Halfway through this torching session, I was so frustrated that I found myself fantasizing about selling all of my glass and tools. Nothing was working the way it was supposed to, and this new wigwag thing hadn't quite clicked yet in terms of using them on actual beads. I'm finding it a bit of a struggle to get back to the torch after so much time has passed - it's like I remember HOW to do it, but can't find the right rhythm or something. Also, this palette is maddening because the colours are so vivid and discordant, and it is challenging to put them together in ways that aren't eye-gouging. I gave up and made test beads with Kelp towards the end.
Part of my confusion and frustration was because the colours I was getting seemed really dull and my torch flame seemed way more 'reducing' than usual. Peace was sooting up, Copper Green was getting really muddy, and the beads just seemed dark and misshapen. After this session, I cleaned my torch and that (along with a slight attitude adjustment) made an amazing difference to my next session's beads, as you will see. I soaked all of these beads in CLR for around five hours, which helped a bit with the dinginess, but I think I am going to take them to the studio and sandblast them and see if that improves them further.
Don't ask. I am hoping that sandblasting this makes it less embarrassing, but sandblasting is not a magic trick, so chances are slim. I feel like I regressed six or seven years in the making of this bead and am only even showing it to you because it seemed like I should have at least four beads to show for the five or so hours I spent at the torch.
This one is Spanish Leather with the same wigwag, and then more Spanish Leather added on the left side to balance out the shape.
This bead is on a Copper Green base with wigwags up the sides and a trail of Ivory dots up the middle.
And I guess I quit just when things were getting good, because this is the bead of the bunch that I think turned out sort of cool, and the last one I made before turning the torch off in disgust. This bead is built on a base of Lizard with my wigwag corner-to-corner on both sides, balanced out with Wood wings.