Monday, November 8, 2010

A week, really?

I can't believe its been a week since I last posted...then again, maybe I can. Its been hectic here and I have been working a schedule of two days on, one day off...that gets me nowhere. Then I had 4 days off, was able to make beads only on one day out of that-and then only for a few hours. Nothing really to show for my efforts.

This past Saturday we tossed the boys in the truck and hit the road with only a vague idea of where we were going. Initially we thought Sonora might be nice, to look at the mountains and nature and all that...then we got the crazy idea to head to Yosemite. Its only about a two hour drive from here and the weather looked good so we went for it! I am so happy we did. Yosemite has been a place that I have wanted to see for it was even better than I had imagined. The pictures above pale in comparison to the real thing...just amazing. Since we didn't have a plan, we just hung around Yosemite Village and saw the basic sights, El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, assorted lovely meadows and mule deer. Honestly, there is no way to take a bad picture there, I bet even a 5 year old with a cell cam could get some stunning shots.
Sorry no bead pictures (Yet!), but I hope you enjoy my vacation snaps!
Glass melting will resume on or around Thursday and I can't wait!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Goddess beads

The third newbie challenge is over at LE, and once again I learned an incredible amount from it.
Not that you would notice from the beads I made, but I really did. Sculpture has never been high on my list of things to do with glass, but this was really fun. I enjoy this shape and feel it is definately one that I can elaborate on down the line. Ideas are abounding and I already have plans for goddess sets...
This will be quick today because once again work has worn me to the nub and my brain needs to decompress. No glass today for me-I'm too tired to be productive-but later in the week I have some time off and will get back to it. Today is my DAY OFF and I am just gonna sit here, listen to a podcast or two, knit and roast pumpkin seeds. Later we'll watch the World Series...Go Giants!
Bead Pic of the Day-Goddess Trio

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It felt so good to get back to messing with glass! I was able to make beads most of Monday, from about 9am to 5pm. It was nice. I feel so comfortable sitting at my torch on days like that, it is like meditation. The world falls away, my problems don't seem so huge, and I can concentrate on creating. Work and some family concerns have been conspiring to keep anything not required for daily life pushed to the side, and I was happy to spend that time watching glass melt.

I got a lot done. First, since I had a comission of sorts to get out of the way, I made a few blue florals for a co worker. She saw the purple encased floral I made last month and asked if I could make her one in blue (specifically cobalt blue-I have no idea why). "Sure", I said, confident in my newly developed encasing ability, "I can do that.". Umm, yeah...right. It was a little like an out of the body experience-I was watching my mouth run way ahead of my skill. She asked how much one would be and I quoted her the princely sum of $10.00, kind of half hoping she would think it was too much. "OK, make me a blue one.", she said and the game was on.

Once that was out of the way, I experimented with some red and white flowers. I love white flowers and have wanted to try making an encased floral bead with moonflowers. That one didn't turn out quite as I planned, but the one I made with red flowers looks great...I'm really happy with it. I do need to learn how to make and use stamen cane as my next step. I fooled around with it during the last challenge, but was never very pleased with the results.

Then I moved on to Goddess beads, the current Newbie Challenge at Lampworking, etc. forums.

Hmm...I made three of them and I guess they are ok. I had higher aspirations, but just wasn't in a sculptural groove. I wanted to make more Storm beads because I have become addicted to them. And dots. I wanted to make lots of dots...but had to be satisfied with making another set of the RCG Storms. I had admired that style of beads ever since I got back to glass...and now thats all I want to make. This will just have to run its course, but in the meantime I am learning lots of valuable skills like dots, dots and more dots. Oh and heat control and timing too. lol

The reactions and colorations that the RCG has never cease to intrigue me. I have ordered more, plus a half pound of Russet Copper Green, and a rod each of Copper Green and Turquoise Copper Green just to see what they do. Its official-I'm a glass ho.

Added Wednesday morning:
I'm off to work, see ya later!

Go Giants!

Bead pix of the day:

"Blue Flowers", encased floral using Effetre Light Turquoise and transparent Cobalt, Vetrofond Jungle Twilight and Effetre Superclear.

"Mysterious Rose", encased floral using CiM Lipstick and Bordello, Vetrofond Jungle Twilight, and Effetre Superclear.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Red Copper Green,

I love you. I love how you curdle, devit, re-vit (is that even a word?), reduce, shimmer, change to burgundy, green, turquoise, turn metallic and in general do things that I never expected.

I love how you make Dark Ivory go crazy, turning it amber and brown, and that lovely dark line it forms between the two of cool. I know we have had our differences, and haven't always wanted to work together, but I'm so glad we could finally reach this place in our relationship where you aren't afraid to be yourself. I always knew you had it in you...maybe you were just shy, had to get to know me before you let the magic happen...thats ok, I'm just happy to see the amazing things that you can do.
I'm entranced.

RCG-may I call you that?-you rock my world.

Today's beads:
RCG base Stormed Bauble set with Ekho and Aion2.

The first of many.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ridin' the Storm out...

After months of trying, I've finally been able to make a semi-decent "Storm" technique bead.
Amy, from AKDesigns, created this type of bead and technique and it makes great use of the reduction properties of some silver/reactive type glass. It is fun to do (now that I have the hang of it) and I have to hold myself back from using up all my Aion 2, Terra 2.1, Luna, and "Helios" on these. I really like the effect of the finished beads, they look like they have mysterious jewels set in them, or that they are bubbles or windows filled with a strange atmosphere...who doesn't love a good mystery?
I have made about 20 so far and have enjoyed every second of experimenting on them. A big thank you to Amy for such clear directions!
Bead pix of the day:
Storm beads, using various reactive and silver glasses

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bone Tired

Too tired to really write a long post today...after four straight 12 hour shifts I'm beat, and very happy to not be at work! That means I have some time to melt glass-but first I have to go pick up some gas so that I don't run out halfway through something. I plan to work on some Goddess beads, some stormed baubles (I'm addicted to those!) and to practice with the new glass I received on Friday.

Today's Pictures: Bracelet made with Effetre Sedona, and a necklace made using some encased ridged silver glass beads. I think those are mostly DH Aion 2.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gotta run

This is going to have to be brief, since I'm heading out to work the day job (first time in seven days-a mini vacation!). Add to that, I work straight through until Monday...bleah. Ah well-pays the bills I guess and I am happy to be employed.

For the past two days I have been practicing making more precise beads by playing with dots.

Now, in the past when I first started beadmaking about 10 years ago, dotted beads were all the rage. I didn't really like them at all, thinking that they looked like pollen grains under magnification. I never tried to make any, instead I stuck to abstract shapes and color studies.

The real reason was, I think I was afraid of them...afraid of their accuracy, the amount of skill they represented.

Recently, in a challenge, I learned how to make encased floral beads, which require dot placement for the flower petals. As you can imagine, my learning curve was a bit steep and my first flowers were huge blobs. But I kept at it and by the end, actually made a passible encased floral.

From this I learned I need to work at dots, because they form a basis of many designs.

I also learned that dots are fun!

Bead of the Day-

"Jungle Flower", encased floral