Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Window beads- after

I finally finished grinding and polishing the windows in these beads!  Two days ago I started them, but before I finished, the bolt that holds the wheels flew off the grinder and I couldn't find it.  That caused a trip to Lowe's and Home Depot.  I ended up buying 3 different kinds of bolts and tried them out today.  Only one worked, so I was glad I had bought a selection.  All six beads look good.  I never know how the inside will look until I polish the windows, and sometimes  I scrap a bead. 
This is my grinder/polisher.  It is an odd conglomeration of things I already had except for the wheels, which I had to buy.  There are six of them, I think, from coarse to super fine. There is no splash guard, so I hold a plastic strip in front of me, but I still get soaked by the time I am done.

These are the beads after using 3 wheels on them, with 3 more to go.  The final polish makes the glass so clear you can read the writing on a light bulb in the reflection on the window.  I really like the contrast between the rough reduction frit and the smooth window.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Window beads before

I am getting tired!  There are only 1 1/2 weeks until Kutztown Folk Festival and I am working hard.  My fingers are getting sore from all that wire wrapping putting jewelry together.

These are some window beads waiting for me to grind and polish the windows- a before photo.  I keep forgetting to work on them, and I really do need to finish them up this week.  That is a nice job on a hot day, since I get soaking wet grinding them.   Maybe tomorrow. 

My friend Alice St Germain just got her website Succulent Glass up and running again.  She still needs to add content, but the bones are there and look good.  She even started a blog!  Congratulations on getting that far!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Open torch!

I am lucky enough to have a glass tribe.  Years ago we met mostly in workshops, became friends and started getting together to torch, fuse, cast and any other glass activity we could think of.  A while ago we lost the location we used, and we really missed it.  Recently a friend moved into a house with a large garage, and she set up the garage as a glass studio.  Last weekend, we converged on her garage and spent the weekend working together again, at long last.  We had 6 torches and 3 bead kilns set up, along with space for fusing and casting, and a kiln or two for that too.  It was so much fun spending two days working and talking glass with friends who are as fascinated by it as I am!

Because I am getting ready for a huge show (Kutztown Folk Festival), I spent the time making beads, experimenting  with new colors.  I learned some new combinations that work, and some that don't!  It is all good!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Work work work

I worked all day and don't feel like I accomplished anything.  That is probably because I didn't get any beads or jewelry made.  I unpacked the car, did my books, paid some bills, did some laundry, unpacked the bead case, and worked on a list of what I need to make in the next 3 weeks.  It is a really, really long list!  My friend Joan Miller wrote about not having to do the push for a big show this year in East Coast-West Coast Bead Blog, and right now that sounds pretty good.  But I would miss not being at the Kutztown Folk Festival so I will work overtime this month.  I have my list, and will try to follow it, although sometimes the glass has a way of doing what it wants.  Off to torch!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Panic mode

Today I loafed.  It will probably be the last day I can loaf for 6 weeks or so.  Tomorrow I start working overtime to have enough beads and jewelry for the Kutztown Folk Festival.  The festival runs 9 days, this year starting July 3 and running until July 11.  This will be my 15th year exhibiting there- hard to believe. It is a tough show to do, sort of like running a marathon, but it is also a ton of fun. My neighbors at the show have become family- one of them started bringing their 3 grandchildren to the show years ago and I have seen them grow up. They still come by and say hello, and see if I need any help.  The photo is Johnny Claypoole, who painted hex signs.  He has passed away and his son Eric has  picked up the paint brushes to continue the family tradition at the festival.

The food is wonderful- the PA Dutch know how to cook, so I eat good all week.  My favorite is strawberry shortcake with vanilla ice cream!  Down the street from me is an ox roast, and the meat is so tender it melts in your mouth.  There are also sausage sandwiches, funnel cakes, soft pretzels, pork and sauerkraut- I could so on and on but you get the idea.

There is music everywhere with strolling bands and musicians, and clog dancing, and wonderful traditional crafts, and of course quilts!  Hundreds of quilts!  It is a great way to spend the day, or even several days.  I will try to take lots of photos this year!

So off to bed for me.  Tomorrow I work!