Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Bead set from recycled glass

Once upon a time,there was a beautiful blue and crystal vintage glass plate...then it became a victim of gravity... I rescued it, smashed it in tiny shards, melted these in the flame to make small "rods" and turned these into nugget shaped beads.
They are looking for a new home here:

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New beads with the new equipment

Slowly but steadily I get accustomed to working with the new oxycon.
I don't know if it is the season and my longing for spring or the different flame of the torch that inspires me to make different beads than usual.
Take for example the single colored round beads with the striped silvered ivory I have been making for the last 7 years....I laways loved to make them, but now.... I have been torching for some time without pulling silvered ivory stringer, which is a complete novum for me.
I long for clean colors, deep crystal encasing, as in the middle set, which will go up on etsy later today.
I am curious to see where this all will take me ;-)

Friday, January 20, 2012

My monthly Make for January

One of my New Year resolutions was to venture out of my comfort zone, speaking of crafts and artistic activities.

Then a few days ago I stumbled on this site:

and decided to join the monthly make challenge for 2012.

I have a long list of things and techniques I want to try and having this kind of obligation actually got me started.
My monthly make for 2012 is the soldered pendants.
For years literally I wanted to make these soldered pendants... I gave it a try once, some 5 or 6 years ago but I could not figure out how to securely attach jump rings, so I gave up.
Three days ago, I got started again!

The easy part about it was that I had all the supplies at hand, I just had to get a new bottle of flux, as the old was all dried out...and with the help of a good friend I managed to get the jump rings attached.
I proudly present my first soldered pendants, they still need to get patinaed and prettied up a little bit, but I am already very happy with how they look now!

Friday, January 13, 2012

A bad start into the new lampworking year

This was my last set of beads, made in early december last has been 6 weeks now since I made a decent bead *snif*
First there was to much stress related to the holidays: baking, christmas related stuff, etc, then came our holiday at the in-laws in Germany for one week. I spent the end of the last year and start of the new year in bed with a mean cold.
Finally I decided I felt good enough to make some beads, but then :HORROR! The computer controller of my kiln refused to work!!! Now I do have an old chili pepper kiln from before they were sold with digital controllers. Mine had the old "hand" control and a good friend who is a computer engineer and major nerd, built me a computer control out of an old regular computer. He wrote a fantastic controlling programm that allows me to run both my bead annealer and my fusing kiln. But now after more than 7 years of loyal services, the computer would not work any more. After some long distance diagnosis( he lives nearly 700 kilometres from us) he said he would have to make me a new hard disk with the program and send it back to me.
Yesterday the hard disk arrived , my husband installed it and the kiln works again.
I am totally happy, sit down at my table and start the oxycon, but all he does is call for "service"....
I am close to a heart attack!!! I call the company and they laugh at me because my beloved oxycon is past his 10th birthday and has 36.782 working hours on his back ( its not all beading hours ;-).... he worked at an hospital first and then at a koi pond, before he came to me in winter 2003...)
There is no way to get him repaired...
I do have a backup oxycon which is only 3 years old, I bought it last year from a medical supply. Now one could think everything is fine: just hook up the new oxycon and voilà!
BUT...this new guy is a lot stronger than my old beloved and I feel like a beginner.
I melted 2 mandrels in the first half hour I worked yesterday, something that never happened in all the years before, my beads get wonky again because the heat is much higher now,the effects with the silver glasses don't work anymore, the flame is totally different *sigh*
I am feeling sad and depressed :-(