Friday, February 27, 2015

Frit Tray & Etching tin from sugar/salt tin...

Someone gave me some Margarita mix and a sugar rimmer tin once for a birthday. While the mix and sugar are long gone, I kept the tin. I'm pretty sure the one I had came from World Market, but they can be bought anywhere, such as Amazon or most any liquor store.   Early summer is a great time to find them. They run around $7 and the salt or sugar can be used for other things, if you aren't into Margaritas. They are about 5" in diameter. They are made of aluminum, so easy to cut notches in, but are sturdy enough to hold shape and use often.

Etching tin - from the bottom part

Notches cut in the sides and bent down to hold mandrels for drying.
I use a cream and brush it on. The tin catches the drips
and I can turn the mandrel as it rests in the grooves.

Frit Tray - from the lid

Again - notches cut (I used a tin snip) and bent down to hold mandrel if needed,
or get bead closer to the frit in the tray.
The lid is only 3/8" deep with lots of room to roll the bead around.

Salt Rimmer from Amazon.
I'm thinking this flavor would be good on roasted chicken for a Mojo flavoring. 

This might be good in lemonaid or iced tea.

Beads of Wrath...

Still in the big crayon - scribbles stage in beadmaking, but getting better.

These are yesterday's beads - mostly done to dispel a bad mood.

large disc is about 1 1/2" across

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Today's Beads

Beads I did today - more practice.

I'm rather proud of the fish.
Bill the Cat! Hey, it's my first attempt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Beads and Kits and Videos, oh my!

Beads I made yesterday to try out a couple of techniques. Then I spent the evening watching videos to learn more!

First, the Beads...

Beads made 2/17/15
The large one is almost 2" in diameter.

The fish and Snake made for Ashley.
They are my first attempt at these, as are the drop beads.
The one on the mandrel has poked dot air bubble beads.

The Kits...
I put my most used supplies and tools in kits for easy storage and use. This way, if I want to do my cleaning or whatever elsewhere, I just grab the kit and move; I don't have to scurry about looking for the bits and pieces needed.

My bead cleaning kit.
A shoebox bin with various jars, pliers, bead reamer/clearner and cloths.
Jars to hold water:
  • Water carrier (quart jar)
  • Beads on mandrels to soak  and soak mandrels after removal: (tall jar)
  • Beads after taken off mandrel: Small jar
  • Beads to clean in water: plastic bowl (old lemonade mix lid)
  • Beads to rinse: small jar
  • Pliers for holding mandrel for stubborn beads
  • Cloths to dry beads and protect work surface
  • Small cloth to grab bead when removing from mandrel

My kits for cleaning beads and mandrels

mandrel cleaning: cleaner pads (scrubbers), jar to store and hold water to rinse mandrels, cloth to dry mandrels
The cloth is a piece of flour sack cloth. These can be found at Wal-Mart for $5 a pack of four large cloths.
The parts store in the jar
Kit for bead etching. 

Shoebox size bin
Jars for cleaning
Etching cream (takes 1 minute to etch glass)
Paint brush to apply etching cream
Flat tin with groves cut out to hold a mandrel while etching cream works - catches drips
I cut the notches with tin snips.
The tin is a margarita sugar tin from World Market
Cloth to protect work surface (another flour sack towel)
How to use etching cream:  apply cream to surface, wait 1 minute, rinse thoroughly.
You can use clear nail polish to cover areas you don't want etched.
Also available is etching solution to dip the bead in. I've not used that yet.
Beads not yet etched with cream.

After etching.

And the Videos...

Fascinating creation of a disc bead
Kristina Logan, Corning Museum of Glass

Lovely rainbow bead
Jeannie Cox

Basic encased bead
Laura Sparling

Life on a String: Beadmaking
 And my favorite of all:
Stephanie Sersich

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

New Page for The Studio

Since I spend a lot of time fixing up and upgrading the studio, I decided to make a separate page on this blog just for that, so as not to clutter up the blog posts.

It is here:

I'll change out pictures there for the actual studio space.

I will continue to post new beads, how-tos, and instructions here on the blog. Thanks!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Glass holder IDs

Upon making my glass holder/storage units, I wanted a way to identify the glass in each one for projects and in case I ran out, which to order. I found one I really liked, but the pieces would take a lot of work and they wouldn't fit my unit. Maybe when I revamp mine...
This, which I found here:

How I made mine:

You'll need to know how to make basic beads and simple wire wrapping.

Basic Beads:

Wire Wrapping:

You'll need:
Earring Findings
  • Lampwork beads - basic, about 5 mm or so. A standard "newbie" bead.
  • Fishhook earring findings 
  • Wire headpins, approx 6 cm long (with (eyepin) or without loop) or wire

  • Plastic baggies (ziplock, snack size or small) to hold each color until you can attach them to your system)  If you are only making a few, an egg tray would do fine.
  • Wire tools: one or two chain nose pliers (or small needle nose), wire cutters (flush or end cut), and three-step and/or round nose pliers.
  • Optional: label maker or printed labels  (you can use a magic marker to indicate which are which on the holders instead)
  • PVC pipe holder system or other system that you can use this with; along with a drill with a small drill bit

Supplies and plans laid out.
Tools: wire cutters, pliers, and three-step pliers
ID Beads made previously
Wire pins (I like the ones with the loop on the end)
Fish hook earring findings
Label maker

This was where I stored my ID beads until I could make the holders.
They are taped to a large piece of paper with the name and number of the glass color.
These particular beads are from Mountain Glass Arts.
The string in the middle are those I haven't been able to identify.

Starting (why it's sideways, I don't know).
A bead, a label and findings laid out.
The bag is to hold the bead and the label.
Most of my findings I got at Fire Mountain Gems

Twisting the headpin around the bead.
These I had on hand. I cut off the head of the pin.
I used these rather than wire as I had them on hand and they are stiffer. 

Bead attached to headpin.

Other end of headpin twisted and wrapped into a loop.
A looped headpin can be used as well.

Loop attached to the earring finding.
Both the label and marker into the bag!
I did 66 of these at once.

This is my red striking indicator (ID) bead.
I took a piece of the unmelted glass, wire wrapped it and added it to the
earring finding.
Works for glass that changes color after melted.
On the label, the M stands for Mountain Glass, the number is the number of the color.

Sample of how to attach it to the pipe.
Drill a small hole in the top of the pipe, near the edge, for the "earring" ID bead.
Having the bead on the earring finding means you can change it around easily.
I put the label inside the bottom of the tube so I know what to order when I run low.
Using plastic label tape, I can remove or change when needed to reorganize.
Fold over one edge of the tape (about 2mm) for easy removal.

Here are some on my main rod holder.
My temporary glass storage.
I used silicone sealant to "glue" them together.
This way, I can take them apart and re-do it.
Most of these were scraps from other uses and projects, and different diameters, cut down to 10" long.
The back is a scrap piece of peg board.
Most of the PVC pipe is 1 1/2". I plan to get more of that and put all those on the bottom,
with the smaller tubes on top.
Then maybe it won't be so wibbly-wobbly.

My "most used" glass holder.
You can also use the "earring beads" on this as well.
Drill the hole in the front of the pipe to hang bead on.
The glass rods in the window are my Devardi Glass rods, awaiting
their own rod holder unit.

I also plan to do a board with a bit of the glass rod and the info in table format.  Ideas from the Internet:

These would be good for colors that react with others, or how they look with others:



2/16 Update:

Here is the first board for my Mountain Glass Collection:
First board - all the MGA glass colors I had.

And THIS is the whole list of COE 104 rods from MGA
waiting for all the colors to be placed (when I get them).
The colors on the board already are the same glass ends from the first board.
The only set missing is the Dichroic: 14 colors.
Just getting ready to paste that list to the right-hand board in the empty space.

Designs (c) Lisa Murray 2015: Thistle Rose Studio. Readers may use and modify the designs for their own use without permission.

Progress on the finishing touches...

Have I mentioned... I love my studio!  It's awesome. I just wish I had more time to play in it, and the weather would warm up so I can actually run the equipment. Sigh.

But, there has been progress.
Glass storage pretty much done. I may add more tubes later.
About half the tubes have glass stored in them, with room for more. 
Pretty much all the basic needs are installed in the studio. Now just to practice!  

What is most important is safety, which is present to the max. Concrete floor, sturdy ventilation system. Safety equipment such as water bowl, burn lotion, eye protection, leather apron, and an easy exit in case of emergency. I have a fire extinguisher installed right behind my chair, and I have been trained on how to use it. Oxygen condenser means no heavy oxygen tanks to move around, and propane is always stored outside.

Next, I will be posting bits and pieces of my set up, and how I (particularly) do glass. Sort of a walk though my journey in learning lampwork. I also hope to put together a PDF of how I set up my shop, the equipment I use, and my book library. There are those who have "taught" me the important issues of glass melting and I wish to give them credit.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Almost done!

The studio is coming along. I'm having almost as much fun upgrading as I do lamp working.

The studio

Books and mandrels

Tools and glass and beads


...from the other side


Start of glass storage

Glass in the window

O2 Condenser

Pretty window

The workarea!

Tool storage

Bead and leather area

More beads

Notes and things

Love my studio!