I realized a few days late that I'd passed my 2-year Etsyversary. So I mentioned it on Facebook, and someone commented that it would be neat to see the first beads I'd made. So I just went into my "wonky bead drawer" and found them. They were easy to pick out. They're big and lopsided, and full of so much potential. Well, not potential exactly - but I could tell they were paving the way for better beads. I made them in my beginner lampworking class, which I took two years ago with Julie Rose at TLD Design Center in Westmont, IL. It's about 40 minutes from my house. I was crazy excited about this day-long class. I'd read up on lampworking - checking out Cindy Jenkins' book Making Glass Beads from the library and renewing it over and over again. I watched lampworkers on Youtube spin their magic with glass. Over and over again. I was ready. Or so I thought. It wasn't nearly as easy as it looked on those videos, but it sure was fun.
These are the beads from my beginner class.
Here are some beads I made in the weeks following. I put the red polka-dotted blue bead in to show how much smaller I made my beads after the class. I was even trying encasing. I drove my beads 40 minutes to TLD Design Center to be annealed every couple of weeks.
And here are my first critter beads that made it through annealing without popping off a wing. I had to steal them out of my daughter's collection to take a picture. The green blob was my first attempt at a frog. Now it's probably obvious why frogs aren't my forte, but I'm working on it.
It's fun to look back to see how far you've come. My beads are always changing and evolving. My advice to lampworkers and anyone with a craft they want to improve upon ~ practice, and challenge yourself. Some days are good days and some, well, I think why did I even light the torch. But in the end they all seem to balance out. If you're having one of those rotten days, try looking back on where you started. You'll probably realize you've come a long way. Baby.