Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Now that the rain is giving it a short rest here in Western Sydney I thought I might get some of this rubbish out of my space. I am getting increasingly desperate to set up my torches and kiln and melt some glass. My dreams of sorting out the stuff as I unpack and start working in a pristine well organised environment is very quickly being given the bums rush so that I can just get some lampworking done................ If I wouldn't set alight to the cardboard boxes and melt the plastic ones I might already have lit the flame.......... hey, thats one way to sort out the garage ;-)
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
At the moment we need some planning time to get all our ideas down and form some sort of a priority listing so we have some goals rather than just run about ooooohing and aaaahing about our combined wisdom and mad schemes (we are both a bit the same, the crazier the better and we feed off each others enthusiasm)
My part of the "collab" will involve me making some complex murrini and small componentry in 96coe which should be compatible with the glass sheet Gail uses and to be honest a lot of the real skill will most likely be how she does her end. Thus far my only slumping efforts have been restricted to some bottles to make platters and "cabifying" dodgy beads (melting a cleaned up bead into a cabochon). In the week leading up to the move and sticking with my comfort zone I made quite a nice orange butterfly cane which I left as a graduated large diameter rod so that different sized slices can be cut..... all larger for the larger project, but some variety of size. Here's the pic of a rough slice of the finished cane. The great thing is that if I saw up the scrappy ends we will end up with some really cool fusing slices (half and quarter wings etc.).
Interestingly enough, I found it quite difficult not to pull down some of the cane for bead-sized butterflies..... Just habit I am sure!
Now..... I MUST go sort out some of my lampworking garage space and search further for beads.......aaaaaarrrrrrgggh!
Monday, October 25, 2010
My darling hubby Leo has tried to be very cognisant (big word for the day there friends) of the fact that I need a usable & safe space for my lampworking with adequate ventillation and no fire hazards. All this combined with limited space and trying to plan for correct storage of my rather large stash of lampworking glass is turning out to be a bit of a nightmare. I would take a picture of the carnage, but can't find my camera..... yup, packed!
I tried to limit the difficulties by leaving my lampwork setup and beading supplies until the very last, which I thought would be a "brilliant" plan so I could access my stuff quickly at this end...... no dice! I got a rather bad headache on the last moving day and had to leave it my Leo, he has managed to shove my stuff into boxes and plastic containers which are now spread all over the place - totally not his fault, I would rather have my things than leave them behind, but now I am needing some of my beading supplies and are getting rather desperate to melt some glass again I am getting slowly crankier by the day...
....hmmmmm, unpack kitchen stuff so we can have a home cooked dinner, or live off takeaway another day and continue the search for beading supplies................................... BEADING WINS!!!!!!!
Friday, September 10, 2010
Thursday, September 9, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I have chopped the cane in half and thought I would slice one half up into slices to tumble to application to beads and leave the other little bit for pulling into small bead sized diameter later if I feel like it.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
First off I put some rough sliced discs of glass murrini into the tumbler with some 80 grit which is quite rough and really ground down the edges nicely over about seven days of tumbling. One thing to note is that rather than using the little plastic bead tumbling medium I used some home-made heavy leather offcuts my dad had cut up for me and it worked a real treat and was far better for tumbling the glass with. I then moved across to some 120 grit and after about four days moved across to 250grit which is quite fine and used for pre-polishing. Now I have bunged the first lot into the cerium polish and hopefully that will finish them off to a high polish and I can use them as they are for making some jewellery using PMC or can preheat in the kiln and insert them into a lampwork piece without having to worry about a huge volume of scum caused by a rough surface.
Here is a pic of a couple pieces just before I put them into the cerium for polishing. I am a bit worried about how the polishing will go as I am told that Cerium really needs friction and warmth to work properly. If the tumble polishing doesn't work I have bought myself a set of polishing bits for my dremel and will do some by hand..... may have to try that just to see the difference anyway ;-)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The glass chain came about when I was trying to think of something new and different for the Glasschallenge sponsored this time by Mountain Glass Arts in the US. I decided that I wanted to make something out of boro given that I am booked to do a course with Alan Usher a talented local artist here In Australia in September and hadn't touched my boro stash for a while! After I made the glass chain I kept looking at it and in my usual way tried to think of ways to apply murrini to it..... I considered:
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The butterfly cane is a graduated pink one (although the pic is a bit crappy) and one thing I was a bit annoyed about is the scummy clear. I know that if I want a perfect butterfly in crystal clear then I have to peel the rods but I just couldn't face all that peeling!!!!! I sawed up some slices and have them in the tumbler as we speak - I was going to have the tumbler going over the last few days, but if you don't fill it enough the contents just swoosh around one side..... now it is "fully loaded" and off and running. I hope it doesn't take as long as rocks do to smooth off though!!!
After my rather boxy attempt at a complex leaf cane I am very pleased with the second attempt sawn this arvo. I decided that I would serrate the leaves on this one and I think they look a bit more realistic that way (but a wee bit of a poop to heat prior to pulling to keep the serrations actually there) I am particularly happy with this cane, because even though Loren gave us the basics, I have done the veins in this way which was my own idea - I am hoping he would be proud of me! I was very happy with the graduated transparent green moving to the darker side in the middle of the leaf and using the Grass green opaque was a nicer colour effect too I reckon. I have sliced some leaves up and have got them in the tumbler as well, but thought I might slice some really thin ones and some of the dodgy ends of the pull, preheat in the kiln and try applying to the outside of a soft glass marble..... there's not much point in making all these murrini if I am not going to use the buggers!!!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Knowing that I was sorting out the saw situation I started making myself some murrini components over the past few days and here they are all sawed up and ready to use. I finished the top half of a butterfly's wing last night (out of the kiln this morn) and made the leaf cane which is mostly graduated transparent green with opaque pistachio coloured veining yesterday too. The fish scale cane I made last week and I am really keen to try putting them together like Loren Stump does his fish scale cane..... hopefully I won't bugger it up!
I have been giving some thought to how I will be able to deal with the polishing issue and think I might have a plan of action - its not perfect, but hopefully it will work with some patience. I am going to slice up quite a lot of the large cane slices and pop them into my old rock tumbler with loads of little bits of cut up leather (a trick my Dad taught me when we into fossicking and tumbling our stones) starting with a medium grit and moving to fine at which time I will use my dremel with a polishing pad attachment and some cerium to finish off. The only big pain in the arse is the wait for the tumbler, but I reckon because it is glass and not rocks it will not take weeks, maybe just a day or two for each step. The added advantage of this option is that even the edges will come out lovely and smooth and polished too which makes using them even more fun. Here's is my old Lortone rock tumbler (double barrelled!) hunted out of the back of the shed by my darling Leo again - I will have to give it a clean up, but then I will load er up today and I will see how we fare. I thought I had better make the slices on the thicker side rather than the really thin ones seeing as they will be bumping together somewhat!
What am I going to do with these polished slices you might ask? I am thinking that if I preheat them I can apply them to the surface of a bead or pendant, I could drill a small hole in the top and use that to hang off some chain or earrings or even ask a friendly silversmith to bezel them up with a bail for a pendant on a necklace....... it will be interesting to see where this takes me!
Monday, August 9, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
The lovely Kerri from Affordable Inspiration has asked me if I was interested in a business proposition............ it would involve glass............. my answer..... HELL YES!!!!!!
Just in case anyone has their interested piqued... here's a hint:
I am also in the midst of writing a tutorial on how to use murrini, not just these ones that melt into the middle, but using the complex picture ones and the feather ones too!
It'll be interesting to see how I go!
My names of my "products" will all be based on "songs". I have Rainbow Connection, Blue Suede Shoes, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini, Purple People Eater, Lady in Red, Green Tambourine, Silvery Rain & Pink Cadillac to name but a few!
Saturday, April 17, 2010
I started with the eyecanes which I had to resist from making them blue-eyed... I have a "thing" for making eye canes blue, I have no idea why really, but I do! I ended up using a thin ring of opal yellow with CIM Ghee around as the coloured bit of the eye. I had totally forgotten about making the shape flat on the top at first and to try and fix it I simply heated the top of the cane (a lot) then squished it flatbefore filling in with the white around the outside. Thank goodness it worked out fine, though not as good as I wanted it to be!
Sunday, April 11, 2010
For anyone who is even vaguely interested, this is how I plan my complex murrini.
Saturday, April 10, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
I got my finger out recently and made a few other beads to send in. One of the most popular ones that I have come up with was my X-ray bead. I actually made some white skull murrini to apply to them as well and I reckon they have come up even better now using this. Bravery Beads told me that these x-ray beads were treated like "gold nuggets" at the hospital and could I please send some more.........OF COURSE!!!!!!
I made some "people" beads too which are small but fairly sturdy (we can't have a bead breaking on a sick little kid!) and these were quite fun to make. I am determined to make some more each time I torch!
There are always a few extras to send along too, now I need to make some more dogs heads for the PET scan etc.! I have been trying to make at least one bead for Bravery Beads program each time I sit at the torch, but slackened off a bit. Now to make up for my laziness, I am determined to make at least 3 each time I sit at the torch and send a parcel once a month!!!!!
Monday, April 5, 2010
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I am thinking that I might send out the call to my facebook mates for a tester for these. I do need to get hold of some decent calipers so I can accurately measure the middle part before I try selling them, but I am hopefull that they should work ok. I am going to go and see a couple of the local body peircing shops to see if they would stock on commission for me too - they are a bit fiddly, but use only a small volume of glass and you get quicker the more you make too. I like that they are in boro, but I might make some soft glass ones too - mostly because I have a gozillion different murrini I have made for soft glass and would like to make more use of them.
I am thinking that I could easily make some of those earhole stretching thingo (like a long tapered cone or a long cone that is curled up). Lots of possibilities and loads of fun to be had I'd say!