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Saturday, August 21, 2010

Chain me to my torch please!

Well, first off, for those who are following my murrini making adventures, I have made some orange/yellow monarch butterfly murrini which (as I was warned) do have a bit of a tendency to crack. I have got a pic of the two halves just before I put them together and it worked rather well, but unless I pull it into fairly small diameter it is to be honest a bit of a poop for developing fine cracks inside the cane..... bloody yellows!!!!

I also thought I might go the whole hog and use yellow to make some fish scale murrini. First I made the single scale which I cut into 4 and put them together (a bit like a jigsaw) and then I pulled that cane and cut it into 4 until I now have 16 scales in a cane ready to be constructed into a complex fish. I have made some really cool fin material, but haven't done the face yet so I will have to get my finger out this week and get that face done. I am going to try to do a 3D pull on it, but are not attempting a real fish pattern or anything. Here's the pic just before the last pull, it turned out fabbo!

My rock tumbler is still going strong, I have found that if I throw my rough sawn glass discs into the barrel with some cut up leather they work really well. I have finished the 80 grit cycle which took about a week and very nicely rounded off the edges, but took a bit of work to grind the flat sides of the big discs...... I am sure that is just pure physics, but interesting at any rate as it signifcantly prolonged the tumbling time and if you had murrini without clear around the edge you could be in trouble if the pattern went right to the edge. I have my 160 grit out and moved most of the glass across to that barrel (thank goodness I have two barrelled tumbler.... thanks Lortone). I am going to slice up some more and sort of cycle the glass through my four barrels finishing off with the Cerium Oxide for really give me some shine.... I hope so!!!!

Here's my latest experiment. I have seen loads of different types of lampwork chain on the net (mostly in the US) and thought I might give it a try out. Here is my very first effort using some boro (because it is so forgiving at being reintroduced to the heat etc.) It is not as easy as it looks as a matter of fact - trying to keep the links small, neat and "round" was quite the challenge.......I cheated by using a large piece of stainless pipe and wrapped them around that to give me the base size and half of the shape and it made life a hell of a lot easier. I had some fun working out how I would make my clasp out of the glass and settled for a hook at one end. I am currently working on some glass chain with "extra stuff" that I am thinking might be good and unique for some gallery work I have been asked about! It of course involves chain and murrini!!!!

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