Sunday, June 24, 2012

Its a Mad World

Every once in a while I'll get a song stuck in my head.  Admit it - it happens to everyone.  Right now, for me, for over a week, it's been Gary Jules' version of Tears For Fears' Mad World.  Folks say it's depressing but I find it hauntingly beautiful.  I'm humming it and remember about a verse and keep singing it in my head.  I've watched many versions on YouTube, including the original Tears For Fears version, which I don't like nearly as much and a bizarre heavy metal version that I clicked off of 1 1/2 minutes into the song.  I've also watched some Weird Al but that's the subject of a different post.

It's been pretty mad here.  The studio was 110 degrees for a couple days in a row and I barely torched at all, and now I'm on the weekend with Joe working and not torching as much as I'd like either.

 I have made some beads.  Above and below are some Breast Cancer Awareness Beads I made.  I'm donating some of the proceeds to the Susan Komen Foundation for breast cancer research.  I'm not crazy about the politics but I don't see the point in all the suffering cancer provides.  As October draws closer I'll make many more and have some annealing as I type.

 I'm tired of black and white.  Here are some colors with silver wire.
 The beads below I saved for last for a reason.  I really love the wild way they turned out.  The core, which isn't visible, is Effetre Apple Blush.  I love the way silver glass pops on top of it!  I made a twistie of opal yellow, Terra3 and Psyche and mixed with silvered ivory.  This trio I will quite cheerfully keep for myself if it doesn't sell.
What's mad about my world?  Not a whole lot, really.  It's just a pretty song.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Canyon de Chelly Revisited

The comment from my last post got me wondering if CiM's Canyon de Chelly strikes differently in different torch chemistry.  I usually combine it with Double Helix Psyche because I love how they work together so I usually strike it and reduce the Psyche all in one go.  What would happen if I wasn't using Psyche?  I don't like turning the gas very high unless I'm reducing something, so I would ordinarily strike CDC by letting it air cool under the table until the glow was gone, then reheating it gently just past the tip of the visible flame.

The beads above are a base of CDC with CiM Hades on top and silvered ivory on the bottom.  The top beads were struck by turning the flame way up and reducing them in the cool part near the base of the flame, and the bottom by leaving the flame at its usual low level and holding the beads just above the visible tip.

I think I got better color out of the bottom ones, made without reduction.  There are hints of pink and lavender I like the look of.  Surprisingly, the top beads struck differently.  Or there is a slight reaction to Hades.The bead on the left shows hints of purple right next to the Hades.  CDC isn't a very translucent color so I don't think it is showing through the glass, such as I'd get with Vetrofond Seashell Swirl, for instance.  Just another odd quirk.

Monday, June 11, 2012


I haven't been as productive as I'd have liked.  We moved back to Jersey to be closer to family and one of the first things that happened was that Joe's father passed away.  He died quietly and painlessly in his sleep but there are loose ends that need to be tied off and always stuff that was left undone.  I am truly grateful that my own mother is in robust health and has been able to be the wonder woman she always has been.

When my father was alive, he stressed that my sister and I learn the basics of plumbing and car repair because we might not have a man around and if we did he might not know any more than we did.  I appreciate his wisdom more every day.  Right now, these are the topics that occupy most of my thoughts.

I've spent the weekend virtuously tilling the soil and cleaning.  The poor old truck may have breathed its last moving to Jersey.  We spent half the afternoon trying to get it to start and nada.  Finally, under cover of darkness, we pushed it uphill out of the driveway and eased it back in to make it look like it can move on it's own.  I don't want to see it go to car heaven.  It's been good to us and even with 350K miles I don't think it's quite dead yet.

Beads - that's what I'm blogging about
 Above is a set of favorites - CiM Canyon de Chelly and Psyche and below, another, rainbow rounds.

 Streaky purple rounds made from Kings Robe frit and clear glass. There are other frits that are "hotter" but I just like how this looks and works.
 Fancy a walk in the jungle?  Above are tigers and below are leopards.  Watch your step!

 Busy bees and turning leaves.  More colors to follow, I' m sure!

 I can never really get enough silver.  I encased the above beads for smoothness and tarnish resistance and below, I love the way I actually got the test batch of Terra light to strike.  I could see it!
Glass adventure continues soon!

I actually found a way to phrase the way I feel about lampworking:

I approach glass the way an alchemist would.  I start with a few basic principles, all probably wrong, and add fire.  Love it!