Saturday, 26 February 2011

Spring is in the air!

I was sat doing nothing much the other day, there was no TV babbling in the corner, no children squabbling, no noise much at all, and then I heard it.  The first noticeable dusk birdsong!  Sweet music to my ears.  A sign that the long winter months are on their way out, giving way to spring at last.  I don't know if this is why the piece of copper I was weaving into a spiders web, suddenly became a birds nest, but it did.  Once it was made and patinated there was just one thing missing.  A little birdy to sing in the spring!

So I turned on the torch and made this little fella to sit and sing - I think he's waving good bye to winter!

Thursday, 24 February 2011

When Too Much is Not Enough!

I really love the bracelet that I've just made.  It uses my own copper clasp and the links are all made by myself so I feel proud that a lot of care and love went into making it.  The problem is that I would really like to make another in a different colour and I have a very clear image in my head.  So what's the problem, I here you ask?  Well making the lampwork beads nearly killed me.  Ok, so I exaggerate slightly, but it did take some time and commitment to make them.  I settled with all my equipment in front of me and turned each lampie into a lovingly prepared dangly and then set about composing the whole piece, only to find that I had no where near enough danglies to achieve the look I was after:
So I had to make some more.  The only problem with that is, that every time I went near the torch, the last thing I felt like making was more of the same type of beads.  I did, however dig deep into my reserves of energy and perseverance and eventually made more and completed the bracelet, but not until some time had elapsed.  I now face the prospect of facing this huge challenge all over again - this time though I'll be sure to make all the beads necessary in one sitting!  Wish me luck!

Friday, 4 February 2011

I Have The Key

I've just spent a happy couple of hours making lots of new beads.  Having had a collection of old keys kicking about in my beading cupboard, I got to thinking.  Could I use them as mandrels and melt glass onto them?  Well before I knew it I was dipping them in bead release and trying to find out. 

After rather messily covering the shaft of the key with ceramic release (and much of myself too) I encountered my next problem.  How on earth would I hold the key and be able to turn it in the flame without burning my fingers?  I got lucky with the first one and I managed to super heat the end of a glass rod and use this as a punty, attaching it to the hot key.  Easy, I thought.  No, just lucky, as try as I might, the subsequent keys were not playing and I had to think of something else. 

A few of the hollow keys offered another solution, which was to stuff bamboo kebab skewers into them and use this to twist the key as necessary.  Hey presto it worked, but not for long and I soon found myself dodging hot metal and glass as one worked itself loose and fell onto my workbench before bouncing toward my lap!  It was after this narrow escape from a third degree burn that I thought I would leave my torch for the day and give the matter some more thought - so what is the key?  Answers on a postcard please!