Saturday, January 3, 2015

Another day in paradise...

And a blustery day it is, too.  Rainy, windy, and 62 degrees. On the 3rd day of January!  So, today I am spending time in paradise. My glass studio!!  Right now I'm waiting for the kiln to ramp up and the bead release to dry on the mandrels.  The glass rods are heating up in their warmer and fan is on and waiting!  Just me, the music, the torch, and Corina's book! Corina is the BEST!

Fortunately, I have been feeling better lately, a bit stronger, so I've been branching out more and getting back into things, like lamp working and the business!  Online classes at VSCC will be starting in a couple of weeks, so I have to get in my glass time while I can!

Entrance to the studio from the garage.
Kiln cart designed and made by me. It's topped with ceramic tile for heat safety.
The wheels roll easily and lock when I need them to.

The studio, with an old computer for music, videos, and glass tutorials.
That's Corina's book at hand!!

The work table, ready and waiting!
I need to devise and make some arm rests.

Kiln is ramping up to 980-1000 deg f.

The beading and leather tool area.

More supplies and beads, most of which I've been collecting over the years
and now have a place to store it all.

Glass stash!  I need more glass....

Lamp working tools... can never have enough of.

Mandrels are prepped and waiting, tools laid out, glass rods warming.
Fiber blanket waiting for small test beads to cool.
Ceramic topped table for safety, safety glasses hanging off it.
Just waiting for Corina's Dominapron to complete my safety equipment!
5:30 pm: A grand time was had. I did manage to burn my fingers on a hot rod that fell out of the warmer but not too badly. I am getting more comfortable with the flame and where the best melting place is, which is a challenge as that is different for the different rods of glass, and how to hold the bead so it doesn't melt out of shape when adding more colors or encasing. Pictures of the beads will be posted (even the not so good ones) when they are done annealing!

9:00 pm: And they are almost done! Here are all but one of the beads (still soaking in water to get it off the mandrel).  They need cleaning still.

Just out of the cooled kiln

Off the mandrels, waiting to have the holes cleaned.
The butterfly is 1 inch high.
Side note: if any of you glass bead / lampworking hobbyists haven't gotten or pre-ordered your Dominapron yet, you MUST. This is the most awesome hobby apron anywhere. It's soft leather, so it moves, and is lightweight. It is adjustable all over the place - with a velco closure at the neck strap, and snaps and clip closure for the back waist.  These closures are fantastic as they break away quickly if you need to suddenly take the apron off. There are two sets of snaps to adjust for height as well. It has a pocket inside  for the mp3 player/phone and one outside, with a D ring to hang your glasses or other tools on or some kind of pretty bead. This apron is AWESOME and well worth the price. Corina ships fast when she has them in stock, and they go fast! Go to her site - order one.   Get her book while you are at it as well!