Some time ago I came across this challenge on lampwork forum Lampwork Etc. Then later I found it again, on Frit Happens. Both times I were intrigued and read through all pages of each thread, full of insights, tips and pictures.
The challenge was Heather Trimlett's 40 bead Challenge, and on jan.1'st I began my own set of 40 dotty beads. I am having so much fun! I haven't made any dot beads for years litterally, and now I am enjoying it muchly all over again.
If you don't know this challenge, here is the gist of the rules:
Make 40 beads, using just 2 (contrasting) colours.
Decorate with dots only, making all 40 beads a different pattern.
Use no tools (except for the mandrel), and get all beads to be the same size and shape.
Beautifully simple, isn't it, for an exercise in creativity, attention, precision, heatcontrol and much more?
You can find the full version here, on Heather Trimlett's page.
I have chosen coppergreen and black for my 2 colours, and here are pictures of my 2 first sessions, nine beads in all.
I need to work on keeping my size and shape, but I'm quite happy with my dots. And making 40 different patterns - time might prove me wrong, but I don't think that will be a problem. Dotting up patterns is the fun part :)
These will need a bit of a clean-up after the lot is done. A soak in coke over night, to clean off the reduction and get a more even colour.
I have set up this challenge in the brand new Danish lampwork forum www.glasperleforum.dk too, so if you are Danish/Nordic - come join the forum, and join in on this fun and challenging dot-o-rama.
If you would like some inspiration, here are the links directly to the threads in Lampwork Etc (you have to log in) and Frit Happens.