Always searching

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Origami Lampwork Beads by Mary Williams Designs

Origami Lampwork "Crimson Tiger"

I’m always searching for new things to acquire (or re-purpose) for use as photo props. While not long ago the prospect of going shopping was near the the bottom of the “what I like to do” list, now each excursion holds the potential of being a treasure hunt for small or colorful or textured or just plain odd pieces that might add visual interest to my photos.

I’ve also taken to ‘shopping’ around our house. Now, not only are items commandeered for use in the studio, they are also ‘borrowed’ (never to be returned to their rightful place lest I forget what a cool photo prop they are) and hidden tucked in the photo accessory cabinet for future stardom.

The wooden prop used above was actually a small gift I had given Billy. He likes to use olive wood spatulas and spoons while cooking so I am always on the lookout for new ones for him. This was purchased in Shackford’s, a kitchen supply store here in Napa that I love. They have been around for years and it seems they always have just the (odd) thing I am looking for, be it for cooking or art!

I purchased this spatula because it had the loveliest grain to it that I thought Billy would like, and I’ll confess, I am a sucker for a nice pattern. The spatula that was currently in service was also due for retirement. Unfortunately, it fell victim to one of my photo prop hunts and it now looks as though this spatula will never see the inside of a saucepan. I love how it displays a pair of beads. (that old spatula still has a few good years¬†months left in it after all!)

In Search Of…..

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Lampwork Bead with Copper Leaf

Lampwork Bead with Copper Leaf

I’ve dedicated an hour each evening to toying with camera settings and playing with different photo props in hopes of developing a comfort zone with the new camera. I’m still struggling, but at least it is a struggle with perks. I enjoy seeing how the different textures and colors develop in the picture as well as what a huge difference just changing from a light background to dark can make. Moving the lights even a tiny bit, or using one instead of two can alter a picture dramatically. It is all a huge learning curve for me, exciting and frustrating at the same time. Hopefully that comfort zone will arrive soon though and I will be getting the beads online in a more timely fashion.

Speaking of beads: The bead in the setting is one of 20 that I just made. I had the thought of making a long strand of them, decorated with bits of silver and copper and lampwork spacer beads. I’ve always like the impact of repetitive designs, however after’repeating’ 20 of them I realized that I had no desire to make another 50 or so right now. I also don’t want to tuck them in a drawer of ‘to be finished’ designs (that drawer doesn’t need any more entries!) and so will offer them on the website in the near future.

I will probably offer them in 2 sets of 8 plus 2 sets of pairs but you never know, I am still tempted to list them as a complete set. The beads are in the 12-13mm tall range (approximately). My standard small bead size.