21 February, 2010

Just listed: a fish and a set!

This week has been insane in many ways and I haven't found any time for listing or blogging until this weekend. So now I want to show you two items.

The first one might not be a great surprise - it's a fish!
Goldie, lampwork fish

Goldie is a girl with a taste for glamuor. Her body send out sparks from the gold aventurin I used for the pattern. Her fins are in light and medium amber that bring out the golden look and her lipstick is dark red.

The next item is really five items. It's the first set I've ever listed!

They are made of dark grey glass with a white dot pattern. I'm really fond of the tranquility in them.

But most of all I'm quite proud of having made a set! I'm normally more of a focal kind of lampworker. When I make a bead I allready have the next one planned in my head and I jump between styles and techniques. A lot of the joy in torching lies in the infinite possibilities and constant ability to change.

On the other hand I'd love to make jewellery with a set of lampwork beads! And I guess I'm not the only one thinking so.

For further info and more beads and jewellery, please visit my ArtFire studio!

13 February, 2010

Is it really that difficult?

Lot's of people probably wonder what's so difficult about lampwork. And when you look at all the amazing work by all the great lampwork artists, it really doesn't seem so hard.

But there's lots and lots of practice behind every single one of those stunning creations.

Over at Watch me Create I found this post from a talented jewellery designer who made her second atempt on lampwork the other day. Read Lori Andersons post here!

11 February, 2010

My blog and other blogs

There's a lot of blogs in my life. The present one is obviouse! I try to keep it updated, but when my real job gets in the way it's sometimes hard to find time for it.

I also have two other blogs - both in swedish - that almost dead due to lack of care.

And than I have duties on two community blogs. Monday is my day to show of my work at Handmade in Europe. It's run buy a group of european ArtFire artist. We make all sorts of stuff and have great fun together. You should really visit the blog if you fancy handmade items! In a month or so there will be a give-away too, so keep an eye on it.

On Wednesdays I've taken over the Bead of the Day on Fire Divas blog. Fire Divas is a group of 21 lampworkers from US and Canada. And me!!
Under the the heading Item of the Day (wich occurs several times each week) the author pick one of the beads that has been listed during the week. And every week it's so hard to choose!
Keep an eye on this blog if you like lampwork!

08 February, 2010

Beads or jewellery? A lampworkers dilemma

I bet all of the lampwork artists who also make jewellery know this dilemma: You open your kiln and pcik out the annealed beads. You release them from the mandrel and carefully clean them from bead release (the clay the steel mandrel is dipped in before you make your beads).

And now what?

Should I sell it as it is?

Or should I make some kind of jewellery out of it?

And in that case - sterling silver or silverplated?

Or leather or beaded or....?

And what length?
(I borrowed this picture from Reeds. Hope they'll excuse me!)


I find I tend to keep more and more of my beads as they are. This is for several reasons:

1. I think that in webshops, people prefer buying beads to jewellery. That's beacause you often want to see pices you are going to wear with your own two eyes. Beadshoppers are also used to shopping online and therefore has a lower treshold for buying stuff unseen.

2. If someone wants a bead made into jewellery, that's easily done. The customer can also decide wich material, length etc he or she wants to have. If, on the other hand, someone wants to take the bead out of the jewellery, I'd say no, of course. I might make a similar one though!

3. I have homeparties with my beads and jewellery now and then. And though people love touching and trying my jewellery on, I sometimes think they love going through my bead boxes even more! I very often get orders on jewellery made from beads out of my boxes. And here too can they decide wich materials to use etc. They even have a display of my materials at hand as I always have quite an exhibition of jewellery at these parties!

4. It's also a question of time. I love making jewellery but I LOVE making beads. And as there are only so many hours in a week...

On the other hand - there will always be people who loves to buy readymade. And also - not least important - I really enjoy putting out the torch once in a while and make something with some of my glassy goodies!

06 February, 2010

Bead of the day on Fire Divas blog!

One of my beads is Bead of the Day on Fire Divas!!
Check it out: Fire Divas blog

And don't forget to join our Facebook fanclub for everyday updates from the Fire Diva world!

04 February, 2010

Just listed and going out of the saftey zone.

Yesterday I actually listed two items on Babs Beads & Design on ArtFire. One of them is another example from my fish collection:

This one differs from the others in one significant way; It actually tries to look like a real fish! It's a glassy friend to the swordtail fish (Xiphophorus helleri) swimming around in our aquarium here at home. Swordtails come in a lot of different colours and most common is the all orange one, but ours have black fins and tail.

The bead is a female fish as I thought the sword that adorns the male swordtail would be to thin and fragile for a glass bead. At least if it's going to be worn in a piece of jewellery!

The other bead is something quite different. It's easy and fun to make a kind of bead you are familiar with and just alter colour combos and little details. It's also very much fun to be inspired by other beadmakers and see what you can come up with, using their concept.

But sometimes I need to step completely out of the saftey zone and do something different. Just play around with different glass and see what comes out!

Mostly, the beads that are a result of this process end up in the "good idea but need to be worked on"-bowl I've got in the kitchen window. (A bowl that all kids that come here LOVE to go through! They think the beads are all beautiful.)

But sometimes I come up with a bead I'm really happy of. This is an example of such a bead:

I call it Winged raku, cause I don't know what else to call it! :) The black bead has a raku frit deco that developped wonderful colours. I'm deffinitly not a raku-master, so I'm excited every time I get soe kind of colour out of that glass.

The wings are made of light amber and Rubino oro.

For more info on these beads, please visit my ArtFire studio!

02 February, 2010

Just listed

Well, "just" is a relative word, isn't it! :)

On Sunday I found time to take picture of a few objects that is going up on ArtFire this week. So yesterday I posted another fish - Marina:

Her clear body has a pattern of blue aventurin that sends of beautiful sparks. As hard to catch on photo as the sun on the sea. Hence her name!
Her fins are white and ink blue and she is 42 mm long. Big girl!

Today I listed a turtle for a change. That's another creature I love to make. This one is called Orangina:

Her shell is orange with vanilla yellow pattern. It's encased and on the top Iäve added a pattern in white and light lemon yellow.

This is the kind of bead that cracks on me most often. And, annoying enough, it's always as I add the finishing touch - the toes! They are quite hard to get there and melt in without them disappearing and it takes quite some concentration for me to get it right. And while concentrating on the toes, I sometimes forget to keep the shell hot. So it cracks. Any lampworker know the sound of a cracking bead and what it feels like when you've put a lot of time and energy into a bead when just to hear that sound. And there is nothing to save a turtle that has cracked!

But this one made it! Count your blessings! :)

For more details on the listed beads, please visit my ArtFire studio!

01 February, 2010

Valentine sale for all Facebook fanclub members

It's very much winter here in Sweden and I'm looking for ways to cheer me - and you - up. So I decided to have a sale for all my Facebook Fanclub members. Maybe you can cheer someone up to with a little gift!
Go to my fan page and see what the deal is!

BabsBeadsandDesign on Facebook