Friday, March 29, 2013

Focus on Life Week 13- Have Faith

Well, I've got to say I had a lot of trouble with this. So I'm just showing a watercolor painting made by a friend a number of years ago- showing the faith of a fisher-woman. She'll stay there all day if need be, certain that, eventually, she will catch a wee fish! Enjoy.

Want to see more faithful photos?  Start here!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Observe the Curve- Focus on Life Week 12

Music is the expression of the movement of the waters,
the play of curves described by changing breezes. - Claude Debussy
 Our prompt this week from The Studio Sublime was 'Observe the Curve'. My first thought was- huh? Is she kidding? What the heck does that mean?? And then 'things' started happening in my wee brain. My first thought was of architectural elements. There is a little construction going on down by the river. So I trooped downtown to see if I could see some of the workers doing acrobatics up on the curved roof. But wouldn't you know they'd blocked it off (not enough hard hats to go around, I suppose). Of course if they hadn't, I never would have gone around the other side to see this sight. Women hold up half the sky, after all!

I can look right out my studio window and see the dome (It: duomo) of the Arkansas State Capitol building. I've always loved looking up into domes, so one day when I was shipping off a wee package- because the Capitol houses my nearest post office- I brought along my camera (and set off the alarm) to shoot a few pictures up into the glorious dome. I wanted to lie down on the floor, but I thought that might get me just a little bit more attention than I really wanted. So here is the capitol- inside and out!

I didn't discover curves; I only uncovered them.
- Mae West

And just one more picture, because I like it! Want more more curvaceous observations? Start here...

Friday, March 15, 2013

Focus on Life Week 11- The Possibilities Are Endless

I'm going to start this out with three (!) quotes from Eleanor Roosevelt.
'With the new day comes new strengths and new thoughts' 
Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do and damned if you don't.
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.

The Focus on Life subject for this week got me thinking about beginnings, which always have endless possible outcomes. Nearly every day I am faced with a table full of glass, a torch and a bunch of tools that I will use for that day's creative endeavor. Sometimes I have a good idea of where I think I'm going- and other times I just have to 'go with the flow'. It is not uncommon to be working on one idea when another (better?) idea comes to mind and I just want to toss that bead and start on the new thing. I resist, but try to hold onto the thought until I can write it down or begin to act on it.

My photo this week was meant to be a sunrise- a new day, a new beginning, a way I would like to look at each day I am gifted with!  As it turns out, I had to use a sunset- I couldn't manage good sunrise photo. But a sunset is not only an end, but also another beginning! One other lovely thing I found on my ramblings that makes me think of possibilities and beginnings- a seed pod.

Come see what other possibilities are being explored at Sally's Blog

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Green or Not? Recycled Bottle Glass Headpins

I've been playing with a bit of bottle glass that I found lying about on the streets here lately. I just couldn't resist those lovely blue bottles any longer. In the beginning I thought- what a cool thing- free glass, nice color, and I can do a bit of small time recycling. But, after fooling with it a little, I've pretty well decided that it might actually be anti- green to work with this stuff. They are now in my etsy shop.

It is definitely more time consuming. First you have to clean and cut up the bottles- watch those precious hands, you don't want to cut them to shreds! Maybe gloves would be good idea? I asked my fusible friend to give me a quick bottle cutting lesson. Turns out his are just as jagged and nasty as mine. Oh well...

Then I had to melt the stuff. As you may (or may not) know, Italian Moretti glass (Effetre) is fairly soft. That means it melts relatively quickly. This bottle glass is not. I'll bet it took me nearly twice as long to melt it as it does to melt my regular glass. Of course, bottle glass doesn't have to be specially transported to my house from Italy, so maybe that makes up for some of that extra energy; it's already here!

I also figured out  that you can add just a wee bit of extra color to this glass by rolling it in Thompson enamels, which makes it a little more fun. Oh, and if you decide you'd like to try this remember that the fire will creep up a flat side, so be sure and put it into the flame on its edge, not on the wider flat section or it will creep right up to your wee fingers!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Out of My Box and Into Yours

I've been thinking about entering the newest juried pendant show from the ISGB- Awakening the Vision- Creative Discoveries and wondering about getting out of my box.  I had an interesting idea for a bead right after I heard about the show, which I tried out; it still needs some practice before it is where I think I want it to be. But, even though it is something new, it is not really 'out of the box' for me.
That got me thinking about boxes- mine, yours and what lies between. Where, exactly, are the edges of my box? On at least one side those edges seem to bump up firmly against precision work- things like dots in a row and drawing with stringer. It's a place I go now and then- teeth gritting and brain kicking like a child. I'll make a bead or two, label them ugly and imperfect, and then go on to some crazy style I'm perfectly comfortable with~ something like a portal, a fish or a 'comb jellie' bead. Something that is WAY out of a lot of boxes!
I'm not sure whether I will manage to make a bead to enter in this show. I often start out on these journeys and end up with nothing that I think is worthy of entry. But it's gotten me really thinking about things I need to work on, and I think that is really the point, after all. Working towards a show entry is always a challenge. This promises to be a bigger one than usual! Time for a bit of a brain stretch...

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Focus on Life Week 10 ~ All Wrapped Up

I'm a late joiner to the Focus on Life Blog. I have been enjoying what I've seen so much that I wanted to be a part of it. What is it? Each week for the whole year we are given a subject or idea for a photo to which we lend our own interpretation.
This week's theme is 'All Wrapped Up'. My first thought was- sushi! So I took my camera to the grocery store and realized that practically everything we eat is wrapped up. I was thinking of doing a kind of green theme with photos from the grocery and my own home.

And then I went out for a walk and carried my camera along- no sooner had I thought that a photo of a plant wrapping around a tree would be cool than I saw this. Isn't it interesting how these two things support each other? I'll bet if the plant were removed, the structure would just fall over!

Want to see more wrapped up images? Start here!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Taming of EDP- A Lampworker's Secret

How many of you love edp (evil divitrifying purple)? Show of hands... How many of you hate it? Wait! Those are the same people. Well, I used to feel the same way... The color is beautiful, but it tends to just sit on the sidelines and watch me pass it by over and over again- the wall-flower of my studio.

The other day I was feeling adventurous and pulled a rod out  - oh, what the heck- why not. I made a portal bead base, rolled it in a bit of white enamel, and started adding some edp and other colors. And guess what? No devit- a practical miracle. OK, I'm thinking, maybe I just didn't notice it- maybe it will come out of the kiln looking ug-ly. But I'm just gonna try that again and see. So I did. And guess what- no devit again.

OK, I'm thinking, I must just be holding my mouth right today. We'll see what happens when I do this tomorrow.

And my un-scientific assessment of the situation is this. If you roll a bead in white enamel and apply the edp, you get rid of both the 'e' and the 'd' and end up with just the lovely purple you always wanted. There is a bit of edp in all of the beads pictured. I was having some other troubles with the tube, and managed to reduce some of the purple in that bead. The edp ended up a bit washed out looking in that bead as well, so there may be other odd things going on that I haven't quite figured out yet. I hope y'all will give this a try and let me know how it works for you.