Well the first orders are trickling in for Christmas.
This custom order was great as it allowed me to experiment with encased flowers (which I love!
First I made a number of small thin sticks of glass called 'stringers' as shown below: The green one in my hand was used to make the 'stem' colour behind the flowers on some of the beads.
Next I had to set up a couple of critical bits of equipment for the task.....Do you see the silver cylindrical things by the sides of the torch... These are my special arm rests for delicate work; (which are two toilet rolls wrapped in silver foil!!) Very important and very technical as you can see!!!
God! Looking at it there, it looks like a right mess! All I can say is when I'm mid-project, the glass rods go everywhere (much worse than this) as you just tend to grab for the thing you need and then drop that and move on to the next; there's not much room for order when molten glass is in your hand!)
The close ups you are about to see all use the same method to make but the petal colours were different sizes and colours. The beads all started off life as a minuscule white mini-bead on the mandrel. Then I added a clear layer (quite thin), then the stem layer. Next, white was laid on to the bead to provide a backdrop for the coloured petals, then the petals. A bit of shaping of the petals was next. Finally a deepish coat of pure clear glass encased the whole lot... Ta Da!!!
This is either a forget-me-not or an iris depending on how you see it..
primrose? (I know it should have 5 petals..)
I think the red and pink is my favourite. (Something about the colour combo I think)
Here is the set all finished and ready to be a nice Crimbo pressie:
I know that in the end the Christmas build up will be chaos (it was last year), but if any of you lovely people have any particular requirements that you know of now in the way of glassy, beady presses, please let me know in good time as most pieces will take at least a week to turn around. (by the time I've made it at the torch, then kilned it, cleaned it, done the glass work, and then the silver work and mounting after).
I am planning to be at the Oldfield School Christmas fair again (if they'll have me). It's on the 5th of December which is a Friday from 6pm to 8pm in Maidenhead.
Maybe see you there... x