that continued for about six months until I got laid off.

(As an aside, she's no longer my favourite lampwork artist. Her use of colour is exquisite, but I think much of her magic lay in her most excellent eBay listings: the photography, the layout, and her descriptions. In her life before glass she wrote for Rolling Stone, so it's hardly surprising that she'd captivate with her words. I prefer the intricacy of this artist whose work is equally out of my reach).

I have quite an impressive collection which includes multiple purchases from a few favourite artists, including Polychrome beads who has an Etsy shop, should I run out of her beads (not happening any time soon).
So on Friday I wore this necklace which I made from her bead, and I somehow latched onto the idea of a beaded slider that twirled.

It started with the medallions above, and I experimented to see if I could do a stiff enough twirl (actually, I knew I could, as I'd made a self-supporting, self-shaping donut bead for one of my very earliest kits many years ago, and had recently been thinking about reviving the technique).
Yup, it worked, but the colours were horrible, so I started again.
I considered making another full twist, but I was impatient to make the other end. I'm not sure if a twist and a half would better display the slider ends, but that's a project for another day.
Right now, I'm pretty delighted with what I have.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

I really love where your inspirations come from! These are awesome!