Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Triton Focal Bead

Here's my favorite focal bead of late, made with Triton, some Kronos frit, and clear. It's in my Etsy shop:Triton Focal BeadI don't often make focal beads these days, but when I feel inspired to make one and it turns out nice I'm really happy.

I think the reason I don't make focal beads much is because of a decision I made about a year ago. I decided that for the amount of time I spend on a focal - 15 minutes to an hour - the same number of minutes could be spent making 2-5 smaller beads. (I obsess over business details sometimes!) With a focal, if something messes up in the design that I can't fix, there goes 20 minutes or more plus all the glass right into the bead orphanage. Instead I could make small beads, and if one messes up, then I've only lost 5 minutes and a tiny bit of glass. Or, I can cover over the top of the messed up small bead and make a bigger bead or focal out of it. It works out that the percentage of good beads coming out of the kiln the next day is much higher when I make small beads.

What I like a lot about making focal beads is the large surface area I have to work with and the possibility of a more complex design. Also an issue is kiln space. If I'm making large focals all day, I always have enough kiln space for the whole torch session. With small beads, I can work for about 4 hours tops before the kiln is full.

This reminds me to check back on Lampwork, Etc., where someone mentioned they have a technique for packing more beads in the kiln. I'd love to know if anyone has any brilliant ideas they could share on this!


rosebud101 said...

Beautiful focal! It is stunning!

Karolen said...

Thank you! :-)