Tag: lampworking

Liar, Liar

I set my pants on fire in Monday night lampworking. I can’t help but feel that it was a rite of passage; I now have the right to produce decent beads. (I’m exaggerating, actually my glass ‘shocked’ in the torch and hot glass shrapnel landed in my lap. It hurt though, in that ‘surprise pain’ kinda way. Let’s face it, ‘on fire’ sounds way more dramatic.)

Lampwork bead

Anyways, having paid the requisite fee to the gods of glass I went on to have a pretty decent night. They’re almost always round now!!!

Lampwork bead

My fellow Monday night lampworkers recommended “Passing the Flame” by Corina Tettinger. It’s a pretty good read, and I decided to try the simplish looking ‘Rainbow Bead’.

Lampwork bead

Nailed it?

Nailed it?

I actually feel pretty decent about the attempt, I learned a lot and I’m looking forward to giving it another go. My biggest disappointment was the fact that the clear I used for encasing got this ‘scorched’ look.

Lampwork beads

Here is my first take at encased florals – for the encasing I used a clear amber, you can see the difference in how clear it came out.

Lampwork beads

I also tried the same effect with an amber-light yellow combo. For some reason my colours didn’t blend like hers did. I’ll have to find out why.

Lampwork beads

Next week I’ll be trying to build on the same skills ;) In other news I’ve finally got a sewing machine! Quilts, customized hand bags and clothes that actually fit… I can’t wait. Begone, hole in my crafting arsenal!

Glass etching

Sorry about missing Photo-take-outter Friday last week – sometimes you just need a break ;)

This weekend I tried glass etching for the first time, and lo, it turns out to be incredibly easy. I picked up a bottle of etching cream from the craft store called ‘Armour Etch’.

Then I picked up some stencilled stickers from the dollar store, along with a few paint brushes and little mason jars.

Brush on a thick layer of the etching cream, and let it sit for 5 minutes.

Voila! If you scoop the cream off your piece and back into the jar it’s still good, and can be reused. If you’re like me, you’re way too disorganized for this and just wash it off in the sink.

Of course I tried it on my beads, the right one is the original finish, etched version on the left.

I re-purposed some of my blocking gear to get an even coat on my beads – using t-pins and a bit of my blocking mat to hold the beads up.

Here’s another before and after – I’m lampworking again tonight, can’t wait to take this a bit further! The idea machine is on fire – I can think of all kinds of fun ways to expand on this – from decorating mirrors and vases to seeing if it affects the glass in pottery glaze, or using a resist to form patterns on the glass. Can’t wait!

I’m on fire!

Tito and I were back in the lampworking studio on Monday night for what, I can now safely say, was a far more successful evening.

I worked with only 5 colours all night trying to create beads that, above all, were reasonably round. Yes, that was my only goal. Round, with nice holes. It sounds weird, but I can’t think of any other way to put that. It’s just lousy when the glass grips the mandrel in such a way that you don’t get that nice, doughnut shaped centre.

Not one piece broke in the kiln! I think the trick really was the heat factor, this time I made sure I kept my beads good and hot the entire time. I probably even overdid it – which is why none of my design work really came out well, but I’m ok with that. It’s progress ;)

Then I discovered that the beautiful frosted effect one sees on many lampwork beads is just etching solution that you can pick up at a craft store. Can anyone guess what my next round of beads will be for? Yep, etching is in my future, and I’ve already got ideas for pieces that will look like sea glass when they’re done.

One of the beads was so lovely that I just strung it on a silver chain. It’s about 15mm wide, and it made a great pendant. It’s so satisfying to wear something you made from scratch.

Tito went right over the whole bead business and started creating glass sculpture. I need to share his pieces tomorrow – they included a bee, a turtle and a butterfly! I was seriously impressed. Suddenly my goal of ’round’ didn’t seem quite so lofty. He turned out to be a real natural at this.

I love working with glass, it’s such a different feeling from pottery. I’m hoping to get further in glass blowing this summer. Over Christmas Tito and I finally did something with all those ornaments we made in our intro course last year.

Can’t wait for next Monday night – and can’t wait to get my hands on some etching solution – oh, the possibilities!

Lampworking = Fail

Last Monday Tito and I got back into the lampworking studio for the first time in almost a year, and woo boy, was I ever out of practice. Of the many pieces I made that night, almost half of them broke in the kiln. The advice I got was that I had let my glass cool down too much in between working periods – sounds like a rookie mistake to me!

I’m shooting this one from the front so you can’t tell that I had to glue it back together ;) This, and all the other big beads had split in half during the cooling process.

Yep. Also broken. And I was going to make a pendant from this one!

Mucho broken. What would I do without E6000?

All was not lost – I took the ones that looked reasonably similar (and were thankfully intact) and made them into a necklace :)

It’s always nice to work with beads that you made yourself. So even though I was totally peeved I feel nothing but determination to get back into the studio again!

Glass Goodies…

lampworked glass

These goodies are all from last weeks lampworking session – enjoy!

lampworked glass

lampworked glass
I also made this red pendant –

lampworked glass

…which goes so beautifully with one of my favourite scarves…

lampworked glass

And these earrings

lampworked glass

Which had to be rescued by all the glue I spilled on them…

lampworked glass

Hope everyone is enjoying the morning =o)

Lampworked glass, session 4


lampworked pendant

Here is a view of a glass pendant that came out of the kiln on Monday. I had foolishly decided to use glue on the post, which resulted in Tito having to rescue the piece by cleaning it up and grinding off the glue. Good thing though, because I really loved the piece and felt terrible after I thought I had wrecked it!

lampworked pendant

Here is the other side. There are 4 different colours of glass involved; white, two different kinds of clear and a warm lilac.

lampworked pendant

The piece is an inch long (not including the post) and is the largest piece of glass I’ve worked so far. The rectangular shape is hand-pressed while the glass is still red hot. It’s topped off with a sterling silver post and strung onto a sterling silver collar. It’s lovely and classy – and as usual, I can’t wait to get back to the studio so I can improve on it!

I’m getting better at this… more glasswork

I’m getting better at this :)

lampwork bracelet

This is the front view of my latest bracelet.

lampwork bracelet

And a side/clasp view. With this one I used the same colour scheme for all beads but experimented with different forms and shapes. I discovered that flattened beads sit more comfortably against my wrist. I’ve got a bunch more ideas stemming from this, can’t wait to get back to beadfx!

lampwork pendant

This is my favourite piece so far – I took the best bead from my last session and purchased an attachment that would let me hang it from a chain.

lampwork pendant

Out of all my lampworked stuff this is the first one I’ve loved enough to wear.

In other news I’m almost out of the long dark eternity of the sweater – I’m finishing up the seed stitch hem on my TFA sunset cardi and will be starting the sleeves this weekend! I’m well on target for getting to wear it at the knitters frolic this May, but hoping to have it earlier as it’s occurring to me that, by May, things in Toronto may be a little warm. I’ve also got a fun idea for making the clasp out of glass, we’ll see how that plays out ;o)

Speaking of that sweater – I had started a fair isle design at the bottom that turned out pretty badly owing to a) my poor understanding of intarsia and when you need to secure your strands differently and b) tight strands, which started to pucker. I had to frog it back for 4 inches and chickened out of re-attempting the fair isle in favour of just finishing it with the sunset. To aid me in this adventure I used this handy tutorial from knitty.


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