By Kimberly Rogers of NuminosityBeads
It was a seemingly simple request. A customer asked if I could make some more beads like these I had made which I had then sold to Nikki of LoveRoot on Etsy.
No problem. I had been using this buttery ghee color rod quite frequently lately.
and there's this raku frit which is one of my favorite surface additions.
Frit is a crushed glass which melts into wonderful multicolor caramel organic splotches. I'm really a big fan of its effect for my beads.
So I made a bunch just to be sure I had a good consistent set of four knowing the "Law of Custom Orders" was going to come into play. I wrote about it on my Numinosity Blog here last year.
I came close but not close enough. Where were the lovely purples that had bloomed out of the raku frit?
Maybe I had used this honey swirl instead but I couldn't find any in my stash since I had come back from Arizona. I probably had left some down there. One of the pitfalls of being a snowbird and having two studios
Then I found one lone rod left so I made up a whole bunch more with that color.
Turned out even less like I was looking for.
The glass can be fickle especially when you use the baking soda technique as I do to get a nice aged matte finish. You just don't really know how it's going to come out.
But I had done it before!
Thankfully the beads I made aren't total rejects and I've been able to sell some already
I was encouraged by this one headpin I had made with the same combination
Here it is held up to the light.
So I went ahead and ordered more honey swirl which just happens to be in limited amounts at my supplier but I was able to secure a small shipment.
And tried again ...Nah!
And tried with a different frit that I was pretty sure I hadn't used before in this combination.
I had run out of options.
then I made this
with this plain old topaz
and I got to thinking maybe I should try two more combos because I was starting to feel quite determined and stubborn about figuring out how to achieve this effect again.
I applied the frit once more
After melting in the baking soda with the torch the frit began to bloom purple like a bruise on a prizefighter's face. I was so encouraged, I thought I'd finally got it!
I'm really happy with how these came out...however....
As you can see the colors of the frit really did their magic this time but the base came out differently.
I think it's time to move on and be satisfied with what I've got because I've exhausted every combination and have come back to the conclusion that the glass is rather fickle with the combination of baking soda added to the mix and that's why I can't exactly promise replication of some particular beads.
Hopefully my customer will like what I ended up with regardless!