Friday, December 29, 2006

arizona highways

as a kid i loved the big glossy picture magazine 'arizona highways.'

when it came to naming this set of beads that lovely old publication just popped into my head.

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'arizona highways' - red tile ocher, dark ivory, copper green, silver foil & silvered ivory stringer.

sometimes, when you don't know what to make at the torch, just grab 3 rods that look great together and have at it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

perfect, perfect pink

my girl asked me to make her a present of a 'big pink bead.'

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"baby girl" - gelly's sty pink by messy glass, transparent pink & aventurine stringer.

why name this post 'perfect, perfect pink?' because, this glass is the most amazing pink. it's soft, yet vibrant and not at all fussy.

Friday, December 22, 2006

violet nights

i bought some of that new glass from arrow springs called violet nights, i purchased it thru moretti & more.

just look how it reacts with silver foil!

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it looks like moss on a rock, ok an outerspace rock... or an aerial photograph of a swamp.

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i haven't had this much fun with a chemical reaction since dark silver plum met opalino yellow.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

cupcakes & hamtitties

no time for beads today -
it's time to get ready for frank deblase's 40th birthday party!

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240 freshly frosted homemade cupcakes.

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chocolate with chocolate frosting and chocolate cherry 'decorations'

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egg nog cupcakes with creamcheese whiskey frosting and caramel 'decorations'

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big poppa models 2 of the hams.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

encased silver foil

armed with a new booklet of fine silver foil, i made some beads with encased metal inside.

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left to right:
'fairy stone' transparent light pink core, foil & transparent pink encasing
'winter sky' light gray core, foil & transparent steel gray encasing
& 'radioactive' carrot red core, copper green & red twistie, foil & clear encasing

the trick is to not burn off the foil.

just roll the foil onto the 'tacky hot' bead.
then quickly encase the foil without ever letting the flame touch, or overheat, the silver -
keep the bead beneath the flame and lay the molten glass onto the bead's surface from above.

* note that the silver 'turned' to gold in the pink bead - a really nice effect. why? i am guessing because there is gold in the pink glass *

to see close ups of these beads, please visit their page at the bead artists gallery.

Monday, December 18, 2006

it's theremin season!

i am in a full holiday swivet, so again, no bead blogging today...
i have to go to the theremin store and get miss baby a nice fat christmas theremin.

no, she never reads her mother's blog.
but in case you see her, congratulate her on being accepted to her 1st choice of schools.
Alfred University's school of Art & Design - and her dean's scholarship.

and don't let it slip about the theremin.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

vahine no te vi

oh well, i was going to do a great post today...
about encasing fine silver foil and vintage italian glass ashtrays...
but, the beads are still soaking in a bowl in the kitchen and the ashtrays are unphotographed.

i did have a great time making a glass order from moretti & more

and thinking about gauguin

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paul gauguin - vahine no te vi / woman of the mango, 1892

inspired by this painting, i bought some rich purple glass from arrow springs called violet nights, it is made by kugler (available thru moretti and more).

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Saturday, December 09, 2006

more gauguin, please

i just love this color combination and am not a bit tired of it yet.

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raku frit (size 2) with various reds, oranges & yellows.

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'gauguin babydolls'

just messing around making more pairs of beads for earrings.
i am nearly sold out of earrings. so, there is an urgent need to make more so there will be presents.

Friday, December 08, 2006

winged hearts - a quick how-to

winged hearts are currently my favorite bead to make.

i made some scans of pages from my bead sketchbook that were notes to myself on how i make a winged heart. yes, i could easily forget a couple months from now when i am on to the next favorite bead.

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it is very important to keep a record of what you are doing in the studio. i have kept a drawing and painting sketchbook since i was in high school. (and no, it's not scribed onto ancient clay tablets)

a sketchbook helps crystallize concepts, inspires you when you're flat and eventually you will have a record of beads that you may have sold and scads of techniques you have learned.

for beading, a spiral bound book works exceptionally well. you can lay it flat on the bench. also, you can fold it over so a minimal amount of paper is exposed to flying bits of aggressive rod ends.

my bead books (i have filled one and half of a second) came from an art supply store and measure 6" x 6." a nice size that fits in my glass tool box.

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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

another end of the day heart

this week's last bead of the day.

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"copper beech" winged heart - bits of left over rods (mostly special dark brown & red tile ocher) handpulled aventurine stringers and some some stray dark ivory frit

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

frit madness

i made frit yesterday.

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with a set of stainless steel restaurant melted butter cups, some cold water and a pair of mashers - it's frit time.

flame the end of a rod into a small ball of molten glass, mash it into a lollipop, reheat lightly and plunge it into the cup of cold water. after a second in the water, viola! the lollipop end of glass will fracture into a million wee bits of frit.

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the frit is a fairly large size (about a #3). you can control the size a little bit. it seems the hotter the glass when it hits the water - the smaller the frit. so, by not reheating the 'lollipop' after mashing you get a coarser frit when directly plunged into the cup of water. conversely, when you reheat the 'lollipop' to a blazing yellow (but not back to a ball) and plunge it the frit is a little smaller. it also seems to depend on what color the glass is. dark silver plum made a much finer frit than opaque uranium yellow.

i made opaque uranium yellow, dark silver plum, opalino nile green, rubino oro, alabastro pink, a blend of yellows and ochers, a blend of blues, copper red green and translucent yellow.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

cold toes forever

here in upstate new york, on the lakeshore border with canada, it is dark, windy and achingly cold. i had a dream full of red summer poppies last night.