In April, I was registered for a class with Jen Geldard, the glass artist I most want to take a class with. I learned, just before the day of the class, that it had been canceled and I was heartbroken.
The bright spot of the situation was that I found myself with some extra "glass money" and decided that if I couldn't "sit at the feet of the master" I could at least try to improve my control by purchasing some things I thought might help.
This is my new torching set up. The "wings" coming out from the desk and the little bicycle handbars sticking up from it are part of a piece of equipment called a "Creation Station". It gives me a firm support for my elbows and a place to brace my wrists while working. Sometimes it's very hard to have a steady hand while placing ornamentation on beads, so this should help.
The pinky-purple rectangle in the center of the picture is a didymium shield. Didymium protects the eyes of the glass worker and also filters out the bright sodium flare that results from the glass being placed in the flame so we can see the actual bead instead of the flare. Until now, I have worn didymium goggles over my glasses which were bulky and annoying. With the shield, I only need to wear my glasses and now, when I look away from the flame to find a specific color of glass, I can actually see the color.
I've only worked with this set up twice now and although I find it more comfortable, I'm not sure the quality of my beads has shown much improvement yet.
I was inspired by this peacock feather (which happened to be hanging in my laundry room) to try to make some peacock beads.
The round on on the left was the first try and I think that one "got" the colors better than the later ones. Now to work on a set...
On another note, Tina & I taught an online class a couple of weeks ago on balms and salves.
As a result, I was inspired to make these two new products. The bug off stick is a solid "lotion bar" containing lots of bug repelling essential oils. It actually smells pretty good (there's some rose geranium in there) - and no dangerous chemicals.
The Extra Essential lip balm is something we used to make for the shop, but now it's repackaged and spiffed up for resale. Don't you love the little hooky thing on the top? How handy is that for hanging wherever? It's another one that is just full of good things.
The original formula for the eo blend is from an oil we put together for someone who was feeling a fever blister starting on her lip. She applied it and the fever blister (cold sore) never developed.
Our Mom loved that lip balm and swore by it, so making it so close to Mothers' Day is particularly appropriate.