Friday, 8 May 2009

A rose is a rose is a rose?

I'm making roses again. Lace beads were taking over for a bit, but now roses are back. And with them comes that extra bit of special acquaintance that I make with glass, that only comes with roses. Yes, on 'normal' beads, you can test how quickly glass flows, and countless reactions with other glass. But I need to make a rose to understand the glass itself. Not its relationship to other glass, just that one colour. For a rose, I need a gather. Some glass likes to gather, it just blobs happily. Other glass folds, and needs to be coaxed into just melting to itself. Some glass doesn't like the heat needed for a large gather, and burns or devitirifies.
I need to squeeze a petal. Some glass gets so molten, it makes the most fragile-looking petals. I need to be careful - customers want to wear these, not put them behind glass (although some have done ;o)). Others stay so thick, they look more like buttons than leaves. They'll need teasing later, to give them flow and definition.  Some don't like the mashers, and crack.
I need to bend the petals round the rose. Some melt so easily, the whole petal disappears before I can get the marver to it. Others stay rock soling like an ironing board, refusing to budge.
When all the petals are up, I need to tease the whole rose into shape, crimping, pulling, twisting each petal. Some glass doesn't like being teased. I understand that. I don't like beaing teased either.
Finally, if it's silver glass, there's a whole load more. Making a rose is perfect for striking glass. By default, the rose goes in and out of the flame, all the time. But glass that overstrikes is useless - it is impossible for roses, and only the last two petals turn out pretty. If it reduces, then what am I reducing? A rose has recesses - ever part of it is a different distance from the flame, protected by petals or exposed.
A rose is not a rose is not a rose - and that's why I love making roses. 

1 comment:

  1. Lovely bit of info about your roses, very enlightening!! Thanks Sabine!!