So here are a couple of useful links/references which totally changed my approach to fine stringers:
1. Laura Sparling is super talented lady and a wizard when it comes to stringer work. Hop on over to her free YouTube video for a gander. I promise, it will change the way you view glass in general. Her ability to find the "sweet spot" above the flame took my beadmaking to a new level.
(In my opinion, many students feel a fear when it comes to placing their fingers so close to the flame. The internal impulse probably stems from our mothers telling us to keep our hands off the hot stove. Thanks Mom, but I play with fire now and using the residual heat from the torch is a plus.)
2. Claudia Tribur-Pagel is another stringer dynamo! I highly suggest purchasing her fabulous book, "Glass Bead Trip". Before her book, I found myself trying to cram extremely fine stringer work onto a 10mm bead. Claudia uses large focals as a canvas, which gives her more room to play and tell her lovely stories. In addition, her book will open your eyes to fun color combinations and the effects of color play in your own art.
3. Practice! I often tell my students to pick a design and create it 7 times. I'm not talking about the "Seven Habits of Highly Effective People", but the act of creating an instinctive habit which connects your fingers and your mind. Occasionally, the flow of the design will "click" by bead #3... but I have found when it is time for bead #7, the repetition becomes ingrained. Try it and feel free to leave me a comment or feedback.
Hope everyone has a wonderful day,