Friday, 20 August 2010

Special Bead Days

Lampwork Glass BeadsWhenever someone writes to me and asks if they can buy a set of beads from my gallery I always feel a little bit bad when I reply and tell them no and that I don't do remakes or commissions. That person has seen my work and likes it enough to want to buy it and I then I go and tell them that it's not possible.

Why do I say no?

Well, it's not so much me that's refusing - most of the time it's my Beadmaking Muse. I tell you, if I could remake beads on demand I would. Every now and again I have Special Bead Days upon which I make really good beads. And that's not me blowing my own trumpet. By 'really good beads' I mean beads that I love and am mega-proud of.
There are special-beads-gone-by that I would love to make again! They include :

The 'Plume' beads at the top of this post.

My 'Pleats' beads :

Lampwork Glass Pleat BeadsMy 'Quant Geometrics' discs, squares and triangles :

Lampwork Glass Disc BeadsAnd my 'Candy Rainbow' Lentils :
Lampwork Glass Striped Lentil BeadsIt's the Candy Rainbow ones that I would love to be able to re-do the most. I like them. I'd wear them. I want to make more.
But I just can't. I've tried and tried. I give it a go every other month or so. It's not a glass thing - I know exactly what glass colours I used and I remember how I made them but for some reason I just cannot do it anymore.
I reckon Special Bead Days have something to do with outside determining factors. Factors like what colour socks I've got on, what day it is, what phase the moon is in, what song is on the radio, what the weather is doing but most of all, what kind of mood I'm in. Life things and moods affect my beadmaking greatly. If I'm not in the right frame of mind I just can't make beads full stop. Some days plain spacer beads are a challenge. Sometimes all I'll be able to make is spotty or dotty beads. But other days I get on a roll and time absolutely flies by and I make good bead after good bead and it makes me really happy and I go 'Yeah! Bead power!' out loud. Yes. I do. I say it out loud.
I'm guessing that the beads I wish I could make again were made on Special Bead Days when all of the outside determining factors were aligned and in harmony. Maybe I'll never be able to replicate them. But that's not all bad. Yesterday I was trying my hand at the old Candy Rainbows again but I ended up making these :
Lampwork Glass Lentil BeadsOkay, so they're not as nice as the original Candy Rainbow lentils but I reckon they've got potential. I could, and probably will, investigate the possibilities of these further.
So if you email me and ask for some beads you've seen in my gallery please know that my 'Sorry but no' answer is nothing against you. I love that you like my work so much and that you would willingly part with your hard-earned cash for it and for that I thank you. You'll have to have a word with my Beadmaking Muse. I don't know if said muse is male or female (can you even have a man muse?) but if you do manage to pin The Muse down please can you ask them what colour socks I was wearing on the day I made the Candy Rainbow lentils?


Bobbie Pene said...

I can totally relate to what you are saying. When I get behind my torch, I make what my mind and mood tell me at the time. I don't think I could recreate something on demand.

Frau Putz said...

Oh, I can understand why you would want to re-do the Candy Rainbow beads ;)

Thankyou so much for sharing the tutorial on the encased silver-drops-bead. Lovely. I suddenly also knew how you made all the beautiful beads with the crackled ivory and silver "belt". They are my favorite, and the ones I would most want to experiment with right now. Must go and buy silver string.

Being a newbie at beadmaking I just LOVE beadmakers who take the time to share and let others in on their little secrets.

If I could make a little tutorial-request... then I would love to know how to make pleats - or what you call the "stripes" in the plume and pleats-beads - you see I don't even know the right terms in the beadmaking community yet ;)
Are they made with twisted canes of clear and coloured glass or...?
I just can't figure it out, and I have been absolutely unable to make anything like it in my little "studio".

Your beads are beautiful and very inspiring.

I hope you have a good bead-mojo today.


Fiona said...

I can completely understand. Also it makes your beads so special. I just hope that one day i make it to your site in time to buy some.

Helga Hansen said...

Being someone who uses the "end" product, we're spoilt when it comes to buying stock that looks the same. However, sometimes I like knowing that when I've made something using "once off" beads/wool/etc. there won't be another like it.

I used to knit scarves and sell them, and there was never any guarantee that I could get the same wool again - so I made my sales based on "what you see is what's available".

Perhaps you need to keep a diary, listing all the things you're wearing/eating/drinking on the day you make the beads? :D Then again, that would just take *all* the fun out of it!!

Sue Doran said...

I really like the new Candy Rainbow lentils!

Other things to add to the list of things that can affect beadmaking:

How much gas is left in the bulk tank

Whether or not the postman has been yet

How full the bird feeders are

And during August/September ... the presence of delinquent wasps!

Pretty Things said...

What a wonderful post!

I love all those beads you showed, and of course would love to have them all -- but I completely understand about custom orders and having to be in a groove. And glass is our master sometimes and not the other way around.

(BTW, LOVE your new photo on the sidebar!)

jan.c. said...

Ooohh Laura I thought it was just me that had "strange" days!! Days when everything I touch just crumbles around assistants ignore me...i loose things....and life just doesn't sit right!
Then other times the positive ions just fly thru' the air and everything I do goes right without a hitch...
I'm amazed that you keep producing such individual beads...don't look back your fine as you are!!

clarkprocure said...

Gosh Laura, the plume beads are my favourites, I just love the way the colours look like small rose petals, like you've placed them one on top of the other.
Your Beadmaking Muse, reading up on this, just for you, some say there are only three Muses, but others say there are nine, I think we should stick with the three, "one who is born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, and a third, who is embodied only in the human voice" (Wikipedia). But the most important thing; The Olympian myths set Apollo as their leader and he told me the socks you asked about were pink, (with coloured stripes)


averilpam said...

Those beads are all gorgeous! I make one of a kind jewellery and I love the idea that I could make it with beads that are also unique.
I've started making polymer clay beads and I couldn't imagine churning out loads and loads of the same beads or lots of identical necklaces etc.

Laura said...

It's nice to know that you all understand. :o)

And Kevin, thanks for looking up about the Muses for me. The sock bit made me laugh - I think I know the pair you mean! ;o)


CeeGee Jewellery Design said...

As a relative beginner it's such a relief to read this - I've had a couple of disasterous bead making sessions recently that left me thinking I was getting worse at beadmaking rather than better. Nice to know it's just my muse on strike :).