Thursday, April 15, 2010

Florals with New Stamen Cane

As promised in my last post, here are the latest photos of my recent batch of floral beads! They all feature the newer 27-element stamen that I made a few weeks ago.

Landini Lily
The fattest of the batch! Named after a deep red Asiatic lily, this one has some pleasant swirliness to it and a fabulous background with my handmade reactive blue cane.

Green Dragon Amaryllis
This is the smallest of the batch - cute yet intense. I really like the colour combination using reactive cane, rubino and silver. Stay tuned for a bigger version in this same colour scheme because I love it so.

This one is the tallest and most tapered of the batch. The background was made with red and orange enamel that turned yellow. It was unexpected but the result reminds me of veins of quartz granite and gold in a prospector's mine!

I actually made an even newer stamen cane on Monday with a super-miniaturized black inner layer, yellow, orange and dark green mid-layers and outer layer of pink petals. I haven't tested it in a bead and I'm super-curious to see how it'll look. Stay tuned for the results, PLUS some info on how I make my stamen canes!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Abstracts and Show Poster

A small selection of my recent abstract beads. I'm making them into pendants for the Spring Artisan Open House on Elm Street (except for Heat Wave, which is a special order).

I also have three exciting florals to share in my next post! I can't resist so I'm going to leave you with a small preview of "Green Dragon Amaryllis":

Monday, April 5, 2010

Post #75 Reviews: Phillips Visor & CIM Clear Stringers

Wow, post 75! I'm definitely still not an "expert blogger" but I've definitely learned a thing or two since post #1. In honour of this auspicious occasion I will post a very silly self-portrait that I took first thing this morning without brushing my hair, apparently. :)

Which is also a good segueway into some reviews of Hearts of Glass 2010 purchases. Once again I chose Artistry in Glass as our supplier this year, with equally satisfying results. We have a very annoying process of completely inventorying our supplies and then ordering based on gaps, with a few treats thrown in. This year our treat was a fancy visor. A mundane order that turned out to be a treat was CIM Clear Stringers.

Andrea (my lovely and talented wife) wears glasses and wanted more comfortable layerable eye protection than the oversized economy safety glasses. I wanted something that would do a better job of filtering UV and IR radiation from boro glass as I was noticing the eye strain with my basic shade-3 flip-ups. Also I wanted something that would make me look like a mad scientist. The Phillips Boro Visor is working well for us in all these key areas.

I wear it over my regular economy safety didys. It's very comfortable and easy to move up and down. There's enough airflow that fogging up isn't too much of a problem. And I find that my vision of the work is very crisp and clear even though it's a little darker than I'm used to. Still, I find I'm wearing it flipped down 75-80% of the time, even when I'm working soft glass. It's essentially the same visor body used for magnifying or whatever but with a didy and a shade 3 lens in the visor area. I wonder whether it would be possible to squeeze a magnifying lens in there too? My eyes are feeling much better lately which is great.

I only ordered the CIM clear stringers because the regular effetre stringers were out of stock. At first I was annoyed because they're a fair bit pricier. But what a pleasant surprise when I first melted it! It was significantly stiffer than effetre (I worried for a second that I'd grabbed a boro stringer!) and about a zillion times less scummy that effetre stringers. The size is perfect for the final steps of my stamen florals, which is a very scum-sensitive stage, so I'm very pleased to have a smooth & cooperative clear to work with on small-scale applications. Part of the clarity probably comes from the way it's handled in shipping: neatly paper-wrapped in little packets of a dozen or so to prevent scratching. Not sure if that's AiG or CiM but either way I'm a happy lampworker!

Now I'm off to the torch to make some new work for our final Winnipeg show coming up the weekend of May 7th, just four weeks away!