I love hearts, I love presses ... I have lots of heart presses!
I've got presses from Holland, Spain, Germany, America and Canada here, and I've made hearts with all of them to show you how they compare - unfortunately though they're not all currently available for sale, I have added links for the ones that are.
Here are the hearts in their presses (apart from A, Kaz is currently making great use of this press!)
a: Beadpress Long Puffy Twin 32mm; b: Beadpress Long Puffy Twin 3cm; c: Beadpress Puffy Twin 3cm; d: Beadpress Puffy Heart Trio; e: Beadpress Love Triangle; A: Beadpress Folk Art Heart Trio; B: Cattwalk Vertical Heart Duo; C: Bavarian Heart M Real 3D; D: GoodGlassCo Hearts n Grooves; E: Zooziis Sweetheart Duo; F: UCBY puffy heart.
And a closer look at the heart beads on their own.
All of a-e are from Beadpress.nl and, apart from the Love Triangle, are in the 'puffy' style. There is also a 32mm version available, similar to 'a', but not 'long'.
The Beadpress Folk Art trio has changed slightly from the photo - the smallest heart is smaller so should be perfect for dainty earring beads.
You can see it here alongside the similar Cattwalk duo.
I only have one press, C, from Bavarian Beads but they do have more hearts, including a new longer shape that I'd really like to try. D, the hearts and grooves press from GoodGlassCo is sadly not often available - these hearts are always popular on my website (make more, Magdalena!). Personally I find the Zooziis Sweetheart too flat, although its a nice size. F is no longer available, but I think that the Beadpress hearts fill the gap very nicely, particularly the Puffy Trio 'd'.
So, time for my personal favourites ... it is my blog, after all ;0)
I can't pick an outright winner, but in joint first place are the Beadpress Love Triangle - its not too wide, not too puffy, not too flat, not too small, perfect for simple spotties ...
... and the Bavarian Beads M Real 3D.
It is quite a wide shape, perfect for more elaborate decoration (all my seaside hearts are based on this shape), and easy to elongate by adding a little glass round the bottom, or across the shoulders.
Here they are side by side
I also couldn't live without my GoodGlassCo press - unfortunately it doesn't have pins, so you do need a Cattwalk-style base to use it properly, and it is hard to get hold of; the hearts are small but nicely proportioned.
I wrote a simple tutorial on how to use this press, and had a version printed in Beads & Beyond magazine, February 2010. This technique is really the same for all the heart presses.
I definitely recommend the Beadpress Puffy Trio - this is my favourite of all their Puffy shouldered hearts, I think the largest heart of the three is nicely proportioned, the smallest is great for earrings or dangle charms, and together they make a useful addition to your studio. I like the Cattwalk shape too and the Beadpress Folk Art Trio.
Spotty heart anyone?!
(other colours are available, haha!)