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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crazy@rse idea number 127 - Kaleidoscope murrini

I am beginning to wonder if I am just slightly ADD or is it ADHD or perhaps is it just an inability to stick to the jobs that are a higher priority on my list (orders etc.)

Hmmmmm, in any case I decided to make a few smallish bright triangle canes to see how they would come out. They worked out fine, but when I picked the cooled cane up "WHOOOOMPHA" an idea has struck with a vengeance! After seeing some of the utterly gorgeous polymer clay Kaleidoscope canes recently I thought that it might be loads of fun to try making one out of glass. When I sat the triangles together in a pattern, I could just see the seed of an idea ready to plant. I figure that if I make larger diameter component cane and then sawed and stacked them up nicely..... maybe row upon row upon row it could be REALLY beautiful!! In my usual crazy enthusiastic need to act instantly on an inspiration, tomorrow will be component cane making day..... I will update the blog with how I go..... YAY!!!!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

And the Royal Easter show entry is sent....hallelujah!

Thank goodness I have finally sent off my Sydney Royal Easter show entry. This year I decided that I would enter in the set of five beads rather than the jewellery section. Last time I entered a necklace which was truly horrendous and slightly embarrassing to have my name against, but I figured it was better to support lampwork than not.

This year I have done my usual annoying job of proscratinating until I just throw 5 beads in and hope for the best at the last minute. Geeze I annoy myself with this, I could try and justify it by saying that I work better under pressure, but that would be complete rubbish... I was just disorganised and slack as usual!

I stupidly gave my set of beads a name "burlesque" because at the time I entered I was making burlesque beads with corsets and stuff on.... unfortunately I am a wee bit over them, but had to revisit to make a matching set. I ended up taking some inspiration from a lovely family friend who is a wonderful dancer (working at the Sydney Dance Company) and doing some of that fancy stuff on stage with feathery outfits.... hmmmm I though, why not make a couple of feathery dance burlesque-y outfits to include in my set.... so I did.

I don't want to show what I have entered, but here is a sneak peek at one of the beads, my peacock dancer one from the back view only..... now all you Sydneysiders can go along to the Royal Easter show in a couple weeks and see the set for yourself and have a squizz at the other lovely work by our talented Aussie lampworkers too. I know I am heading in the with the kids for sure!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fish murrini rescue success....... YAY!

Yup, I have been having an absolute ball melting glass lately. I just can't seem to get enough time at the torch although that then leads to the evils of NOT ENOUGH GLASS..... he he, not really true for me at the moment, but a gal always wants some more glass hey!

I decided that I hadn't done any decent murrini for quite a while and thought I might make a random bodgy sort of fish.... Really stupidly I decided to temp fate and make a fairly plain stripy one pull fish.... predominantly yellow (for those who aren't bitten by the lampwork bug, that was the stupid decision, to go with Yellow). Yellow it is commonly known amongst murrini makers is a naughty little bugger who loves to crackalack a lot after encasing in clear once pulled. Needless to say, I finished my pull (which incidentally was a beauteous thing to behold, one of those rod pulls that goes smoothly and evenly). I will admit that I had buggered about somewhat getting the resulting fat rod into the kiln and when I checked the next morning there was more "crack" than you'd find on a plumber....... it was pretty much completely crazed and cracked all over, yet still sticking together... mostly.

At this point.... thank goodness the kids had gone to school, but holding that cracked log of glass in my hands was a bit soul destroying after investing about 2hrs into it and about a lb of glass to boot. I ALMOST binned it or threw it on the ground in a huff, but fortunately decided to conduct a small experiment instead. I wondered if I carefully sawed it into bits then preheated it in my kiln at about 630 C (regular annealing temp for me is usually 515 C) then reintroduced it to the flame, cap it, heal the cracks and pulled to about 5mm diameter if my bodgy fish could be resuscitated at all....... YES indeed it could as it turned out. Pulling some murrini cane into 4-7mm diameter worked very well, they chopped up nicely and I now have a baggie of many, many fish murrini which is fine with me, if not the usual way I like to keep my murrini. I like to store my murrini in rods of about 4cm diameter then slice it up later and pull smaller if I want some bead or marble making sized slices
Here's a pic of some of the small slices I got off the cane, like I said it was a very simple slightly ugly fish murrini that was straight out of my brain as I went with no planning on shape or colour at all..... fairly obvious I am sure!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Back from the beading retreat at Berry... my head is spinning!!!

Well, I have to admit that the beading retreat at Berry was just a wonderful experience! It was a really fabulous group of ladies who all shared thier knowledge unstintingly.... just BRILLIANT! Here's a link to the page if you want to keep in touch for next years retreat, I can REALLY recommend it

I went along on a bit of a whim, identifying myself clearly as a "lampy girl" rather than a jewellery making girl and was a little bit concerned about being bored.... well what a joke that was! I got to nudge in as an extra on a wireworking workshop were we all make our own clasp using coils and even got to beat the buggery out of it with a hammer and anvil...... GREAT FUN! Amanda Katz ( the teacher was a lovely lady who makes truly beautiful things and is a great teacher to boot.... obviously I will be keen to duck in on her workshops next year! The other formal workshop I did was Jan Cahill's lovely freeform peyote reef necklace. I have always loved Jan's work and really enjoyed the freedom of this style. Here is a pic of mine 1/3rd embellished.... there is a LOT of work in it, but it is fun to make. I can see why seedie necklaces are so expensive too, apart from the time to make the cost of the japanese seed beads is quite high. This is my night-time project for when I watch TV (more accurately listen to TV). I LURVE IT!

Being the pain in the butt that I am, I added lots of really bright and dark colours to mine even though Jan provided a lovely kit with some gorgeous pastel colours (which I have also used). Everyone in the class seemed to be coming out with something completely different even when only using the kits beads.... interesting to see when all finished I am sure!
I am back onto my torch this weekend and taking the time to sort out all those little jobs that people are waiting on. I have a few big things to sort out like getting my etsy store set back up and on track and have a large order for honey dippers to finish making. I have decided that April is sort it out month.... I am dubbing it ANAL APRIL, time to get anal about all the UFO's and projects and SORT MYSELF OUT........ meantime, I shall somewhat relax and enjoy the rest of March..... he he he, lazy slug I am!!!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Form, colour, technical challenge or all of the above?

Hmmm, yep I am in a weirdo mood from the glass perspective at the moment. I have been seduced back to boro in a big way but have been left feeling a bit like the girl who went to the dance with a date and left with someone else (only the date doesn't realise it and is sitting patiently in the corner). A little bit GUILTY..... probaby the right word to apply to the situation.

I had that "feeling in my waters" last night to go and melt some glass about 9pm and thought I might as well get into it and even though I had neatly lined up my coe 104 italian glass ready for a "dance"... I totally bypassed it and made a couple of boro pendants instead.... naughty girl!!!
On a less lampworky subject, I am off today for a lovely 3 day retreat with a whole gaggle of beading buddies (and a few lovely lampy girls too of course) and are left wondering how I am going to go. I haven't made any beaded jewellery for so long I think I have forgotten how to do it really and are worried that I will find it somewhat boring talking about something other than glass (yep, I am BORING in company unless they find glass interesting). Just in case, I have packed my snorkelling gear and figure that for a number of reasons, not the least of which it would be healthy and I enjoy it, thought I would sneak out the 10min to the beach and take a dip at least one day of the three.
Bring on the weekend everyone....... Lets hope the surf is not up too much!