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WELCOME to my colorful corner of the world! I write here about the things I make, in glass, fiber, metals, and whatever else I can find to play with!

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Glass in all its forms

When I was on my odyssey of discovery at Liquidation Warehouse the other week, one of my purchases was a few crackled-glass ornament balls. I love glass in all its forms (no! really!?), and these ornaments just really spoke to me. I've wanted, for a while, a few of the blown-glass witches balls to hang in my kitchen window, but I've never found ones I liked. Since Christmas is almost upon us, I thought these would be beautiful instead.

Some of my very favorite glass colors are blue and red. These are so good-looking in the light of my window that they may just stay there through the winter.

Isn't that red just stunning? I love love love that deep ruby red. Just delicious. (and for the record, I hate the word 'nummy'...)

And the blue....at some angles it is almost cobalt, at another, it appears violet. Straight on, it's one of my current favorite shades of transparent blue Moretti glass -- dark blue tranparent.

(This is the part of this post where I wish I had something better than my little Panasonic Lumix camera to take my blog pictures with....oh Santa, I wish you could bring me a Nikon like Cindy's!)


Next year's large purchase will have to be an oxygen concentrator, to go with the torch I haven't bought yet. Of course, that is after THIS year's large purchase, a Glass Hive kiln, which I also have not finished paying for...

But I digress...

I also wanted to show you all some of the results of my studio time. My glass beadmaking Muse apparently is elsewhere today (maybe playing in the snow at Kerry's place!), but in an effort to not let myself get sucked into the negative that goes with a crappy torch session, I decided to salvage the time and make frit. I've wanted to make frit for some time now, not being able to justify buying crushed glass when there are so many awesome rods to buy. There are a couple of methods to crush and mix your own glass, but the one that seemed to make the most sense, and was the simplest to deal with, is the water-shock method.

Basically, you heat the end of a rod to glowing, flatten it into a paddle at the end of the rod, reheat the paddle til it's hot, then plunge it into a jar of water and let it shatter into tiny bits. You then strain it out of the water and spread it on a plate or something to dry out so you can use it.

I made two small batches today, one a blue-green mix that I am hoping will be sort of an underwater-looking blend:

And the second batch, which is my end-of-the-day mix of all the rods I used while beadmaking this morning:

Let's see...what's in there....CiM Sangre, dark ivory, CiM Ghee (which normally looks terrible for me), Moretti dark trans blue, Moretti electric yellow trans, some CiM Peace, and I think some dark and light topaz. Oh, and some medium brown, I think. I was practicing making chocolate hearts for Valentine's Day.

So, the frits are currently drying, and I hope to get some torch time tomorrow to play with them. If anything comes out interesting, I'll post pictures. The rest of this week will likely be taken up with birthday party prep and sewing costumes for the preschool Christmas pageant.

I think it's time for more tea.


Melissa Meman said...

I love witches balls - those are gorgeous, esp the red! Can't wait to see the beads you make with your yummy, but not nummy frit :)

Cindy said...

Would you believe I had never heard of witches balls before. Thanks for sharing the link. And your two are beautiful in the window. If you got a clear one, you'd be all set for the 4th of July too. :-) I'm crossing my fingers for you that Santa will come through with that camera! I haven't pursued that rolling mill any further yet, just haven't had time. But we'll need one for our play date when we ever squeeze one in! :-)

Alice said...

What a satisfying process it must be to make frit.

The witches balls are just gorgeous!

Pretty Things said...

How cool that you're making your own frit!


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