Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rainy, Earthy Delights

So I jumped the gun, I guess, and we're back to winter. Cold, rainy, but hey, we need the precip so I'll quit griping. And I suppose that 56 degrees isn't exactly torture for many of you living in real winter spots, but it is for me. While I complain, know that in my heart I am forever grateful to live in such an amazing place.

Here are some more fun pieces I've made recently. Several of them are the result of playing with Moretti's Light Ivory (pastel) soft glass, and silver foil or leaf. I learned a cool combination from Jennifer Geldard where you make a base bead of light ivory, roll in silver foil or leaf, and then decorate with dark ivory. It produces some very interesting effects, as you can see in the earrings that have the grey metallic ends on them. The dark ivory is very reactive with the silver, and just being near it will cause a very cool look.

Anyway, the pendant above is in neutral, earth colored tones, with swirls of silvered ivory (another technique where you burnish silver leaf or foil onto a hot light ivory rod), fine silver wire, and hand made murrini. Murrini are slices of cane which have been built up in the lengthwise direction before pulling into thin strands. In the one in this pendant, I used white glass as the base, with intense black stripes around it, before pulling and then slicing chips from it. The stripes are then brought into the center by poking the chip after it has been adhered to the hot base bead. Lots of lampwork artists such as Pati Walton use these as undersea creatures in their work. I added one of my fused fine silver rings to this pendant to make it more interesting when hung from a silver chain. I like the omega chains that Rita Sterling sells, in the small diameters.

Here are the Grape Tubes! More slender and graceful than the Blue Tubes and almost juicy enough to eat. These have my fancy fine silver (PMC) head pins, plus sterling silver ear wires and accent beads.

These last earrings make a nice set with the earthy pendant above. The center shows the light and dark ivory with silver reaction described above, while the ends are capped with silver plum - a very interesting metallic color that somehow finishes a bead very nicely. I might mention that I've been making my own ball headpins as instructed by Kate McKinnon and Anne Mitchell, in a fabulous PMC class I took before they moved to Tucson from Monterey. You just need fine silver wire, put a flame on it, and once the end balls up, you quench it in some water before tumbling to harden. While they said that a creme brulee torch wouldn't work, I've had no trouble doing this or even fusing my own fine silver jump rings with mine. Multi-purpose tools are essential, as is creme brulee.
Finally, some interesting news, or not, depending how you feel about bureaucracy. It's been quite a while since I offered any of my bead sets on eBay, and apparently since then they have had trouble with mass producers (often in other countries) spamming the lampwork listings with factory-made beads. To remedy this, a group of concerned lampworkers took it upon themselves to do something, and created a system whereby you can get "approved" as a "Self Representing Artist" (SRA) by providing certain credentials to this group, who checks you out. You basically just have to prove that you're not a factory, which, fortunately, was very easy for someone who is not.

Well, in anticipation of possibly diving into the Bay again (no guarantees - I hear it's not been doing well for most), I went through the process, and have to admit that it was painless and fairly fast. I am now proudly known as SRA #L43. But those of you who know me can still call me Patty.

1 comment:

coupdecoeur said...

a small mark at the time of my passage on your very beautiful blog!
thanks for making us share your moments
you have a translation of my English space!
cordially from France
¸..· ´¨¨)) -:¦:-
¸.·´ .·´¨¨))
((¸¸.·´ ..·´ -:¦:-
-:¦:- ((¸¸.·´* ~ Chris ~ -:¦:-


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