Sometimes I really have a plan when I go into the studio. I have ideas in my head and often make notes and drawings to have next to me for guidance while I torch. Other times I feel uninspired but I know I have a need to melt glass. On those days I go through my ‘shorts’ drawer (drawer of short leftover pieces of glass rods) and grab a handful and just start making beads…. LOTS of beads. I don’t choose specific colors to work with – I just use whatever is next out of the drawer. Sometimes the results are amazing! The thing i like best is that I am able to focus on the basics while I do this; the way glass melts and how physics helps to shape the bead. I make bead after bead after bead, usually just one size but many on the same rod. I get into a rhythm and can see how that rhythm also allows me to practice the basic elements of beadmaking; laying down a perfect footprint, building a bead with the right amount of glass, and making sure i have the perfect dimpled bead holes. And when I open the kiln the next day I have a bounty of wonderful beads that will make someone’s jewelry sparkle!