Saturday, October 23, 2010

New Jewelry and Hope

 It's been a couple months, but I finally have something to say.  I have made the odd spacer or two, for my own consumption since I don't feel comfortable selling beads that may crack.  I haven't been enjoying lampworking though since my lack of a way of annealing them properly and the loss of some really nice beads has put a damper on my creativity.  I've also been getting used to working with a pair of diddys.  The soda flare never really bothered me but I talked to an eye doctor about torchwork and she scared me into buying a pair.  I don't know whether it's the lack of the cue of the soda flare or being rusty, but suddenly all my beads were coming out lopsided and I was having the devil of a time with all kinds of other basic issues.  I've finally worked out my shaping, heat control and stringer placement issues and produced the necklace, bracelet, and earrings above.

I lost some weight and my wardrobe needed an update, and purple is one of my favorite colors, so I needed some nice jewelry to go with the new duds.  I like the way these colors come together and have always favored many different shapes in one color group.  The set is made up of CiM Thai orchid, Effetre silver plum light and dark and a few violet transparent.  For decoration I mostly used black metallic with some CiM tux, which has a different kind of reaction with the Thai orchid I used it over.  I restocked headpins and finally got some that will work with 3/32" holes.  I didn't have them when I made this pair of earrings, hence the wirewrapping, but will have them when I get back to beadmaking for real next week.

I still have a bit of time for benchwork because I recently had minor surgery and am able to sit and torch but not walk around for extended periods or lift more than 10 lbs.  I'll have to have Joe set up my new annealer when it comes on Thursday.  I'm so amped.  It's brand new, straight from the factory and hasn't been ruined by anyone else first.  It says it can't be used for PMC but I think if I place a ceramic shelf that's all that is usable from my old kiln in it, it will work fine.  ANYONE WHO HAS ANY FEEDBACK ON THIS IDEA, PLEASE LEAVE ME A COMMENT.  After waiting so long for a proper annealer, I don't want to mess it up.  I haven't done PMC yet and can put it off indefinitely if it means I can make beads that won't crack.  I stole this picture of the chilli pepper I'm getting from the Heritage Glass site in my links.  They have some really good prices and ship really fast.  I had thought about the small Paragon due to its firebrick sides and floor, but decided on the extra bead space, since I can't see making only half a dozen beads and quitting for the day.
So, to sum up, I've been pretty busy.  I lost some weight, started taking better care of my eyes, had to relearn how to torch, had surgery and am looking forward to a new annealer and glass.  I even caught up on some of my housework.  Hope can give you so much energy.  Right now I'm hoping I can get a little momentum with the positive changes I've made to tackle some more of the stuff that's holding me back.


  1. I'm so glad things are looking better for you right now! I've missed seeing you around ;~)

  2. Chili pepper does not go high enough to use for PMC. But the good news is that you can use a butane torch or get a small 100 dollar setup. I love my Chili pepper but it just won't go up past 1110. But they may make new clays in the future that will take a lower heat. Glad your back. The beads are beautiful.

  3. I'm glad to be back. Hopefully I can get some more balance now. Thanks for the advice. I'll look into a small kiln for PMC if I ever decide to get into it. Maybe for findings....I'm looking forward to doing a whole lot of beading again.

  4. I don't know anything about the lampwork or making the beads, but I know I love purple and that set is gorgeous.

  5. Carol, I adore this purple-icious set! How stunning! Look forward to more of your beautiful beads now that you've got a way to anneal them properly.

    Have a terrific weekend!


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