The title of this post would have been "playing with fire" to celebrate my first homemade enameled beads except that during the creative process I had a little accident. No flesh was burned in the process, so I'm still calling the evening creative session a success, but the apartment's carpet not not fare so well.
There I was, atop a stool at my kitchen counter with my new torch all set up and a fire extinguisher at the ready. I got out my enamels from Barbara's class and lit up the flame. Alas, most of the beads I expected to use turned out to be less than ideal and just sort of turned black and flaky. I kept on, though, to find the "good ones" in the bunch that I picked up at Bead Fest. As I got to town with my enamels and trying to get all creative with many layers of enamels, I ended up with a bead stuck on the mandrel. I followed proper procedures to reheat and get it off, but when I went to pull it off with the special tool, it didn't go into the cooling tray but fell onto the tile I was using as my fire-proof surface. I watching it slowly roll and, amazingly enough, I didn't grab the still burning hot bead. I kept staring as it rolled off the tile and onto the floor. Apparently working over the carpeted side of the counter was not a good idea, I realized, as I saw the bead sitting there and wondered if it would cause flames. I came to my senses and pulled a hot pad out of the drawer quickly and picked it up leaving a smoking black hole. At least the bead ended up with some interesting texture from the melted carpet fibers! haaaaaaaaaaaa
I didn't come up with much success in the bead department but I'm kind of liking the enamel/patina that came up on the washers. I have to see how it cools and then figure out if it'll stay durable or just chip off. There's potential, at least. The round beads all ended up lumpy and I think the striped beads aren't going to hold the enamel, either. Oh well! It was good practice and I learned a few good lessons...like put down something to protect the floor!!