There's two kinds of flowers that whenever I post I get pems on "how do you do that?" Finally decided to put up a post as other people might like to achieve some more realism in their florals. I'm not an expert, never had a class as such and have only been lampworking 15 months thereabouts, so what works for me might not for you... but the concept behind these beads is pretty much one word: encasing!
Think about setting a 3D object into a space (clear encasing) and that is how deep or 3D it will be. When you plunge, to shape the petals the more space (clear glass) you have to plunge into, the more 3D your flower will look.
You can also shape the petals by applying dots of glass. When you think about it, the dots of clear melt and radiate outwards so wherever they are placed, they will press down a little on the layers below. Think how a petal is cupped. In this way, you can REALLY shape petals. The bead in the WC! calendar (last purple one below) was done this way. Missing this step you still have a niiiice bead, but it really does make the flower so much more realistic.
These beads take a looong time to make and build up the layers! I can spend an hour if it is a larger sized bead. Each layer of encasing is melted in to perfect roundness otherwise the petals get distorted to a degree, tho this is ok for flowers like camelias... which are a bit ruffled and less perfect in shape.
OK the daffy. I have numbered steps to make it easier for you to remember where you are if you follow this. To avoid the long winded below, just encase every step of the way, the entire bead... and you should be right.
Make base bead and thickly encase. Melt smooth then add your five dots for the petal, around where the trumpet will be. Melt smooth.
Drag the tips out with ya tungsten poker thingy. I drag from the clear outside the yellow not the actual yellow. Melt smooth
Now crease each spot one at a time with a razor blade tool.
Swipe clear over each petal. I usually go from inside out because it deposits a bit more glass at the tip of the flower. Melt smooth
Spot encase the petals (don't worry about trupet area you want this to be a bit higher than the petals anyway) and spot encase the back of the bead. Pay attention to sides. You want the bead to be built up fairly evenly.
NOTE: throughout making these beads each time you encase the flower spot encase the rest of the bead. As it builds up the flower will form a dome, so make sure you spot encase with bigger dots to bring this dome up and rounder.
I also drag the glass around with the probe thing to help the encasing melt in quicker. You have to be careful to only heat the surface to drag otherwise your flower will go with it...
Now the trumpet. Dot of yellow, melt right in. (yellow bubbles easily so be gentle with it! Melting in another yellow dot can help the trumpet be less translucent when plunged and look more solid.)
Spot encase just the trumpet. melt in.
Spot encase the trumpet and petals again, to make them bow down under the weight of the clear... see how this shapes the petals as you work... Encase around the edges of flower and the whole bead. (You'll be an expert spot encaser soon!) Melt in...
Now spot heat the trumpet and plunge in deep. If you overdo it you might see the base.... but it needs to be deep enough to pull the petals in with it too.
Melt away the hole. You don't want to trap any air in that trumpet, and I am still mastering this step. I find if I gently melt around the trumpet more than the hole, the bubble is non-existent ot tiny.... Spot encasing the trumpet gives the layer of clear to make the trumpet 3D. (fills it I guess.)
Spot encase trumpet. melt in. I melt this one in because the next layer of encasing is the last and you want that trumpet to be under a nice layer.
The last encasing can be thick, or two thin ones, whatever. it's a pain but the more glass around the bead, the more 3D effect...
yay it's over!!!!!
you'll never feel the same about clear encasing again!
Normal flowers follow the same principle. One of my 'secret' techniques and I think it makes my flowers - when I use it - look more photographic and 3D is doing the flowers all on a base of intense black
. The colours that work brilliantly with this are turquoise, beloved copper green, coral, terracotta. Any violet looks good too, but works better when you shade the violet - black, dark violet then lighter melted in. Violet tends to show the black a bit more which is a neat effect but not always desireable!
In 2 or more layer flowers I use it for the base and centre, and not for the higher layer of petals to emphasise a sense of shading.
Even just one dot of intense black in the centre of a flower melted in before you add the petals around will give a shadow effect - illusion of greater depth - to the flower. I don't always use it, sometimes I get lazy but it does make a difference!
I haven't seen anyone else use intense black in their flowers like this (can find some piccies if you want a better example than words) so would love to see others play with this. Or show if they have done it. It is my big secret to good shading look in flowers. Wondering if this trick belongs to the "you thought you invented WHAT?" thread!
Intense black, is of course, a bit tricky to work with as it bleeds so you just melt in flat nice and slowly.
OK well I know I have waffled on. I did a drawing but I think this is better than my doodles LOL Please share if you decide to try a daffodil. They do take a lot of time, but if you start on a really small base, it will reduce the size and time involved. I just like big beads....
EDITED to change direction in encasing daffodil flower petals -- ooops!