Sunday, December 28, 2008

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.

1 comment:

Sharkeysday said...

Cool! Love the glass stuff! I'll keep an eye on your blog and see what you're up to! :)