Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mental Picture Looked Different

Or Try, Try Again

  1. Learning and experimenting with the enamels - not as translucent as hoped. Succeeded in creating a muddy image, not what was pictured. Funny thing with glass, it looks one way going into the kiln and a totally different way after firing. Have to do a mental conversion ... and lots of testing.

    Will NOT be posting a photo of the results of last night's firing. But that's often what learning is, right? Pushing the edges to see 'what happens if' and trying it out to see! And it's only glass so it's okay to try.

    What was learned while working with enamels:

Do NOT use hands to scratch eyes no matter how itchy
Do NOT sneeze
Always wear an apron
Colors do not behave like inks, fabric dyes or paints
First fuse should only be a tack fuse (1300 degrees F) not full fuse (1500 degrees F)
Be sure all liquids are dry before fusing to avoid bubbles (unless bubbles are wanted)
Fired enamels do NOT scratch off (be sure colors are where you planned)Colors will be matte until top layer of clear glass is fused over

All very useful things to know.

Have drawn the blueprints for a tiny glass birdhouse. Bought hand cast pewter bird charms (lovely!) from Mamacita Beadworks in New York and can't wait for delivery.

Will start making the tiny birdhouse while the next enameled glass piece fires.

Got inspired and feather-brained and made this 'W' is for Wren necklace, with brass components and a fused glass tile with a letter 'W' attached.

Just adorable, love it. It's folksy and quaint and has a feeling of spring, with berries and birds and warm tones.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Busy and Busiest

Hearts and Home

Doing the step-out photography for the image transfer magazine article tomorrow. Have to deliver next week.

Also have some glass-metal-found object collage projects to try, related to the 'medals' theme in mind.

Experimental fusing ideas to try.

Will post photos as things progress.

Also important, photographs for the Belle Armoire pieces that have returned, want to improve the ones on the Etsy site. Counting down to March 1 when the issue is available.

But first - here's are photos of the front and back of a 3-D house built of engraved glass and fused glass.

An idea that's been kicking around for a little while, decided to go ahead and try it out. The very dark patina took very well on the silver solder, makes the piece look very old.

From roof to floor this little charmer is an inch and a half tall. The charm on the front is fused glass with a heart shape embedded in it. The clear glass was engraved and painted before fusing, giving it that leafy look.
On the shot of the back the engraved glass shows up really well. It's totally enclosed, with roof, four walls and a floor of engraved ultra-thin glass, copper foiled and silver soldered.

Getting ideas for other things to try along these lines. FUN!

Also did two kiln fusing runs today, experimenting with enamels and more dichroic glass. Shaped the pieces, they are cooling in the kiln now.

So hard to wait until they are room temperature, but so important to let them anneal slowly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Shell and Buttons

This lovely piece (one of my favorites) with the engraved glass and the vintage mother-of-pearl button and faceted glass dangle has found a home. I am very pleased that someone liked it. It's really a distinctive piece. I wanted to take some more photos of it before I wrap it, put it in an organza bag with its chain, and ship it out.

It hangs quite long, 3 1/2 inches from top of the glass rectangle to the bottom of the faceted glass bead.

All the silver has had a once-over, polished to a satin finish and a sunshine silver polishing cloth. It's ready to go to its new home. It and the heart earrings in the earlier post are going together. So gratifying to have someone admire your work.

Have several more pieces of engraved glass, want to make some more pieces with them.

Hearts On Fire - Doubles

Made these tiny earrings, just posted to Etsy. Love the earwires. Balled the ends, then flattened them. Different shape, like a paddle, for the dangle earrings. Made three sizes, small-medium-long.

Put a dark patina on them, some of the earring pendants made recently have a dark patina on the silver. Needed earwires to go with them.

Started to try the chain idea that's bouncing in the brain, but the wire didn't want to cooperate. The pieces are still in the pickle, need to see if anything can be used.

Trying new things means learning, but also sometimes means learning what doesn't work in real life the same way it worked in your imagination, I guess.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Heart, But Broken

Dichroic Broken Heart or Heartbreaker Pendant

Here's the Heartbreaker pendant after shaping and fire polishing. The shape is nice and even, and the dichroic flares like sparklers, when it is moved around the colors change from green to blue and a little lavender at the edges.


The cracked heart is deep burgundy red, all the colors held up in the kiln really well.

The hanging loop was made from sterling wire, fused together with the torch, then hammered with texture to make the wide link for the faceted ball chain to roll through. The rough texture of the silver is a nice contrast to the smooth glass surface.

See in the earlier photos how the cabochons looked when they came out of the kiln the first time, the shaping and fire polishing really makes a difference.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Birds and Burners

Dark and Soldering Dawn

Up before dawn, getting cabochons out of the kiln after shaping and fire polishing. One did decide to take a leap off the kiln shelf and will need to be re-done, a first. Now has an odd kind of texture on the top, of course it would leap and land face down. Like jelly on bread when dropped on the floor, must land jelly side down.

Got the custom order for the tiny girl's post earrings wrapped in silver and the posts and backs applied today.

Very cute, not too small so the hearts don't show. Not too large for small ears. Hope they go over well. Put reserved on Etsy.

Shipped out two orders this morning, the Belle Armoire package arrived yesterday. Was able to package up the pieces that sold but couldn't be shipped. Slipped in a 'thank you' gift for the patience.

Need to re-photograph the other pieces and add to Etsy, need better photos. It's like seeing old friends, had forgotten how nice some of the pieces were. Can't wait to see the article in March '08.

Thinking of setting up a second shop for the invented vintage pieces, and keep the glass pieces separate, as they are different in style, more contemporary. Not sure yet.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Teeny Tiny Hearts

Studio Day

Going to use the thin new sheet of clear 90 COE glass to make some teeny tiny heart earrings. Also want to punch out some words with steel letter stamps and embed in glass. Love to have sayings between glass sheets.

Forgot to ask about the diamond carbide hollow bits when the frit and glass enamels were bought yesterday. May have to get those online or mail order, need to drill holes in glass.

Fusing, soldering and punching day.

Here's a photo of the studio with the grinder and the soldering station showing. The messy end of the room.

Need to test the new dichroic to see what it does. Shiny!

Here's the kiln, venting and about to open and unload the new pieces.

The kiln is about 300 degrees F, so gloves are needed to pull the kiln shelf out.

So hard to wait until it's room temperature.

The pieces are sitting on thin fire shelf paper. Can't get more than one firing out of it, since it's going up to 1500 degrees F for fusing.
The colors of the cabochons don't show very well in the webcam photos, but there are dichroic shiny pieces in this group.

This is the new dichroic that was fired first time today. Very softly reddish dichroic sparkles, behind the bright red heart shapes.

Made one cabochon with a 'broken heart' design in it. Sitting on top of yellow glass with the dichroic on top.

Need to create the bezels and wrap in silver, attach the sterling silver loops and make the earwires for earrings. Fun! Might get one more firing in today, after grinding, shaping and fire polishing these pieces.