Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Studio Re-Do!

I spent all day, one day recently, in the studio re-doing much of what needed to be done, including the vent system, fixing a window for a vent, raising my bench up a few inches so I can stand as well as sit, and some other things.  I've been collecting various things for years and it's nice to be able to get it all together in one place and usable. Whenever hubby comes home from the road, I have him up in the attic looking for boxes of stuff that goes in this room. Though, I think he's gone through every one of them. Wish I could climb that ladder!

The biggest concern was getting everything off the floor in case of a flood (washing machine), which isn't likely to happen. And looking neat and organized. Because, well... you know... the lampwork police might show up someday. Above all else, safety is my main concern, always. The good thing is that the floor is concrete.

My very first bench (still using it! Just updated as below) with the first kit I got, in the middle of my garage, using scrap materials.
Here is an earlier post when I first started this...
Next: Some sheet metal on the wall behind the kiln area along with some fire retardant insulation or at least some spacers, more PVC pipe to make more glass storage, track lighting for better light and a wood/pegboard cover to protect the water heater.

The kiln. I made the stand, with wheels.
The kiln sits on two 18" square ceramic tiles.
The kiln is a Paragon Bluebird and I love it!
The shelf below will have a PVC pipe rod holder.

The workbench - redone!
I took off all the extraneous pieces and opened it up a bit.
New exhaust hood goes to the fan in the window from a scrap metal box.
My new chair - a birthday present!

The workroom.
It's amazing what one can re-use - most of this is re-used materials.
I need to reorganize the shelves.
I have plans for a protective cover for the water heater.
Most likely it will be made of pegboard so I can hang tools from it.

Tools and glass and beads, oh my.
Fire extinguisher, MAPP gas for the hothead torch, and cork board.
And the TARDIS, of course.

Top of the bench.
Homemade armrests from scrap wood, batting, and leather pieces.
The Devardi Spartan torch., which I absolutely love.
Not sure where I got the torch-mounted marver, but the rest
either came from Mountain Glass Arts or Devardi.

The other side of the bench.
The metal on the wall has spacers for airspace behind.
Left to right: fiber blanket for small-bead cooling, basket of marvers, and rod warmer,
plus jar of water and rod rests.
The entire bench is covered with ceramic tile or other heat-resistant substance.
The silver surface on the left is the board that came with my first bead making kit.

My kiln gloves, lampworking apron, glasses and spark lighter.
The O2Con is hiding behind the apron.
O2Con means I don't have to worry about oxygen tanks!
Naturally, the propane tank is outside.

Books and stuff - good place for this stuff.

Tools and prepared mandrels ready
Windowsill holds more mandrels, bead release, and frit maker.
These will most likely be moved elsewhere... 

More tools. This will be moved in the very near future.
Maybe tomorrow.
Or I just may use it for my marvers, smashers, and cutters.
For now.

Beadwork, stained glass, and leather tools, as well as some of my Mountain Glass Arts rods.

More stuff and the computer for music and videos.
The computer also needs a better place.
I am considering mounting the monitor on the wall and getting
a USB mouse/keyboard.
Eh, it's a good use for an old computer.
But, it may just be easier to use this as a backup and bring my laptop out. Yeah.

Tool overflow - to be moved.

Devardi glass rods & a light.
Trying to think of a better place for the glass.

The outside of the window with the vent fan.

Some of my inspiration found around the Internet:

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Birthday beads!

The beads I made today - my 51st birthday!!

Fresh out of the kiln after annealing

Soaking to loosen the bead release. 

Removing the beads from the mandrel

Soaking to loosen the bead release in the beads

Cleaning the beads

Getting ready for etching.
The tin is a margarita sugar tin from World Market.

Cream at work. Only 1 minute! Then rinse and wash, and rinse again.

Beads etched!  Matte finish. These are about 15 mm in diameter each

The birthday beads, done!

Wonkies for me mum!

First, today's batch:
The far left red bead is 4 mm in diameter.
The larger solid color beads in the middle will be etched.

These are the beads I made yesterday!

Mostly blue ones

Smalls. The middle one is about 5 mm in diameter.

And these are for my mother, who just had her 83rd birthday:
Mum likes blue! The ones to the far left are approx. 1 cm in diameter.

I'm in the process of making more (kiln is cooling) and deciding what tools I must have soon. I've been organizing my mandrels, and, of course, decided I don't have enough.  And, designing some mandrel holders for the workbench for coated mandrels ready to make beads on.
The mandrel storage tubes. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

More Wonky Whimsicals...

These are yesterday's beads.  I was experimenting with colors, stringers, and larger beads (the top one is 7/8") and kiln settings.

More are annealing in the kiln today - just a few with more experimentation.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Indroducing... the Wonkies...

Wonky Whimsical Beads.... 

Not perfect. Not show quality. But the most fun one can have with a bead.

I am starting this line of beads because 1) I am new at beadmaking and my beads are certainly unique in a very wonky way, and 2) why not?   I do lampwork beads because I enjoy making them. When I have them for sale,I'll post on it.

My Wonkies.
Thanks to Corina Tettinger for inspiration & instruction,
Her beads are the Rainbow and Heart beads.

The important part of this are the "stress relievers"
Because life's too short for boring beads.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Wonky beads!

A new fad... Actually, I was just playing with the glass and the torch settings, trying out the new arm rests.  Right now, it's too cold to get out and do glass, since the studio is off the garage and there isn't much heat out there.  Must change that.

Anyway, here are the beads I made yesterday. Not bad for playing around.

Beads out of kiln, cooled.

Beads during cleaning

Beads cleaned

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Armrests for work bench...

Today I finally got into the scrap wood bin and made some arm rests for the glass work table.  This will make things easier for when I am working long hours at the torch!

I used scrap wood, pieces of leather (from my scrap steampunk leather bin) and some padding to make them.  I just need to find a mechanism to allow me to move them easily out of the way when I need to.  Other than the equipment and supplies, the table was made with all scraps from the garage.

6:30 pm: Tried the new set up out with the new Dominapron and made about a dozen beads. The apron fits great and the arm rests really help to support my arms, so I can concentrate more on the glass and mandrel in my hands.

Beads done using the new armrests and trying out various colors and types of glass in different parts of the flame: