View Full Version : Constructive Critique please.....

09-11-2004, 02:02 PM
Ok, the show coming up in GR on October 9th is wigging me out. I like doing all kinds of glass, so I would like to bring some that are not made on the mandrel. I'm pretty new to fusing, so I DO want an honest opinion of these. These are 1 1/4 inch by 1 1/4 inch with three holes. I like the color, but the shape is bugging me. (see the side view). I can't tell you how many batches of these I've made trying to perfect the shaping, but it isn't happenin' :rolleyes: They are crooked (they are square, but you can see from the side view, they are crooked).

Am I being to picky? Should I give them up? Are they ok to sell crooked? If they are not ok, I need to move on and make something that is sellable. I am running out of time..........

Honesty is ok, I have enough flubber to take any blows..... :D

09-11-2004, 02:13 PM
Hi JameyLynn,

I think that these beads are very unique and a great idea. I think you've done a nice job in creating this new design, and just keep in mind that they are handmade and no two will look alike and may never be *perfectly* square. I really love the look of the beads and i think they'd feel great on the skin. As for whether or not you should see them--it's whether or not you are happy with them. I don't think you have any reason to feel iffy about the beads, but if you're not going to be able to go to the show and feel completely confident about them, then maybe keep trying. I however, like that i can tell that they're not absolutely *perfect*--it makes them unique and not like they came out of a stamp.

of course, that's just my opinion :) But again, I think you did a nice job on this shape.
Good luck with the show!

09-11-2004, 03:04 PM
Actually, I like the shape, it look intended to me.

09-11-2004, 03:14 PM
Hi Jameylynn,
Have you worked with prefused pieces in the flame? What kinda glass are you using? I have used bullseye and it is a little tricky and takes a while.


09-11-2004, 03:25 PM
Hi Jamilynn! I personally find the "softer" and more organic edge very appealing myself...and the color effect looks good as well. If you are trying for a more "precise" shape, you might look into "coldworking" the finished pieces.

09-11-2004, 05:14 PM
I like them. I think most people don't always expect 'perfect' beads. An example would beads made with the bead squeeze, they usually aren't perfectly symmetrical, but people love them.

09-11-2004, 05:36 PM
Hi JameyLynn,
There are several way to shape your glass by the speed of your ramp, The temp of hold and the time of hold.
What type of kiln are you using. I can give you some formulas to control your shapes.
Your piece is great! Many of my customers go for an organic rounded look.
But there are ways to get a rounded edge squared look with little distortion. I can put a couple of photos up for you if you want.
I know what it is like trying to get finished for a show.

09-11-2004, 05:50 PM
Hi JameyLynn,

I think it looks fine, I doubt the average person would even notice or care. I've done a little fused glass and think it can be difficult to get it perfectly even, especially when you are using mandrels (I'm guessing) to make the holes since you have to balance the glass on top. Do you use glue? You could probably get your pieces more even if you wanted by not putting the holes in and attaching a s.s. loop to the back with epoxy or silicone, or just adding a small fine silver wire loop to the piece while fusing. I've done both with success. You may find playing with your fusing temp (holding 5 min longer at the fuse temp or just going up 15 degrees F can make a difference in the final appearance.)

If you haven't found the Warmglass site for fusing info you should take a look at it, tons of info there (www.warmglass.com).


09-11-2004, 06:13 PM
They don't look crooked to me...they look handmade and organic. I like the softer sides with the linear shape...so bottom line, I would not hesitate to sell these as they are.

09-11-2004, 06:31 PM
Hey...you are doing a show?? yes...they can pick it up in their hands...? so there will be no question that it wasn't what they expected...hey what's the problem...I think they are nice...

I honestly think that there seems to be this contingent that feels perfection is the only acceptable outcome when working with glass...and I am not always sure what that perfection is... (other than I NEVER AChieve it~) and we become overly self critical while our customers ...LOVE our work...

hey I think that is veryyyyyyyyyyyy nice and quite different~!

09-11-2004, 07:20 PM
Thanks ya'll. Now my daughter can say "I told you soooooo".......

Geneva, I'm using a hot-box for fusing these. I don't have the patience for loading up anymore then what my little kiln can hold. To much adjusting just on the 9 that I can fit in my little on. I am using mandrels for the holes. I like having three holes. Any tips on the firing schedule would be appreciated.

Jerry, I'm not doing any pre-fusing on these. They are all straight fusing.

I'm releaved. We are our own worst critics aren't we?........

Now, I have to go out and change out my propane. Didn't think I was ever going to use up a tank....!

09-11-2004, 08:16 PM

I agree with everyone else. I think you did a great job. While I like fused pieces with cut and polished sides, there is something about them that slightly turns me off. Perhaps it is because I know they are made in a long bar (I know people make single pieces and cold work them acheiving this look also) and cut from it so it starts to seem like production work to me. I do like them, but I prefer the look of yours. Each piece is slightly different and therefor more unique.

I bet you do great at the show!

09-11-2004, 09:55 PM
Hi JameyLynn,
The Hot Box is a good kiln but,, unfortunatlly it gets hot so fast that the pyrometer cannot keep up with the actual Temp.. For cabs I am not going to cold finish (by the way I sell 4 times the cabs if I shape them and put them back in for a fire polish), I fire to 1400 and hold for 5 Min or 1425 and Flash Cool to 1050. With the hot box, if you are not running it on a reostat I would go to 1300, shut it down till the pyromoter catches up and go the rest of the way up on low or med . Many people do cut dicro cabs from a slab. I work off blanks because most of the time my base glass is Wasser. If you have any spacific questions PM me or give me a call. One day soon I will put up my beveled, carved, and gold and silver overlayed cabs.
I loved doing shows, did them for 18 years. I miss them so much am getting ready for them again.

09-13-2004, 05:11 AM
My Mother is an artist so we talk alot about what other people think of art work. Something we make and don't like, someone else loves and vise-versa.
I think it is best to let others decide as long as you like them enough to show them.
Another thing that I struggle with, is the perfection aspect of making beads. Some people like to have everything match perfectly. Perfectly round, perfect shaped dots, all in straight lines, exact same size, etc., etc. I keep wondering how important that is for me. I find I lean the other way more.
When I look at beads from the past they are not all the same size "donuts" (or whatever), on one necklace and I like that better.
As someone else said, then it doesn't look like production work. There is way too much production work aleady. We need to keep it a craft, (in my humble opinion) if that makes sense!
I used to do decorative building restoration. Stencils and stuff from way back.
The architects would come in and complain about our reproductions cause it was not "exact". We were trying to match what the artist did, not a fake reproduction with everything exact, (the same size, shape, spacing,) for each stencil pattern. But the architects didn't get it. I guess they are so used to machines doing all the work.
The original artist did not make each stencil the same, even though it was the same pattern. Since people are not machines they should not all look the same.
It really bothered me that they wanted to change the way the artist originally had made them, and make them look more like a computer reproduction.
Well, not sure if that helps any, but I know I am struggling with whether I need to have perfect little beads myself or not, so thought I would just think it "out loud".

09-13-2004, 06:11 AM
I think they fine "as is" and you should let the public decide if they agree. There is no such thing as perfect in this art, nor should there be. These aren't production-line pieces; they are individually handcrafted--even when the designs are the same! If people want perfect pieces, perhaps they should consider injection molded plastic. :wink2:

I think you are most worried (if I understand your posting) that the sides aren't equal, or tapered, right? When fusing you kind of have to think the way the glass will settle. Glue won't help because it burns off far in advance of fusing temp. If you "think" like glass, you can imagine if it is perfectly balanced, or if the mandrels themselves will shift. Sometimes it's as simple as how even your kiln shelf is. Lots of them aren't even--the fusing boards have discussed the difficulty in finding "good" kiln shelves lately--or are set on posts that aren't even. Try using a small bubble level to check yours. Also, if you're working with uneven types of glass, or uneven mandrels, they can make the top and bottom shift apart, or become lopsided. Try to line them up as evenly as possible when going into the kiln, and make allowances for these factors.

I find metal mandrels to be more difficult than wooden ones as far as shifting is concerned. Try some with coated toothpicks or bamboo BBQ skewers, depending on how large you want them to be. The trick is--and this is very important--to have a layer of mandrel (bead) release on them, every bit as thick as what you use on the metal mandrels. The wood will burn out evenly and form a little tube that will stay open. They are also far easier to clean out, IMHO. I don't know why they are more forgiving, but this is my experience.

Another factor is the size of the top piece in relation to the bottom. This is true whether the top is clear, patterned, or some sort of dichro or iridized. You'll probably be happier if the top is a bit larger than the bottom, so that it can droop down and "seal" the two pieces together.

I hope this is what you meant--I'm not criticizing your work in any way. Again, let the public decide for this show, and play around with these ideas for the next one.