Friday, January 28, 2011

My thing with spacer beads

I cannot recall the last time I really made bright beads but I really love these.
My most favorite glass color of all times is dark ivory and I tend to put at least a little bit of it on nearly all the beads I make. But, as these are simple spacer beads, the rule is to make them as even and regular in size as possible and to use only one color :-)
I started making spacer beads only about three years ago...a funny thing as I guess that most lampworkers start out making spacers and then go on to larger beads...not me.
During the 5 first years of my lampworking career I did not make spacer beads....well I tried but then they turned out all different sizes and were wonky and to get an exact matching pair I had to make at least 6 or even 8 beads, so I gave up on that and went on to make my so muchloved organics.

But about three years ago I had a creative down, my bead muse had left me and I nearly gave up on lampworking. I was sitting in front of my torch and had absolutely no idea what beads to make. After this went on for a few weeks, I set me a goal to go at least one hour per day to my studio and make simple spacer beads, I was allowed only one color for at least 20 beads, and only spacers, no dots, no raking, no encasing, only plain simple beads.
After the first hundred I guess, they started to get really even, approximately the same size and my biggest achievement: no wonkiness! That is the hardest part to get right with spacers: that they are absolutely even on each side of the bead hole. Because there is so little glass involved you get no chance to marver it into place or use some tool to nudge the glass in one direction or the other: only heat control does the trick.
Since then I have kept the habit: as soon as I am out of ideas what kind of beads to make, I have to make one hour worth of spacers: it is really amazing how many new ideas come to mind when you are only allowed to make spacers ;-)


Penny said...


roseworksjewelry said...

I loved reading your story - good job :)

Pretty Things said...

Right now spacers are about ALL I can do!