Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Glass Leaf Project- Blowing in the Wind

Over the years (many) I have made a LOT of lampwork glass leaves. They are pretty quick and can be a good way to try out new colors and combinations. When someone buys something online, they are likely to get a lagniappe 'lucky' leaf included (unless I've temporarily run out).

When I went to a family reunion, I made a bunch- leaves off the family tree- to give away. When I left, I forgot the leftovers in the rental car (my silly family was reticent to take more than one each). The company was kind enough to let me know and I told them to just keep them and distribute them. They probably pitched them.

Lately I've been wondering- what happens to all those leaves? Do they get used? Worn? Given away? Put away in a dusty drawer somewhere for 'future use'? Tossed in the trash (hopefully not)? I decided it was time I tossed out some ideas of what to do with those wee leaves, so I am officially starting the 'glass leaf project' in hopes that these leaves will slowly make their way out into the world. The first leaf that officially became a part of this project was given to a well known lampworker~ he wanted to return it, but I insisted that, if he didn't want to keep the leaf, he could begin this project. So the first project leaf (in picture at right) may be somewhere out there already.

If you have a glass leaf that I made, you have just become an unwitting participant in this project. You may participate by leaving your leaf gathering dust in a drawer if that is your choice! But here are some other ideas:
* Wear it~ just put it on a cord and voila! There, that was easy
* Make something out of it- OK, that's why it's sitting in a drawer, right? Too hard!
* Give it to someone else to wear- someone who you love, someone who needs a bit of cheering up, a stranger on the street, whoever you like. No strings attached (well, you might want to put it on a cord for them).
* Put it somewhere and let someone randomly find it. Maybe with a little note that says 'take me'.
* Toss it in the drink. That's right, toss it in the nearest body of water for archaeologists of the future to find. A bajillion years from now, these wee leaves could be found all over the world~ that's a fun thought. I have tossed a lot of seconds and failed beads into bodies of water along my travels~ ponds, lakes, rivers, streams, the Gulf of Mexico~ so this part of the project is already in motion.

I do hope some of you will not only participate, but also let me know where your leaf ended up~ with a picture if you like! I don't know how to do this kind of stuff, so I will direct you to a post on my facebook fan page where you can comment and share pics if desired. Or you can post pics on my personal page!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Caution, Beads May Contain... Wanderings of a Torch Addled Mind

For the time being, I am making beads in a garage- with the door open. This, of course, means that there is wind, so things blow in.  There's also the possibility of bugs flying around (and they do!), as well as chipmunks wandering through. A couple of days ago, I pulled a mandrel out of the mandrel holder and managed to sling dirt across the table- right into some enamel. Not wanting to toss it, I scraped out most of the dirt and used the remaining enamel up on a couple of leaves (leaves are my give-away lagniappe beads for online orders).

Then, yesterday, I noticed that it is cottonwood season. I can't imagine that one or two of those babies didn't find their way into a couple of beads. I mean, they were flying all around!

So, my archaeological friends, does this mean those beads can now be traced right back to where I am now, just like in the high tech crime shows, or is it likely that it was all burned out? Do I need to put a note up in my etsy shop? Here's what it might say:

CAUTION: Beads may contain dirt, cottonwood, hair or other unknown objects

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Around town~ a day out in Ithaca

I live (for the moment) sort of on the outskirts of a rather popular little left wing town in upstate NY. Things are happening here all day every day, most of which I ignore. Feeling a bit housebound, what with winter stretching to its sixth month, I went walk about the other day- down to the two block long pedestrian mall downtown called 'The Commons'. A few of my findings follow.

 Seems like every time I walk past this wee table, someone is sharing it with the bronze gal in residence. Often they are seen talking to her or sharing a cup of joe. This woman was enjoying a chat on her mobile phone as the 'Child of Ithaca' or 'Citizen of the World' looked on.The statue is of a young local woman who died an untimely death.
 Ithaca thinks of itself as an artsy community. There are at least five shops within a two block radius that sell handmade artisan works. Four of those really concentrate on local things (Ithacamade carries a few of my beads, earrings felted bowls and scarves).

The photos I took into windows also show some of the less exciting bits of the Commons in reflection- there are some rather blocky, boring concrete structures as well as new huge buildings popping up. It's all part of the sadly necessary expansion that is happening here due to the fact that it is such a very popular place to live. That despite the weather, which is downright dreary a lot of the time- so much so that a popular local band wrote a song called 'I Live Where it's Grey' which encompasses well the feeling of a long wintry day.

Here's another shop window reflection shot. How did those half-head props become popular? A bit spooky if you ask me!

I always want to look at these types of photos carefully and see if there are reflections of reflections involved. I loved those 'through the looking glass' pictures when I was a kid. It's  called the Droste effect.  These photos are different from those types of pictures, but there can be an element of surprise involved~  ghosts of people walking and other oddities.
Last but not least is the statue of a bubble blower? I suppose that's what this guy is doing, though to me it looks like he's blowing a bit of glass (of course).

That's today's tour of a wee bit of downtown Ithaca '10 square miles surrounded by reality' (or so they say). I find Ithaca all too real- more on that later, I'm sure!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Lampwork Masked Bead Tutorial From Isinglass Design

Here is an example of how to make one style of  masked beads in photos, taken from my ebook 'Reflections: the Diary of a Glass Beadmaker.' Complete instructions for these, two other masked beads styles and many other lampwork glass beads are in the book, available on etsy.


Black base bead
Aqua dots

Black dots overlapping aqua
Black Dots Top & Bottom

Black dots between
Melt it all in evenly

Melt everything together, fin~

Aqua dots as shown

Here are a couple of other masking designs that are covered in the book.