Sunday, December 28, 2008

Disco ball head

This is a quick follow-up to the mention that I made in November of the magical effect of the sun shining into the studio and turning my mirrored head sculpture into a crazy disco ball.  The sun is low enough in the sky by the late fall that it shines in the window at the right angle to hit the scupture.  What a great surprise it was to come upon this light show the first time.  This is the first fall that the sculpture has been out of storage in the crawlspace....

Oops!  If you look carefully you can see that I STILL need to put the trim around the windows in the studio.  Maybe this year.

Holiday gift creations

Holiday gift-giving has given me a great reason to spend a bunch of time in the studio recently.  (Hmm...Maybe next year I can work ahead a little, though)  But first, here is a picture of the bag that I showed in its incomplete form in my last post...

That bag is the brightest, most cheerful color combo I've done yet.

Here are two "before" pictures of parts for a windchime that I made for Eric's aunt and uncle.  The light blue glass is from a large Bombay Sapphire gin bottle that Eric's mom gave me knowing I could do something with it.  

Actually, the small pieces are earrings.  The earrings that I attempted to make from the gin bottle glass did not quite work out.  I spent way too much time bending matching curly copper wire shapes to fuse in between the layers of glass for the hanging loop part of the pieces only to find that the gin bottle glass acts diffently than the art glass that I have always used for fusing.  The gin bottle glass melts at a higher temperature, so it takes longer in the kiln.  And it just didn't melt down quit the same.  The wire didn't get completely encapsulated by the glass on the edges.  I'm going to try another batch of earrings, and I will make the pieces of glass a little wider so they actually fuse around/encapsulate the wire. 

 The little green earrings in that grouping turned out really well, though.  

Unfortunately I forgot to take an "after" picture of that windchime, but I hung the long gin bottle pieces from the corners of the white and dark blue square piece. 

My ultimate question/experiment with the gin bottle was to see if the little images of herbs/spices on the sides of the bottle would remain after the glass was fused in the kiln.  I tried to cut long rectangles out of each side of the bottle to get all of the little images on the side in one piece.  That worked on one side, but the other side broke, so I had to roll with it.  The thickness of the bottle varied quite a bit, and it tended to crack where I didn't want it to, of course.  Here's what I put into the kiln:

And here is the final piece:

You can see the images in the glass still, but they are a lot fainter.  I decided to hang the gin glass pieces from a panel of regular white fusing glass.  The whole thing is maybe 16-18" long.  What I realized is that maybe I should get a new blade for the lapidary saw that I have from the jewelry studio where I used to work and try cutting apart a bottle that way instead of scoring and breaking!!  Martinis, anyone?!

Here are a couple more windchime ideas that I came up with:

I love those clear glass hanging pieces with bits of color.  That is a great way to use up small funky bits of "waste" glass.  Those windchimes are probably about 7-8" long, including the wire.

I was cutting some little bits of black glass for one of those windchimes when I suddenly was hit with the idea to make this piece for my dad:  

I guess the little bits of black glass on my table reminded me of the dots and dashes of Morse code.  I LOVE it when a chain-of-thought inspiration hits like that.  It says "dale".  My dad is going to hang it on the wall by his ham radio.

Monday, December 15, 2008

If only I didn't need to sleep....I'd get so much more done!

At this time a couple of weeks ago I was super-busy fusing glass stars as fast as I could for a couple of selling opportunities.  Now I've been switching gears.  I needed to get a sewing job done super fast.  That's done.  Now I'm working on some Christmas gift projects.  

Here's a fused glass copper flame piece before it goes in the kiln...

.....and after.

The copper usually changes to a nice red after going through the heating/fusing process, but these larger pieces of copper obviously don't get hot enough in the center to oxidize or whatever.  I 've come to like that look, especially for a flame.

Here are a couple of recycled plastic bags that I have been working on for a friend - 

I stuck to cool colors for this one, and warm colors for the second, which, as you can see, I am still working on - 

It won't be much longer before it is done.

I am quite excited that I just recently sold three bags to a woman who won/bought the bag that I donated to my dad's Lion's Club auction last spring.  Pretty cool to get some follow-up business from that donation!  She loves her bag and wanted to get more to give as gifts.  Wahoo!  

Today I am going to work on an idea for a fused-glass wind chime to give to Eric's aunt and uncle back east, so I'll take pictures as I go.  I started attempting to cut up a Bombay Sapphire gin bottle yesterday to try to use some strips of it's beautiful light blue glass in a fusing project.  It wasn't as easy as I thought, but I did manage to get four sides....and a couple little cuts on my hand.  Oops!