Sunday, 27 February 2011

Glass Wheels with Windows!


So a week of experimenting........  I have been practising some dragging techniques to create different patterns on beads and experimenting with a fairly new glass from Double Helix, Helios which when worked produces metalic sheens of pink, gold and purple but difficult to photograph to its full glory.

Having spent a day layering colour and dragging away I had a handful of beads that I was pleased with  and had experimented with layers of different colours and thought I would do the same the next day, after all colour combinations are pretty endless.  

This plan lasted until I woke up at 3am  the following morning, does anyone else do this?  I am fast asleep then wake up dreaming and thinking about glass and beads!!  I  found myself wondering what it would be like to put some clear glass into the mix to create windows in the bead so when worn sideaways it would have extra interest.   Then I had to curb the urge to pull on clothes and rush to the torch and cannot sleep for the excitement of wanting to experiment!!!

So here are a selection of that inspiration....very much work in progress at the moment.

  I love the size of these wheels,  you can see by the size of my fingers how big the bead is!  Sorry about the quality of the photos I took these shots quickly in daylight so I could write my blog tonight.  

The large bumps around the outside of the bead above look clear but it has a thin layer of double helix Clio in there which gives them an opal effect if viewed from on top.   The bead has a base of clear glass but whilst working it fumed in the flame and created this rather lovely seaglass effect.

 This bead I did not 'fume' so the clear remains clear giving an interesting pattern from the side.......

 And I just had time to experiment with some clear coloured glass too......

I love this effect but I am away from the torch for the next couple of days so I guess I will have a disturbed sleep with all the ideas that will bubble away during that time!!  I am going to experiment at creating more patterns with the clear so the bead has a two dimensional feel depending on when and where it is viewed.  Will keep you posted.

Thank you for reading my blog


Oh yes and lest I forget  Milly I think has plans in paw that she is not sharing with us.................

Saturday, 12 February 2011

The Facebook Police!!

Well having been away from things for a little while it would seem things are changing at a furious pace on Facebook....what is new I hear you cry!!  Well it would seem I can no longer do a Bead Draw on Facebook. So I have moved the Giveaway Bead from there to here so it falls in with there rules and regulations.

So if you would like this bead just leave a comment in the comment boxes below xxx  I will do the draw on Wednesday so you have a few days to sign up xx

Good luck everyone and thank you for coming over here to do the draw xx

Milly and her friends are also under attack and some of her friends accounts, one lovely Wire Fox Terrier had 5,000 friends, have already been deleted from Facebook without any warning there is a Causes Page which is asking Facebook to review this decision.  The sad thing about this is there is alot of action on these pages to promote Dogs that need fostering or adopting and helping them to find a forever home.  It also has raised the awareness of a number of issues surrounding Dogs like the murder of 100 Sled dogs in Canada recently.  These pages are important and on a lighter note they make me smile and sometimes laugh outloud with their content even on the darkest day.  If you get a second it would be great if you could take the time to follow the link, sign up and invite people to join the cause.  Thank you!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Murrini Madness

So another week has shot by and the house is still not fully unpacked and the flooring is still not down in the studio but this hasn't stopped me from lighting the torch!  I have been experimenting with Murrine this week.

I did a course in October with Astrid Reidel  which I mentioned in last weeks blog and made Murrini for the first time. I have not had a chance to experiment with them so this was the week and I am hooked!

So what is Murrine?  Well Wikipedia has given me this explanation
Murrine (common pluralization murrini) is an Italian term for colored patterns or images made in a glass cane (long rods of glass) that are revealed when cut in cross-sections. Murrine can be made in infinite designs—some styles are more familiar, such as millefiore. Artists working in glass design murrine in a variety of ways from simple circular or square patterns to complex detailed designs to even portraits of people. Murrine are designed by layering different colors of molten glass around a core, then heating and stretching it into a rod. When cool, the rod is sliced into cross-sections of desired thickness with each slice possessing the same pattern in cross-section.

The murrine process first appeared in the Mideast more than 4,000 years ago and was revived by Venetian glassmakers on Murano in the early 16th century.

It is abit like making a stick of seaside rock but with the added tension of having to do the work in a flame!!  When you chop it up you have the same image or pattern in the chopped pieces which are called Murrine.

There are some amazing glass artist around who make the most fabulous murrine, like Ayako, just look at these beads some truly inspirational work here.

Now mine has a long way to go but I was rather pleased with this one, the yellow in it was an experiment and it worked!

I was also pleased with the top murrine in the photo below...I wanted to try and make a flower and had big purple irises in my mind and was surprised that there was a vague similarity!!

Now not everything in the Studio was rosy this week, I was working at the torch yesterday afternoon and heard a couple of clinks coming from the kiln and was so disappointed to find these casualties lying on the kiln floor!


That is the curse and the addictive part of lampworking, you have to go through so many processes to create one bead and all along the way there are so many different influences that can either help you create something special or destroy something you think is special.  But that is the hook you just gotta keep on striving for better and better!!

Well that is all for this week all that remains is a little pic of Milly!  Another of her with her friend Patrick!  Have a lovely weekend and thanks for taking the time to read my blog x


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Trying to get back in the Beady Saddle!!

 Well who knows where this year has gone already!!  The studio is almost finished but the house is very definately not fully unpacked!!  Why do these things take so long?  It is all those little DIY jobs that drag on and on!  This and the fact that I have a boisterous Lakeland Terrier who needs a good long walk everyday or she will cause chaos!!

So to start the news and the blog I wanted to first take a moment and say how touched I have been by all my customers old, and newer who have kept in touch during my bead drought, I have been suprised by the number of people who have made contact and asked how things are going.  To those of you a HUGE thank you x

 So what is the grand plan I hear you cry!   Well, once we have finished sorting out the unpacking, recycling etc.  I am going to have a 'Beady Party' and invited all those local customers to an open evening or indeed anyone who would like to come.  You can have a browse around the studio where I am setting up a couple of cabinets of beads and jewellery for sale and of course nibbles and drinks!  You can't have a bead party without those!!  By Easter I should be fully up and running and will be selling from the 'studio shop' to anyone who wants to drop by!

 Although there are still some things to do in the Studio the ventilation, kiln, torch, propane and oxcycon are all in so what is girl to do!!  Well not the ironing that is for sure!!

 I found myself nervous at lighting the torch, apart from a class with the wonderful Astrid Reidel back in October I have not been on the torch at all since August of last year, an age away.  I found myself having one of those moments....spent ages cleaning my glass tiding the work surface infact doing anything to avoid the inevitable even though I was SO excited to get started.  Like sharpening your pencils then having that moment of panic when you have to start a clean sheet of paper.  I decided that the only way to get back in the beady saddle was to start with beads that were simple and organic, no clever stuff just layering dots and spots and bumps to get myself back in the swing. But of course the temptation of all that silver glass winking at me from its storage meant it wasn't long before I was incorporating the wonderful Double Helix glass into the mix with its lovely reflective qualities.  

The hours soon slipped away and I started on some stripes too!  My encasing skills seem to have been forgotton but I wasn't unhappy with this little collection.  It is just practice and what better than to be practicing something you really enjoy!

So what next....well stick a tungsten pick in it!! 

Then why not combine everything and see what happens!  

I still feel like I have a ways to go before I feel confident again but I do feel like I have rounded the corner and am on my way!

Have a good week everyone, I will be blogging on a more regular basis now that I am almost straight so I can let you know when the website shop is open again. I have put a few items on sale from last years stock in my Etsy Shop and I will be adding stock as and when I get a minute over the next week.  Here is the link so do pop over if you like and have a look!

And now for anyone who regularly reads my blogs...when I am blogging that is!!   The picture of Milly for this week is one of her and her friend Patrick today at Grey Sands Beach in Appledore were they had a mammoth run and totally exhausted each other.....Hurray!!