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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Fascinating flat laps..... yeah!!!

Chameleon top on jam spoon
Well, Happy New Year and a great 2012 to all!

Sorry I have been off the radar, in between christmas, kids holidays and a massive volume of glassy orders I have been too busy to pop up even a quickie blog entry.... doh!
I have been honey dippering and now Jam spooning a LOT to fill some local and international orders.  Here's one of my recent Jam spoons with a cute but cartoony little bloke on the top.  The slightly difficult thing with these jam spoons is making the bowl a nice shape and my VERY clever husband made me a spoon press a little while ago.  It is basically an el-cheapo pair of tweezers with two el-cheapo teaspoons on the end in position to cup each other and therefore press the glass into a bowl after squeezing into a flat paddle on the end first.  Easy peasy, although I am going to get myself a couple of steeper more deeply bowled spoons to make a deeper dish on my glass one... more things for the drawing board!
The other thing I am glass to say that I got for christmas is a cheapish but cheer flat lap with machine.  It is one of the Inland swap tops and I absolutely love it.  All of my paperweights have flat and shiny bottoms now and I have started a few lapping experiments as a basic entry into some simple coldworking.  I decided last night that I would make something to lap and rather than go with the "window" style commonly seen with the fish or garden scenes encased in clear then layers of opaque and frit and enamels and stuff around the outside that gives the impression of a thunder egg sort of thing.

I only had 10 minutes or go and reprogram the kiln (it was also 11pm so I was keen to get to bed) so I just make a simple barrel bead using lots of thin coat layers so that the layers would show as stripes when ground back.  Here is the starting bead.... not fancy, but something to practice on:
Simple layered barrel bead
Then I lapped the ends a little, the two large sides and put a bit of a facet on each edge which I think made it look a little classier..... although it took a bit of practice to get these facets straight and even!

Lapped barrel bead after polishing
It feels lovely and smooth in your hand and I keep running my fingers over the soapy feel of it.  I am quite happy with the shape and I think I did a much better job of the polishing than I had done before (thank goodness that was only on the bases of the paperweights and therefore doesn't matter).

I have installed this one on a simple beadable pendant bar with a bali silver bead as a spacer to take up the tiny bit of slack on the bar..... I am really happy with it and are already thinking of more complicated things I can do.... using stacked murrini canes and stuff.......oh  yeah!!!!!!


  1. Hello!
    I really love reading your blog. I get really inspired :0) I want to ask you, do you use Boro for your spoons? And what kind of torch do you use?
    // Malin

  2. G'day Malin,

    Thanks very much for the note :-) I do use boro for the spoons and honey dippers and for this sort of small work I am on a Nortel Minor with an 8lpm oxycon!

  3. Hello again!
    Thank you for your reply!
    I'll continue following your blog and your work with interest. I am pretty new at lampworking myself and I have never worked with boro, other than to make handles, not those Maria ones but just as an ordinary stringer-pulling-handle :0)
    I use a Minor bench burner. The other night I made my first murrini cane and I am really excited about cutting it up.
    Take care! // Malin

  4. Oh, thats great, i like it sooo much.

  5. Thanks so much for the posts Co and Pretty Things.... Its fun for sure