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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Roses- Fresh Off the Mandrel

If any of you know me well, I have the brownest thumb on this side of the Mississippi.  If it can't grow by itself, it's not going to survive.

So when my sister asked me to make her a rose pendant, I was venturing into new territory.
You see, I had just been at my friend Marilyn Peraza's studio a few weeks earlier, and she makes such gorgeous roses. It's her "thing".  But I am kind of funny about techniques,  unless someone invites me to watch, I feel funny soaking up someone else's work.  I think it's the old copying thing that we're all so afraid of.  So I missed learning from one of the best.  (although she has two wonderful tutorials on sculptured roses and rose murrini here.

You can see my first attempts.  I'm not crazy about the colors though.  I need a shade of yellow that is right in the middle. I can't remember which Vetrofond special color I used on the lighter and the brighter yellow is an old Russian 104 glass that I have.  The butterscotch-ish one is an opalino and the pink one is a CIM. I tried dipping each pink petal's base into frit first, to give it some variegation, but I think that specific frit wasn't the best for that particular experiment.

I'm not done yet.  My sis still needs a yellow rose pendant for one of her friends and I'll complete one that I am more satisfied with.  I've got ideas to try still.  Because for me, part of the fun is the journey.  Trying different techniques, tools and then trying it some more until I'm happy with the end result.

If any of you have expertise you'd like to share, I'm more than happy to listen and soak it up.  Meanwhile, I'm off to my studio to try a few more ideas that are floating around in my head.

Oh, one more thing...Marilyn has some teachers come to her studio.  Look around on her site and check them out.  It might be a class you'd enjoy taking.  Tell her I sent you!


  1. Marcy, I think you did a great job on the roses! The only problem I have with roses is how use them in jewelry! I love them. Oh, the other problem is that I don't make them very well! I might buy her tutorial! I love roses. As far as color goes, I'm wondering if you couldn't make the petals using 2-3 colors per petal. That might soften the Russian yellow to use a little white with it. I might give it a try. I'll let you know what happens if I do!

  2. Hi Mallory, I hope you do try her tutorial. Marilyn is top notch. I made a bunch more roses after this photo was taken and was pleased with the results. So my sister has one on the way to her. (In case you're reading this, Deedee.) I made these pendant style, with a nice loop on the back, so it could hang from a wire/chain/whatever, because she wanted a pendant. But otherwise, I would possibly give it a "bead back" so it would have more stability strung with other things. (wouldn't one be funl as a focal on a cool wire bracelet cuff?

  3. Roses look so amazing, probably it is best flower to choose for your work


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