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1  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: A gecko on: July 08, 2014 10:48:20 AM
Wow, very nice!

Tack fusing is a way under-used technique, especially when you can get such pleasing sculptural textures like you've achieved on your gecko :-)
2  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Beads: Discussion and Questions / Re: Your favourite type of beads on: July 08, 2014 10:40:13 AM
For me, its good old fashioned seed beads. I love them for their colors and their feel - all sizes and shapes.

Despite actually making lampwork beads, I still find the most pleasure in turning a hank of seed beads into something completely different and beautiful.

So - despite a lot of retailers limiting their sizes and colours (or even doing away with their seed bead stock altogether) - I'll pick up seed beads in bulk, as - as far as I'm concerned - there's nothing you can't do with them
3  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Microwave Glass Kiln on: April 05, 2014 09:25:07 AM
I find I get bubbles when I lay two flat sheets on top of each other without giving them a chance to vent air when fusing  Or when putting a flat sheet on top of a very textured piece of glass and trapping bubbles in the textures.

I've heard tell of a technique for helping the bubbles escape by placing small chips of clear at the corners of the piece (or at a regular interval around a circular piece). The theory being that as the top layer of glass softens, it will connect with the lower layer in the middle of the piece, and the edges - propped up by the clear chips - will be the last to connect and so the bubbles will escape from the edges. Personally, its not a technique that works for me very well but I thought I'd suggest it and as always YMMV ;-)

I have much better success with the following technique.
I'm not sure what kind of firing schedules you can get in a microwave oven, but for my kiln I have a 'bubble squeeze' time - where the glass is plastic enough to settle downwards and push bubbles out. Normally - depending on how big the piece is, or how crazy the textured surfaces - I'll soak the piece at 1250 for from 15 mins to 45 mins. Not too much longer, as at that temp you run the risk of devitrification more, so its a tossup between 'dirty' glass and glass full of bubbles. 0_o

And, failing that, as others have suggested, pop the bubbles and re-fuse. Depending on the size of the bubble, I sometimes add a little appropriately coloured grit chip in the hole to help the process along

Good luck! I hope you find a solution.
4  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: bead/glass blowers can you direct me... on: March 08, 2014 11:36:47 AM
I'd echo everything that steiconi said - as much fun as it is its not a 'cheap' hobby, even using a Hot Head (which incidentally I love and still use on occasion) and the cheapest colors you can find.

Also, look into taking a class on lamp working. I'd leave the actual glassblowing to a time when you're a) used to dealing with really really hot glass and b) fairly sure you want to pursue hot glass as a hobby.

Fortunately, you'll find that some bead stores will even have beginners lamp working classes. It really depends on where you are, but you might find your local college has glass classes that you can take to get a feel for it.

Not trying to put you off at all, but its kind of a shock how frikkin hot even supposedly 'warm' glass lamp working is, and its invaluable to learn basic safety precautions when lamp working.
5  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Discussion and Questions / Re: Fused Glass Boxes on: February 21, 2014 09:06:37 PM
You pretty much have two choices - you can slump or you can glue

Its possible to make boxes with lids (fused separately obviously ;-) ) by using slumps. IIRC there are such things as butter dish molds that might be repurposed. The problem with doing it with a slump is that - for something that deep - the edges very often 'scallop' i.e. pull in in the middle and then flare out again towards the corners. Its a nice look, but if you're looking for dead-square boxes its probably not what you want.

Or, alternatively, you can fuse each side and then glue/tack fuse it together once you have all the pieces. I've seen glass birdhouses and decorative houses made this way. I've never done it myself, so can't comment or advise, sari.

Here's a picture of some glued birdhouses



Heres a butter dish slump



Would love to see what you come up with!
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Red, White and Gold Kanzashi - IMAGE HEAVY! on: January 15, 2014 09:38:03 AM
Thanks for the step-by-step show and tell :-)

I've always been fascinated by how such beautiful flowers were made. Lovely work
7  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Big Glass Bowls! on: November 26, 2013 01:55:34 PM
Thanks! 

I kind of think of it as making a big, exploding, very dangerous cake in a special oven ;-) Which is odd, as I'm renowned in my family as being the worst possible baker.

Sometimes it can be a bit of a crap-shoot as to what comes out the other side of the fusing process. I'm having a break over Thanksgiving but I'm looking forward to getting back to fusing after turkey day.
8  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Re: Chinese Knot Rainbow Earring on: November 25, 2013 09:46:34 AM
I'd be lining up for photos too, if I was given a pair of these :-)

They're lovely! As someone who hates heavy earrings, these would be perfect for me ;-)
9  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Big Glass Bowls! on: November 13, 2013 07:15:09 PM
Congratulations! This has been chosen as a Featured Project!  Smiley

W00T! Thank you :-)

I feel honored!
10  GLASS CRAFTS / Glass Crafts: Completed Projects / Re: Big Glass Bowls! on: November 12, 2013 09:56:25 PM
The blue one is fantastic!  You have great work!  Make more! 

Thank you! I'm actually building a fourth one this week
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