Sunday, July 5, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

THE FINISHED COBALT PLATE!

I'm so happy with the plate. Got up at 4:00 a.m. to get it out of the cooled kiln. The overglaze really looks good and covered all of the dull areas. Here are a few photos. Oh yes, another thing ... the customer wrote to say she really needed a 12" plate, so ... sorry!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

PROGRESS ON COBALT BROKEN BOTTLE PLATE

Since my last post, I had to add more small glass pieces to an edge that was very fragile, so this piece has already gone through its second firing. Remember the photo with the drawn 12" square and the arranged glass pieces? Well ... you can see by looking at it that there is an inch around the whole piece, so it is not an 11" square. Duh. A senior moment ... it is a 10" square.

Early this morning I sprayed it with a light coating of Clear Coat Overglaze. When you fire a broken bottle, there are spots that look like devitrification and the glaze helps.

Here's the piece with the spray.

The piece will slump today in this beautiful stainless steel mold. I ordered it many years ago and have never used it. It got sprayed with MR-97.

Here's the piece nestled in the mold on the kiln shelf. Keeping my fingers crossed!!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

BROKEN COBALT WINE BOTTLE PLATE

I had a request for a broken wine bottle plate measuring 12" square through my Etsy shop. I have had two large cobalt bottles sitting for years waiting for this sale! My daughter gave them to me. So I got out a heavy plastic bag and a hammer and started breaking up the bottle. It didn't take long.
You can see that the pieces are covered with fine glass dust and have to be cleaned. Yes, I did it individually. I suppose I could have put them in a bucket with Dawn, shook them about, rinsed them. But they would still have had to be dried ...

Here are the sparkling clean pieces ready to assemble into a square plate.

I drew a 12 inch square on thin fire shelf paper, and unfortunately the glass from the bottle didn't fill the square. So it will be an 11 inch square plate. You can't add glass from another bottle ... the glass may not be compatible and it might crack next week ... or in a few months. The piece is firing tonight, so I'll keep my fingers crossed that it looks ok in the morning. It will still need a second firing in a mold.

Monday, June 29, 2015

NEW TEXTURED PIECES USING THE SIZZIX

It got a little cooler tonight in the "studio" (the hot messy garage!), so I cut some 30 gauge copper strips and got out my newly purchased "on sale" embossing folders. Actually one was given to me by my good friend Ellinor who found it at Hobby Lobby (the fan shaped design). I had tried to duplicate the pattern using the Cameo Silhouette. It would have taken several layers glued together, weeding out all the little pieces, to get the same effect. Thanks, Ellinor!!!

I love these textures and can't wait to rivet them to heavier copper to make a few more new cuffs. Here's a cuff I made earlier that I'm sure I shared.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

COPPER WASHERS

This is a post about copper washers, but .... first things first! I almost didn't notice this small cactus blooming. We can only water twice a week now in Southern California and I was so lucky to get a shot of this beautiful bloom on one of the watering days. Maybe a prickly pear cactus? It was gone the next morning.

Okay, off to the washers. My daughter brought this box of washers from Harbor Freight for me on Mother's Day, and it's taken me this long to open the box and use them with the rolling mill.

The box has several sizes. A friend bought copper washers at a local hardware store and paid over a dollar each!

These may not be the best quality, but there are 80 copper washers for about $4.00!!! Someone on one of my Facebook groups said they don't enamel well, but I haven't tried that yet. But I like what I have made so far.

I made four sets of different sizes and ran them through the rolling mill several times, tightening the rollers each time, until I got the thickness I wanted.

Then I annealed them to soften the metal and ran them through the rolling mill again with a brass texture plate.

Next they were domed and now I'll have to decide how to use them. Liver of sulphur or other patina? Ear wires ... attachments .... maybe small turquoise pieces or white pearls dangling in the center? Or below the ear wires? I'll be sure to post pictures later ...

Thursday, June 11, 2015

MORE EXPERIMENTS WITH POWDERS ON FIBER

It's been a couple of weeks since I fused glass ... and I'm sure my electric bill this month will reflect that fact! This time I experimented with different powder combinations and made smaller pieces out of my scraps of glass ... four squares and four rounds.

The first step was to layer the powder combinations onto 1mm fiber. This photo shows the pieces after the first firing. The powder has turned into little "puddles".

Kind of interesting ... but not very impressive ... right?

Here are a few close-ups of the pieces at this stage.

I really worried about the piece on the right ...

At this point, I added a contrasting powder to the top of each piece. A long process, as the powder had to be removed from the top of every "puddle"! Crazy. These pieces were then fired a second time and here is the result.

A little more interesting, aren't they? Next, the edges were finished and another piece of glass was added to the bottom of the pieces. All got a piece of black, except for one clear (bottom center). Here they are after the THIRD firing.

A close-up of the round pieces.

And the square ones.

These were great test pieces. Keepers, for sure!

Friday, May 29, 2015

NEW LAMPWORK BEADS

I have been taking a break from fusing glass after my last heartbreak ... the dreaded bubble. But after seeing some of the beautiful pieces posted in my FB powder on fiber group, I'll be starting up again soon. In the meantime ...

It's been at least a year since I made any lampwork beads. After getting an email from a frit supplier, Val Cox, just looking at their frit supply reminded me how much fun it was to sit behind that torch and create glass beads.

I started out making my favorite blues on ivory beads. I love these!

Then the simple turquoise copper green.

And then I got out a jar of the Val Cox frit and rolled light turquoise glass into it ... Another winner.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

LATEST POWDER ON FIBER PROJECTS

Life is full of successes and failures. I've had so many successes lately in this new technique of using powder on fiber, that a failure is hard to take. Here is my latest piece, starting from the first firing that developed into "puddles". This was pink powder.

Then for the first time, I added a second color powder, orange, onto the fiber, covering the puddles of pink. Lena's instructions said to spray water over to clean off the fired puddles. I did that on one piece (a real mess), and on this piece decided to use a fan-shaped brush to clean off the orange powder. It worked well, less messy, still took a long time. Here is the piece after the second firing.

It still looks questionable, doesn't it. Well, I forged onward and added a piece of black glass that was cut slightly larger. It is simply beautiful. It is unbelievable. It doesn't look like the same piece. It will be slumped in a 7" square mold.

Now for the failure. I haven't been able to look at this piece for days, as it would have been fantastic. BUT it developed a bubble on the surface. I'll eventually try to grind it, add a layer of clear powder to the top and refire it. I had success with one other piece with a bubble, so maybe it will work. My friend added a decal to cover an imperfection, so that is also a possibility. This piece is about 4" x 12".

Friday, May 15, 2015

RECENT PROJECTS

I've had a dragonfly mold from Colour de Verre for years, but it has never been used ... until a couple days ago. There's a lot of wait time when you are fusing glass, and the garage is toasty warm. Yes, we have cooler days in Southern California, too. So you take advantage of this with embossing, using the hydraulic press, or cutting glass for future fusing projects.

I saw a wonderful video at Creative Paradise for using their dragonfly mold, so had to try one. You can find the videos at their web site under Glass, then Tutorials/Videos. I didn't have the exact colors Stephanie used, but I think my first try came out well! For their coarse dichroic frit, I smashed a small piece of dichroic glass to use in the wings. A 4" piece of 16 gauge copper wire is inserted into the frit before firing, and it can be attached to a stake later. Wouldn't these dragonflies make wonderful additions to potted plants or your flower garden! Next time I make one (maybe today!), I'll be more careful to brush away the glass between the wings. See the extra glass in the photograph.

I've been doing more fused glass projects using the powder on fiber method. The first photo shows my two pieces with powders before the first firing. This was on Mother's Day, and I told my friend I was doing a "wild and crazy" piece in honor of this day! I'm sure you can tell which one that was....

Here are closeups of these two pieces showing the "puddles" formed after the first firing. My daughter looked in the kiln and just shook her head ... (no appreciation of Mom's art work, I guess). Ha. I have added a clear piece of glass on top and will fire a second time.

See the difference with the clear glass on top? They are looking better!

I added a piece of black glass to the bottom of the pieces and ... WOW, the colors have popped and they really look good!

I slumped "Wild and Crazy" into my new mold yesterday. This mold has sharp points on each end, so cutting the glass to fit the shape was not easy. I ended up rounding the ends and balancing the glass in the mold. In my first attempt, something made me look into the kiln at 400 degrees. The glass had slipped down one end, the other end was sticking up!! The Kiln God was definitely looking over that piece. I waited for the kiln to cool, reset the piece on the mold and never left its side until the glass started to sag into the mold. I am slumping the other piece now, and at 560 degrees it is still sitting pretty on the mold.