Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It has been a long time since I updated my blog.  The first day of the new year sounded like a perfect place to start AGAIN!

It was a long hot, dry summer.  I worked a little in my studio but decided to take the summer "off" and learn something new.  I have been making one of a kind jewelry and was looking for a new technique that would enhance the final piece.  I took some lampworking (glass bead making) workshops and immediately fell in love.  I began researching and planning how to revise my studio to make room for my new passion.

First I had to put everything in my studio on wheels so I can reconfigure my studio depending on what I am working on.  I now have three kilns (two for ceramics - one digital for glass) - and all moveable!
The more I learned - the more I realized what I didn't know!  I slowly began getting the equipment that I would need - my torch - and then there is that assortment of new tools that would be required.  I have found a few clay tools that I can use for my glass bead making - but not many.
It was so much fun finding everything I needed (I had a hard time with what I needed and what I wanted...there is so much!) - I watched sales - searched on Craigslist - joined several online lampworking groups.  I read morning, noon and night - watched videos.  Just when I had almost everything I needed to get started - I discovered I was missing something - the most important part - the ventilation system.  Dang.......I wasn't counting on that expense!  I found Pam Brisse from The Blue Between.  She has put photos of her new art studio (it was fabulous) and when I saw the vent system she had designed and installed - I knew I wanted to do the same thing.  I made a few modifications and with the help of my great neighbor Al - it all came together.  I had to order and wait for the oxygen concentrator, the inline fan and the outside vent cover that kept arriving smashed.  Several MONTHS later - I had it all.   I had my oxygen and my propane, my torch, my vent system, my glass, my tools, and a lighter!........I just needed courage to try it!  Deb my instructor came and helped me (I just wanted to make sure - I didn't blow up myself or my house)
I was terrified the first time I used it but with practice - the fear has turned into pure joy.

In this picture the washtub hood is ready to try.

It did not pass the incense test so I had to  figure out how to create a tunnel for the air.
I found a welding curtain - added sheet metal screws to the tub and  now the fumes go straight up and outside.

Here it is almost completed

I soon discovered that some type of glass rod storage was necessary.  So I made several containers
that hold my glass rods and stringers.  So far they are handy and working well.  I put them up on shelves by my torch area.

Next week I will finish photographing and post some of my beads and show how I am using them with my ceramic, fiber and copper beads.

Happy New Year!

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