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!


  1. Hi Carol:

    Came across your blog while looking for bead color ideas and I lurve it! Not only because you're a girl after my own heart (yes, I'd probably push the big red button saying "and what does this do?" cause I'm horribly curious), and you give lots of info about your beads and experiments, but you also torch on a Hothead. Yay!

    I'm pretty much a newbie IMHO; started torching about a year ago, but had a good 4+ month break thanks to carpal tunnel syndrome and the ensuing surgery. I would LOVE to pick your brain about how you get some of the reactions you do. I hope thats ok. For example. I love what Canyon de Chelly does for you. For me? Eh. It's either light grey, or a lighter grey. Blech. How do you do strike it on a Hothead?! I've heated it normally, cooled it heated it again. Ugh. I've heated the snot out of it, cooled it to near cracking, and still nada. And then I look at the lovely colors you get and sigh.

  2. Thank you! Canyon de Chelly is one of my favorite glasses to work with because I never know what is going to come out of the kiln! Most of the time it's some sort of grey, but sometimes green and sometimes has hints of purple! Sometimes one part of a bead will strike differently than the rest. If I make a textured bead with it, the raised parts will strike differently than the low ones. Mixing CDC with Double Helix Psyche causes a neat separation of the CDC, and I think striking the Psyche helps bring out some cool colors in the CDC as well. The bead above has silvered ivory in it too, and I love what happens with CDC and silver. All I can say about striking it is what you're probably doing already - I make the bead the way I want it, let it air cool holding it under the table so I can verify that it has lost all its glow, then reheat very gently, either very high up in the flame or with the gas turned way up and low in the flame to strike the Psyche I usually mix it with. Now that I think about it, I've never tested to see if reducing it makes any difference in how it strikes! I know what I'm doing today!

  3. Carol, I'm way behind in visiting friends blogs, so I just read your post. My sympathies & Joe. I hate to even think about when that time comes for my husband and I. I love what you wrote about your own father, because it reminds me so much of my own father. And it let me know a little bit more about you as a person. :)

    As for your beads, CiM Canyon de Chelly and Psyche reminds me of leopard jasper, one of my absolute favorite stones. And I was stunned by your leaves, simply because I didn't know you could do something like that with torch work. Thanks for sharing, and I'll try to stop by more often!


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