Friday, May 02, 2008

Message In A Bead

(Kinda Like a Message In A Bottle, LOL)
You can purchase the jewelry (ALL SOLD!! THANKS!!) and ACEO shown HERE (and some not shown) in this post on my website!

Drum roll please.... are you ready for the big reveal?!?!

The new Zoozii's tool is WORD PLATES!!

This tool has been so much fun to work with. But I'll get to the ease-of-use-infomercial stuff in a minute. First.... AAAHHHH!!! How COOL is that? I got to test a tool!! I was so excited to be asked. Amy O, the owner/creator, of Zoozii's sent me a convo on Esty way back when my "Growing Glass No4" piece was on the front page. She said that she loved the new stuff I was doing and that she had a new tool she thought might lend itself to my new art. (Be sure to click the pics so you can see better close ups of these new beads!)

I was so excited and totally honored to be asked. I just finished up another post for Watch Me Create about getting to test this tool. One of the things I said was that "in the back of my tortured-in-high-school-always-picked-some-where-in-the-middle-for-dodge-ball mind I always wanted to be "good enough" to test something." I couldn't be more thrilled that the thing I am testing is a Zoozii's tool, because frankly, I am a Zoozii's press whore. I love them, I have at least 10! No other tools will do. And the fact I was sworn to secrecy just put me over top... I love a good secret and all the teasing leading to the surprise of it.

Amy had me pick a few words I wanted to play with. I asked for LOVE, CALM, CREATE, JOY, and DREAM. I picked words that spoke to me. LOVE is obvious, it is a must have... CALM because I like blue and greens in my artwork and I think they make for CALM feelings... CREATE, well duh, I CREATE everyday so it is a must have word... JOY because I think it is a highly under rated word, we should all find reasons to use it more often and because it is my sister's middle name... and finally DREAM, just because. DREAM was still in the testing stages in the Zoozii's studio so I haven't received it yet, but I see it is already to go on the website!!

For my lampworkers out there... here is what you need to use the tool: Texture Press Base, Shape Plates, and Words. It really is so easy to use... you pick your word, slide it on to the base, slide the shape plate on top of that, then screw it down... then you do the same to the top portion of the press... pick word (or no word), slide on the other half of the shape, screw down and you are ready to press. It is easy to change the words in and out. And you can also turn the words so they can either be parallel with the mandrel line or perpendicular (except for really long words). You'll need one more tool for these new flat back clasps I have made. That is the Cabochon Mandrel. It gives you a base to build up glass with no hole in the middle. I ended up buying 5 of them... they are that awesome. With the word press, I just worked up a dollop of glass on to the mandrel then pressed it into the word press. Easy.

For my beady people out there... these new beads turn out just like any other lampwork glass bead! The hole sizes are the same... the bead sizes are the same... only now, you can say things in your jewelry!! I love the long rectangular bead for pendants. Amy and I talked about it and she is going to make vertical words as well so they read top to bottom for pendants like this. I will definitely be adding word beads to Bead Box bead sets!! And if you have suggestions for other words you would like to see me use... leave a comment and let me know!

So there you have it... my secret project has been revealed!! Let me hear what you think!! And if you are lampworker... you better go get one before they are all gone!!

Edited to add:

A before and after cleaning of beads made on the Cab Mandrel ~


Carmen said...

The are stunning! How does the cab mandrel work? I see the back of your cab is shiny so where was the bead release?

Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion if everybody uses presses, then the beads are all the same. I don't think they are all that appealing. However, yours are pretty neat.

Kerry said...

Thanks Carmen!

The cab mandrel is a flat disc of metal and has a little nub in the center. The nub is what kinds gets a grip on the glass. You dip the mandrel in bead release then spin it inside the jar to shake off excess. Let it dry and you are ready to work with it. I really don't recommend flame drying with the cab mandrel, I got lots of bubbling bead release when I did that.

So you heat up your rod of glass, glob it in the center of the flat disc on top of the nub and use a paddle of some kind to flatten it just the slightest bit on to the flat disc area. There is bead release on the whole back of the bead, so no, it isn't shiny, but you can clean it off with a toothbrush which doesn't scuff up the glass.

I will get a pic of one of the cabs befor I add the shank.

Carmen said...

Ok I get the picture, thanks so much for your quick, clear response. Your bracelet is beautiful.

Kerry said...

anonymous... it isn't the shape of your press that matters... it is how you use it.

But thank you for your feedback. I think a lot of people don't care for pressed beads, but as an artist, they really help enhance what I do. I hope that I can find ways to make my beads stand out from others usign the same presses.

Anonymous said...

I have to admit.....I love lampwork, but I don't really like the word beads, especially as there are so many other ways of using words e.g. silver etc.

Kerry said...

anonymous #2 ~ with the constantly rising cost of silver I think lampwork words make for really cool unique alternate ways of expressing words. I, presonally, don't care for cookie cutter sterling words in jewelry. I would much rather have a OOAK word in my pieces.

Thanks for your feedback!

Anonymous said...


I love them! You are so spot on with the "rising silver prices", that we DO need an alternative at times! My favorite on the website was the XOXO mind went nutty with ideas. I have tossed around the idea of maybe starting to make lampwork beads, but have been a little scared with a little one in the house, but I think you just pushed me a little more into the "I Want, I Want" area! Also, I love pressed beads, not that my opinion matters in that respect, but the way YOU design with the colors and geometric shapes IN with the pressed beads is what brought me to your website and Blog! My favorite piece OF ALL TIMES is the Connecting The Dots bracelet! I babble, sorry! Great work, love it, truly and congrats on being chosen to test. What an honor!

Leslie G.

Kerry said...

Thanks so much Leslie!

If you want to learn to make beads, I say GO FOR IT!! Contact a studio in your area, take a class and rent some torch time. That way you can learn the fundaments in a safe (kid free) environment. You get to get a feel for it too without spending all the money on materials.

Carlene said...

I just found your blog the other day and so far I've been totally impressed with your creativeness and willingness to share ideas and techniques. I love the idea of words on glass beads. And I think each artist will put their own spin on how they are done even if they are using the same presses. I know when I try to copy a jewelry design I see somewhere, it never turns out like the original. I'll be watching for when you get the word beads on your site. "Inspire" might be an addition:) And maybe "Spirit".
Your beads rock!!!

Kerry said...

Thanks so much Carlene, and welcome to my blog!! I'll pass you suggestions on to Zooziis

Lori said...

I think word in jewelry are here to stay for awhile and it doesn't surprise that this tool is now available. Since I just bought word stamps for metal, I think something like this is a great addition

ellen said...

Aren't you the one!!! Those are great, Kerry.
Presses are great but you still have to have talent up the keister and you, my dear, have it by the ton!

CreekHiker said...

Kerry, I've been a fan of your for some time but just found your blog. I love the new words and your wire work is phenomenal!

Anonymous said...

Even though I own a few presses and love your beads, I do think the presses tend to take us down the wrong road as beadmakers.....

However, I love anything you do, keep it coming!!!