Nov 28, 2010

pics from Hornby Islands Christmas Fair 2010

First a quick and blurry look at my table

then a quick and slightly less blurry glance around the hall

about 3/4 of the vendors have arrived and are setting up ...

we finish our trip around the hall with a shot of Stephanie Wells' knee high shark skin boots - may not be real shark skin .... I got a funny look and funnier story when I asked to take a picture of her boots.

Nov 25, 2010

A good sign I hope.

Hopefully a sign of things to come ... today I sold two pendant necklaces on Etsy.

The Christmas Fair on Hornby Island is Saturday and I hope that the roads stay drivable. Specifically Denman Island's roads. Denman has some pretty steep spots that get crazy in the snow and ice.

To get to Hornby from the mainland (Vancouver, Seattle etc) you must take a ferry to Vancouver Island, drive to Buckley Bay, take a ferry to Denman Island, drive across Denman and finally take a ferry to Hornby.

My oldest boy plans to share a table in the gym with another kid and sell pictures that he's drawn. A bunch of kids plan to have tables this year - I can only imagine the mayhem in there. Fortunately I'll be in the Hall with the adults, good music and even better food.

The most important thing: remember to bring LOTS of lighting with a power strip.

Nov 20, 2010

too cold to run equipment

According to the manufacturers specifications - the M15 oxygen concentrator should not be operated in temperatures below 50F and mpt stored in temps below 30F. This means that I am done making glass until it warms up again - which could very well be April or May. What a bummer...

Hopefully I will sell enough glass at the Christmas Fair (a week from today) to place a bulk beeswax order. Beeswax is crazy expensive when compared to paraffin but it's a far nicer product. The plan is to make candles all winter until I can start making glass again.

Nov 17, 2010

a few more pendants from yesterday

I'm pretty happy with this one. I'm using the same jade encased in yellow that I show in the previous post but with a more interesting color combination and more complex technique.

This is the first hoop made with my new "Peter's tweezers". Normally I leave a piece of glass sticking off the pendant and form that into a hoop with a seamless weld. This time I made a wedge shape of glass and bored a hole through it with aligned steel pokes set on tweezers.The trade off is more stress in the glass from the poking VS time saved from making perfect seamless welds.

It turns out that, as with all short cuts, it doesn't save me any time at all. I completed stressed out the glass with those tweezers and it took as much time dealing with that as it does to make the bail normally.

Further experimentation is called for.

Bail made normally ... the photograph is a little misleading. There is clearly a seam of color where the clear hoop meets the turbo cobalt background. However there is no physical seam in the glass.

simple rod implosion - snow white encased in alaskan thunder with ruby k background. This is the pendant with the pierced hoop.

rod implosion - 3 stages - silver fuming with snow white encased in alaskan thunder implosion, silver unobtanium frit with silver fuming back and turbo cobalt background. This is the pendant with the normally maid bail shown above.

encasing tricky colors

encased Jade (ns11) in Extra Light yellow (ns34)
this adds that hazy blue glow to the jade and makes it easier to work

rod implosion with light silver fuming AFTER imploding

encased Steel Wool (ns129) in Blue Nebula (ns121)
this provided a deep blue color that sparkles from within

Nov 16, 2010

a few from today's session in the shop

I was suffering from "writers block" today so I spent my time making encased stringers and pulling points. I also made a few pendants and a couple of paperweights.

I have two more days of shop time this week so I hope inspiration strikes pretty soon.

Nov 14, 2010

mushroom pendant and earrings - a few pics from yesterday

My struggles with photographing glass jewelry continue.

a simple pair of teardrop glass earrings on stainless surgical steel earwires. The blue green colors seem a bit weird in the pictures (probably due to the flash) but I'm not sure how to fix that without making it worse.

basically teardrops with frit and a twilight background - a very clean look that's my most popular design for earrings.

earrings listing on etsy::

white sands encased in clear with the tip rolled in antique copper frit
silver fuming and frit behind
turbo cobalt background

This is my outerspace mushroom pendant. My seven year old and I were looking at pictures from the hubble space telescope and I got inspired.

Nov 12, 2010

yesterday in glass shop ...

A few favorites from my last session in the glass shop.

 Lampworked borosilicate teardrop "stick and spin" pendant.

white sands encased in light ruby used for "stick and spin" 
blue moon frit - turbo cobalt fine frit
obtanium background
low profile (no lens)

Abstract latticino "nauty roll" pendant

Nautilus shell roll with more expressionist shape and color selection

latticino colors:
twilight, turbo cobalt, blue moon encased in clear, blue exotic encased in light yellow, aqua azul encased in clear pin

blue moon fine frit on outside
clear magnifiers (off 3mm rod)

Cobalt and cyan with triple twist

name speaks for itself - technique discussed in another post :)

twisted glass bead pendant - a look inside the technique

alright twisted glass beads - let's take a look.

it's all in the groove

Important: the grooves of the twist must be smooth vitrified glass NOT the devitrified ugliness that occurs as soon as you actually twist the glass. Constant attention and a pinpoint flame will help.

First: apply whatever colors you are using and make your design - latticino and it's variations are what I usually do, encased in clear or not it's your choice (encased is easier to keep smooth but is more work).

Next: Flame strike any colors that need it, heat evenly and gently smash kinda flat, melt a bit more and fire polish as if you are done with it. Then heat up until quite hot (pale pink) and twist.  Now you need a needle point flame to heat the grooves until it's perfectly smooth again.

Tip: For the grooves I only heat one side the groove (from top to bottom) at a time and let cool before doing the opposite side. Apply hard, steady breath to the cool side while letting the hot side cool down then reverse.

This is a super easy, basic technique that's just a bit finicky. The twisty pendants seem to be very popular during the holiday season.

My christmas tree is covered in scrap glass twists that the kids love.

Nov 11, 2010

making glass VS selling glass online

If you take the time spent making this pendant and compare it to the time spent taking the pictures (sizing, white balancing etc), and writing the listing - you realize that it's about 1:4  making/listing. The sheer volume of time spent on translating one small piece of glass jewelry into a commodity that can be sold via  the internet is a lot more than I had anticipated.

Not to mention that in the summer this pendant will sell (very quickly) for $50  while on etsy it's listed for $25 with free shipping AND will cost me a few dollars in relisting fees plus if/when it sells paypal and etsy will both get a percentage.

Writing this post has made me realize that perhaps trying to sell online isn't the right choice for me.

Nov 9, 2010

too cold to run the glass shop

instead I'm making candles...

I am making two types of glass container candles: fumed pyrex jars and glass jars of various soda lime types i.e. mason jars, baby food jars etc.

I dye the wax black when filling the pyrex jars since silver fuming offers a yellow transmitted color (nice) and a swirling cyan, cobalt, silver and purple reflected color. The darker the wax the more of the reflected color that you get.

For all other glass candles I use whatever color is in the pot already or if it's empty I default to pale blue as it seems to be the most marketable color.

Regarding scent - i have mixed organic vanilla and natural rose scents together at a ratio of approx 7:2. This mix then gets added to the wax - I aim for a load of 8% by volume which gives a noticeable but not overpowering scent throw for this scent mixture.

I don't sell candles on my Etsy store since shipping them is far too expensive compared to the price of the candle itself. However if you see me at a craft fair the hand blown candles are $20 a piece and the other jars range from $5 to $14 depending on size.

Nov 8, 2010

current stock for christmas fair

this is everything (except what's on Etsy) that I have made for the Christmas Fair. Not nearly enough I think.

pictures from last shop day

a few pictures from last day in the shop. I made lots but I haven't had much time for photography.