Monday, September 30, 2013

An Experiment with Cut Bottle Tops ... Pendants?

I was cleaning out my work area and came across a Colour de Verre jewelry mold I've never used. I have a few pendants made with a different size mold listed in my Etsy shop. But in this case I was thinking about all the frit I have and should use. THEN during the night while I was wide awake and roaming through the internet, I saw a few pendants made with recycled glass. Remember the green plate I posted here a week or so ago? I made three at the time and still had the tops of the bottles in my trash!

I cut the tops into short stubs with the tile saw and used the grinder to level the edges. I also cut the tops from three blue beer bottles. Here's a photo. So don't you think this is a good experiment? Can't wait to see how they fire.

Picasso Pieces -- Ready for the Kiln!

It was hard cutting up those pieces! But it had to be done. I wanted to post a photo before I fire them tomorrow. Wow, aren't they bright and perky?!

Another photo to come in a couple of days. This was a super fun project and I want to make another batch.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Picasso Pieces -- Engraving Finshed

I had so much fun engraving these pieces today ... I wish I had more to do. Both Tanya Veit and Deborah Read said it would be addicting ... they were absolutely correct! My portable Dremel was disappointing, as it kept losing its charge. I finally got out my electric Dremel and was happy to learn it was just as comfortable to hold.

Remember the BEFORE picture when the glass pieces had been engraved around the edges only ....

Here is the AFTER photo with all my engraving ... What a difference a day makes!

I especially like this piece:

The next step will be to get out my jewelry templates and decide how to cut these pieces into pendants. I've ordered a new fine blade for my tile saw, so I may wait for it to arrive. More to share later.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Fired Picasso Pieces - Next Step

The pieces fired perfectly. Remember, the firing was done with the dichroic glass facing down on the shelf (on kiln paper). They look really good. I noticed an error I made, OK maybe two. Can you spot them? I used two pieces of clear glass by mistake -- I should have remembered you do not "cap" these pieces, and putting a piece of clear on top is the same thing. The pieces will be engraved with a ball tip, so if you carve into clear and refire it, you will lose the carving. Anyway, I learned something by my mistakes.

I took a photo as the pieces were removed from the kiln this morning, and then later today I got the nerve to get my little portable Dremel, my set of round diamond bits, a spray bottle with water, and my pieces on top of a towel. It's important to keep water on your glass pieces while you engrave. Also you lightly draw the bit over the glass, as if you were writing with a marker. Don't dig in. I found it easier than I expected it to be.

Here are the fired pieces:

And the same pieces engraved:

I simply outlined each glass piece by engraving around it, and the colors seem to pop. The next step is to engrave patterns. If you look at the website or their blog, you will be amazed at the patterns! Endless. I've never been much of a doodler, but there's a beginning to everything. There's more to come soon ....

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Picasso Webinar with Tanya Veit

I have been following Deborah Read's blog for a long time and am amazed with all the wonderful work she does. And she does it all! She downloaded a Webinar a while back that featured the work of Tanya Veit of I have been wanted to try it, so over the weekend I bought a copy of the webinar through AAE. It's called, "Picasso and Creme Etching Engraving Technique Instruction". The price $59. It has extra project ideas too and am so excited about doing everything! I noticed Tanya will be featuring another Picasso Webinar in December through

This morning I got out several small pieces of black glass (Bullseye 3mm) and decided to try this project in my little Paragon kiln. The shelf is like 6" x 7" (I'm guessing), but when you are fusing small jewelry pendants, it holds a lot. So onto the black glass you layer and glue dichroic glass pieces with the dichroic side up so they are touching. This is the hardest part. I had odds and ends of all kinds of pieces. And you stay away from patterned and textured dichroic. Then on top you can add (glue) strips and pieces of contrasting colors here and there, again with the dichroic side facing up. Now the reason you glue everything together is that you will fire the pieces upside down on the shelf. That way the dichroic surface will fire flat.

And why do you want the dichroic surface flat? That's the next step. I can't show you until my pieces are fired. Here is a photo of the pieces on the kiln shelf, glued and ready to go. I'm keeping my fingers crossed ... probably won't sleep tonight wondering how they will look in the morning ...

Remember, we have to fire these pieces upside down. Here they are on the shelf ready to be placed in the kiln.

Can't wait to show you the next step!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Glass Fusing -- My Latest Pieces

I have been fusing glass the past couple weeks ... it's been too hot to work in the garage. The good news is that the temperature will shift to the lower 80s and maybe in the 70s this week and next!

Here's the second mold I purchased recently from Pacific Glass. A lovely koi pattern. This is 1/8" recycled glass shelving ... what a beautiful piece! It measures 6-1/4" x 12".

A couple of recycled bottles I also posted on Etsy today. I love this bottle mold with the swirl pattern.

Monday, September 16, 2013


My son is building a pizza oven. I cleaned out my fire brick pile and old kiln shelving, and these were donated to the cause. Yesterday I brought the last of the shelving to his house ... and wanted to take a look at his structure. It's huge! The oven part will be fairly small (although you could probably bake two pizzas in it), but he has built a storage area underneath for storing wood.

While I was there, I notice this beautiful aged structure on the wall outside, and jokingly said, "I have the perfect place to hang that." In moments he was unfastening it and saying, "Mom, it's yours!" Of course, I protested, pretending shock and everything. I could not believe I was going to go home with this piece! The three pots themselves were works of art!

Here is the piece. Doesn't it look good on this surface? Unfortunately, it's on the cement in my breezeway and it would have to be stepped over and around! But I think I'll leave it there for a few days until I have time to work on it. The top part needs gluing, and I'll have to reenforce some areas ... but I'm so EXCITED!!

My dog Charlie is taking a closer look.

Look at these flower pots! They are soooo beautiful. I can't wait to make ceramic molds from the leaves!

And the sun! Another ceramic mold!

My new mold from Colour de Verre .... A WINNER!

Yesterday I used a new mold I purchased from Colour de Verre. WOW! Can you imagine my excitement when I opened the kiln and took out this piece?! It fired upside down in the mold, iridized side down, and then was covered with black glass. So I couldn't see it until the kiln was cool and the piece could be lifted out. It will now be slumped in another mold to get its shape.

Here is a photo of the mold itself. You can use frit in the swirls and border, then top with clear glass. You can also cut smaller pieces of glass (not use the whole 9-3/4" square) and lay your pieces angled on the pattern. There are instructions and many examples on the website. I can't wait to try a few more! And, best of all, they keep coming out with new pattern molds to buy ... buy ... buy!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

"Let's Dance" Video

One of my golfing friends sent me this video. It's so good and I'm happy to share it with you!


Did you ever crave a piece of chocolate or chocolate chip cookie or a slice of chocolate chocolate chip zucchini bread or ... And there was nothing in the house? This past week I saw this recipe on Facebook, so I copied it. Today I made it.

It really made a BIG cookie and I could only eat half of it while it was still hot. I microwaved it for the full 60 seconds, and it was a little on the heavy side, but definitely satisfied that chocolate craving. I may have added a few more chips than called for ..... I will definitely make it again and maybe next time do 50 seconds. It actually was amazing that it cooked so quickly. I wonder how it would bake in the oven? There are photos below, before and after cooking.


1 tbsp butter melted
1 tbsp white sugar
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 drops of vanilla
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp chocolate chips

Viola! Single serving deep dish chocolate chip cookie!

Here is the little soufflé dish before baking:

After baking for 60 seconds:

Like I said, I may have added a few extra chocolate chips!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Pink Lightning" Treasury

My newest stained glass box was featured this week in an Etsy treasury. What a bright group of pieces! I love making these boxes. Sadly, one I sold last month was used to hold a precious clipping of hair from a dog that just died .... but on the brighter and happier side, they are most often used in weddings to hold the rings.

'Pink Lightning' by SecretMuse

Who doesn't love some sassy, powerful, delicious pink.

Fan Veils-Nebula Series-Hot ...

Stained Glass Box Hinged Lid...

white and pink cobweb felted...

Less Work More Zen V ( Moder...

M I L A // Gold plated fusch...

Galaxy Mini Skirt Womens Fit...

On Sale- SUPER SLINK: Pink/F...

Lightning flash necklace, gr...

Punk Rock Star Garland - mad...

NEON PINK Lightning Dress : ...

10mm Round Mottled Glass Bea...

Black Pink Flowers Watercolo...

soviet union vintage aluminu...

Ivory Pearl Bridal Peep Toe ...

Vintage 70s Midi Skirt - Hig...

Made to Order - Lamb Love Sw...

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

"RAKU" Etsy Treasury

I'm looking forward to starting my clay work soon to fire a kiln load for our local ceramics sale in December. One of my favorite firing methods is to raku. I have a small gas kiln for that purpose that I got for FREE years and years ago through Virginia Cartwright when she was teaching in the area. However, when you opened the kiln door, you got a blast of 1750-1800 Deg. F. heat in the face. Not pleasant, and by the time you could reach your pieces with the raku tongs, it was too late. This problem was solved with the purchase of a large face shield that has a special heat resistant coating. It's truly unbelievable how efficient it is.

Did you know I had a YouTube video on raku firing? HA. Here is the link. There is also a gourd video, as well as one on clay whistles.

I'm getting off my reason for this blog post. There was a very nice Etsy treasury yesterday that featured my raku heart pendant.

'Raku' by CraftyCatNZ

In the traditional Japanese process, the fired raku piece is removed from the hot kiln and is allowed to cool in the open air or in a container filled with combustible material. Raku techniques have been modified by contemporary potters worldwide.

Clay Heart Raku-Fired Pendan...

Raku Bead Mix

Raku handmade pendant with f...

Raku Pottery Pot

Dolphin Teapot

Raku Ceramic Teacups

Ceramics and Pottery Raku Bo...

Art deco style raku ceramic ...

Red Horsehair raku and turqu...

Micro Macrame Picasso Raku ...

SALE. Raku Necklace . Ocean...

Handmade Raku Clay Form. Han...

Rusty Tin Can

Path of Water: Raku Pendant ...

Double Strand Blue Lagoon Pe...

Reflections of a Silvery Moo...

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