Well, just in case you were wondering....
LampworkEtc.com is a great forum for lampworkers like me. Member's generosity is amazing there. They are so helpful, and love to share and teach. And Mr. Smiley shared an awesome tutorial on hearts. He started the thread back in 2005, and it's still going strong today!
So the other day I tried my hand at his hearts. He uses boro glass (very hard) and I use soft glass, so I wasn't too keen on the thin glass loop (see bottom left heart), so I tried some thicker loops. Not too keen on those either, too bulky and yucky looking! So someone else shared pics and they made the hearts right off the mandrel. I feel in LOVE! So above is a small sampling of my hearts in progress.
LampworkEtc also has a great promo thread from Amy at Zooziis where she shares her bead presses so we can try them. You get one press for ONE month, and when you are done you pass it on to the first lucky person to reply after you announce it's ready to move on. And I was waiting for The Crystal Chunky Duo! And I got it :) So yesterday morning I was able to squeeze in an hour or so and made a couple of these little beauties. I'm thinking they'll make great key chains, cell/flash drive/purse charms, or even pendants! And as this idea was bouncing around in my head, I realized I was out of bead bars :(
Of course, before I ever order anything I always think long and hard to determine if I really do need the supplies. And quite honestly, I've decided that I do need these. And I really want to tell you why.
I love these Bead Bars and their special components! You can see the huge difference in the bar versus a normal headpin. These bead bars are chunky and super sturdy, and are great for roughly handled items like key chains and purse charms. But are definitely stylish and beautiful on pendants as well. They have really turned out to be my favorite findings for working with lampwork and creating lampwork jewelry and accessories.
However, as you can imagine, they are not cheap! At almost $2.00 vs the $.20 for a plated headpin, you can see why I had to consider this purchase long and hard. And each cap and spacer is equally expensive for a silver plated component. But I think you will agree, they are really beautiful, functional, and in the end, well worth the cost!
Let me know what you think. I love hearing from you :)
The look of the headpin vs the bead bar.
Headpins are great, you can use them with any findings. And I love using crystals!
The bead bar has a unique look of it's own. It's becoming my favorite.
And well worth the price, in my eyes.
Here is a closer look at the bead bar and components, compared to the headpin.
The holes in the finding are large, and they are designed specifically for the bead bar.
And this is just a sampling of what is offered.