Joys of Coldworking

I have long been a fan of crisp, clean design. I love modern, geometric, squared off things - from the shaker cabinets in my kitchen to the boxy modern sofa in the family room.

One feature of fused glass that has always bothered me is the natural tendency of the glass to 'round off' on the edges after a firing. Quite honestly most people don't notice the difference and I am just ridiculously over analytical of it. Nevertheless, I set out on a quest to create a crisp, straight-edged design in my glass.

Cue the cold-working.

The only way to achieve such a look is through extensive cold-working - which is to manipulate the glass after it has been fired with equipment and hand tools and patience. Coldworking is not for the fair-weather glass artist or faint of heart. It takes a lot of nit picky futzing around. And muscle. My hands and arms are tired from all that buffing.

These pieces all went through the saw blade, then the grinder disk, then the bevel disk, then the pre-polis…

Eclipse Orchid Glass Testing

#0877 Orchid A gold ruby where less is definitely more. This is a rich, dense ruby pink with warm undertones that looks its best when applied thin and not overworked.
My favorite beads were those that used the least amount of frit. When piled densely on top of itself an almost brownish color resulted. The thinner areas gave way to a bright ruby pink, where the darker areas turned more burgundy. Working NotesOpacity: This is an opaque glass. A thick application over clear transmits very little light. A thin application over a darker base color stays solid and does not show the base color through.

Spread: This glass behaved itself and stayed put. It didn't really spread or sink and held its shape. If you squint your eyes and look for it, you can see a tiny bit of color pooling on the coffee bead, but for the most part it lays down where you place it and looks the same.

Futz Factor: I found this glass to be the least fussy of all the colors I tested. The un-encased stringers pulled wi…

Eclipse Spring Rose Testing

#0477 Spring Rose More like perfect purple if you ask me - a lovely purple with blue undertones. Most opaque purples have warm reddish undertones, so the blue tones in this purple are refreshing and fill a gap in the 96 glass color palette.
Working NotesOpacity: This is an opaque glass. A thick application over clear transmits very little light. A thin application over a darker base color sinks in and allows none of the base color to show.

Spread: This glass sinks. When super heated it goes nowhere, but rather sinks into the base color and a color pooling starts to appear in the centers. You can see the darker blue spots pooling in the center on the olive bead.

Futz Factor: I didn't notice much devitrification with this glass, but then again I always encase my opaque pinks and purples in clear. And since this glass doesn't spread, it didn't seep out of my clear where it was exposed to multiple heating and cooling cycles.

The un-encased stringers I pulled (with R100 clear) h…

Eclipse Light Orchid Pink Testing

#0677 Light Orchid Pink I'd say the name of this color is spot on. A bright pink with purple undertones that is vibrant and not washed out.

Working NotesOpacity: This is an opaque glass. A thick application over clear does not transmit much light. Even a thin application over a darker base color holds it owns and doesn't allow much, if any, of the base color through.

Spread: This glass spreads. When super heated it spread out over the base color. It also attempted to seep out of the encasement layer if I didn't butt the seems up super tight.

Futz Factor: Again, most opaque pink glass will devitrify if exposed to multiple heating and cooling cycles. For this reason I almost always encase it in a layer of clear. However, this glass smooths out quite easily when brought back up to a warm even glow before popping in the kiln. Even the ends that seeped outside of my clear are still shiny.

It boils easily if overheated as does most furnace glass when worked in a sharp hot flame. …

Eclipse Glassworks Color Testing

#0177 Rose Pink Personally, I would rename this color to bubblegum or cotton candy because it is YUMMY!

I'll be honest, I started with this glass because it seemed the most unassuming of the sample packets I received. Boy was I surprised when it came out the most scrumptious bubblegum pink after being worked in the flame.

Working NotesOpacity: This is an opaque glass. When applied heavily over clear, it does not allow too much light to pass through. However, when applied thin - especially over a dark base color, it is semi-translucent and shows the base color. This could also be attributed to the spreading nature.

Spread: As with most pink glass I've worked, I would classify this as a spreader. When heated it spread out over the base color. It also attempted to seep out of the encasement layer if I gave it even the slightest opening.

Futz Factor: Opaque pink glass will often devitrify if exposed to repeated heating and cooling. This is handled easily by encasing it with a layer…

Color Me Happy

Is there honestly a happier color than orange? I can't help but smile when I see orange. It is a color I use quite often because I just love it so.

I even love the smell of orange. It smells fresh and clean. It is invigorating and energizing.

My dad's favorite color was orange. Maybe that is why I am so drawn to it and use it as the accent color throughout my home. It reminds me of him.

These beads are fun and happy. I don't know if there is a better color to pair with orange than turquoise. It's almost like they were made for each other.

I will be listing these as mini-sets and pairs - unless you want the entire collection. Message me first.

Happy 2020

Is it just me or did 2019 come and go in a flash? Maybe it was because Thanksgiving was late, so the Christmas season seemed rushed. Still trying to figure out how it is suddenly the middle of January.

Last week was so cold [there I go talking about the weather again] that I decided to fire up the big kiln just to warm up the house. It worked. That thing gives off some good radiant energy. Instead of huddling around the fireplace, everyone wanted to play in the studio.

Then I promptly forgot I had run a slump schedule. I'm usually so excited I can't wait to peek in the kiln. It is often done with a bit of excitement mixed with a bit of anxiety.

I love creating pieces that don't follow a reproducible pattern and are truly unique. All of the pieces that came out of the latest kiln firing are one-of-a-kind using various techniques. I think they are fun and I hope you like them too.

Watch for the rest of the pieces in my Etsy shop later this week. And Happy New Year!