Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Gotta Blog more - which mean I need to make things to show - Niobium Jewellery

the only thing I got even close to making last weekend  was some new niobium pieces for earrings
which I'll wire up possibly this weekend  so I can start to accumulate more things for my show

Just playing with basic shapes like  rounded squares  and circles - the squares I cut from 30 G niobium that I get from Reactive Metals
 (same price rio grande  sells as well- since they get through RMS) the hole punch tool is really nice from them much sturdier than the one I had before  (the old one on same material broke after about 5 uses- I can still get the pieces to fit and repair )  this new one just seams more solid - got from RMS.
Actually anodizing takes such little time and prep time for the metal takes the longest - its so cool to see instant results !

The circles I bought as circles 7/8" from RMS - pumched the holes with the hole punch they sell and then domed them with my dapping block -   one of the great things is the chemicals you use are household -  tsp - is a soap  - and that is the dipping bath -   of course there is a sheet of stainless steel in the bath (cathode)  attached to the black anode  and the plastic sheeting  that protects that sheet from you touching your positive pieces and causing and arc  can be bought at michaels in the section where they do embroidery - (also check Caswell in the USA and  Caswell in Canada for anodizing kits - includes anodizer - good price and comes with everything to start ) so after doming you need to  take off any sharp edges with simple small files and sand paper/nail files  then clean your pieces -  Simple Green is one of the best products to take oils and dirt off - most metal is processed with a thin film of oil for cutting and this cleans it off - once done -  if you want to have matching earrings you want to put them in side by side so that the lines of color are at the same level - to do this you must use either niobium or titanium wire to create a hanger (inverted V with little hooks on the end) of course size matters so that the ends fit into the holes you have punched and the red  anode  is clipped to the center ( rather than the alligator clip I got the cool clips RMS sells a mini grabber  (the pushy thing has a niobium wire to clip to ) its smaller than the end of the alligator clip - from there its put on my rubber gloves and within miutes its done - rinse and voila -  but its so much fun watching the bubbling action and the change in color is amazing such vibrant blues and purples, pinks and greens - I even tried resists - not great at it yet but getting there - resists is just a piece of plastic laminate - put onto the pice before  you dip - just remember that the dolor you choose for your secondary will be at a lower voltage than what you do the rest of the  non covered piece e.g    the bigger portion was done at 85 or higher  volts and the stars were done at 75 volts once I peeled the resist off - so many possibilities
another great site PDF  :
both anodizing niobium and aluminum a great read with pictures

Dear Inspiration - Where are you

It seems that this summer I have lost my muse /inspiration - I sit all day at work and think about what I'll do when I get home and what I want to try - but when I get there - POOF its gone - that push that excitement to rush to the studio to play and I have a big show end of October so it better kick in shortly  I need more plates and cheese trays and cut up more dichro pendants - I have a pile to do so need to get on that -

I packed up the glass enamels and pens and sent them off to my class  from ottawa  - making a custom 3x4" copper plate for someone - will be finished tonight - I hope ...- my fish went to the Painted Perch (where it didnt even place - although I cant feel bad I had fun making and taking a lot of flack to trying and putting dichro in with the tempered  - the one I thought would win - didnt place either )  but Ava got a 2nd for her fish so all was  great

Now I cant really complain as I've spent a lot of time with my grandkids this summer - I am off every friday  and we do things together -  made some cool cards with my ava - the youngest  last  friday  (plan to make more this friday ) she is learning all the techniques and anxious to go to the next  creative festival to learn more




living room disaster 
and my other granddaughter was making buttons 
the company button biz  sells the button backs and things to use with my button maker - and they have software on line that makes it easy to cut and paste what you want into the 2.25" circle  - I use the badge-a-minute  tools and they both love doing it 

Monday, August 8, 2016

Classes in Ottawa !

Had a blast teaching in Ottawa at GSS Flameworking
this studio has room for up to 11 people - and great  beginner classes as well - you can rent time  if you dont have the space for a lampworking studio in your home  or until you do
Great  Lampworking supplies and tools -   Grace  (owner) has some great glass in stock

Grace also has  gallery space you can rent by the month -  it makes total sense to pay the rent and consign your work there -  in most places they take a percentage of your sale here you just keep your rental space  filled and  if you sell 100.00 you get a 100.00  its a nice clean transaction ! I am definitely going to  put  my work up there for display - gong to have to get back there again shortly

The whole Ottawa area is lovely to visit and tour through

cant wait to go back

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tempered Glass - filling and firing on molds - all one firing

I originally thought posted this - but I think it was so many times in Fused Glass Fanatics I forgot to actually post in my blog

How to fill the molds

this example used a 12" round mold but any prepped mold will do - mine is coated in kiln wash

I keep a large brass hamer in my bucket - I just every once in a while crunch down to ensure that the glass is in the small cube size - not a big problem if not - you just crush or pick out of the mold if it finds its way into it

I use the the betty crocker  stir fry scoop (from Dollarama)- its wire with larger openings enough to let any glass powder and small shards drop back into bucket

I pile into the center and around

I then push with my fingers to the edges using the tips of one hand and sometimes using the back or open face of the other to hold at the edge

the center starts to clear as I push most of it to edges -  check for one layer thinner areas and just pick and move a few pices and lay there - I do this randomly - no pattern - I find it works best that way
do not let ;hang over - its cleaner if they are within the mold

then scoop more to fill the center and spread evenly - its sort of two layers  but not on top of each other

now its ready for the kiln

firing schedule

5 segments

300/ hr  to 1000 hold 20 min
300  hr to 1450 hold 10 minutes
9999/fast to 960 hold 60 minutes
150  hr 700  hold 0
9999/fast to 350  hold 0

this has worked extremely well for me

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tempered Glass Fish for the Painted Perch is in the Kiln

I outlined the wooden fish image onto some fiber paper - and placed it in the kiln
I piled it up and hpped for the best -  I aslo tossed some dichro frit (90 coe) onto the pile - hopefully the rule of thumb would be 10% on the surface  as in my lampworking so hoping for the best. - so cant wait till it comes out in the morning - I'll be adding a few things like alcohol inks and color - and a googly eye

Played with alcohol inks

Had fun weekend with my granddaughter we pulled out my alcohol inks to start to  ink my plates but got diverted and started using the inks on domino's  - I bought inks and stamps 15 years ago to do this project and finally got around to trying it out - the site to check out is -

we got out the domino's - the pack you can get at walmart here in Canada is 10.00 not sure how many in a box but theres lots

we did a few based on the colour sheet  and made up a few of our own - but had fun

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Alcohol Inks on tempered glass - how to apply and seal

A really nice site that has lots of information on applying alcohol inks and has a mix chart  is   I bought  rubber stamps from them a long time ago - but a great outline on the alcohol inks and mixing them

just with these combos you can create some really nice mixes

I did buy the stamps /felt holders - they have velcro on - but you could make your own with a piece of wood and staple the velcro on (dollar store)- the felt - I get some scrap from work of our thin felt and it works fine - you just need something that will hold the ink as you stamp

here is the stamp with the felt on

I picked this combo and hopped for the best - you will get used to what colors you want dominant

Wild Plum

this one is called Nature walk on the chart (forgive the writing I was marking what I had in stock ) its the middle effect

I love purples and pinks and wow do you get them along with teals and greens its amazing

just create drops  of each colour - do not blend  just leave a bit apart as the felt will be come saturated and when pressed hard leaves sufficient ink

you dont have to saturate the felt 

just keep stamping  over and over the same areas  till you get the effect you want

over and over the same area 

you will see them blending together - there is a blending liquid (I think its just alcohol)  but you want vibrant and not washed out effect 

 I stamped on a sample round piece of glass that I will clean off later - or I could make sample tiles - but it will depend on just how much you put on the felt for the effect - next time I may put more butterscotch

once done - let dry - I tend to let dry for couple hours - although it only takes minutes  for it to dry

once dry - I use my EX-74 and a foam brush to seal
I use this product for my epoxy tempered glass candle holders  easy to use - I let dry for 24 hours

I make up the 1:1 ratio  in  and empty  plastic water bottle - I cut the top off and I keep a wooden spoon (handle) as my mixer and mark it as such so I dont use it on anything else-  the bottom of water bottles are great - have lots around  anything left will solidify

I just use the sponge brush and apply - at first I was worried it would smudge  but it  goes on great and smoothly

you could use template patterns to ink  - I used a round piece of glass to stamp around -