Saturday, October 17, 2009

Year of Learning Continues

My learning continues mostly with torchwork. I have definatly been biten by the Lampwork Bug! I have been having a great time with some of the specialty glass I purchased. It has sparked a whole new wish list of supplies and technique tutorials....I can't wait to try even more. There seems to be a bit of a learning curve with reactive glasses and how to bring out there different colors and effects. Still working on my shapes and twist canes and techniques. My focus has shifted alot to color and style. I found the most wonderful site about color...with a great detailed blog on tests and results of different glass rods from different company's It has been a great source of learning and inspiration for me.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall is here

Fall has definatly come to Wisconsin....been in the lower 40's here at night and mid 60's during the day. I have been busy canning tomatoes from my garden and have a pot of chili cooking on the stove right now...took forever to cook my tomatoes year I will have to plant meatier tomatoes.
I am still working on beads and improving all the time....I have been playing with reactive glass and still working on twist canes and different shapes.
Here are the results from a full day at the torch....I see bracelets galore!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Another Day

Not much new here. I have continued to work on "The year of learning" And have been working mostly on making torch beads and am starting to get some decent control when applying stringer ( dots and such ). I am getting better at different shapes, and pulling stringer......although making twist canes is still a long way off.
I'm waiting on an order of sheet metal and some new blades so I can continue practicing sawing and cold connection ..especially tube rivets. I did learn a nice little trick using a draw plate to start the rivets on. Just cut your tube or wire slightly longer than the the width of the draw plate, place it in the plate and hammer one gives it something to hold and does away with all that tap and flip. Insert rivet into the piece and trim leaving enough for another rivet and tap tap tap......done!
Here is a picture of a new design to share ( this piece can be seen in person at "Art and Soul Gallery" in Wauwatosa). I came up with a mock tubular peyote stich using a large core wire and seed beads strung on 28 guage wire. Hand wrought heavy guage copper and one of my multiple layer fused dichroic glass pendants beads...Enjoy!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Kite Fest

What a great weekend here in Milwaukee. The weather was just beautiful. We spent Saturday afternoon at the lakefront for the kite festival. We had a great time saw some really cool kites and some incredible competitions...6 kites moving together like they were all dancing to the music...some really well done routines. They really have to put their whole body into controlling the kites...and they get quite a workout. We will definatly go again!
We had friends over for a bbq in the evening and then we all went down to Tosa Fest to see the band the Love Monkeys. They put on a great show. we all had fun....what a great time.
Also on Wednesday night I went with my daughter and friend Debbie to an art show called the 999. It was 9, drama, music...that were all 9 minutes long. After the show we walked around the 3rd Ward and checked out some shops and galleries. We also walked out on the breakwater and explored some of the cool spots on the lakefront....what fun!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I love my torch

I have been having so much fun at the torch now that I got my oxygen girls and hubby are loving it too. It is a bit of an adjustment after using that slow burning hot head torch. Been working on stringer and twist canes and just bead shapes in general. Playing alot with color mixes and searching out what I can on the internet. I have retty much burned through my starter glass rod set and am looking forward to getting some specialty glass.
Here are the beads from a great evening of taking turns at the torch with my daughters.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Head in The Clouds

Today I had planed on a full day at the torch...I need to work on stringers and twist canes.
I have a horrible head cold that is keeping me from my studio...and I feel a nap is in my near future.
I wanted to share a picture of a jewelry set I made for my nephews wife...I plan to do more work with this style. Though the style looks very open it holds the cabochons really tight.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rainy Day

Well my oxygen concentrator finally arrived and I love it! Been busy practicing and teaching my girls what I know...It's so nice that they are so interested. I have decided to set up a schedual of techniques and work my butt off till I get the hang of each one. So far I have gotten pretty good at a regular round shape with nice puckered ends, and I'm getting much better with encasing. I have made myself a bracelet using my it is.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Year of Learning

This year my New Years resolution was to learn as many new techniques as I could.
One I'm sure you know is glass bead making.
I have also been some doing metal working..cold connections, simple soldering, alot of hammering, drilling, and cutting.
Learning new wire work mainly weaving. I found some great tutorials put out by a very talented artist Remy Heath of
The piece pictured here is my first woven piece using 2 of my dichroic cabs.
I also have Remy's ring tutorial but so far it has yielded lot's of cussing..this is much harder than this lady makes it look.
I have joined alot of online groups and have quite a few how to books...I will post an album somewhere soon.
I have been trying to push myself in different directions and styles..we will see what the year brings...but so far a very fun and great learning adventure.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Happy Hump Day!!

Spent the afternoon at the torch with my daughters....was nice to get back at it.... been under the weather...I think we are all progressing nicely!!
I did check out the movie Land of the Lost....mmmm was so so....13 yr old says down right stupid....but hey she never watched the original like her mother did.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update on kiln cast beads

I have been trying to make cast beads in my kiln using molds I had made from cork clay....The third and final attempt was probably my last they picked u a terrible smokey color and were so ugly... I'm not even going to post a picture. I might try and acid etch the ones I have..we will see.

Monday, July 27, 2009

2ND bead making Class

I took my 2nd class with glass bead artist Robert Jennik.
I am working on getting an oxygen concentrator for my minor bench burner ( torch that runs on a mixture of oxygen and propane)...thats what we used in class ....I am just not happy with the limited amount of heat I am getting from the hothead torch I am using now...and the oxygen tanks are a bit to scarry for me.
here's the beads from the second class...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

progress on kiln cast beads

Well, I'm hoping the 3rd time is a charm for me...I fired this second batch with a longer soak at fusing temps...they are holding together better but still crumbling. I'm sure a little longer soak should do the trick...though I might lose that sugar texture I was hoping to keep.....I will keep you up to date.
Other hubby took our girls to see the new Harry Potter movie....they loved all you Potter fan's make sure you don't miss it!
Also planning to go see Land of the is supposed to be funny!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Black Crowes

I went to the Waukesha co fair with my hubby John and my good friend Debby ( we have been friends since we were 6 yrs. old ) to see the Black Crowes. The show was great and I will definatly go see them again!
UPDATE on kiln cast beads...well my first run was a disaster..I didn't hold them long enough at fusing when I unmolded them....they crumbled...will be doing another test run this weekend so hopefully all will go well.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Bead Studio Progress

Well I did manage to get a bead area set up in my studio and got to practice some. My husband, daughter, and myself took turns at the torch and coaching each other...what a great evening. I'm waiting on an order of glass rods so I can practice more...can't wait to get back to the torch.

I've also been working on some kiln cast beads..I have the filled molds cooking in the kiln right now...hopefully post some pics soon.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Busy weekend

What a great and busy weekend! I got to spend a little more time working on my bead studio...hmmm will I be able to truly get organized..when I work I end up with stuff everywhere laid out piles of this idea and that, and lots of doodles.
Saturday I was treated to my sisters lasagne and a nice visit for my birthday..I don't see her much since we moved, we even brought the dog along.
Sunday we went to South Shore Follies in a great little park on the south side of Milwaukee. I love the lakefront, I also really liked the neighborhood. They had lots of food, a Parade, art show, we saw the band Mt Olive, and a great firework year we plan to go much earlier.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ok well I'm finally taking the first leap and I'm blogging ( help I feel so lost ) I had signed up for some classes with bead artist Robert Jennik I have taken the first class which was great!! He had a neat trick for encasing and getting a frit look with stringers. I ended up with a handfull of usable beads..and here they are........

I have been working on getting a bead area setup in my little basement I can get some practice in before my next class the end of July...Can't wait!!