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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ask Studio Marcy ~ Online Coaching...Santa's Face with Mallory and Me

Mallory, of has volunteered to be this week's online student for lampwork coaching. Thanks Mallory!

Here you'll see her very first Santa face, which she nicknamed, "the deranged Santa", because when she flattened his eyes, they went a little crazy. He is a hollow bead made with moretti's soft pink.

Here is an excerpt from my response...
"Here are a few hints...hope you don't mind me including them.
Make your base bead, Cool down your torch. keep your flame smallish, because when doing this much detailed work, it's easy to melt it all together. Your Santa's hair is nice and fluffy, so I think you might be doing this already.

Your comments about his eyes made me laugh. I can't tell you how many goofy eyed beads I've made. eye balls only need to be a tiny dot. (I use thin stringer) And as you put a dark glass on top of white, the white needs to be quite cool, because the stiff glass will pull it if it's warm. I then chill the eyeball by press down with my brass Stump Shaper. I always do pupils towards the end, because they have the ability to get warmed accidentally while I'm doing something else and then the eyes go all over the place as they kind of melt from the heat of the other details.

I always do my biggest details first and then add in the rest in descending order depending on what might melt in and be a mess versus what could get a touch too warm and still look okay.

If I were doing a Santa head, I'd probably do it in this order. (and after each addition, lots of bathing in heat to keep the entire bead warm.
Head, hat, but not the trim, white part of eyeballs, cheeks, bottom part of beard, white trim around hat, mustache, white ball at end of hat, pupils. And possibly I'd change up the order if the red hat came down low on his face. If that were the case, I might add his pupils in earlier, if I thought there might be a problem in reaching them when adding the white band trim around the hat."
So look at her second Santa head. Wow, what an improvement!
Mallory made a smaller head that wasn't a hollow this time. I like how his beard and white hat ornamentation are fluffy like cotton. His hat adds a lot to the face. Mallory told me that she was trying to make his nose "like a cherry", the way it is in the poem. Perhaps, I'd attempt a pink cherry instead and just try that out. This red might be a touch too much contrast. His eyes are much better and perhaps I would have added just a touch more black right on the center whether the one pupil is a bit smaller.

I've included two of my Santas to show you and to talk about a bit for additional ideas.

This first Santa I made for any of you who enjoy using presses. His face was made with a Zoozii tab press, but lentils, or other similar presses would work fine.

I added his cheeks, (CIM Gelly Pink for bright, cheery ones) as place markers so I would know where to spot his beard, mustache and the rest of his face. Then I basically followed the order that I gave Mallory and is written above. The benefit of a face bead made with a press, is that it lays really flat, which is nice when it's made up into jewelry.

This second Santa has a rounder head - more similar to Mallory's shape. I indented the space for his eyes with one of my whimzicalities sharp tools and then placed the black dots. It gives his eyes a little more shape and holds them in place better.

For his hair, (same as the other one), I clear encased white glass with clear to give it a bit of definition. Although I have to say, I think Mallory's fluffy beard is fabulous. I always make the beard first and then the mustache, so it sits on top of it and shows up well. This bead also has the CIM pink for the cheery cheeks. I like adding the pink, because it makes the white stand out a little more from the ivory face, adding a little more warmth to the bead.

Some of the places you might want to look for inspiration are holiday catalogues, newspaper ads, favorite tree ornaments and my favorite I love having a selection of pictures at my disposal that I can print for inspiration.

To view more angles of my Santa beads, visit my etsy shop, . They are both in my "sold" section. Mallory has listed her second Santa face "Peaches". Visit her shop,