I spent what felt like the entire weekend at the Bead Fest in Oaks, PA. There were so many absolutely lovely stones, glass, and other pieces, and I had such a difficult time choosing. If I had a spare million dollars, I could have easily spent it all (of course then I would need to purchase a warehouse to hold all my new beautiful treasures.) So I tried to limit myself and bought stones to make into jewelry, and some stones just to look at, and the necessary beading suppli
This morning should be the day that my swirly fused glass pieces are complete. I got up early so I had time to admire them before I start my paying job. Sigh - mixed results. It turns out that the transparent green that I used, despite supposedly having the same melting properties, acted a bit differently. Instead of getting all lovely perfectly smooth pieces, many of the green portions are spiky. I'll have to spend several hours grinding each piece separately by hand bef
I've cleaned off the pieces; now for the odd step: Take a hammer and smash the fused pieces into bits (wearing safety glasses, of course.) Prepare for the second fusing in the kiln by taking the broken pieces and standing them on edge on the kiln shelves, allowing enough space between the pieces for them to melt and spread. Do another overnight fuse with a slow cool-down. The glass pieces standing on edge ready to go into the kiln.
After an overnight fusing and slow cooling, I get to open my kiln and see what the stacks look like. Yippee! They are fully fused! As they look from the top as I open my kiln. Removed from the kiln and given an initial cleaning. As they look from the bottom after the initial cleaning. Next step: clean them off a bit and them soak them overnight so that I may clean them with minimal effort to prepare for Day 3.
I love doing all sorts of techniques in lampworking, glass fusing, and beading. My current favorite art glass fusing technique is making what I call swirly art glass pieces. I seem to be adding these pieces to most of my current fused glass jewelry, coasters, and votives. Here's how I make them: Day One:
1. Decide on what colors of glass I want to make the pieces.
2. Cut the art glass into rectangles approximately 1.5 by 2.5 inches.
3. Stack the rectangles on top of each
When doing lampworking, especially when working with finicky glass that tends to shatter - stand rather than sit. A piece of glass that is 1700 degrees F, when it lands on your lap, very quickly burns through your jeans and leaves a very nasty burn. From experience, it happens faster than you can jump up and get it off your lap.
More unwitting influencers: 5. My husband Paul (yes, again) who when I brought up the idea of buying a torch and glass, and setting up a workshop in the spare bedroom to make glass beads, didn't laugh, didn't criticize, didn't tell me that I was crazy, but who just sweetly asked if I was going to have a fire extinguisher by my side. So I bought a torch, some glass making supplies, and an additional fire extinguisher. And my first studio space was born: my lampworking area
More unwitting influencers: 3. My sister Kathy who went with me to Corning, NY. There we took an hour class in making our own lampwork glass pendant using flame and glass rods. I loved doing it! 4. My parents who showed by example that even if the idea is crazy, go ahead and give it a shot. So I did some research about lampworking. It looked easy in videos on the internet, and of course, nothing ever goes wrong. So how hard can lampworking be, right? The pendant I made
An Unexpected Start If anyone told me five years ago that I would have my own glass studio and be designing, creating, and selling my handmade glass and stone items, I probably would have laughed. Yet here I am doing beading, lampworking, and glass fusing.... My unwitting influencers: 1. My wonderful husband Paul who several years ago bought me some beautiful blue lapis beads. They sat in a display box on my dresser for over a year because I had no idea what to do with th