Wednesday, February 25, 2009
At our February Penn Dragon meeting at Whale we were so lucky to meet Val Cox aka The Glass Poet. Val is a designer, glass artists and photographer and creator of colorful reactive frit combinations the most famous is Raku ( Reichnbacher's Iris Orange r - 108 ). Val visited with our little group to do a frit demonstration and talk about her new book : Frit Secrets a flame worker's guide to using reactive glass. Val's book is packed full of knowledge on how she started her quest in finding a brilliant ruby pink glass that doesn't turn gray under extreme heat. To testing hundreds of furnace glass to come up with color combinations to create beautiful lamp work beads from tiny pieces of crush glass. I can say I have read this book twice since her demo and each time I have learned something new. It reviews colors , glass forms , frit sizes, applications and trouble shooting certain colors and reactions. Yes I would recommend it too anyone who works with glass. Val is a gentle soft spoken artists who's love of color shows in everything she does from her bead making to her photography she is just so inspirational. I am taking a 2 day class with Val in March I am just so excited. I am hoping some of her skill and inspiration will rub off on me too. all the best Lou
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wale Apparatus Company manufactures and distributes the finest selection of glass, tools, supplies and equipment, it is a lamp workers heaven. And they have sponsored our Penn Dragon ISGB group since our beginning in 2006. Well the guys at Whale ask us to help in a tester program, each month they will give us a rod of glass to test. Each artists takes it home and virtually gets to play with it. We then fill out a sheet to find how workable the glass is and learn the different reactions the glass might have under different variables ( Neutral flame , reduction flame and Oxidizing flame. What type of torch we used, bottle O2 or Concentrator , Kiln setting and finally what our likes about the glass and also our dislikes. Through this program we hope to find new exciting color reactions and color combinations and improve the workability of the glass. These results are then documented and compared with each member of the group. I really enjoy this because it is amazing how many different color combinations and inspirations comes in seeing different artist use the exact same rod of glass. So for February we received ( CIM #562) Ming Blue Coe 104. It was very easy to melt and very compatible to other 104 coe . The hue reminds me of Effetre Lapis blue but I still felt that Effetre seems to me to be much more intense and shiner coming out of the kiln. But I did not get as much bubbling with CIM as I did with Effetre.
I posted a couple of pictures of my test beads and hope you enjoy them . I also added link to Whale's Internet site so you can also check out Whale's great Blow Out Sale going on right now . My only other tip is to alway clean your glass rods before melting it will it make your beads shine more and the glass to melt easier. Lou
Friday, January 23, 2009
I wanted to learn chainmaille for a long time, I have created so many beads that I think would go perfect with this art form. But with the economy as it is, I really couldn't afford another class at this time. So I started searching the Internet for a good beginner tutorial and information about beginner weaves. I came across a chainmaille supplier:
Bonnie Elliott owner of :
Bonnie makes beautiful hand sawed jumprings and her care and attention to details in her jumprings and chainmaille kits are simply divine. She was so helpful in giving me information on how many rings I would need and links for more good tutorial resources. I purchased her Byzantine Kit 16 gauge 4.5 and here is a picture of the bracelet I created it so dreamy . It did take some time to create this, I am still very slow at closing and opening the jumprings and not counting creating the beads to go with it. But my mother always told me good things come to those who are patient and I love the byzantine design so it was well worth the time it took. I am so very proud how it turned out so I ordered some more rings and started another one from Bonnie. And as before it came neatly packaged and the rings are cut perfectly so I just want to say thanks Bonnie for all the encouragement, information and perfectly shiny rings .