After dusting off the torch I have been busy trying out some new designs and playing with my presses and bead roller. It always surprises me how many hours of practise are needed to finally master their use.
I have been using my round bead roller on and off for a while now but it wasn't until this week that I feel I've finally cracked it. How do you now when you reach that point? For me, it's when I can put a press or roller down and know that when I come back to my bench (even after a few days break) I can pick up the roller and make a perfect bead first time. A combination of hand/eye coordination, skill and and understanding of the melting points of different glass all combine to create the perfect bead. For example, making a round ivory bead vs a round transparent aqua bead requires a very different approach. Ivory is a very drippy, buttery glass whilst aqua is very stiff glass like a thick toffee. Melt either of them too much or too little and your chance of making a nice neat round bead are about 0% !!
I think that's one of the things I find the most interesting about melting glass, there's always a new technique to try or press/roller to try out. The learning curve is endless and that's what keeps me coming back for more.