Have I mentioned lately that I love tourmalines? I've thought more than once that I should change my name to "Tourmaline Girl" although it doesn't suit me particularly. This luscious three strand bracelet uses an entire strand of tiny faceted tourmalines, strung to show staggered bands of colour.
I'm a bit behind in posting. Was a bit behind in creating too, although I've got several bits and pieces on the go all at once. This set was made for an exchange, after changing my mind at least five or six times about what to make. I settled on one of my favorite combinations - "Russion jade", tourmalines, and Thai silver.
These earrings were started for week eight of FSOJ, which had the theme of The Goddess - Motherhood & Fertility. The idea came to me pretty much all at once, but getting the piece to come together was a different story. In the end I'm very happy with the result, but they took far longer than they should have. All wire is 20 g sterling, including the earwires, and the tiny balls are fine silver. This is the first time I've made earwires with balled ends.
Posted late today for both these weeks. I have an on-theme piece for week eight but it isn't done yet, so it'll be coming at a later date. This is a little etched copper pendant. The bail is attached with a sterling rivet. I scratched the bail pretty badly when bending it into shape so I think this is going into the pile of experimental bits of metal. I like it though, so I may wear it myself and ignore the scratches.
These are lampwork by Julie Wong of Uglibeads. I've had them for ages and was never quite sure how to use them. Put together with a bit of bali silver and a black rubber cord they practically made themselves. I have a s-clasp that just needs some finishing touches that I'll be adding tomorrow.
I haven't posted recently because I really haven't made much recently. Several bugs hae been running rampant through the house for a couple of weeks now. I'm the only one who isn't feeling better today, so there is hope.
Hopefully I'll manage a FSOJ post tomorrow, only a week late, and then maybe I can play catchup soon!
Completely not on the theme of "Copper Nights" but I have a copper WIP that will show up in some other week now. These are simple pendants made with my own lampwork - the first time I've ever made anything with my own beads. I recently annealed every bead I have ever made that survived unbroken. Actually, as long as they didn't break through the hole they were annealed. I wasn't picky. I'll probably never use most of them but I like some well enough.
I restricted myself to the new 4pack sampler I have of CiM Messy colours in celadon, ginger, butter pecan and Gelly sty pink. Mostly. There is some white as well and the fish has sage eyes.
The fish lost a fin which you can't see because it allows him to lie nicely on that side. I'm most pleased with the dot bead on the end. It isn't all that well done, but it is the first time I've intentionally made a bead with both layered dots and raised dots, and I think it turned out okay.
Here's a closeup of that one, and the fish too for good measure.
I realized that I forgot to post these photos earlier in the week. Two copper etchings. The house is 3-1/2" on the long edge and the tiger is 5-1/2". I am going to redo the tiger to try to get more detail.
The theme this week was monochrome. I had invisioned a wire and silver bead creation but didn't go there in the end. These are not quite finished but I decided posting slightly rough pieces was better than posting any later than today.
The rings don't fit me. I am not quite sure what fingers I intended them for but they fit none perfectly. Oh well. The plain ring has a really rough join - I'm calling it a learning experience.
This week the theme was synergy. I was planning on tackling a simple soldered silver ring but decided to go with the theme instead. These peruvian opals were supposed to have small tourmalines scattered along them but I couldn't make that work in a manner that would prevent the tourmalines from scratching the opals and still not look too busy. So the only tourmaline is the one on the dangle, and I may remove the dangle as I'm not completely happy with it.
I am completely happy with the clasp. My first S-clasp, and I soldered it onto the purchased chain with a jump ring I made as well. Not rocket science, but it pleased me greatly.
The colour in these photos is too peachy, but I wasn't able to make them accurate without comletely distorting the colour on the tourmaline.
This idea has been floating in my head for a while now. I believe it was inspired by a bracelet I saw in a store but I'm not 100% sure. I bought the amazonite nuggets specifically to try this. The wire, lobster claw, and spacers (not visible) are all sterling. This piece will be going up on Etsy later today.
Since this blog is going to mostly record my FSOJ entries for the next while I figured I had best bring it up to date ASAP. I learned to solder this weekend - now I know it all. Pft. There are lots of messy joins on this bracelet but I couldn't be much more pleased with it. Instructions from a recent issue of Art Jewelry magazine.
I also owe a photo of my entry from the contest. Now that it is over and my favorites all either won or got honourable mentions...
I signed up for the next session of Four Seasons of Jewelry. I'm not sure this is entirely wise - it may be a bit more than I can handle - but I want the incentive to work regularly and this should provide it.
I got to melt glass on Saturday, and yesterday and today I made my first ring. The first photos I took were at the wrong ISO (duh) so I retook but now there is a hair caught under one of the rivets. Honest, it was shiny and clean when I first photographed it.
First, the ring. Two shots. Please ignore the binder clip support. I realize it could use more polishing, and there is a little metal sticking out from under one rivet, but I was just fooling around when I started it and I'm actually more pleased than I should admit.
Now for the glass. Mostly played with dots this time. Turns out transparent dots on a transparent bead are very confidence inspiring - probably just because the flaws don't stand out much.
In this last photo the dark bead is black with iris gold dots. I want to try this again as there is an interesting blue effect under the dots.
August has been extremely busy. Most of my free time has been spent obsessing over my entry for the Mixed Media contest at Connie Fox's website. I'll add a photo of it soon. The deadline is tomorrow but I'm hoping a photo taken in the morning might be better than the ones I took today.
I was just playing around with wire the last few days, trying to learn how to do things in a more free-form manner rather than my natural inclination to have everything line up neatly. I made the first bangle two days ago (using a beer bottle as a mandrel) and liked it so much I fiddled around with them some more yesterday - making a second for me and one that is too big. I strung beads around that one just for fun but the wire I used to string is only 30g and I suspect it won't last.
Was sick today so spent my free time collapsed on the couch. Maybe tomorrow I can be productive.
Today I was supposed to clean the carpet after my Spectacular Salsa Spill yesterday, but I'm not very energetic, so instead I pulled out my bead board and finally did something that has been percolating for a very long time. I'll have to post a picture after the camera is back in the house - maybe tonight - but in the meantime I can say that I think the title has changed from Beauty Chained to 101 Things To Do With A Naked Lady: #57.
We went camping this weekend, and there is laundry and miscellaneous tidying to do as a consequence. I guess I should get going on that now.
I have decided to open this up to non-lampworking stuff mainly because I'm just not updating it even as sporatically as I get to the torch.
Yesterday I played with LOS on the Drunkard's Path earrings I etched the other day. I am so pleased with how it worked that I put earwires on them and wore them. This was supposed to be an experiment, and I'm not done with the idea, but it worked better than I expected.
I fell of the blog wagon for a while there - about 4 sessions worth. Trying again...
Yesterday went fairly well. I didn't feel like it was working, while I was at the torch, but I ended with a dot bead I'm very happy with, so all in all it felt good. I did a couple of miscellaneous playing around beads, some colour combination testing (didn't work out well with the stringer work, but that was just practice and I'm happy with the colours), a couple of hollows, some CZ beads (one of which is cracking) and my dot bead. I intended it to be raku stringer on black, just a tester for working with the raku, and played a bit with making a tube, then abandoned fixing the ends and started making dots. The first few just felt so right that I kept adding more rows of four dots - staggered - and in the end I think it is going into the "Anneal" bin despite the wonky ends.
Feeling time pressure yesterday, so some things didn't go well because I rushed. Ended up with a lot of little bland slightly off spacer type beads, six to be exact, that might have a bit of frit on them or something but certainly aren't noticable as anything at first glance.
Two green whiteheards. One is a little wonky and has some bubbles, the other was seriously wonky so I encased again in clear and then made a cube. It would actually be pretty neat except it ended up with one slightly sharp hole. I may keep it out for inspiration later anyway.
Made another heart for the contest. It too is ugly.
Played with stringer a bit. When I was driving up I thought that was going to be my focus for the day, but I got distracted between deciding that and actually firing up the torch. Still getting catepillaring when I try to do straight stinger but I played with scrolls anyways and got one bead I'm going to keep. it isn't pretty by anyone's standards, but it is my first real scrolls. I was using stringer in colours that change colour when they get warm, like red and yellow, and that really helped. I'll beat this yet.
Finally I made another fish. This one hasn't broken yet. Not the best fish on the planet but I'm quite pleased.
The other day I finished something I was working on for an exchange. It was a struggle to come up with a workable idea, and I had to ditch my first effort mid-way though, but in the end I'm very happy with what I ended up with. I've been playing around with circles a lot recently and this has circles, and repetition, and is very light - both in the hand and visually. I am so happy with it that I have started a similar necklace to keep for myself, but in green peruvian opal, not the blue.
Haven't been able to take photos yet because the camera isn't at home. I hope to tomorrow. I also have to take pictures of a necklace and earrings that I finished for a jewellery exchange I'm participating in. I had major creative block on this one - and then when I did have an idea I ran into technical difficulties and had to abort that attempt. In the end I'm quite pleased with the piece though - enough so that I will be making other variations on the theme and will be keeping at least some for myself.
Yesterday Katie pulled herself into a stand in her crib. I had a little panic and then lowered the mattress. Despite knowing she is doing things younger than Shannon did she still surprises me.
I am starting this up as a means of recording my sessions. I need to get in the habit of photographing the work I do, for when I get good at it, and I also need to stay focused on progressing or I may not.
Saturday was the first torching session since my daughter was born six months ago. I've been obsessive lately. I dream about glass, spend far too much time surfing lampworking sites, have spent too much money on glass, and books, and other people's beads... Don't get me wrong - I don't regret the purchases - but I wouldn't have gone as crazy if I wasn't desperate to get back to it.
I played with some of my new Lauscha colours, and used prepulled stringer only. Didn't stress over sticking to my "things to practice" list (I did mention I've been obsessing recently) but also didn't take all the time just to play. Twelve dipped mandrels. Two and a half hours. Eleven beads - the Lauscha transparent red didn't get molten enough before I tried to put it on the mandrel and pulled the bead release off - had to abort that one before it even started.
Right off the bat round beads seemed to escape me, so I decided not to stress over it. After all I won't be using these beads anyways, so why fight something I don't care about today, when I know it will come back another day.
Two scary hearts for the heart contest on lampworketc. The first one, red, turned out better but the gravity shaping got away from me and I ended up with a sharp hole. The second, trans purple, isn't nearly as nice and I got sick of working with it and just quit.
One triangle bead and one "rainbow" bead following corina's instructions in Passing the Flame. Purple and light green don't work as rainbows. The triangle bead had some good and some bad points. I fried the light blue (sooty) , and didn't completely cover all the white dots with the transparents, but the triangles got nice and pointy, and the encasing didn't smudge anything.
A couple of small beads with stringer around the belly. As usual I got caterpillaring with my stringer except for one time. It was thin red stringer and it just went on smoothly. There's hope! I tried again immediately but no luck.
Two small round beads to try the "fast and furious" one step method of making a bead - get all the glass into a molten gather and just wind it onto the mandrel in one fell swoop. I actually thought it went pretty well. Neither bead is perfect but neither one is horrid either. No sharp edges, mostly round (well, donutty), and if they are uneven I didn't quite fight to get them perfectly round anyway. One was the light transparent red from Lauscha which is a striking colour. I didn't strike it enough and part of the bead is red while the rest is a rusty orange. Kind of neat looking actually.
Two white hearts. I tried to pull the encasing layer down over the side of the white on the green bead, and I kind of botched it. Smeared the white a little bit, and ended up with sharp holes (plural). Probably could have fixed it by adding another layer of encasing but didn'tfeel like it so didn't. The peach whiteheart is much better! Almost a keeper. I blobbed on the tranparent, didn't wind it, and I'm thrilled with how it turned out. There is the nteensiest bit of a sharp hole on one side, and there isn't a pucker on either hole, but it is nice and round and the white didn't smear at all.
The bead I was most pleased with, until it broke, was my first attempt at a fish. I think I squeeze beads too thin, since so many of my squeezed beads break, and although I was conscious of it with this one and tried to leave it thick, I think it must have thinned while I continued towork with it. He's not perfect, and I forgot lips - although after the fact I decided I quite liked him that way - but I would have annealed him if he hadn't broken. Despite expecting him to, in a way I think I'm pushing it doing anything remotely sculptural without a kiln, I got hopeful when he wasn't broken coming out of the fiber blanket. Then he did when I tried to remove the mandrel. Ah well... Next time maybe.