Sunday, July 01, 2012

Fusing Glass Jewelry Components: New Experiments

I've been away from blogging for a bit. Working full time doesn't allow alot of spare time to be creative and then blog about it. I'd prefer to be creative than to blog!  I've got a few extra minutes today so I thought I'd catch you up on what I'm up to.

A sampling of my latest experiments

I'm playing around with fusing frit. I've created a few different custom made frit blends and used some Val Cox Frit.   If you use frit alot, you know that a little goes along way, it is intensely colored. So intense that it will look black if you don't "thin it out" with clear glass. That's one of the difficulties I'm having with fusing it.

Deep royal purple looks black in this fused donut

As you can see in the above picture, the royal purple looks black. It's difficult to "thin out" the bits of purple with clear, the bits still look black. I tried to "thin out" the color in the donut below:

By holding the donut up to sunlight, you can see the royal purple
I've come to the conclusion that  I need to stick to pastels or primarily light transparent when fusing.

Another accident happened when I was fusing the donuts. I got these "furry" or "sugar" pink hearts due to the spacing and the uneven heating it created in my kiln.

"Fur" or "Sugar" pink hearts

The hearts have brown spots because I left them at fusing temperature too long. I wanted them to melt smooth but it just wasn't going to happen with the way I'd set up the kiln.

They're kind of cool looking and there are no sharp edges so my dilemma is should I leave them this way or put them back in the kiln to fully fuse? What do you think?

Using these molds has been quite a learning experience. I'll share my thoughts on the molds in another blogpost. In the meantime, I'd like you to weigh in on what I should do with the sugar hearts - leave as is or full fuse to smooth finish?

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Minding the Business: Be Inspired. Be Brave. Digital Art Pep Talk

This is a digital collage I made using PhotoShop Elements 8, a Wacom Bamboo tablet and Digital Expressions.  It's a visual peptalk to encourage me to step forward and do something of the things I've been dreaming and talking about for a long time. The colors are strong and saturated like a stiff cup of coffee to get me going. A self portrait is paired with one of my favorite glass beads to remind me of my creative self. Text phrases are bent into crowns so I can wear who I am proudly. The entire collage brings together phrases that encourage me to live and work in my own skin. 
I know I'm not the only one. You probably feel like this at least sometimes. You might want to make  Peptalk Collage for the days when you can't reach your best girlfriend to talk. Making the collage made me think, made me create, made me smile and made me brave.

Eunice Kennedy Shriver puts into words what I need to tell myself when I step out with fear:

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.
Let me be brave and I wish all of you to be brave but most of all, I want us all to win our dreams.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

2012's Mantra: Do and Follow Through

I've got a mantra for this year in the spirit of KISS (keep it simple, stupid!): 

do and follow through
My two weakest areas - stop talking and DO and make sure I FOLLOW THROUGH. I might get to the doing but then I don't always follow through. 

I've got an idea to help myself. I don't like to write to do lists because if I do, there are 35 items on it. I find 35 items overwhelming and then I move into procrastination or "what's the use" mode. So, I'm going to limit ANY list to only 3 items.

Yes, I said three - 3 items.

Hopefully that will help.


So here is item number one:

Post book reviews for next week or so. I like to actually try the projects in each book I review so you get an honest feel for what the book offers. I've held off on the Jewelry for the New Romantic because I don't have many of the beads called for in the projects. I used to use beading wire quite a bit when I first started beading back in 1997 but moved away from it. This is a good reason to re-familiarize myself with what beading wire has to offer.

I've ordered resin clay and am waiting for it to arrive. I made the rounds of the craft stores to see if anyone carried it and was out of luck.  There are lots of exciting projects in The Art of Resin Clay I can't wait to try out.

Do you have a word to inspire you onward for 2012?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Happy New Year....a look back on my beady year

Photo/Graphic Credit - thank you!
Happy 2012 to you!  I wanted to blog straight away today. I spent quite a bit of time away last fall and want to start the New Year off with a blog post. 
As is tradition, I looked back on 2011 to see what I accomplished and despite the feeling of not getting much done, I actually covered alot of territory.
My 2011 New Year's Resolution was one word:  DO. I wanted to stop talking and start making. So, with that in mind, here's a review of 2011's DO.....
... I made new beads......



 ....I made earrings.....

.....set up Tuesday Tangle for all things related to wire craft.....

...and set up Metal Monday to post on all things metal....

.....bought a rolling mill.... and reviewed several awesome books....

...taught myself to create digital art using PhotoShop Elements and PhotoShop....


....gave needle tatting another try and learned how to do it this time.....

....took a Hadar Jacobson class and learned how to make Mokume Gane metal clay....

....taught myself right angle weave (YAY!)....
....rolled some metal....

.....tried to crochet with wire (FAIL)....

...joined in on the Bead Soup Blog Party....

....remodeled my home office/jewelry studio.....

....remodeled the hallway outside my home office/jewelry studio with beads....errr bubbles... the babylock fixed and made a jewelry display....

...I even remodeled in my kitchen...
Guess I fared better with 2011's New Year's resolution than I thought. I think I'll put DO on my 2012 New Year's Resolutions too.
What about you?  How do you think your 2011 went?