The project started out with my brother-in-law contacting me because he was looking for a unique Easter gift for his girlfriend.
He wanted a dark gray, generally egg-shaped glass piece that can be hung up with a bunny and a heart.
That afternoon, my husband and I did some brainstorming on a design.
Now, folks, here is what happens when a guy designs an Easter decoration for his bother.
I have to admit, I was greatly amused throughout the entire process of making it. That just goes to show how much my husband has rubbed off on me over the years. Initially, I was said to have no humor whatsoever (aka “Germans don’t do humor. They do beer!”), hehe.
Hopefully, my brother-in-law’s girlfriend will like her Easter decoration as much as I have enjoyed making it!
Slowly but surely I am working on adding some more pieces to my Etsy store. It’s about time too!
The first piece I added was the deep pendant from the last post. But I also finished two more pendants that are now available:
I finished a pendant that matches the cocktail ring I posted a little while ago.
Here are some pictures:
The glass is cold worked and very deep. So, the view from the side is quite dimensional, especially since some of the glass is perfectly clear.
Once I have a little time to spare, this pendant will likely end up in my Etsy store.
I finally managed to finish a new jewelry piece recently.
It’s been much too long since I had the time and motivation to make anything truly new.
I have a couple more pieces that came out of the kiln along with this one but they all still need a little work and so I cannot show them to you yet.
It is not very often that I make rings and this cold-worked fused art glass cocktail ring is quite the rarity for me.
The colorful and very eye-catching glass piece sits on top of a sterling silver ring, which is adjustable to many different sizes.
I am now working on a matching pendant and I am pretty sure that both will end up in my personal jewelry box rather than in my Etsy store. But there will probably be more like this piece in the near future.
I have been spending some time updating my website.
The old one was looking a bit patchy and I really wanted something smoother looking.
Well, … here is a sneak peek!
It may or may not be fully functional yet, so if you do run into any problem, please check back in a few days and everything should be up and running.
Let me know what you think, please!
Yesterday afternoon, we drove all the way to Queens to check out an artisan market plus beer garden that I just found out about.
The name is Astoria Market and is located in Astoria, Queens.
It was quite a hike from the eastern part of Long Island where we are. And the traffic did not help either despite the fact that it was a Sunday. It looked like the Mets or some other team (pardon me, but I don’t have a clue about sports) were playing and we had to drive right past the stadium.
But once we got there, we had a blast!
The artisan market is located inside the main hall of the Bohemian Hall & Beer Garden. It is a small and very cozy event that takes place on several Sundays throughout the year.
Then, after you are done browsing the artisan products, you simply step outside into the beer garden, where they have a good selection of European and American beer and food and live music. The whole atmosphere is very central European and I did feel right at home.
So, although the artisan market is a bit small, it is easy to make your visit a whole afternoon event.
Check them out on the web (http://www.astoriamarket.com/) or in person if you are in the area!
Traditionally, when I venture into an unknown and new realm of sorts, material wise or skill wise, I pick something that is well beyond the scope of a beginner and then chew off all my finger nails in frustration until eventually, I get a hang of things and learn.
That is exactly what happened when I started experimenting with glass fusing. I did not start with a beginners project like smart people would do. No!
I needed to figure out the basics of glass fusing at the same time as developing a pattern for encasing cremation ashes that would yield the exact same results every time I fused it. It was quite obvious that I needed to write down precisely what I did and the results of it if I wanted to get anywhere. I started a note-book and, more or less, I have been sticking to this habit ever since.
It’s a very good habit to have. So many times I thought about not writing down anything because “there was just no way I would ever forget that one”. Unfortunately, I have a very selective memory and it’s truly amazing how many facts my brain files as ‘not worth keeping’.
Despite the fact that I took notes about my projects and experimentations, I always felt that it would have been so much more useful if I could attach photos of what I was doing. Sure, I drew sketches and diagrams wherever I could but, as everybody knows, a picture is worth a thousand words.
When I got my iPhone, I did not realize the amazing possibilities that came with it for quite a long while. And it was, in fact, an entirely different matter that made me discover the Black Book app.
It is a very simple but tremendously versatile little program for the iPhone and it’s free. HERE is the iTunes link for it.
The basic principle on which it works is the ability to add a title and notes to a photo, which can then be organized in different categories.
So, for me, that means I usually take a photo of the kiln content before I fire it. I add notes like the dimension of glass pieces, the glass arrangements, glass used and anything else that I deem relevant. Most of the time I also add the firing schedule. Then, once the firing is done, I take a photo of the kiln content again and make notes about things gone right and things gone wrong. I usually also add thought on how I could improve on mis-haps or mistakes.
For more extensive notes, I still use my note-book but my phone has really been very helpful in keeping track of things because it makes it fast and efficient and therefore it is easy to stick with it.
The only thing that is a little bit awkward is the lack of backup ability. I periodically send the entries to my email address, which is easy enough to do but it would be even nicer if the developers could add something that would make it more efficient.
So, this is how I keep track of my projects and document my learning curve.
If you have anything to add or have another super-duper method, it would be great if you could share it here! =)
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you will take something useful away from this post!
It has been a long time since my last post.
I finished the semester and despite the fact that I had some health problems and ended up in the hospital smack in the middle of almost midterm time, I managed to do really well in the classes I took.
Now I finally have a little bit of time to play with glass again and that called for a new line of furniture knobs and pulls.
I was really attempting to do something that looks distinctly different from the ones I had done in the past and so I went with the tack fusing technique.
The first ones I did were all based on the principle of a bright solid color on a black background and are full of contrast and very bold looking.
Then I started thinking about maybe trying this pattern on a light background with transparent glass and that is when things turned out a bit funky.
Personally, I did find, they border on ugly but when I asked my husband, he said they would probably look OK when you see them on a piece of furniture. So, I went and took some pictures of them on my entertainment center and I have to admit, he is somewhat right, but not entirely.
At this point, I really wasn’t sure what I thought about them anymore. I was stuck looking at them all the time but actually seeing less and less.
So, I put the question to the people of Facebook and the Zibbet forum. I asked for brutally honest opinions. I did get some comments from people who didn’t like them and I was most impressed with that. I think it’s always easier to leave positive feedback than negative and I appreciate these people chancing some kind of bad reaction since sometimes “your honest opinion” doesn’t necessarily mean that.
I also got a lot of positive feedback (which I, obviously, appreciate as well!!!) and some very interesting thoughts.
All in all, this made me realize how different something can look to different people. I used to think that everybody sort of sees the same color, for example, but some simply prefer something that looks lighter or darker etc. Now, I wonder whether different people actually see something entirely different based on their brains interpreting the visual information in a completely different manner.
I think this is so very fascinating that I wish I could do some kind of actual experiment. I wonder whether there already is some scientific study on that.
Well, now that I am almost entirely off topic, I will close my ramblings by thanking everybody that took part in my opinion poll! It was very interesting and helpful and it resulted in me listing the knobs that I would have otherwise just throw into a dark corner of my ‘dungeon of glass’.
Recently, I have finished 4 new cold worked fused glass pendants.
Actually, none of them are very new at all.
I tend to keep one or two fused pieces from most of the batches I fire and put them into a box for safe keeping. They usually remain there until there comes a time when I have too much other stuff going on and don’t have any time for fusing. At that point, I grab one here and there and finish them.
When I looked at the 4 finished pieces, what popped in my mind was the Sesame Street game and song “One of these Things is not like the Others” and it’s basically been stuck there ever since.
So, let’s line ’em up and see if you can figure out which one is not like the others:
… ♫ … before I finish this song. =)
I just wanted to introduce you to my new Fracture line of knobs (Name courtesy of Nic East).
It seemed to me that I have been stuck for too long in the stripes kind of mood. So I tried something entirely different this time.
To me, they have a cartoon sort of look so I’m thinking of a cabinet in a young teenager’s room.
What do you think?