I am still a slacker! I still hardly ever torch at home, although I’m trying to get in the studio at least once a week. Emphasis on trying. Nothing new going on except these little guys. They make me smile!
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I love to make murrini! It’s done by layering different colors of glass in a specific pattern and then heating and stretching it into a rod (cane). Once it’s cool, you slice the cane into cross-sections and each slice has the same pattern. I find it to be challenging and quite enjoyable. I only wish I had a larger torch to really do some nice stuff. (Not that I can’t do nice things on the torch that I have. It just takes forever.)
Flower murrini is very popular with bead makers but most don’t make their own. (It’s very time consuming!) You get the best results with flower murrini that is pulled to a point, but most of the murrini slices for sale are not pre-pulled. I was in a creative mood last night, so I created a short video tutorial on how to pull your own points on pre-sliced murrini:
So, as most of you know, I don’t really torch that much unless I’m working. My home bench is was completely dust covered from lack of use. Well, I’ve decided to try to get in at least 8 hours torch time a week. I think I can do that. I just need to shoot for 2 hours a day. Easy Peasy, right? Well, here are the fruits of my labor from day 1:
Some discs, some spacers and some push pins. I plan on making push pins with all of my colors and putting them on a reference board. That should be fun…
<—- Lookie lookie! Don’t I look absolutely ecstatic? Wheeeeeeeeeee!! I’m free!! I am no longer a slave to da man!! I have left my former employer of 10 years to join the ranks of the full time glass artists. This photo was taken the day I received the call that my separation was approved. Talk about doin’ a happy dance. I was jitterbuggin’ my patootie off, even if only in my mind.
So what am I doing with all of this new found freedom? Sleeping!!! Lol! Just kidding! Sleep is for wussies. Actually, about a month before my separation was approved, I was hired as a glass artist by Arribas Brothers. I’m only part-time for now and if you’re ever in the neighborhood, you can catch me at Epcot in the German Pavilion (Crystal shop) Friday through Sunday. I’ve decided to accept their full-time offer but I got a pretty nice separation deal, so I’m trying to take it easy for a few months before I put my nose to the grindstone. It’s been a little hard with everything that’s been going on lately so it’a really a blessing that I am just part time. I’ll go full time after July. I’m so excited!! I LOVE my job!!! The people are great and it’s just sooo much fun! I’m even learning a little German (insert giggle here). I can honestly say that I’ve never been this happy in my life. I mean really. I get paid to play with glass all day long! What more could a girl want? Well, a 90-year-old billionaire husband would be nice too, but hey… let’s be realistic. We can’t all be Anna Nicole.
So anyway, I’ve been getting tons more torch time. At work, obviously, but not much time at home to play with my Uroboros collection. At work we use 104 (Mostly Effetre), but my heart still belongs to 96 (Uroboros, Reichenbach & Kugler). I finally had a lttle time to play Saturday night and this is what I made:
Isn’t he cute?! I used Uroboros Amazon Green for the body, Alpine Blue for the chest and Sky Blue for the spines. I think I used Ming Green for the eyes. Or was it Citrine? Ack!! Where’s the gingko when you need it?? Let’s just say I used a pale transparent green for the eyes… I’ll definitely be making at least 1 more. My attention span is shorter than a 2 year-old boy’s, so who knows. Two will probably be my limit.
Well, that’s all, folks! Oh, and for those of you in the know, I’m well past the 1 year mark. Laurel, Jane and Becky? I’m still waiting for my winnings to show up in my mailbox. You all LOST!! And miserably, I might add. Not that I wasn’t trying…
Remember Pi Glass (96COE)? Probably not. It seems like that were out of business before they got started, but they had some really nice colors and the glass wasn’t very expensive. Well, it was recently announced that CIM will be supplying some of the colors from the old Pi line, since their 104COE glass is made at the same factory. Great news for all the Pi fans out there. The Messy 96 will be carried by Frantz and Phoenix Art Supplies. Phoenix also carries some divine vintage 96 glass. LOVE it! The black is great, the cobalt is beautiful, the lavender doesn’t get all devitty or reducey… Yeah, I made those words up, but you know what I’m talkin’ about! Plus, she always has some sort of awesome special going on. I believe she’s giving away free glass with purchases right now. You should all go buy stuff. Now. 😉
So, anyway, yesterday was the annual Christmas party for the Florida Glass Dragons. This year it was held at R4 Glass Studio and was a total blast, as usual. I didn’t get any pictures of the party, but I did catch Mr. Tyler, Bead Snatcher Extraordinaire having a good time in the fountain:
<—-See that? That’s me doing a happy dance. Why, you ask? Because I’m finally done with that damned bulk buy!! Well mostly. There are still some items missing, but at least the main part is done. The rest is just clean up. Never again, I say. Never again! Now maybe I’ll have a little more time to actually get some torching in. Yayyyyy!!! I get to make pretties (or not so pretties, depending on taste). So anyway, that’s about all I have to jab about today. I have a lot of orders to get shipped and I’m a couple of days behind. Here’s some eye candy, though:
Woo hoo!! I finally decided to have some torch time, no matter what. So, despite being sick as a dog, courtesy of Mr. Tyler, I made beads this weekend. It was AWESOME!! I finally got to play with my new stash of Uroboros and I think I’m in love. The black is heavenly!! No reduction and no pitting at all!! And I have a tendency to cook the snot of black when I make godesses. Take a gander:
Isn’t she lovely? I even added backfat and cellulite! I call her Big Mama II. Mr. Tyler smashed the original Big Mama and I was crushed! 🙁 I still tear up a little thinking about her… Anyway, I digress. So I’ve decided that I really like Uroboros. It’s a lot stiffer than Effetre, so that took a little getting used to, but I have a nice size torch (GTT Cheetah). I just needed to crank it up a little. I love the colors and even though the color palette is limited (only 39 colors), it’s compatible with the furnace canes so I have hundreds of colors to choose from. Not a good thing for a glass ho like me who has to have every color out there. I guess it’s a good thing I’m poor…
So anyway, I’m just about finished with my nightmare of a bulk buy and I must say I will NEVER EVER have anything made in India again. I apologize if any of you reading this are Indian and are offended, but you have your fellow countryman, Imran Khan of New Designs, Inc. to thank. What a freakin’ crook!!! I still don’t have my entire order, so I had to find a local company pick up his slack, so now I’m paying double. I know a lot of people are bitter about things made in China, but hey, at least the businesses are honest and reliable there. This is just my opinion gathered after working with Chinese companies for years.
Once I finish getting everyone’s items out to them, I will be adding the rest to my store. Here is a letter opener that I made this weekend, also:
The beads are Uroboros Cherry Red Semi-Opal with R58 Old Gold Aventurine frit and some fine silver wire. I haven’t played with silver wire in ages. I’d forgotten how cool it is.
Well, it’s time for me to skedaddle. Maybe I’ll go make that ice pick, now…