Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I've found my thrill !

After a year, I've finally stumbled upon a niche in this business that I absolutely, completely *love*!

Creating bead kits!

Creating bead kits combine the best of all the things I've done before. It's pretty much a combination of the skills I learned over the years, from a variety of jobs and interests. These are (in the order I discovered them):
- computer programming
- carpentry
- writing
- weaving
- Teaching (MG)

Some of these connections are easy to spot. Teaching, for example. But Computer programming? Carpentry?

Well, yeah. Coding isn't much different from writing step-by-step beading instructions, and carpentry--at least the specialized remodeling old houses kind--is just another way to fit shapes together in a way that makes sense and supports more shapes. When you boil it way, way down that is.

How cool is that?

I have two kits done, more sketched out and have tried my designs in a couple of classes. Yesterday I ordered a case of the cutest little "clamshell" boxes and I haven't been happier in a long time.

Now can someone turn off the clouds over Rochester? Please? I'd sure appreciate it!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where I work

I love seeing where other artists work, so this week I thought I'd contribute a picture of my messy little corner.

My workspace
Actually, this is pretty clean for me. I'm trying to keep only the glass I'm using in one sitting out on the table. Otherwise I wind up hunting for one glass rod in 50 while trying to keep the bead I'm working on solid but not cold. I can pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time, but rotating a bead in the flame while not rolling the rods I'm picking through onto the floor (to break!) is a whole different ball game. :)

some glass, sorted by manufacturer
I use Effetre (Moretti) glass most often because it's pretty inexpensive, but I love the way Lauscha glass melts (the purple and blue bundles second and third on the bottom from the right) and I use their clear for everything I encase. I also have glass made by Messy Color (on the right in the tubes) and some Double Helix (clear, bottom left). Whites and all my stringers are on top.

Even though they are all COE 104 (soft glass) I do have to be careful mixing glass from different companies in the same bead. Sometimes the glass will "play nice" together, but sometimes the "ideal" annealing temperature is so different that I just don't mix them.

Anyway, I can't end without posting a picture of my new torch:

Nortel MEGA Minor Bench Burner, Torch for Lampwork
Nortel Mega Minor Burner (Surface Mix)

I so love being able to reduce silver-laden glass without having to hold a leather glove over the air intake holes on my old Hot Head. I came close to burning myself quite a few times doing that. It got really hot, and I suspect it was pretty dangerous too. (So don't try that at home :-P )

That's it!

Keep on torchin'.