Top Social

Experimental Lampwork Focals

Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This is another post and run...I've got beads to clean!

The two focals are experiments...I haven't decided if I like them or not. Focals are just large beads with lots of canvas for surface designs. There are only so many basic sizes and I took a basic shape and added a few things. I think it has potential's not quite it.
Have a happy, creative day!


New Lampwork Beads

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
This is another "post and run" day. I've got a huge pile of beads to clean. Yesterday's beads have been soaked and I've got them in the sink, ready to be dremel cleaned. I've been working on my 'ebay' beads again...ya know the drill, pictures and write ups.

The above is a mix of new and old glass colors...they turned out much better than the pic.

Off to clean beads...I've got piles.


Lots of Glass...more color tests...lots of new beads

Sunday, January 28, 2007
The below was a test of new 96 COE. Maybe too much of a good thing can be too much on the eyes. :-) I wouldn't want a large set done of these beads. I think a little is just 'nuff. I do like the Amazon Green the right design and the right accent hues, it has great potential.
The below was a color test with something called Silver Green. It comes in both frit and cane form. These beads were made, coated in silver foil...then heated and rolled in Silver Green frit...heated again and reshaped...then they were spot reduced. They look a lot better in person and will make some very kewl jewelry BUT it wasn't the color I was looking for.

The below was another color test that resulted in some very kewl reactions and look like copper patina. They look good but again, they weren't the color I was looking for.
The below was an experiment in's 104 COE glass. I like the top bead, the barrel. I will be making more of this shape. The shape will work well in jewelry designs.

That's all I've got right now...that's all I've got cleaned this evening. I've got two kilns packed to the gills right now. Both are ramping down and show be ready to open sometime tomorrow morning. I'm hoping that the Kiln Fairy and the Great BEAD God is smiling on me. :-)

Have a happy, creative day!


New Lampwork Bead Sets

Saturday, January 27, 2007
Sorry to post and run...but I'm on a break and waiting for the eggplant to finish cooking. It's a dueling kiln day. One kiln is currently ramping down and after dinner, I'm going to see if I stay in the grove. I've got a boad load of new glass that has been delieved in the last week. So I'm doing a lot of testing...along with making sets. to run...the timer is going off on the oven!!!
Have a happy, creative day!

New Lampwork Beads...Rant on Glass Compatiblity

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Here's a couple of pictures of beads...I bet you figured that out by now. :-) I just got these done, cleaned, and photographed yesterday. I've got a bunch of new presses that I'm currently testing, I'm very pleased about the results. I'll have pictures latter.
I've been working on a custom that has been totally frustrating me. It's actually a simple one, one I was kinda excited to make (there are a lot of customs that I've done before that I've dreaded). I can't get the colors to blend well on this one. .I guess I have a mind's eye picture and that is what I want to create. That might be one of the issues.
The other problem is the glass it self...even if the glass is the same "104" COE, they still aren't compatible. Sure they look good when you pull them from the kiln...then wait 24 hours, cracks or crazing starts appearing. I've done encasements and then found a bead from that torch session I liked so I made a pendant. A couple weeks later, it cracked up the side. (it wasn't thermal shock nor the annealing process because I could duplicate the issue) It doesn't happen a lot but after several years of keeping notes, I've got a good idea of what not to put together...but that doesn't tell me about all the new glass that I currently coming out.
That leads to another issue when using 104 COE glass. Most of the glass manufacturers have all the basics...then each have some interesting colors...but they don't have all the kewl colors. I have to go from manufacturer to manufacturer to get the color palette that I want. I've got a huge box of test beads that are hung on cords, labeled with the date, color numbers and manufacturer. When I get new glass in, the first thing I do is test it with some of the more quirky glasses like Lauscha Cocco and Olive or some of the Italian corals and reds. BTW, not all Lauscha is ranges from 102 to 106.
Why do the same type of glasses can't be mixed together? Well it's more than the COE of the glass. (BTW COE means "coefficient of expansion", just for reference.) Just using COEs is not an accurate measure of compatibility. Glass also has viscosity characteristics which are as important as expansion characteristics. Both of these two properties will determine whether one glass will melt together well and stay together in the years to come.
Expansion is what affects the compatibility during the full temperature range (from cane to liquid to annealing point to room temperature). Where as viscosity has to do with surface tension during the cooling phase. I could go on a bit further with this but I get most folks won't read this far. :-)
Here's my rule of thumb that I use:
"Suppose you are aiming a torch at the end of a glass rod. When the glass gets hot enough, a molten drop will fall off the end. If the glass has low surface tension, the drop will be smaller; with high surface tension, the drop will be larger.If the glass has low viscosity, the drop will liquefy and fall very suddenly. If high viscosity, it can stretch out gradually before falling.The suddenness and size of the dripping are separately variable if you have arbitrary control of the composition of the glass."
If you are interested in reading up on's an URL that I would recommend:
Ok...I've got to get a few things done before I can zip off to the studio.
Have a happy, creative day,

Experimental Vessel

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
The below is a small experimental vessel that is small enough to be wearable. These were interesting to do but I'm not sure that I want to wear it. It will take a bit more experimenting and then I will make my decision. Oh, the vessel was done in 104 coe glass.

For those that aren't lampworkers...a vessel is constructed much like lampwork beads. It takes the same torch, same glass can be used, and a kiln. What is different is the bottom is closed and there has to be some sort of way to hang it if it is designed to be a necklace. I've made small perfume bottles before that have a flat bottom so they can sit flat. I just haven't figured out what to do with I don't make them very often.

My torcher chamber is cleaned and ready to start a new project. I feel like you can tell, I like beads. Beads are the mainstay of my work.

Have a happy, creative day!



Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Sorry that I've been's just been very busy around here. I've been working at the torch pretty much non-stop. Some customs, some ebay strands, and some experiments. Now I've got to clean all the beads. These are the days that I wish I had a studio fairy. I will have pictures soon.

For some reason, I'm also out of certain colors in both 96 and 104 coe. I rarely do that...get to the point that I'm totally out of my base colors. So now, I have to sit down and gather up my notes to make a bunch of orders. Glass shopping really isn't that much fun. It's the opening of the boxes that I like so much.

Have a happy, creative day!


Dueling Kilns

Friday, January 19, 2007
Dueling kilns is when I fill one kiln and let it ramp down...then start up another kiln. So I can keep on working. I don't do this very often because it's a very long day. If the glass if flowing, there I times that I think it's worth it. Normally, I can get one of the kilns empty and the beads cleaned before I close up the studio for the night. Then in the morning, start the process with the next sets of beads.

The below lampwork beads are in Fiestaware hues. They are circus bright when they are all together in these larger strands. When they are used as accents in jewelry, they have a modern favor.

Got to get moving, I've got another pile of beads to clean.

Have a happy, creative day!


New Lampwork

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
We are still iced in but we are hoping we can get out tomorrow. It's beginning to warm up. Currently it is 32 degrees and it's predicted a high of 42 degrees!!!!! I know most folks are not impressed but normally, it's in the upper 60's this time of year. That means, that nobody had any de-icer nor ice scrapers. There's really isn't a way to remove any snow or ice except to wait for the temps to rise. Most of the highways here should be called sky-ways. So they are still slick, if not still closed. The side streets are mostly a sheet of black ice.

Anyway, it's almost over and I will be at the torch tomorrow. I feel like Little Orphan Annie singing. "The sun'll come out....Tomorrow....So ya gotta hang on 'til tomorrow.... "

These are some strands that I made last week, photographed on Monday, but just processed them this evening. I try to do a dotty set every week or so. If I don't, I lose the tech to make them. Oh, it comes back but takes me a while. I'm just not the patient sort of person. :-)

I will put the above and below strands on eBay in the next couple of days.

I just put this set up on eBay this evening.

Ok...that's it for me. It was nice having some down time and I got a lot of research plus a boat load of paperwork BUT I miss my studio. So I doubt you will see me for a couple of days. :-)

Have a happy, creative week!



Tuesday, January 16, 2007
It’s kinda funny how a change of attitude and a pair of snazzy sunglasses can totally change the day.

I was pretty gloomy about being iced in this morning…but after a couple cups of coffee and watching the dogs slide around the back deck, things were looking better. There’s just something comical about a 110 lbs dog sliding on her butt towards you. The temps should start to rise sometime tomorrow and next week, it will be in the 60-70s again. So I'm turning up the heat, putting on my birks, and heading to my beading project.
Before the ice came...I was working on a huge pile of beads that needed to be photographed. Here's two pics that I was playing with.
Here's the sister to the set that I posted yesterday.
I've still got a couple more photos to play with and hopefully, I can show you some more beads tomorrow. Creating beads is so much easier for me than taking pictures of them. I envy people that have photography skills.

Have a happy, cattitude-ie day!!!!

New lampwork bead set and ICE

Monday, January 15, 2007

There's a set that I finally got decent pics of. For some reason, I'm having a hard time getting the colors in this strand. Anyway...this set is already sold.
I'm not taking any more customs for a while. Actually, I'm pretty sure that I won't take any more customs this year. You can see if I already have beads in a certain color scheme and I might have them...then you can have first dibs if you like. Most of my strands are previewed here, on this blog, before they either hit eBay or the website. If you want one, let me know.
Austin is in the mist of an ice storm...yeppers, the Land-of-never-ending-SUMMER is getting it's butt kicked. It's hovering around 29 degrees and will be like this for the next couple couple of days. I got out to the studio this morning, locked down everthing.
The studio is right next door but the problem is the deck is slick as snot. The deck is huge and all the back doors lead on to it. If we need to get out, there's always kitty litter. :-)
I also packed up a new beadwork project early this morning, and have moved to the house for the next couple of days. I've got a pile of bead strands that need to be photographed but the setup is in the that's going to wait. I think I'm going to take a mini vacation and do some beadwork.
I'm telling myself it's only for a day or two...I can go back to the studio...this is not forever. I'm already in withdraw.
Have a happy, creative day!

New lampwork beads

Sunday, January 14, 2007
This one is all furance glass and I've added a sterling bead hang bar.
Something a bit different from me...I don't do a lot of pink. I might have to change my mind...I like the color scheme. These beads are all Gaffer and one of Val Cox's frits...I've really liking this glass. It's smooth and flows well. The pinks worked up well, well I think they did. :-)
Here's the bracelet strand that matches the above beads.
I finally finished the below set...I needed to add a few beads to round out the strand for eBay.
It's rainy and gloomy here...I even took a nap today. I can't remember the last time I took a nap, it was great. Now my hours are off and I'll be a bit stranger than I already am.

Have a great weekend!


I'm alive...

Friday, January 12, 2007
I'm and alive...but my allergies are in overdrive. Austin is seeped in everything that makes me sneeze and eyes to water.

Even when I feel kinda lousy, I've still got paperwork to do...calls to make...and errands to run. Life goes one, drippy nose or not. I've still been on the torch and will have lots of eye candy tomorrow.

Oh...I forgot...I've got lots of new auctions lampwork bead strands up on eBay. Some you have seen here. I've decided to stay on eBay for a while. It frees me up to stay on the torch as much as possible. Right now, that's what I want to be doing. I've got a huge amount of time that I need to devote to figuring out some of the new glasses. Hopefully in a couple of months, I will do more metals. I've got a jewelry day reserved coming up soon. So we will see what that brings.

Have a happy, creative day!


New Work...lots of pics

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
The below is a focal that is all furnace glass and has been linear encased. The clear is really, really thin. It's one of the hardest techs for me. I'm working on a series of these. I like the colors in this looks much more impressive in person.

Here's another small set, all furnace glasses. These will go up on ebay this week.
Here's some focals, they are already up on ebay.

The below is one of my all time favorite sets that I've made. They are all furnace glasses, mostly Gaffer with a Messy 96 base. Here's a 104 coe set...these are really pretty. The kiln fairy was very kind to me.

Ok...I'm off to breakfast...the hubby is cooking.
Have a happy, creative day!


Monday, January 08, 2007

When I grow up, I wanna be 'Maxine'. :-) Actually, I am grown up and I can totally relate to Maxine.
I'll have lots of new lampwork bead eye candy tomorrow. I'm still working on the pics.
Same bat time, same bat place....

Busy, busy, busy...

Sunday, January 07, 2007
The below is the full and completed strand of an experiment that I tried a few months ago. I liked how they turned out... these will make some very kewl in between season jewelry. It's hard for a jewelry designer to come up with designs that will take you from turtlenecks to tank tops. Plus with the odd-ball weather that's been happening, it's even harder.

Sorry to post and run...but I'm really busy today. I've got a couple of ideas spinning and I've got to run to the torch to see if they work. Hopefully tomorrow, I will have some interesting new lampwork beads to show ya'll.

Have a happy, creative day!!!!!


Mushroom Season (in lampwork beads)???

Saturday, January 06, 2007
The base of these beads were made with a Gaffer glass called ‘Mushroom’. It’s a reactive and changes colors. Depending on where you place it in the flame, the glass will turn tan, brown, pinky-tan, rust, sage, or khaki. Most of the twisties had a small amount of silver in them so that the patterns are very marbled. I also added a Briggs Jasper pendant, it matches the strand perfectly. The cab was hand-cut and polished by my hubby. The wire bezel is sterling...of course. :-)

I've got a lot more work with this glass...I'd really like to see just what it will do.

Ok...that's all for today. I'm off to the studio...I've got lots and lots to do.

Have a happy, creative day!


Again, doesn't it ever end...More Lampwork Beads

Friday, January 05, 2007
These are kiln fresh...all Gaffer (the 'new' glass for me) except for a bit of raku. I like these and I think that I will do more in this style. Plus they are easy for me to photograph...there are a lot of beads that nobody sees because I can't figure out how to get a decent pic of them.

I was chatting with a friend...we were discussing just how many beads we make in a week. I never thought much about it until we started talking about it.

Ya know, I make a lot of beads. I am extremely focused on beads right now. Even last night, just as I was falling off to sleep, I was thinking about a new bead design. I woke up this morning thinking about beads. I even had a dream, a small portion that I remember, of a talking-'all seeing' bead. She ruled the land of Bead-dom on a planet called 'Glassworld'. I think I've been listening to Terry Pratchett way too much.'s time to be lots to do today.

Have a happy, creative day!


More Lampwork Beads...Pics of Smilin' Sam

Thursday, January 04, 2007
I did a series a while back of Ancients...they kinda looked like they had been buried for several centuries. They made up into so GREAT jewelry. This time I was aiming for beads that looked like they had been found in the ocean...kinda crusty. :-) I used Opal Yellow instead of Ivory because the strand would look better with natural Mother of Pearl. I haven't decided if I like them or not yet. I don't think I'm going to do a series though. This is the same ol' glass, 104 COE that I've been using for the past several years.

That's it for the lampwork eye candy. I've got a packed to the brim kiln that I haven't even unloaded this morning. I've been hauling bead butt here lately and been filling two kilns a day. You don't see most of the beads that I make...I can't get good pics of them. Some of them are just test beads that I keep attached to some of the glass cane bundles. The color of the rods don't always stay the same once it hits the I need a referance.

Right outside my studio window, I can see the tree rats playing. In the past year, these little dudes have gotten used to me. If I don't feed them, they sit in my window, either the office or by my studio, and stare in. Do they mean to stare and pout...I don't know. I do think that they have figured out that if they do this, they get fed.

Here's Smilin' Sam. He's the ring leader and scaper of the pack.

Here's Smilin' Sam looking kewl for the camera.
Here's Smilin' Sam being the thief that he is. This is supposed to be tree rat proof. Yeah, right.

The sad thing is, I just feed them an hour before I snapped this pic.

BTW...that's bamboo in the background. We have one side of the acre that has a full, deep row of bamboo. It's green most of the time...looks great right now because we have had RAIN recently. It starts looking a bit wilted in the Austin's deep-hot summers. Right now is my favorite time of year Portland in the summer time. It's in the 60's-low 70's...rainy once a week...and GREEN! The trees have lost most of their leaves but already have buds on them. There are flowers in bloom, it's spring here. This is the coldest part of the year right now...this lasts a month. In Feb '06, we had 90 degree days for a week or so.

That's all she wrote!

Have a happy, creative day!!!! I'm off to the another idea.