Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bottle Ring Necklace

I've been working on the challenge from Kitty over the last month or so, trying to make the design in my head into a necklace. I think I'm at least on the right track, although I am not considering the piece finished yet. Remember a while back, I posted this picture, of my in-process test attempts:

I've gone farther now, and changed to working in silver. Here's a photo of the necklace now:

It looks done, but it's not. It's about an inch or so too short, and I haven't decided exactly how I want it to lie yet. Here's a closer view of the necklace parts:

It's fine silver wire, 16 gauge for the large links, and 20 gauge for the links between the rings. Here's a closer-still view of the links:

I love the way the big links came out....they are inspired by an article in Step By Step Wire Jewelry (Summer, 2008; Heartstrings Necklace), and they were really fun to make. I like designs that have a feel of movement or texture to them, so these links were perfect. The things I am stuck on now are adding length and deciding whether the smaller links between the rings are what I want there. I also am considering whether or not the design needs more detail -- dangly bits or other beads worked into the design. On the one hand, I want to make a totally over-the-top necklace full of all kinds of things, lots of texture, noise and interest. On the other hand, I am naturally drawn to simple, clean designs in my own jewelry, so I tend to make those kinds of pieces.

I've let the piece just sit for a while. I'll go back and pick it up again in a day or so, and maybe then it will finish telling me it's story so I can finish making it into what it wants to be. Stay tuned....more to come....

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Finally, a picture!

There, I promised a picture of Christine's recycled glass offerings and finally, here it is! As you can see, there are several spacer sets, a pair of chili peppers, a pair of little red and white mushrooms, a floral bead and lots of other things.

I may still make that cha cha bracelet, supplementing with somethings i already have. I've considered tryingto fuse the broken discs together, but the idea of a pot melt is calling to me. Tomorrow is a federal holiday, so the kids will be at school and daycare, but I have the day off. Look out studio, here I come!

Friday, October 3, 2008


I got Christine's recycled glass offerings in the mail last week, but my camera needs batteries so sadly, there are none for this post. Yes, I suck. It's an interesting collection which includes some of everything. I am particularly excited about the CIM red discs.

It's definitely a challenge to figure out how to use these components. I'm leaning towards making a cha cha bracelet or doing some kind of funky pot melt. Maybe both. We'll see. I need to clean up the shop so I can do some creating in there.

We have decided on the November challenge and are going with the color theme of red, black and white. It is definitely going to be fun. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The rings -- again!

Ok, so my final project isn't done. It's not even started. Those gorgeous blue rings are mocking me. I see the finished product in my head, but I can't get my hands to make it all work. I will taunt you all now with a picture of the rings in progress:

They are trying to come together, they really are. I'm almost there. If I can stay away form my torch tonight (HA!), I might get this show more on the road and have something to *really* look at in a few days.

Monday, September 15, 2008

More Bottle Cutter Madness

So my friend Jennie had a project that involved cutting bottles. She contacted me and asked if she could just tie a string soaked in kerosene to the bottle, light it, then douse it in ice water. Whoa! I said. Come to my house and try the bottle cutter first. Jennie loves fire, but she agreed to come by yesterday and give the cutter a shot.

There we were yesterday afternoon in the blistering heat, fumbling around with the bottle cutter. Remember the previous post? Yeah. That. At any rate, we decided that a combination of techniques would work. We scored the bottles on the cutter, then heated the score with a lighter and plunged it into ice water.

Voila! It worked! It worked really well. Sure, we had to do some minor tapping in places where the score wasn't deep enough, but we managed to cut up six bottles. Jennie got her project made, and I am all pumped up with several projects to work on. First of all, I need to send Christine the rest of my glass for the recycled project. I can't wait to see what she does with it!

Check out the cool guitar slides Jennie made!

The first one is the ceramic slide that we based them on. The other three are her blues guitar-playing friend's top three picks from the six we made. Sweet recycling!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Cutter = 0, Bottle = 2

I got my bottle cutter last week but I've been too busy to try it out. Then Saturday we had the remnants of hurricane Hanna blow through which kept me from going out to the studio. Fortunately, my husband was home for a couple of hours this afternoon so I finally got time to hit the studio. Boy, is that place a mess! I need a shop monkey!

I quickly cut a plate and got that going in the kiln. One day I'm going to have projects lined up to go into the kiln so I don't waste precious days with nothing to fire.

Anyway, once I reprogrammed the kiln and got it going, it was time to open the box with the cutter in it. It's a used cutter, but it appears to have all the bits and parts. Assembling it wasn't very intuitive, but eventually I figured it out and there it stood in all it's funky glory.

Fortunately, I have this lovely box of donated bottles to try it out on. The first thing I tried was a beer bottle, it cut really well, but I don't have a very even hand with it yet so the score went off at a crazy angle. I can grind it down to get a decent cup out of so I'm cool with that.

So then I tried it on the remnants of the blue bottle that gave up such cool rings. You can see a picture of them in the last post. I skipped an instruction. Wah!!!! Never skip an instruction. Of course, the score went off the line again. I think I can salvage it. Plus, I have a couple more blue bottles, but still - epic fail. When am I ever going to learn?

Oh well. I'm having fun, and that's the point of the whole excersize.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

My first challenge project

Here are the materials for our first challenge from Kitty. Cobalt blue glass rings cut from the neck of a wine bottle. I already know what I will do with them....but as I laid them out on the table to snap the picture, I immediately thought of another different design I could now I don't know which to choose....something involving glass and fiber, or something involving glass and fine silver. Hmmmm.

I will have to mull it over some more. Not tonight, though. Hot, humid market day combined with baby up a lot during the night added to an all day barbecue today makes for a very tired Christine.

Market Day in Richmond

Well, the Glass Girls hit the South of the James Market in Richmond, VA yesterday in a team effort. I love how complimentary our work is. We managed to capture about an equal market share and I hope that she'll have even more people coming to her booth now. It was a ton of fun. Maybe she'll even let me come up again in a month or so to do it again. We don't hang out nearly enough, though I think our husbands are grateful for that. We tend to hatch plans when we are together. LOL!

I passed along the first installment of the recycled glass exchange. Unfortunately, I broke the drive belt on my saw getting ready for the yesterday's show so I have to wait for a replacement to finish getting all the pieces I wanted to send. Christine already has plans for the bits I gave her and I can't wait to see what she comes up with! We'll post pictures when we receive our packages and probably again when we use the items in a piece. I can't wait to see Christine's finished stuff because she comes up with the most creative ideas.

We're still mulling over what other exchanges we want to work into the schedule. It was one of those things we meant to discuss over lunch yesterday. Unfortunately, we were pretty distracted by the yummy food and after a long, hot and humid day at the market, it just completely slipped our minds. Suggestions are welcome!

And hey, I almost forgot to show you guys the cool necklace Christine made me. Love!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

buying in bulk

Can I just say I LOVE my new bulk tank?

#30 pounds of chemtane and a twelve foot fuel hose makes me very happy. It's at least as hot as the MAPP gas I was using, but way cheaper and no issues with the tank freezing up. So far, there are twelve beads cooling in the hot pot, and no breakage. I even made a pair of disc beads in my favorite RED in hopes of making the cool earrings I have in mind.

I worked for an hour and a half tonight and it was awesome. Yay! It's almost as good as a dual-fuel torch.....nah, not really.....but it's definitely a major improvement over the silly one-pound canisters.

I can't wait to see the beads tomorrow morning!

Friday, August 22, 2008


I put a call out to one of my local lists for glass I could use for our recycled glass exchange. We have some brewers in the area and I figured I would get some great green and amber glass bottles, and if I was particularly lucky there'd be a blue one or two tossed in the mix.

Last night I picked up a box from my in-law's neighbors. He makes beer and mead. I did not expect the treasure trove that I got. Christine will be green with envy, because I got bottles in at least four colors, and one of them is a color I've never ever seen in a glass bottle before. I can't wait to get to work on this stuff.

Some of these things will fit in my saw, the rest I will need a bottle cutter for. Come on, bottle cutter! If I keep saying that to the universe, I might just get one, right? LOL!

I am having way too much fun with this. Oh hey, Christine, are we only exchanging components or are we exchanging both components and finished pieces? I'm up for either.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

In love

I'm in love with a glass rod.

It's the most luscious, delicious shade of red I have ever seen. It's Creation Is Messy's Sangre.

It doesn't require striking, it's already red. It stays red, too, when I work it on my pitifully slow HotHead. This afternoon, I made two of the most beautiful wrapped disc beads -- a pair for earrings -- and not only did they stay that beautiful red, they stayed whole.

Well, they stayed whole until I fiddled with one and it exploded in my fingers. Sigh. I really really want to make disc beads....I have such terrific ideas for jewelry with them....but disc beads do not like me.

But I have this beautiful red glass. I think I need to order more.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Every Blog Needs a First Post

This space seemed so forlorn. I mean, it's only been here for a few hours, but no entries in a blog is terribly sad so i figured I'd better do something about it.

I'm Krista and I am addicted to glass. No, really--I'm totally obsessed with it and have been for as long as I can remember. As a child, I used to entertain myself by sketching stained glass windows in the church. My friend Christine is equally addicted. I'm sure she'll share her thoughts on the matter at some point. At any rate, we are so into it that among our group of friends we're known collectively as The Glass Girls. We like to share our techniques and push each other's limits when it comes to trying new things. Our interests run the gamut from stained and painted leadlight panels to lampworking, to casting, to fusing, to reproduction Roman glassware. We're kind of 'ooh, shiny glass!' Christine and I have a friendly competition, though we tend to find that we are usually doing the same thing as the other whether we plan to or not. It's sort of spooky in a way.

At any rate, since we have this tendency to hit certain interests at roughly the same time, we thought it would be great fun to do a collaborative blog. Because - hello - we each thought it would be cool at the same time. I swear, sometimes it seems like there's an echo, but we never know who's going to voice it first.

This blog is sort of our space to share techniques and our glasswork both with you, our readers, and with each other. We plan to do exchanges roughly every two months. After all, we are busy mothers and our kids come first. Our first exchange is planned for September and we are featuring recycled glass. Of course, we couldn't wait to tell each other about what we are planning to exchange, but I'm sure there will be some surprises. All that friendly competition and all, you know. LOL! And you know we will be sharing pictures of what we send each other along with some dialog on how we came to our exchange choices and what we plan to do with the items we get.

It's going to be a lot of fun. Come back often and watch us pull stuff out of our glass!!!!