Thursday, August 1, 2013

30 Beads Later by Kimberly Rogers

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!


Anonymous said...

I'm sure she'll love them and that's the joy of one of a kind handmade beads, no two will be alike. I'm waiting for the sequel 50 shades of can hit me later!

ciaolucia said...

Your work is beautiful! I enamel and have had similar requests for duplicates. I like working free form and it is impossible and frustrating not to be able to duplicate, but this is the beauty of hand made.

Moois van mie said...


NEDbeads said...

Those are all gorgeous... I hope your customer is pleased, too - but if not, I don't think you'll have any problem selling those beauties to someone else!! It's a lush combination of colors. Lampworking sounds very complicated to me, but someday I wish I could try to learn. Such wonderful things from out of the flame!!!

stacilouise said...

It IS hard to replicate things, and from what I hear, glass is fickle! I don't promise to be able to re-do beads, cause I just go into a painting frenzy, and its sooooooo hard to match something I've done. I am often not sure what combos I used to make each effect. I plan to make some blanks and try to some new stuff today though, and write on the back what I did. now sure how long that will last though. I am so unorganized

KristiBowmanDesign said...

I'm always worried about that when I do special orders. It's to be expected when making handmade items but you still want them to be as "the same" as possible. I love those beads!!

Erika said...

Well, what you came up with is sure pretty! I think the last batch is the closest. But hand made is impossible to duplicate.

Unknown said...

Wow, I really had no idea it was so hard to duplicate colors in glass. Such good info to know, when purchasing in the future. I do love all the wonderful color combos that came out of your determination!

Shel said...

Oh, how could she not be pleased?! But that's just me,...I think all of these are beautiful!

Unknown said...

lovely beads, regardless! maybe if you kept a bead journal with photos showing the final product and listing the techniques/supplies used, you could recreate some beads faster? one of the things I like about handmade is the fact they each one is different and unique! that should be a selling point!

Numinosity said...

Oh, wouldn't that be a great idea, Hannah! But that would involve organization and documentation which seem to be counter to my random creative process, unfortunately. I can't even keep grocery lists and have been winging it for years!

Kelli said...

Beautiful!!!!! Love how earthy the finish is!

mairedodd said...

well done! and i give you tons of credit for being so tenacious.

Unknown said...

If customers only knew how much time and love and determination we put into our designs! I don't make beads but I have learned on special orders to keep showing the customerthe piece as I go so they can help me bring to life the idea that they have.

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I love them all!! Bill always tells me to take notes and I never do. I try to avoid custom orders because of that. You certainly were determined!

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