Thursday, November 5, 2009

Glass Goddesses and New Earring Design

We've been busy creating new work for our swiftly-upcoming Signatures show, Nov. 19-22 at the Convention Centre here in Winnipeg.

Here are our latest goddess designs. I actually make these lathe-style, instead of adding the various appendages with individual blobs of glass. This allows me to maintain a uniform swirly texture and pattern. I build a decorated barrel shape, then spin and press with a handmade graphite tool to create the waist and neck indentations. Them I dent the upper torse into four sections, which I heat and spin to build the breasts and arms using centrifugal force. I add details with a graphite "knife" tool and lately I've been finishing off with a gentle sifting of golden mica dust for a subtle shimmer!

I've also developed a new spin on our locking forged earring design, inspired by a special request for a version using disks. Since the vertically-designed disks wouldn't work in the horizontal rivet-style design of our original forged earrings, I designed a way to hang any bead vertically from the locking forged earwires. I'll probably continue to tweak it, but I really like the result!
The disks themselved were a fun project. They started with a small black disk, wrapped in silver leaf. I added a red wrap on one "shoulder", then heated that and rolled in in transparent red frit for subtle texture. Once that was melted mostly in, I added a wrap of handmade black and white twisted cane to the other "shoulder" of the base bead, making sure that the joint matched as smoothly as possible. Everything was melted back into a round donut bead, then encased in clear, rolled into a barrel shape, and finally pressed into a lentil using the Osibin Lentil Shaper. The real trick was getting two that matched! I ended up with a graduated set of three extras that will become a dramatic long pendant very soon.

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