Showing posts with label fusing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fusing. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Still working towards selling on Etsy....

This has been my ongoing project for, oh, 2+ years - to actually list some things to sell in my Etsy online shop.  Looks like I may be a little late to take advantage of Valentine's Day gift shopping (oops! second year in a row!), but hearts aren't only for V-day?!

Today I worked on mastering the art of the adjustable knotted cord necklace.  That's what I've decided upon for for turning my pendants into necklaces to sell.  I think I worked out a length that adjusts from choker length (16"-ish) to approximately 32".  I'm using a faux-leather cord - 

I found the most helpful tutorial with excellent photographs of the steps here -

I read somewhere that the best lighting for taking photos of your items is daylight on a bright, cloudy day.  Here are a few photos taken in the sun the other day - 

I like the shadows myself.  I'll experiment with more photos on the next "bright, cloudy day"....

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Oh, just playing with glass in the kiln...

I think that my favorite artistic creations are probably the things that make me smile or outright laugh when I see them. I have to humbly admit that I cracked myself up with the results of this little slumping experiment. I slumped a broken wine glass in the kiln, just to see what would happen. Hee hee - I loved the results, and I'm pretty sure that if I did it again it would never turn out as well!

Here are a couple of funky shots of the flat glass compared to a normal one -

I have a martini glass that needs to be slumped standing up, I do believe. So stay tuned for that.


Here are some more things that I've been doing in the kiln lately:

Snowflakes in the kiln, ready to fuse

Icicles made from roughly-matched scraps of art glass

Those icicles, after fusing

Just one little icicle, with a penny for scale

I was pretty happy with the look of the hammered copper wire for a hook. I made hooks like that for all of the icicles and hung them in a vine maple in our yard, along with a couple glass snowflakes and the wine glass.

And finally, I made a bunch of glass stars to sell at a very small craft fair (but only sold a few) -

These are a fundraiser for my P.E.O. chapter. All of the proceeds go to our scholarship fund for local women pursuing post-high school education. My intentions were to try to sell the stars from my Etsy store, but I just didn't have time to get that all set up. So NEXT year I will!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Wind Chime Redux

This is obviously very similar to the wind chime that I featured in my last post, but with one little change that I loved.  Instead of grabbing one of the heart pendants that I had lying around the studio to hang at the bottom, I made a little flower pendant in clear glass to match the main body of the piece.  The little flower is quite cute, and it is another potential jewelry item to market.  The fact that it matches the main part of the piece in both image and clear-ness was a detail I was very happy that I tried.  Here is a goofy shot, but it makes it obvious which parts are all clear glass -

This project was a donation to the fund raising auction for The Attic Learning Community.  

And speaking of goofy pictures, here is last minute one of an idea that popped into my head for still another pendant idea to work on....

I'll be working on the size and/or proportions of the recycling symbol, but I think that would be a good necklace pendant AND an especially a fun thing to potentially hang on my recycled-plastic-bag bags as a cool little token to emphasize that they are made of recycled materials.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Working on Glass Wind Chimes

I was asked recently if I would be willing to donate items to a couple of fund raising auctions.  I am a sucker for making stuff for a good cause.  Plus, having a concrete reason to create something (and having a deadline!) gets me working in the studio.  For each auction I decided to make a fused-glass wind chime and a knitted bag of some sort.  I'm posting pictures of my work so far on these two wind chimes to show-and-tell how I make them...

This is my beloved kiln, by the way.  I bought it from the man who owned the jewelry studio where I worked before Nick was born.  I spent HOURS making beads in it for the jewelry studio.  I just realized this week that it might be 30 years old, but I'll have to check with my buddy Carolyn, who was the studio manager and worked there way before me.  Nowadays you can buy kilns to use to fuse glass that are totally programmable.  Luckily I'm an old school kind of gal.  

For these two pieces I decided to make flower shapes out of copper wire and fuse them between clear glass for the body of the pieces.  For the hanging/chiming parts I planned on scavenging spring-ish colors from the miscellaneous glass that I have.  

My layout plan:

This is a shelf full of finished hanging parts for two wind chimes.  I fused a strip of clear glass on top of the strips of colored glass and included copper-wire rings at the top for hanging.  This picture shows you the size limitation that I have to work with in the kiln... the kiln shelf that I use is about 8"x9" - 

I divided up the parts  for the two pieces - 

While the hanging parts were in the kiln I figured out the layout of the flowers and the ring placement for the main part...


Ready to go in the kiln...

And the body of the piece after fusing in the kiln -  

I had to take a picture when I saw the late afternoon sun shining on it.  This is a good shot of the kiln paper that I use to keep the glass from sticking to the shelf.  The paper basically turns to powder after being in the kiln.  Nasty-for-your-lungs powder.  Maybe someday I'll try kiln wash on the shelf instead, but for now I'm careful not to breath this stuff.

This final shot shows the clear glass better than the first picture.  I decided that I wanted to hang an additional something from the bottom of one of the hanging parts , so I used a heart pendant that I already had.  For the second wind chime I will fuse a little copper wire flower in clear glass to use instead....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Playing around with glass stars

  I have quite of few of these glass stars left over from the holidays.  I made them to raise money for my PEO chapter's scholarship fund, and we made about $500 in December, which was a fabulous surprise for everyone, most of all me.  

I've been very curious what it would look like to fuse a star onto a piece of flat glass in order to end up with a coaster/trivet kind of thing, and I finally got around to trying it out.  I used a smaller and a larger star, each on 4" squares of glass. 

I used two layers of flat glass in order for the pieces to have a decent thickness - 

I kept the pieces in the kiln until the stars melted down enough to be quite flat.  The shape of the star kind of ballooned out as it flattened.  I was sorry to realize that the transparent yellow gets a bit lost in the clear glass, visually.  And the square needs to be larger than 4" in order for the star to melt in without pushing out the edges near the points - 


I made a second attempt, this time using white glass and making the square slightly larger.  The star obviously is more visible in this one.  And the star fits within the square better - 

Here are the four pieces from this experiment - 

I only had enough white glass for one square, so for a second one I used a thick strip of white glass with thin strips of clear at the top and the bottom to make a full square.  I like that one better, I do believe.  But I'm biased - I like anything with clear glass. 

I'm not sure whether we will want to pursue this idea much or not.  The stars take such a small amount of glass, so they have a small materials cost.  The double layer of flat glass increases that quite a bit, relatively speaking.  But it was a good way to use up some stars that were a little funky.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Plagued by Air Bubbles

Thinking I had this air bubble situation, or apparent lack of a situation,  figured out, I did a batch of heart pendants last night without frit in the middle of the hearts.  Arrgghhh!  Bubbles galore, and larger ones this time, which is what I expected in the first place.  I think it was a fluke that my "control" in the first batch didn't have a bubble trapped in the middle of the heart.  So back to the frit idea tomorrow.  These pictures seem to be darker when I upload them, but you can still see what I'm talking about....

My favorite is this one.  I did it on a whim using clear glass for both the top and bottom layers.  It kind of looks like a heart frozen in ice: 

Anyway, enough whining about these pendants.  So far I have been hanging pendants on a black vinyl/fake leather look cord with silver latch findings that you slip onto the ends of the cord and pinch tight.  But I might also look into that metal bead cord, too.  I've been obsessed with that stuff since I was little and my grandma's bathtub plug was attached to the tub with a length of it.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Working on Glass and Copper Pendants for Etsy...

I was JUST telling a class of 4/5th graders that art can be all about problem solving, and I think I jinxed myself!  Luckily not in a major way.  But this is an example of why I added the Whimsy LABS to my blog name!  

A friend has been encouraging me for a long time to make a fused-glass pendant with a heart shape crocheted out of copper wire, along the lines of the flower that I have done in the past.  For me the heart shape isn't a shape that I think of crocheting like the flower was, but I'm willing to try it.  Meanwhile, I had the idea to simply make a heart shape out of copper wire and pound it flat a bit before fusing it, like this:

The ring for hanging and the heart are made of the same guage of wire.  How handy that we lucked into inheriting a modest-sized anvil that I can bang on!

I know from previous -ahem - experience that little air bubbles can get trapped inside of shapes that are fused in glass, so I decided to try to eliminate that possiblity in the little hearts by sprinkling some clear frit (finely ground glass) into the center of the hearts to fill the space.  You can see it on the darker pieces in this picture taken before I put them in the kiln:

As it turned out, the one "control" piece without frit inside the shape didn't have any bubbles, and the ones WITH the frit all had tiny bubbles to some degree!  Oops.  (This picture is really bad - the light was fading outside by the time the batch was cooled down enough to remove from the kiln.)  

Here's a close-up of a few (the piece on the right is my "control"):

They are basically OK, but I know they could be I'll do another bunch today.   I did crochet one heart shape, so I'll keep working on that idea, too.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Crooked Wind Chime

Here is a picture of my final wind chime creation for the holiday season, and it was specifically made for our wonderful neighbors. I had to wait for the snow to (finally) be gone from the trees long enough to find the perfect piece of corkscrew willow to hang the glass pieces from. I wanted to hang the glass from something besides a wood dowel, bamboo or another piece of glass like I had been doing. I wanted to use something natural and from our yard if possible, and luckily we have a couple of these inspirational corkscrew willows out there to work with.

I was originally thinking of a nature-ish color theme of blues and greens for the glass elements hanging from the twig. But I was inspired by the beautiful rainbow ground/yard that our neighbor's daughter made around her gingerbread house during the neighborhood gingerbread house decorating extravaganza, and I like the symbolism/meaning of the rainbow. The funny thing was, when it came time to figure out the mechanics of hanging the glass pieces from the twig, I ended up making swirls of copper wire, which happens to be similar to copper wire work that she does. So if I was to have named this piece, it would be named "Sarah"!

I just wish I had had some orange bits of glass and a better purple when the inspiration hit....

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday gift creations

Holiday gift-giving has given me a great reason to spend a bunch of time in the studio recently.  (Hmm...Maybe next year I can work ahead a little, though)  But first, here is a picture of the bag that I showed in its incomplete form in my last post...

That bag is the brightest, most cheerful color combo I've done yet.

Here are two "before" pictures of parts for a windchime that I made for Eric's aunt and uncle.  The light blue glass is from a large Bombay Sapphire gin bottle that Eric's mom gave me knowing I could do something with it.  

Actually, the small pieces are earrings.  The earrings that I attempted to make from the gin bottle glass did not quite work out.  I spent way too much time bending matching curly copper wire shapes to fuse in between the layers of glass for the hanging loop part of the pieces only to find that the gin bottle glass acts diffently than the art glass that I have always used for fusing.  The gin bottle glass melts at a higher temperature, so it takes longer in the kiln.  And it just didn't melt down quit the same.  The wire didn't get completely encapsulated by the glass on the edges.  I'm going to try another batch of earrings, and I will make the pieces of glass a little wider so they actually fuse around/encapsulate the wire. 

 The little green earrings in that grouping turned out really well, though.  

Unfortunately I forgot to take an "after" picture of that windchime, but I hung the long gin bottle pieces from the corners of the white and dark blue square piece. 

My ultimate question/experiment with the gin bottle was to see if the little images of herbs/spices on the sides of the bottle would remain after the glass was fused in the kiln.  I tried to cut long rectangles out of each side of the bottle to get all of the little images on the side in one piece.  That worked on one side, but the other side broke, so I had to roll with it.  The thickness of the bottle varied quite a bit, and it tended to crack where I didn't want it to, of course.  Here's what I put into the kiln:

And here is the final piece:

You can see the images in the glass still, but they are a lot fainter.  I decided to hang the gin glass pieces from a panel of regular white fusing glass.  The whole thing is maybe 16-18" long.  What I realized is that maybe I should get a new blade for the lapidary saw that I have from the jewelry studio where I used to work and try cutting apart a bottle that way instead of scoring and breaking!!  Martinis, anyone?!

Here are a couple more windchime ideas that I came up with:

I love those clear glass hanging pieces with bits of color.  That is a great way to use up small funky bits of "waste" glass.  Those windchimes are probably about 7-8" long, including the wire.

I was cutting some little bits of black glass for one of those windchimes when I suddenly was hit with the idea to make this piece for my dad:  

I guess the little bits of black glass on my table reminded me of the dots and dashes of Morse code.  I LOVE it when a chain-of-thought inspiration hits like that.  It says "dale".  My dad is going to hang it on the wall by his ham radio.