I’ve been feeling press-challenged ever since I started lampworking. First I got a Zoozii’s Kalera Long & Lean press (aka a Bead Squeeze) — too much glass squeezing out the sides no matter what I did. Then I went with a couple of the Tapley lentil tongs — very hard to get just the right amount of glass (too much and it oozes out, too little and the bead comes out wonky. Then AmyZoozii came out with the Kalera Nuggets, and I had to have the Trio. Well, those are some small beads that come out of it and I kept getting too much glass again.
But I’ve tried one more time, with Zoozii’s Medium+ Duo, combining a nugget and a Spree (straight-sided lentil) in one press. Finally, I am having some success! These two shapes are supposed to be about the simplest to work with, and the size is a good one for me to learn on. I don’t get quite enough glass wound on the first pass, so as long as my footprint on the mandrel isn’t too long, I can press and then add glass where it’s lacking, repeat until bead shape is satisfactory. Hooray!!!