Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Inspiration and Aspiration

Perusing the stacks of a used book store recently I found this book on glass paperweights. With my recent focus on murrine making, I considered this find very fortuitous. Glass paperweights are fully of murrine and millefori. The book gave me a cursory background on glass paperweights which was fairly interesting. More importantly to me it is a wealth murrine examples. With torch time at Dream Fire Glass scheduled for tomorrow, I am studying this book as I work out a plan for how to approach my time at the torch. Spring is just around the corner, so millefori maybe...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Goodbye GQ. Hello Etsy.

Thank you Janet for including me in one of your Treasuries.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Cold Hands Warm Heart


What to do with with left over little bits of yarn? Here is one idea. It doesn't take much to make a little pair of mittens. These toddler size mittens where made with bits of two different yarns. I used this free crochet pattern from Lions brand yarn as a guide making just one or two minor adjustments for the materials I was using. I added the buttons and tassels for fun. I think they are cute as can be. Now my hands may are small but these are for tiny little toddler hands, so they have been packed up and sent off to a little girl in a cold place. I hope she enjoys them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

What a Weekend

The official grand opening of Dream Fire Glass's new studio was a fun filled day of activities. I'll show you...
Throughout the day there were demonstrations, food, drink, and socializing among old and new friends.

In the late afternoon a crowd gathered to break the pinata. Stuffed with more then just candy. Grown adults elbowed there way for prizes. The last time I hit a Pinata was in elementary school. This was too much fun.

As the evening approached there was a visit from some of the Brothers of the Flame. These guys are just amazing. If you ever have a chance to see them perform you absolutely should.
I spent the day at Wired Designs Studio taking an introductory welding workshops. It was a nice change of pace to be taking vs. teaching a workshop at Wired Designs.

I learned the basics of the established welding processes available and had a chance to use an oxy-acetylene torch and two different MIG welding set ups.   Based on what I have learned so far I think the oxy-acetylene may be the right option for me. Fire good...
Next Sunday I'll be back at Wired Designs to teach a fused glass workshops on sanblasting iridized glass.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Practice, Practice, Practice

When it comes to flameworking you can't just understand it conceptually you have to be able to execute it physically. I find this terrible frustrating. What! You mean you can't just sit down at the piano and play Chopin! Having made a somewhat focused effort with my time on Firey Fridays, I think I have finally gotten the twisted cane thing down sufficiently to move on. So Sunday I spent time taking a murrini workshop at Dream Fire Glass. I had made simple murrini before but was very pleasantly surprised at how much of a difference this full day of focused instruction made. I think I might actually be getting this heat control thing down. I don't want to get ahead of myself though. Practice, Practice, Practice... already contemplating murrini making with my time next Fiery Friday. Little by little my hands will learn what my head knows. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Recommended Read

I just finished reading People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks. This book came very highly recommend from several calligraphy guild friends. They were spot on.

People of the Book takes a historic event, the saving of the Sarejevo Haggadah, and tells  a fictional tale of the journey this book took from Spain to Sarajevo as it was illustrated, illuminated, and bound.  Narrated from the point of a modern day conservator  this is 600+ year a tale of intrigue which I would recommend to anyone. For someone with an appreciation for the topics involved  you will particularly enjoy the level of description  and detail of language which relate to the art and artists who's tales come together in this novel.

Call me old fashioned but I still read physical books. My poor paperback copy looks like it went through a cross country journey and survived a few wars itself. I just couldn't put it down so it traveled with me. The pages dog eared and the spine concave from ware. All signs of a well loved book.

Fill our heart with sunshine and good thoughts!

What a positive sentiment Beata has in compiling this Etsy treasury. I am honored to have been included in such a warm and cheerful collection. On a gray winter day like today it brought me joy to see such bright bold color.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

From Goldilocks to Dreadlocks

I have this habit of buying yarn I like with absolutely no plan at all just because I like it. Later I find myself trying to figure out what to do with a specific amount of something I will never be able to match again. Like the wool I bought from the Sudan Farm. Crazy I know... This time when I pulled out a collection of pink, yellow and blue wool which I had bought on one of those whims, I decided to do something just as fun and crazy with it as my idea to buy this yarn had been in the first place.  

I started by crocheting as many thin spirals (approximately 1 inch wide) in a variety of lengths as my supply allowed. This gave me a pile of Shirley Temple like ringlets. Cute as can be.

Only I wasn't exactly going for cute. So  now what? Being wool it seemed only natural to felt them. This stretched out those tight ringlets into a more wabi sabi organic forms giving me something more like dreadlocks then Goldilocks. Much better...

But I still wasn't really sure what I thought of this idea.  So I wore it. No better test then the court of public opinion. I expected to get a comment or two but the consensus was overwhelming. It got complements at work and at the studio. That was expected. These were people who know I crochet and expect this kind of thing from me. It was the complete strangers who stopped me while about my everyday business which convinced me that I might be on to something here.

Having worn them I can say from a usability perspective that they are mostly just fashionably fun. They create a nice warmth across the back of your neck, after all they are wool, but I won't wear them with the specific goal for fighting the bitter cold. There are better scarves for that purpose. Also if I make something like this for anyone other then myself I'll need to attach them together somewhere in the back to help keep them together all the time. Won't want one to get lost now would we.

Since this is still relatively a new and developing idea, I'd love to know what you think too. Thumbs up... thumbs down... What do you think?

Monday, January 2, 2012

Unconsciously Done

Decorativekilnformed glass pieces with flameworked elements
Funny sometimes where ideas come from and how easily influenced one can be.  I knew exactly what influenced the image of a full moon  but it wasn't until Saturday when Anne  arranged my bowl on Barry Bradley's mesquite and iron table Branching Out that I remembered...  Suddenly I recalled walking into Artisans this fall, seeing this new series of furniture and being struck by the strong imagery of the branches. I didn't realize how strong it impacted me at the time but seeing these pieces displayed together it was undeniable the influence it had on me.