Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Against the Odds

by Genea C-K

Wow, isn't that quote so true?! It's been a crazy last couple of weeks still prepping for Bead Fest Philly. Do you ever have those times where it seems like the world is against you? No matter how hard you try there is a some bump in the road that you manage to trip over despite your best efforts. I have been having a string of those days. Here I am prepping for this milestone mark in my glass career. The one thing I have been dreaming about since I started making beads. "Making it". Getting into that HUGE bead show and making a mark for myself in the bead world.

I would say attending this big show is just as much as a triumph as our move to Portland, OR. Against the odds we did it. It was my biggest success story until now...BUT not without many troubles along the way.


Those that lampwork saw this photo and immediately knew what happened. I broke the bead release. If you look on the left and right side of the bead you will notice that that whitish/gray is missing and that I have 2 big blobs of clear acting as "bumpers" to keep my bead from sliding right off either end of the mandrel ! I managed to save this bead from disaster, but I wasn't so lucky for the beads that followed...

This gorgeous bead that ended up taking me way longer than normal has a split in the top layer of glass! I saw the split start while I was working the bead and tried to "heal" the glass by re-melting it. I thought I had fixed it, but as you can see I was unsuccessful.

While creating this bead I literally "BROKE THE MOLD"! OMG you have got to be KIDDING ME?! Oh did I mention that this bead also managed not to make it?! *sigh*

When I inspected my beads from the last days work I found another crack only in the top layer of glass! You have GOT to be KIDDING ME! Not only did this bead split, but the other 4 out of 5 focals I was desperately trying to create cracked. So what the heck happened?!
Since the bead didn't split all the way through the layers this leads me to believe it's an "incompatibility crack". This means that 2 of my rods "didn't get along". So either my coe(coefficient of expansion) was different. How do we remedy that problem? SCRAP ALL OF THE GLASS I USED. UGH! I hate to waste all of those rods especially when this is just about how much I have left...

I was in town treasure hunting at "The Bins"(Goodwill outlet) with my mom and sister hoping to find some awesome new clothes for my Bead Fest outfits. The weather was absolutely GORGEOUS with cool temps and a nice breeze. I decided to stay in town and do my studio day on Saturday instead of Monday. Sweet a few days ahead of schedule! Then no more waiting a few more days stressing til I can get into the studio!
I sit down to work, and begin cleaning my glass. My mandrels are all dipped and my headpin wires are all wired up. I go to pull out my tools and realize my tool for my urchin beads is AT THE APARTMENT. UGH!

My last studio day's plan was to re-make the XL "Ocean Urchin Focals" I lost the other day! Now what? This was a bulk of what "had" to get made today? Well luckily for me I had more than one urchin tool so I had to use the other tool instead the urchin impression raised instead of indented like my other focals.

So after that dilemma I created 4 XL focals with new rods instead of my problematic bunch from the last session. The beads seemed to be working out great! *HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF*

Now onto the last task, making the "Bright Earth" Pod headpin sets. Almost done and smooth sailing now, right?! WRONG....

The glass I use for these sets is really soft. If the glass is too hot when I make the pods it pulls all of it instead of just the tip of glass making that wonderful pod point. So as you can see I was having an awful time finishing up the headpins. Oh and not to mention that my glass was running out at an alarming speed.

So you get desperate. As you can see I stuck many little "shorts" together to milk every last bit of glass out of my remaining rods.
I had wrapped my headpins wires too long too so to get more stability winding glass on my headpins I had wrap an extra wrap of wire at the top to stabilize them .

I FINALLY finished only a "short" (ha ha) 5 hours later.


The last kiln load program was set and I was finally DONE. Making beads! *Whew*

Check out this baby! I had some more bead release break on me that last session too, but against the odds I did it!

The "Bright Earth" pods turned out awesome! Thank God! Success!
I spent yesterday packing up and inventorying my beads.

Bags of beads getting inventoried on the computer.

Totes to load up with show stuff.

My empty display.

Jewelry to price and inventory.

 One full drawer of inventoried beads.

 Side view of the drawer full of beads to show scale.

So that brings us to today. I was so tired from inventorying beads that I decided to do my blog post this morning, BUT the internet is DOWN! #$%^&^%! So here I am posting from my phone and computer and transferring thing s through drop box to my cell phone where Staci is kind enough to post this blog for you all to read. (so if its wonky, that is why)

It's rough, but you know what? I am DOING THIS! I was MEANT TO DO THIS! THINGS WILL WORK OUT! This will only make my huge show success that much better of a story!

So if you are going to the show come see Staci and me at booth 371. Come give us hugs, and celebrate our big show with us. For those of you that don't get to attend, write us a post on Facebook.
We LOVE YOU ALL and it is because of YOU that we get to do THIS!
"I never said it would be easy. I just said it would be WORTH IT!"
xo Genea


Artisan Beads Plus said...

Wow! The finished beads are gorgeous! I have had those times too.... seems like when the pressure is on things can either go really smooth or everything can start to fall apart....literally! I do not know anything about lamp work, but if you given me lots of insight in this one post. Good luck at the show! I hope it all pays off in the end :o)

Kelli said...

BEAUTIFUL!!!!! And I agree! It is SO worth it!!! The creative process alone, is SO VERY good for the soul, even when it doesn't go as planned! BEST OF LUCK!!!!!!!!!
Wish I could come see you guys!!!!!

Genea said...

Thanks Mary Ann! Oh man when you are in that kind of thing it feels like you are the only one. Glad to know that I am not the only one that runs into these last minute crisis'. I'm glad you learned some new things about glass. The show was amazing and we can't wait to do it again next year!

Kelli- Thanks so much! It was, thank God! It really is. I learn so much every time I sit down to create. Wish you could have been there! Maybe we will see you next year?

xo Genea

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