I'm working on some very fancy focal beads featuring the koi. Below is an example of the first batch, a regular fish with cherry blossom branches over the water:
I am really happy with the cherry blossoms, especially since I hold the stringer of glass in very much the same way as a sumi-e calligraphy brush. I think that's pretty cool. I made a cane of tiny pink and yellow threads for the centers, and it gives a nice sparkle to them. I also did these in some really cool shapes, like a big fat lentil, and a real 'pickle barrel' shape. Nice.
But I do think the base is a little dark, I'd like the branches to show up more. And although I think the design and concept are tighter, they aren't that much different from what I already do.
I'm looking for Wow Factor here!
So yesterday I went back to something I had only tried in passing:
Nice concept, I think--and on some of them, the encasing brought out the streaks of yellow and orange in the fish, which surprised me. What I don't like is that I feel like the impact is dulled. I can get some clear glass that is supposed to be nicer than what I have. I don't know if it will make much difference in such a small amount, though. Yes, these are still pretty little, you know me! The one above is about the diameter of a quarter, a little smaller.
I guess what bugs me is what always bugs me about encased beads: they seem to absorb the light. But having the fish peek out and the flowers on the surface might be the only way of getting the best of both worlds. I think I've lost my objectivity here, too. Staring at these things in the flame till I'm goggle-eyed means sometimes I only see what I don't like.
Please help me out in the comments, blog readers! Would you be impressed to see a semi-encased fish? Or do you like the sharpness of having him on the surface? Maybe I should just have a stock of both on hand to see what folks say in person. My local beadshop where my pals hung out has closed, so I'll have to wait for feedback till the Houston show in November unless I can get you guys to add your two cents' worth.
You are on a roll with your semi-encased fish idea. I can imagine all sorts of possibilities of your inside/outside look, not necessarily just under water scenes. Such fun to watch your ideas progress. Hope you don't let go of this one. It's a keeper