Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Making of a Chandelier: Part 1

I have been dreaming of a colorful art glass chandelier for my dining room every since I laid eyes on a Chihuly chandelier in Las Vegas.

I cannot afford a Chihuly chandelier. Or even a knock-off copy of one. So I set out on an adventure to make my own.

Obviously I do not have a hot shop with a glass blowing furnace. This required me to stretch my creativity and design a piece that would work with kiln-formed (fused) glass, but still have that light and translucent blown glass feel I love.

Step 1: Build a frame. Or better yet, find an antique one that could be re-purposed for use with fused glass panels. My husband told me that we do not have a big enough studio to take up welding at this time. Someday I will learn how to weld too. Someday.

This proved to be a bigger challenge than I thought. I scoured auction sites, antique dealers, and craigslist until I finally found what I was looking for. Only it was that ugly old brass that had definitely seen better days.
Thankfully such a thing exists as spray paint. This is the quick and easy way to completely refinish oddly shaped objects and bring them to entirely new life. Even better, METALLIC spray paint & primer all in one. BOOM!

There are a zillion pins on Pinterest that show people updating their ugly old brass light fixtures with this metallic Rust-oleum. 


Before spraying the light fixture, I went over the entire surface with a steel wool pad dipped in vinegar to give it a thorough cleaning and 'roughing up' of the surface to help the paint adhere better.

Then I taped off all the sockets where the light bulbs go so I didn't get paint inside any of them.

Finally my husband hung it from a tree branch so I could get to all areas and I went to town. I used a little less than 2 full cans for a nice even finish.

It worked pretty good, was easy to use, and gave me the finish I was looking for. 


Step 1 done. Now onto the glass ...

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Must Have Earrings

I haven't worn earrings in 10 years - or basically since my oldest was born and I felt that very first baby grab at the pretties that nearly yanked my ear off.

I pretty much gave up all jewelry at that point. After my youngest was old enough to leave them alone, I slowly started wearing rings and necklaces again, but for some reason my ears remained naked.

Until now.

My friend Sydnie has a thing with earrings. She likes them big and long and insists all ears should have them. I became rather entranced with the 'statement' earrings she always wears and decided I must have some.

So I busted out my supplies that have been tucked away in nice little baggies and boxes and went to town. It was an earring making spree I tell you.

After keeping a few pairs for myself, I decided these needed to adorn the ears of my customers. They are fun. These are super light and hang so nice that you just can't help but shake your head back and forth a little just to whip them at your neck.

Or maybe that is just me. I feel like I'm in a hair commercial or something when I wear these. You need them. Available in my Etsy shop.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Sushi Plates

I've been on a sushi plate kick as of late. Not because I eat a lot of sushi. In fact I don't really eat sushi hardly ever being a vegetarian and all. But I just love this size and shape for glass. 

It is such a fun canvas size to work with. And it is a great way to use up all those little bits and pieces leftover from bigger projects. I love how I can stretch my creative process to try stuff completely out of my "norm" without fear of wasting tons of glass if it ends up in the fugly bin. 

Besides, they make super cute little dishes for gift giving. Hint. Christmas is coming. Watch for these plates and more coming to my Etsy shop soon. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Let There Be Beads

A little of this and a little of that and finally I think I have re-learned everything I used to know. I made spacers, pulled stringer, mixed colors, used frit and murrini.

I raked beads, poked dots, encased beads and smashed them all into brass presses. I had forgotten there were so many things you could do to the glass. And through it all, only about a half dozen or so ended up in the fugly box for the kids.

Next step: take a bunch of pretty photos and get them listed in the shop. Then light the torch and make some more.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Beginnings

It has been almost exactly two years since I turned off my torch. If you've followed my blog at all you know I went through a little 'mid-life crisis' of sorts and just never really got back into it.

Add in a little home renovation project and a completely torn apart studio and that was the end of it. Or was it?

Thanks to the support of my most amazing husband, my studio has been officially put back together - even better than it was before!

Last weekend I lit the torch. I made beads! I also made a lot of garbage as it took a while to get the hang of it again. It's not quite like 'riding a bike', but after a few rounds of wonky lopsided blobs of glass I was able to find my groove and make a bunch of cute little spacer beads.

And before you claim that spacer beads are boring ... let me present you with these fun little dangle earrings that were the result of my first torch session in 2 years:

These fun earrings are available for sale in my Etsy shop. Now that I've re-mastered the spacer beads it is time to move on to bigger and better. I am back!