Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tutorial for Lampworkers: Murrini Cookbook, Silver and Reactive Glass

We have finally finished the exchange for silver and reactive murrini. The results are going to be seen in my new tutorial, where you can see the murrinis in beads, and also read the descriptions how to make them. It is right now on pre-sale for discounted price, and will be published on 9/11/11. I believe this is a great tool for anyone who uses murrini in their work, and wants to make them too.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Murrini soon on Etsy

I got such a great feedback for my murrini, that I have decided to start selling it on Etsy. I will spend some time working on my first murrinis in the next few days.I have decided on at least 3 different murrinis to start with. One of the first ones is going to be my latest murrini with blue center, I had some of it for sale in the garage sale section of the Lampworketc glass forum, and I was surprised by the interest in it. I had already decided that I would not be able to sell anymore there, since I will launch my murrini on Etsy, but I had no idea that it would go over as well as it did.
Hope to report soon how my kick start went.
Wish me luck!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Murrini mania!!!

I was so happy when few people received my murrini, and one of them, my friend Donna from ironmountainglass.com started a gallery thread about it. She wanted to see what everyone have gotten out of the murrini. Well, so far the posters are quite few, but she has posted few amazing beads showcasing my murrini. They are drop dead gorgeous, and I am so happy that she had so great success with it. The colors she is getting out of them are just amazing.
Here are some of the pictures, I will post later more, when others will start posting their images. At least, hopefully!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Murrini murrini murrini!

So I decided to sell some of my leftover murrini on the glass forum where I hang out most of my free time. I was surprised by the reception, and had to get back on my torch to make some more for the extra requests. I am not really crazy about making the murrini, but I really love to use them, and I want them to be made by me. Kinda shooting myself on a foot here, but I just gotta keep making it. And I do love trying new ideas, it is just the process of making it that I dont like too much. I can't even really explain why, I just think it takes way too long and is just annoying. But yet I keep making more. And I find it even difficult to do just one, I side track and make several different ones. So which is it, pain in a butt or obsession???

I just wish I had a furnace to make the murrini with, would be soooo much faster, and I actually like doing that kinda stuff in a big scale! Cutting the chips... not so much. I think I need to work on my attitude, and get excited about the murrini making, since I am going to be making it anyhow, I might as well enjoy the whole process, not just using the chips.
Weird, people are just weird sometimes...

Monday, April 11, 2011

And I used to love bamboo

What awfully stressfull and busy few weeks behind. We decided last year to pull out all our rose bushes on the side yard, which is about 140 feet long fence line. Well, so we pulled them, tossed them to the alley, and posted on Craig's list that there were free roses... like we did with our agaves. The roses were gone, and we planted some crap ton of bamboo for a nice hedge to keep the noise from the street little more muffled. It didn't seem to grow much last year, but when the March hit the Texas, the bamboo started to push several feet long shoots up in one day, all over the place. It was spreading like a wild fire, and I lost all my sleep over it. It had already spread by the time onto the alley, and onto the lawn. We decided to get a piece of mind, and hired someone to tear it down, while we dug it out from the alley, and what ever would shoot up at the lawn.
Oh boy, last nights storm with a ton of rain made the shoots pop up like mushrooms, right out of nowhere, there were nothing on the lawn when I left to work 12 hours earlier, but when I came back from work, I saw them all over the place. We knew immediately when the sun rose where all the missed rhizomes were. One here, another there, oh, these are not the same one, there's more than couple here. Oh, the joy of discovering.
In the morning, when the sun started to rise, and I got home from work, I dashed to the lawn still wearing my scrubs, and just started digging the roots up. I felt like I grew up a foot or two, I had so much clay and mud on the bottom of my clogs. But I got the ones from the lawn dug out. At least what ever shot up today, tomorrow there might be a whole new set of rhizomes.
Later on when I had woken up, and my DH had gotten off from his work, we left for a dinner, and when we came back, I wanted to, not caring that it was dark, to see if anything came out on the alley, where we already dug all of it out. Oh yeah, there it is still growing, not as bad as it was, but it defenitely is not gone. I think some more digging and Round Up is in our future.
Did this teach us anything? Yes, bamboo grows in the rain like a weed... oh, and... and... naaaah, I guess it was nothing important. Next week we will plant something else that will become really expensive to first plant, and then tear down the next year. Invasive is a good thing when you want some sound barriers.
Anyone know a good land scape designer?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Search for an inspiration and motivation

I had very odd day today. I usually am full of energy and ideas when I go to torch, and it gets almost overwhelming to decide how to start, cause there are just so many things I want to do. Well, today I had no such problems, my inspiration was totally lost! I decided to start with making few pairs of beads for ear rings, since I am taking a part in an ear ring exchange. My way of making the ear ring pairs is to make them in one mandrel, to get them the right size. But this time I decided to use bead rollers to get them exactly the same size. When ever I was using the bead roller, one of my beads would break lose, and I would have to finish them as itty bitty single beads. I was so upset about it, that I totally lost my concentration and inspiration for the rest of the day.
I tried few new things, but was not happy with the results, and decided that I needed to end the session with a good note. I decided to make a tornado bead, the technique that I use often, but used new colors for me. I had used both base, and encasement color before, but never together, nor in the tornado bead. I was pleased with the results, the bead looks pretty, especially in person. But I remained unhappy with the way my session had gone.
I was just wondering what do people do to calm themselves down when things are not going like they should? Is there some way of getting calm in an instant, or is there something that one could do, that would ease up the racing (or raging) mind? I found out, that after several unsuccessful attempts I needed to have at least one positive, just to keep my sanity. I did accomplish that, but I was still upset of how much time I had wasted getting nothing done.
I will try to work on getting re-organized and concentrate on the fun and positive aspects of creating. But sometimes it is really difficult to achieve, when you feel like you are failing. How to inspire and motivate yourself then?
I know so many talented artists, that keep creating day after another amazing stuff, and I bet they have days when they feel like failures, but they bounce right back and just keep going, I'd just like to know how they do it.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Feather Tutorial

After few requests to write a tutorial, I will be attempting to do so.

The skill level:
Basic skills to just make a bead, plus you need to be able to make a twistie, or have purchased ones for use, I like to use the ones with reactive glass, and to get nice feathery effect, it needs to be quite tight. The little shorts of the twisties that are too tiny to use for anything else, are great for this, you only need about 1/2 inch piece. Also raking is essential part of this technique. Other than that it is all about heat control and imagination!
To rake I use pick made out of clear rod, rather than actual rake that misplaces too much of a glass, with glass pick you can pick the excess off.

Start making a base bead, I like to use ivory, for it's natural look, and because it mottles little, so the feathers get more realistic look.
Just make a cylinder shape bead, or what ever shape you want, as big as you wish.
Let the bead cool down a little, not enough to crack, but enough so that it keeps it's shape while applying the twistie.

Take the piece of twistie with tweezers, or apply the twistie directly from the longer piece. Once it is on the surface, heat it up little to make sure it attaches to the glass, and won't shatter. Then apply other feathers, if you wish to have more than one. Once all the feathers have been applied, heat it so that the twistie melts onto the surface. I over heat usually a little, it makes the twistie spread little more, and it will make really pretty feathers, but don't let the shape get out of control.

Once you have the feathers melted, and you are happy with it, spot heat one feather at a time, and use a clear glass pick, that you have flashed in the flame few times, to rake from the 1/4 or 1/3 from the top of the feather, down to the vein. If one raking motion won't do it, no worries, you can rake as many times as you need to, just don't get your pick stuck on the feather, give it enough heat to keep it flowy enough. If your pick gets stuck, just cool it down by blowing on to it, and wiggle it to break it off, and reheat the feather to continue where you left it off. Once you have nice vein on the bottom of the feather, pick up the extra glass with your glass pick, and now you are ready to either smooth out all the raking with some polishing, or press your bead.

Sorry, no photoes of the process, I would need an extra hand!
Hope you enjoy!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring is here!

The first night I can hear the crickets chirping outside. The younger cat Zubov going bonkers hunting all night for mosquito hawks. And the weather is pleasant!
I am trying to be very productive, but it doesn't always show the way I want it to. I am working every week extra, trying to study for the state boards, so I can finally do what I was trained to do. And I am trying to make some beads. If it was up to me, I would rather skip the work and studying, and just make beads. Don't we all?
This is also the time of the year, when outside requires more than I have time to give it. Trees need trimming, the old leaves need raking, and there are tons of new stuff (especially after very cold winter) that needs to be planted.
All kinds of projects are awaiting, and I would be all over them, if I had time for it. I am finally at point where I feel confident with my glass work, I feel like my new start is here, it might not be a sudden avalanche of sales, but it is a process.
I have also gotten some requests for a tutorial, so I will definitely make one, as soon as I have any time to do it!
I am loving this time of the year, perfect weather for torching. I'm trying to take advantage of it, as long as it lasts!