Monday, May 17, 2010

The Awful Chore

I don't have any new stuff to photograph so I thought I'd ramble. An artist I admire very much posted today that she had photography to do, which she claims is the worst part of lampwork. I can understand the frustration because the beads NEVER look like the picture, but for me there isn't a whole lot I can do about it, so I don't let the concern rent space in my head. A lot of lampworkers complain about cleaning beads, which is my least favorite part of the process.

Dragonjools posted about her experience bulk cleaning beads in a tumbler and I thought this was intriguing, until I continued on her post and saw she usually uses a Dremel tool. Ahhhhh. Now that would work. I don't have a studio full of artists or even make beads full time, so anything to speed up the process would be fantastic.

I've gone through a few phases regarding bead cleaning. Pipe cleaners and soaking was the first one, recommended to me by the sadists who got me hooked in the first place. After a while I started skipping the soaking part and doing it dry, which went a bit faster but took far too long as well and created an unholy amount of grey dust. I bought some bead cleaning wires, which are like thin, twisted, coping saw blades and that went a lot faster until the wires started wearing down and loosing their teeth. I then started doing this over the sink, and after putting a sink strainer in place after a big 'un went into the garbage disposal, put up with this until I read about the Dremel tool option. I just happen to have one of those. Quick rummage through the bits and lo and behold, two slim conical diamond grit bits. All bead release gone in a pass or two and a quick swipe with the pipe cleaner to clean out the dust and they're done. I'll have to find a new gripe.

So, what's your beef? Please post what you like least about lampworking or jewelry making, and better yet, what you have done about it. I look forward to some enlightening reading.

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