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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Glassy confusion

Yep, I have to admit totally that I have managed to confuddlate myself lately..... I have a big long list of stuff to do and I have been working though that (thanks mostly to the whyteboard list which somewhat keeps me on track, well a bit anyway), but I keep getting distracted by other stuff.  I have been working on odd ideas, things to try out and just plain "stuff" that is not on my to do list and yet I feel the burning need to put these ideas into practice, not tomorrow or even an hour from now......... right NOW!

Is it an obsessional thing, like OCD although mine would be called OGD (Obessive Glass Disorder) or is it just the nature of the artistic beast?  Who knows for sure, I just know that if I don't follow through on some of the stranger ideas then I feel very unfulfilled and unhappy.  The main thing is that I would not worry even the tiniest bit if this didn't affect other people, but it does!  I have poor buggers waiting for things for months very patiently, which I know deep down I could have finished thier items off and had them back at least weeks ago, and I just haven't done that work.  I am equally annoying myself and having fun, like the kid at the fair who feels a bit sick, but still keeps eating the fairy floss.

Bugger.... enough of that D & M stuff.

I have been ticking a couple jobs off my list of to do's and in between making some murrini components I have been making some beads using my new lentil press (interestingly I have never ever liked presses, not even a little tiny bit, but I like this one from Peter G in Melbourne and made to my specs).  I have been on a listing fest on the Etsy store to try and get the total number of items over 100 which I have been told is the "magic" number for interesting people to have a look, so I thought I might as well try.

The other job I have been attempting to get done is to restock my honey dipper lady at Blue Mountains Honey with some christmas themed jobbies..... I have done one lot last night and have the kiln hot and ready to go right now for some more.  I am going to try and get at least 30 out to her next week and Leo is making another cute little stand for them which will be cool too.

Oh well, the re-purpling of my hair is ready to rinse and the kiln and glass are waiting for me.  Have a FANTASTIC week everyone!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Two kilns heated and life is goooooood!

Yep at the moment I have two kilns.... thats right, my new lovely big girl I have dubbed Penny (Penny Paragon) and my old, but VERY useful Aim kiln that goes on a trip to Canberra to stay forever more with my little Sister Amanda... sort of sad to see her go, but she is well needed down south and I know my sis will give her some love for sure. 

At the moment I have my Aim set up for the fusing (hence all the fusing related postings this last week...he he he) and it is currently full of glassy goodness once again, only this time I have mixed some dichro in there with the murrini, it'll be interesting to see how it comes out for sure.    Here's a pic of the sheet I threw in with just scrappy bits and pieces on it (twistie, murrini and lumps of "other") and it still sort of came out fairly cool..... I still don't know what I am going to do with this one, maybe stick some rubber bumpies on it and use it as a butter dish for visitors or something like that..... LOL
Scrap canes and murrini fused sheet
I had some interesting results from my fusing tests on small bits of sheet glass.  This one using some clear centred cane came out really interesting, although I am finding that I often like the back view (that has less murrini distortion) much better.  I will show both sides of this one, which I am going to glue a bail to and wear as a pendant I am thinking!  I am actually re-fusing a couple of these tester cabs upside down (now with the clear sheet on the top) to see if that clarifies the integrity of the murrini pictures and maybe adds some depth and magnification too.... I will be keen to check the kiln when they finish for sure!
Rear of cab
Front of cab
 On a non-fusing front, I have been madly making up murrini for Affordable (geeze I am a shocking slacker with keeping up the stock, she might need to take a stick to me I think!)  mostly because I have misplaced a whole lot of my stock murrini (some of which I had even bagged up...doh) and therefore I must pay the price of making extras.... I have really annoyed myself I tell you!

I haven't made any complex murrini for a little while now and the bug is starting to bite..... I have some plans afoot as you can see......

Lets hope it comes out as cute as I see it in my brain.  I am yet to make a murrini that I am totally happy with.... maybe that is just the nature of the beast, but at least I do see myself improving.  You might note that the plans for this owl murrini include using the same component as Loren Stump's fish scale.... I am thinking it will make some ultra-cool feathers YEAH!  Now off to buy a can of corn for shaping the bugger (those little cans are the trick to this shape Loren showed us).

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Death of a plate..... but tried again with success!

Sharks vomit plate 1 with hole
Oh yeah..... there is no question, I killed my plate using Sharks Vomit 1 when I tried to slump it into the mold.  It is mostly due to the fact that I totally forgot that I needed to slow down the ramp up heat rate and so when the plate hit about 350deg C there was a muffled clang...well to be honest multiple clangy sounds and when I peeked into the peephole, there it sat.... in MANY parts.  I was not happy, indeed I was rather upset, but as they say... you learn much more from a mistake than you do from getting it right the first time.  I decided that because it was in pieces, I might as well ramp the temp right up and see if some of it will fuse back together.  In fact it did fuse back quite a bit, but left a little hole that I have decided would be a good spot to sit a marble ( I put a circle around the hole zone on the above pic).  The glass also somewhat dripped down the sides of the plate mold and I will have to grind that off.  I am still toying with the idea that I should re-fuse and then try slumping this one again.... just toying at the moment, but if I have to look at it too long like this, it shall feel some heat I promise you!  LOL

Being a big one for getting it right at least once, I decided to spend 4 hrs of my time yesterday to make up another fusing plate using my murrini again.  This time I tried to stick with half decent murrini (ie, not too many clear inclusions etc.) although they are still my rejected ones, I made sure they were as tightly packed as I could get them.  I even pulled some little stringer sized murrini to pop down the gaps and it really paid off.  The glass did not move around very much at all and the fuse came out lovely.  I slumped it late last night and got this beauty out of the kiln this arvo and now have a cute little square plate..... I love it!!!!
Sharks vomit 2 slumped into plate -  sweet success

I have now got a kiln full of  "testers" that I will see how they look when they come out before I think of using them in a larger plate size.  The handy thing is that I will be able to glue on some bails and voila.... instant pendant.  Hopefully they won't be too ugly to be worn and if they are, well I will keep them or donate them to someone who seed beads cabs or something fun like that.

Testers to see what happens in the kiln!
Have a fabulous week, this week is getting things done week for me....... YEAH!

Friday, October 21, 2011

The 104coe murrini fusing experiment..... SUCCESS!

Well despite my concerns about fusing the miriad of murrini (I quite like how that rolls off the tongue... Miriad of Murrini.... yeah!)  I opened the kiln lid this morning to some sweet success!  Both sides of the piece were really cool with the bottom side maintaining the integrity of the pattern where the murrini sat against the clear glass:

And then there was the top side where the different glass sort of moved around a bit an squidgied the top of the pictures.  Green and Blue glass seems to be really prone to this moving around in a very viscous (not vicious) fashion, I am sure the techno-types out there would be able to say exactly why, but for me, sometimes I really like it and sometimes not!

Here's a pic of the top side and you can see the distortion to the pics, and yet I still think it is pretty damn cool!
The next job will be to try slumping this into a plate mold, which I am now a bit nervous about given that I do not want to ruin this glass now its worked out so far.  I could be conservative and try with some other glass first...... but NAHHHH I will stick my neck out, scoff at the danger (danger of buggering it up that is) and dip my foot into the slumping waters...... ok, now I have slightly scared myself!

Have a wonderful day everyone, its sunny, warm and fabulous here in Sydney right now..... I am loving life!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Back from Crazy month... with a bit of sharks vomit !!!

Ascidian bead experiment
Yahoo, I am glad to say that I am home after a literal marathon of glassy goodness.  First off I was on the committee for the 2011 International Flameon event here in Sydney and whilst it was Motza fun.... it was also very exhausting!  If you would like to see some photos of the event  or of course would like a chance to bid on some of the items of art created and donated for Spinal Cord Injury Australia then try for the full listing of lovely stuff to drool over and maybe even buy.... LOL

 After spending a crazy time at the flame on with Robert Mickelson, Chris Arnold and of course Loren Stump (plus heaps of other lovely lampwork peeps), I then got to help out at the studio for Robert who is a really lovely bloke and a great teacher.  Unfortunately I didn't get to stay the whole time (friends wedding in Victoria) but the students were producing really amazing things!

After all my travelling around and being away from my own torch I have been rather desperate to melt some glass too and since I got home that is just what I have been doing.  I spent some time today on my first ever fusing project to give my new (and much larger) kiln a good run.  Here's a pic of the project before it went into the kiln.  I had some 104 sheet glass laying around and decided to use a whole lot of the knobby ends of old and crappy murrini pulls with the odd lump of "other" also all in 104 COE of course.

Sharks Vomit - Pre fused

I have decided to call this "sharks vomit" because it is basically a mish mash of all my scrappy ends and bad murrini pulls.  It had great potential to just all smoosh together and looks really foul, but then again... it also might come out rather fun!  If it turns out at all I am going to slump it into a greenware plate mold I bought a little while ago which I think might look rather funky!

Oh..... on a VERY happy note, my work has been accepted by the wonderful people at the Canberra Glassworks Gallery........YAHOOOOOOOO!