Think about it, as lampwork bead artists we often get sucked into the latest new release of glass. We see the pre releases of the paddles used to show us the colours & effects that can be achieved & our minds run amok with ideas & the potential of the colours that call us personally.
Perhaps while visiting the forums we stumble across images from certain artists that can make the glass sing an aria like that of a Prima Donna.
This is particularly true of the silver glasses for a lot of us. We are teased lured & tempted by their mystical, ethereal qualities & before you know it we have spent far more than we intended on the latest test batch or oddlot.
Some of them work for us & produce fantastic results instantly, & others don't. Some of them produce results that are dependant on what heat your torch setup is capable of generating, or a certain flame atmosphere & others are largely dependent on patience & skill.
Some are just very expensive (US$100.00 per pound) mistakes...or so you think at the time.
I made one of those 'mistakes' early last year. I was pretty much burned out by trying to work the silver glasses with no real appreciation of different flame atmospheres, & a lack of confidence in my ability to get anywhere near the results that others did anyway. When a new batch of oddlots came up I snapped up a few that were different to the blue-green lustre effects & raku with attitude glasses that had previously been predominant.
I played with them a few times, kind of got a colour similar to the paddle out of one test batch, but couldn't repeat the result, so I then put them aside in disgust.
You see it was all about expectation. I'd seen sample paddles that appealed & expected that I would get those results, of course conveniently forgetting that a paddle is created in a vastly different way to a bead & that, in some instances, a paddle will produce results that beads wont.
I recently looked at theses glasses in a new way, through new eyes.
Knowing what I was capable of achieving with the glasses I had purchased, & putting all expectations of getting them to look as they do in the paddles, I wondered how they would lend themselves to something more simple & earthy than the shimmer & shine normally associated with the silver glasses. I imagined them without the shine & looking more like natural stones & semi precious gems - perhaps even partially etched. With that in mind I went to the torch & played.
My "Desert" series of accent beads was born.