9.23.2008

Blowing glass shards

Sharded glass beads are not only some of my favorite beads to look at and hold, but they're also some of my favorite beads to create.
First a small amount of glass is wound onto the end of a hollow mandrel or blowpipe. That wind of glass is then melted down and shaped into a small bubble of glass at the end of the mandrel. Air is blown into the opposite opening of the mandrel until the glass expands and is rounded out into an airy bubble. That bubble is then (mercilessly) broken into shards and saved for later use.
There are many and varied pictorial lessons available online should you want to view how this is done and one day I'll get busy and do my own..
I blew a shard from some of the beautiful Double Helix glass yesterday and applied it in the flame to a long cylinder bead. The result:
This one is being gifted to an old friend but there are a couple of sharded beads for purchase in my Etsy shop.

9.16.2008

Beautiful autumn..I love your colors..

Peace River Country
One of the many old forgotten homesteads in this country..


Hudsons Hope Road beauty


My hardy little petunias just hanging in there...

9.13.2008

9.08.2008

Hand crafted clasps

I've found a new love. Metalwork. Oh my. The more 'skilled'...and at this point, I use that word loosely...I get at the sawing and the soldering the more excited I become at the possibilities. Its like sewing really. Metal not fabric, but the elements are similar. Decide what you're going to make, draw out your pattern, collect your tools, cut and assemble.
I have some sheets of copper and brass and some much smaller sheets of sterling and fine silver in varying gauges. So far I've found the brass the most difficult to manage because of the hardness. The sterling which I finally cut into yesterday, is by far the nicest to work with. I tend to beat them all up a bit, partly because I like the time worn look but also due to my level of skill. The brass takes on a beautiful finish in spite of my lack of experience and I love that.
I love the look of all of them for different reasons but really I lean toward the brass right now. I've listed a sweet copper and silver button in my etsy shop if you're interested in that sort of thing.
My desire to learn was to ensure myself of a sure supply of unique hand crafted clasps for my work but I can see this taking on a life of its own...
Oh yes...I'm having way-y too much fun with this.

9.06.2008

Pattern and Color


I've always seen things differently than most, I think. Sometimes something as simple as a random pattern on a plate or as mundane as the skyline holds my attention for a ridiculous amount of time. Skylines are mesmerizing, you have to admit it, especially just as the sun's gone down. It has to do with simple shapes I think.
There are a few ways to keep the Muse content and working for you ...
These are just a few shots that have landed in my over stuffed file folder lately.