Thursday, July 23, 2015

NEW EARRINGS WITH ROLLING MILL TEXTURES

I just finished a few pairs of copper earrings that were textured using the rolling mill. The process is so much fun. It was back in May that I posted photos of rolled pieces using my new brass texture plates ... and I had ordered a package of skeleton leaves from an Etsy supplier. Here is the pair of earrings using the skeleton leaf texture. Can you picture them using sterling silver? WOW. I'm going to treat myself and order some sterling silver sheet, as apparently the price is its lowest in five years.

Here are the others rolled with a floral pattern.

Monday, July 20, 2015

MORE TESTING WITH POWDERS

I finished another batch of tests using the powders on fiber. Almost all of them came out so well.
As I was cleaning the glass pieces getting ready for the final fuse firing, I dropped one of the pieces and it broke into three parts. How clumsy! I didn't expect it to work, but I placed the pieces on black glass and covered the top with a layer of crystal clear powder. It's the top piece shown below. It fused beautifully, without a trace of the breaks!
Here are a few closeups of the ones I liked.

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.