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Posts Tagged ‘pendant’

Perhaps I should have thought to mention in advance that I was feverishly preparing to list a few things in the Etsy shop, but I was so busy working on the update that I didn’t get around to it on Friday, when the process started. So here’s some fiber-y eye-candy, with apologies for the delay:

 

As I largely follow my own whims, and I’ve been all about the fiber lately, this has been a spinning-oriented update, but naturally there’s some yarn too:

Should I mention that some of the yarn is the most gorgeous, to-die-for soft sportweight sock yarn, in an obsession-inducing MCN blend (merino, with 10% nylon and 10% cashmere)? This stuff is like crack for knitters – I could not possibly comment on rumors that I may have earmarked quite a chunk of the current batch for myself. And I placed quite a small order, and some of the rest is already sold, or spoken-for. So, it was probably cruel to even bring the subject up: pretend I never mentioned it.

There’s still a fair bit more to come, however, including more yarn, more fiber, and for the first time, some jewelry: those spindle earrings, and some of my glass pendants with knitted wire –

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Acrylic, remember, and sparkly too

Acrylic, remember, and sparkly too

Apparently it is possible after all. A while back I made a few swatches of different yarns, sandwiched them in glass and baked them in the kiln. None of them were a rip-roaring success, but one showed possibilities. The problem was that is was knit from a deeply unpleasant pink acrylic with a metallic thread (which is the bit that survived the firing process) and I haven’t been able to bear to knit with it further. Can you blame me?

So, I have since managed to acquire, by processes over whih I shall draw a veil, a small reel of fine silver wire. Wire fine enough to knit with, if you try. I’m struggling to work out the right sized needles to use, and can’t manage to get neat stitches, but perhaps I will acheive that some time. And it’d be – well – neat if I could, because then I could produce “swatch” art glass using different stitch patterns.

In the meantime though, here are three prototypes: the first swatch was simply soldered (with lead-free solder) onto a stained glass copper-foiled pendant, the second was just laid on top of a single piece of random glass that was then fired, and the third was sandwiched between two layers of Bullseye and fired.

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The first one I quite like, but I’m concerned it’s very fragile, and might tarnish; the second one is an abject failure, but shows glimmers of hope for some interesting manipulations further down the line (I quite like the way the silver has partly melted in and partly stayed on the surface) and the third one I am very pleased with indeed.

Yes. With a bit of luck -because with inclusions you never know (and the person I bought the silver off had had no luck including it in glass) – look out for swatch pendants coming to an Etsy shop near you soon.

I’m off to celebrate six months of knitting with a little more wire swatching.

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Starting out right

I went to a wedding on Monday and picked up a commission. I was actually a bit irritated at having to be at the wedding at all. Bad enough that somebody had had the silly idea to get married on a wet afternoon at the beginning of what’s shaping up to be a very squally September, but they did it during my glass-making time and I don’t like to have glass-time interfered with.
I realize that I’m a bit crazy that way – I’d far rather be making glass than doing almost anything else with the precious hour or two in the afternoon when my babies are asleep. It’s turning me into an increasingly cantankerous hermit. But anyway, more of that some other time, I’m sure. Meanwhile, back to the wedding.

I’ve sold a couple of bits and pieces to my aunt before now and she just casually said, “you couldn’t get something to me by Friday, could you?” Well, that’s what Special Delivery (overnight mail service) is for, so of course I said yes, as casually as was compatible with immediately. It seemed she wanted a heart pendant for a friend’s birthday. Green, quite large, with a bit of decoration (but not too much), and on a ribbon, please.

I’m not one to turn down a commission. No problem… What sort of green? Well, a bit bright and a bit dark – only not too dark, and not loud – but not sludgy either and sort-of transparent but not totally so and not too garish but a little bit jazzed up all at the same time.

Excellent.

I think she is one of those people (and there are many, many of them) who don’t really get glass. They think you can mix the colors like paints and somehow just cut holes out of the middle, and so forth. Do they think we take scissors or a long spoon and reach in at 1450 degrees and swirl the stuff around, or what? I know I don’t. One day I’ll get into sharing my experiment with graphite tongs, but that’s another story…

So, yes, all this I agreed to, and of course it is also a heart (which I’ve never made before) and in an unspecified size known in the trade as ‘Goldilocks’. I’m not overconfident, but I figured I could have a reasonable attempt and I’ve got time to put it in the kiln twice (once Tuesday, once Wednesday, because Monday had by now already gone up in smoke, glass-production-wise) and ship it out Thursday. Time to have a stab at it, and then grind and firepolish the stab.

OK. On Tuesday I had a look at all the greens I’d got and picked out the candidates and laid them on top of one another and squinted at them for a bit and did a little generic despairing and had another look in the bits box. And I found a perfect piece of glass. It was the edge of a sheet of 2mm Bullseye fern green and – because of being the edge, and therefore fairly irregular – it was almost perfectly heart-shaped already. Wow. There was a “bobble” of glass that formed a very passable top of a heart. I added scraps of opal spring green and olive green and some silver dichroic on clear and some other silvery-green dichroic on clear and a little piece of stringer and a layer of 3mm clear over the top about 1mm larger all round (but less perfectly heart-shaped as luck had been a better shaper of the green than my grinder was of the clear).

I was absolutely sure I’d have to grind it down the next day, and I also thought that the layers might not be perfectly fused together. I generally hate it when you can see the seam between layers of dichroic jewelry: I think it’s amateurish and slapdash (though obviously it can be used as a deliberate effect). So I was looking for a firing schedule that was conservative enough to keep the heart shape as intact as possible, but hot enough to fuse the layers properly together. I got so lucky I can’t believe. Top temp of 1385 for 20 minutes.

Here’s the result. And yes, my aunt did like it. And her friend? We have yet to find out.

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