Welcome to A Hot Piece of Glass!

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!

**And if you want to read more about me, check out Adventures In Living!, my personal blog, or The ScooterMom, where I write about my adventures on two wheels! If you're interested in medieval, ancient and Renaissance glass, check out my history blog, The Medieval Glassworker!**

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Indoor Fibery Goodness

So no metalsmithing and no torching of glass or enamels....much too cold for all of that. And apparently, now that I have gotten to this age, my hands now swell and my joints hurt periodically. I hope it's just a function of winter, but regardless, it's annoying.

I've turned to my sewing machine for comfort. Bernina never lets me down.

What with the new year and all, I needed a new planner to keep track of all the things I keep forgetting. But the cheapie planner I got (which suits my purposes perfectly) was a boring as HELL plastic-covered thing that cried out for cosmetic help. Being the magnanimous person that I am (with a killer stash of fat quarters), I obliged my little planner. And now, no longer an Ugly Duckling, but a beautiful Swan:

It's perfect! I love it!

And then I decided that I HAD TO make a new purse. I just wanted one. I'm a bag lady and I love bags, totes, purses, containers of all kinds. So I saw this pattern in one of my RSS feeds, and although it was cute, I modified the entire thing to suit my particular tastes.
Originally the pattern called for the bag to be kind of tall and skinny, but I wanted something that would fit my planner and sketchbook, and be more like a messenger style bag. I also wanted the flap-over top. I did really like the easy interior construction, though, so I kept that. It's a fun bag and I actually completed it just about all in one day -- while ALL 3 of my kids were home on a snow day!! Unbelievable! That was about as astonishing as anything.

Plenty of room for 'stuff'. I love it!
And it's pretty cute to wear. I made the strap long enough to wear cross-body, but I am working on a way of making the strap adjustable for a shoulder bag and for a handbag, without using d-rings and buckles. Still thinking on it.

One of the best parts is that I got the home-dec fabrics for the lining and the outside of the bag for $3/yard at Hancock's the other week. I love that. And I couldn't help myself, so I bought about $12 worth of flat-fold fabric (remnants that were off the bolt)in the home dec department for my next few bag projects. I'm already thinking of a custom knitting bag/handbag/shoulder bag thing. Just got to nail down the design.

Anyway, this is what I have been up to lately. Much warmer than metals right now.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Casting on

Look! I'm knitting!

It's been ridiculously cold lately, and my joints have not been up to standing on cold concrete, or working with cold metals, so I have been satisfying my creative urges with indoor fiber-related activities. Also, with all the crappy weather we've been having, I have to choose things that I can do while I eyeball the kids. It's hard to mess around with sharp objects, torches, acids and hammers when you have little kids running around.

I actually learned to knit a while ago, but I have a heck of a time finishing projects because I get SO bored. Recently, I had an urge to start another project, especially after seeing so many of my knitter friends' great work. So, I cast on some chunky Lion brand Homespun yarn in the color 'Wildfire', and got to work. It's a pretty simple shawl, but I am enjoying it so far.

I'll be back soonish with more coppery goodness, no worries! If the weather is cold and miserable where you are, I hope you are staying warm!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Back At It

I hope everyone has settled back into a good routine of things since the New Year and holiday celebrations. I've got one more party, tonight at my daughter's karate dojo, and my mom and her husband coming over Saturday for belated family Christmas, and then the holidays are officially over at my house. I love Christmas and the season, but I am happy to move on once everything is done. No year-round Christmas tree in this house! ;)

This week has afforded me some extra energy and tolerance for the freezing temps in my garage workshop. So, I have been able to work on some copper projects and ideas I've had kicking around in my head. I promised pictures of my etching work a while back and never got around to showing them, so here ya go!

Done with a cheapie rubber stamp and ferric chloride, this image is HUGE (2") and I LOVE it! I particularly adore the hammered look it has after I domed it on my leather sandbag that I covered with a piece of acrylic fleece. It's been pickled, but not patinated yet.

And this is what happens when you leave a piece out exposed to air that has been in contact with the ferric chloride. I love the green and copper, but it's a thick layer of dust, essentially, so I couldn't keep most of it. Must play around with this some more...

I mentioned in my last post (I think) about a silent auction fundraiser I am going to donate some work to. This is the preliminary work. Sawn copper leaves for a pendant and earrings that I etched (again with ferric chloride), and then formed. Also not patinated as yet in this photo.

Some foldforming experiments. Not my favorite, and I think I am not annealing things enough, or using too heavy a gauge sheet metal, but all in all, not terrible. Earrings, or some dangle charms here.

And finally, working on some valentine's and heart-themed stuff. Hand sawn, formed, embellished. Love!

So, what are you working on this year so far??

Sunday, January 2, 2011


Last night, after a rather lackluster and fairly contentious New Year's Day, my husband asked me what I wanted to accomplish in 2011. I don't make resolutions, because I am trying to get away from requiring so much of myself all the damn time, and at first, I didn't know how I wanted to answer that question.

But really, I do.

I want to get accepted to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art's Docent Training Program.

I want to attend both of the ArtBliss events in 2011, in March and in September (if there IS a September event...)

I want to take a college-level art history course.

I want to walk every morning. Or at least 5 mornings a week. Let's be reasonable, some days I won't be able to.

I want to stop thinking: I should do this or I should do that, or I have to do this or that, or do this because someone else (or a LOT of someone else's) are doing it. I also plan to stop paying so much attention to people who say those things to me, if what they say doesn't resonate with my heart and soul. There's a difference between taking a suggestion because it feels right to me, and doing something because I feel like I MUST.

I want to dress more adventurously, and care less about what people think of it, especially if it makes me happy to do so.

I want to play with my children more, ride bikes with my oldest daughter, and go out on kid-free dates with my husband (more than twice in a year).

I want to garden a little less lazily.

I want to let go of a good portion of what I do for my business, and only do the things I want to do for it. Luckily for me, I don't need my art business to make household/life money, I have a very part-time job for that.

I want to redefine myself in terms of my art-making -- for this year, it means to focus on what brings me inordinate amounts of joy -- metalworking and all its associated techniques, glassworking, and writing/photography.

I want to have my kiln paid off and in my workshop.

I'm not even going to say anything about the torch and oxy concentrator. I've been talking about them for the last two years, and talking hasn't gotten me any closer to having.

The list seems long, but really, when it all is taken together, it represents a change in the way of living. Or at least, a road map for a different kind of journey. I'm tired of trudging the road I have been on. It sucks the life out of my soul. I am weary of the demands and requirements and expectations I have placed on myself for most of my adult life -- expectations that nobody else has placed on me. So, I am going to try living without most of them.

The end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011 represents a period of intense learning for me, about myself, about who I am at this stage in my life, and where I am and want to be headed. So many doors have closed, so many fewer things and experiences are realistically available to me, but the road is still wide and long and filled with adventures and journeys that were not possible before now.

"LET THE UNIVERSE show you the way via your impulses and instincts that appear as you take inspired action."


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