Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A New Home for Hearts of Glass

We did it!

Andrea and I bought a house in East Ottawa (Vanier-Beechwood) this week. It's waking distance to the Bytown Market, biking distance to my office downtown, and on three bus routes, so we should be able to continue to manage without a car. It's in good shape with just a short list of projects to work on (mostly roof ventilation and drainage, but definitely DIY stuff) and great layout, kitchen, bathroom, and yard.

Most importantly for the glass side of our life, it's got a tall, bright and spacious unfinished basement and a classy garage with a huge window overlooking the garden - so much studio potential!

We look forward to building our dream bench over the next year, step-by-step! The first steps will be gas hookup and ventilation, and some sort of basic bench surface. Eventually as we can afford it we'll upgrade to something in stainless steel or slate (my Dad has offered us a large salvaged slab - he's the king of "good junk"!). We also want to build a silversmithing bench with a dedicated line for our soldering torch.

Of course, we don't get possession until September 10. But now we can enjoy the summer and know that we have something very special to look forward to!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Demonstration by Evelyn "Shebamakeda" Duberry last Saturday

Last weekend was so much fun! We went househunting and canoeing with my Dad and sister, which was awesome, but our more glass-related adventure was our first in-person encounter with the OGBA folk and with the Glass Shoppe Studio.

Evelyn Duberry of Shebamakeda was at the torch demoing her curvy goddess sculpted beads. She was using Cirrus, an milky opal-like glass from CiM. For us, it has always gone regular opaque white in the kiln, but Evelyn explained that it needs to be re-struck to translucent *and* the annealing should be done closer to 980, instead of 968 as we'd always been doing it. Good to know! I look forward to trying that.

Evelyn was on one of about 10 Nortel torches (hers was a red Mega Minor which looks really slick!). They were all individually piped with propane from a huge tank outside (I assume - I just saw the black pipe marked "Propane") and an oxygen concentrator for each that looked just like our Devilbiss Solarises. Each station had front exhuast grilles and ducts leading down and out to a central exterior blower. It was all beautiful stainless steel and I want our new studio to be like that.

It was really cool to watch Evelyn work and speak with Grace about her supplies, her new shop and the OGBA. We were able to compare the CiM and Moretti colours side by side which was so much more revealing than online shopping! I really wanted to stock up on new tools (mama needs a new masher) but since all our gear is still in boxes it would be a bit premature. The bead store right next door was a huge temptation also but we resisted. Must save money for buying an actual house!

We've got our eyes on one that would be perfect (two, actually: Choice A and Choice B) so we'll let you know...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Ottawa Glass Bead Artists

Last week I contacted the Ottawa Glass Bead Artists to see about getting involved in upcoming events. I got an immediate reply from Grace Edwards of Laucha Lady fame. Apparently she has just opened a new teaching studio on Colonnade (near my old high school!) which hosts special events, meetings and demonstrations!

Sounds very interesting. I look forward to attending an event in the near future!