So, here are some earrings! These are early efforts. They were "photographed" using the scanner method, and the colours are a bit washed out. I'll take some better photos soon, I promise.
Well, that shows you the kind of stuff even a newbie can make out of soda-lime glass, with a little patience and effort. Go to the studio to see what this newbie lampworker's workbench looks like. I also have some better photographs of beads and pendants.
What do you do when you've made some glass beads, though? I mean, you can put them in a wooden chest and run your fingers through them muttering "Argh, me hearties." Or you could go about the house attaching them to lamp switch chains (I don't have any) or window shade pulls (ditto). You could, after a year's effort, make a bead curtain in which no individual bead would be visible for the sheer number of them (hardly appealing). You can give some of them away or try to sell them to people (there's quite a market in beads right now).
Or you can try to make them into jewelry, in ways that show off the actual individual unique beads. I find earrings are handy for this -- small enough to make easily, and suitable for the kind of flashy sparkling glass I enjoy.
To make earrings you go out and get the little accessory bits and pieces called "findings" -- ear wires, eye pins, head pins, little plated or filled metal beads, maybe some cultured pearls (cheap and attractive), maybe some semiprecious stone beadlets -- then you sit and play with the pieces and with your showy glass beads, until you like what you see. A little dexterity with pliers, wire cutters, and fingers -- and presto, a pair of earrings.
I have some more pages of bead pictures if you like looking at them! There is a page of early earring designs, and a more recent gallery page in a more sophisticated format which I think I'll be using from now on. I also have a page about my workspace and tools for those who want to know what the setup looks like for playing with hot glass.