Torchin’

One of my favorite things to do is work with hot glass to make beads.  I don’t have a torch set up at home…won’t even go there…so I don’t get to torch as often as I would like to.  Tomorrow is torchin’ time! 

A great friend of mine, Mari Johnson of Blue Fire Beads in New Lenox, IL has a hot glass studio set up and is wonderful enough to have Open Torch on the first Friday of the month.  I usually go early so I can have lunch and a nice long afternoon of torching with Mari.  We talk about everything in the world while we torch.  There is just something so amazingly relaxing, invigorating, wonderful about melting glass in a 1600 degree fire.  I never thought I was a pyro but I think I am.

We have a great group that comes too.  Patty, Jo, Jennifer, Kathy, and I are always there.  Jennifer is pretty much coming all the time now and she’s a great addition to the gang!  Jason and Heather show up when they can but they have to come even farther than I do so they don’t always make it.  Jeff and Lorraine are sporadic as well.  I miss seeing them when they aren’t there for a while.  Sweet Lana hasn’t been for a while and we look forward to her coming back so we can give her all the hugs that she needs.  Diane and Ellen almost never come but we love it when they do.  I’m sure I’m forgetting someone and I apologize!  We torch and then we go eat.

Mari’s birthday was on the 30th so I think we’re going to have a little party for her.  Any excuse for cake, you know. 

I’ll show you pics of the beads that I make.  I am going to try to do little sets for earrings.  I’m not always good at doing more than one of something so wish me luck.

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Time Management

I belong to another forum of lampworkers.  The question of the day is how do you manage your time when you are self employeed as an artist.  I sure wish I knew.  I try to set up a schedule to follow but I never seem to manage to do it.  I really need to get a planner and just start blocking out periods of time for different things and then actually doing it.  I feel like I jump from one thing to another.  I spend WAY too much time on the internet. 

Then there are those days where everything just goes right.  Every piece of jewelry I make looks even better than I imagined.  The chainmaille sparkles.  The lampwork has totally perfect ends and just fit in the press.  I love those days.  Of course, the opposite is the days where it all looks like dog sh*t no matter what I do to it.  I can string, restring and string again and it just doesn’t come together.  I potatochip all my rings.  My ends are bad or, even worse, I drip the damn bead onto the table.  Or I drag out all the PMC stuff–and there is LOTS of stuff–and totally go blank on what I was thinking about making.

Keep a notebook at hand to write down your ideas.  I don’t draw very well but I can do well enough to at least have something to reference later.  That’s probably the biggest tip I can give.  Except, of course, to just sit down and do it.

Frustration

I am so through with this.  I’m tired of hurting.  I’m tired of having trouble walking.  I’m tired of being tired.  I am so through.  I’m glad I see the doctor on Thursday–assuming I can get out in the snow.  I have a lot of questions.

I want to go and make beads on Friday.  There’s no way I can drive 110 miles total and sit for 6-8 hours in front of a torch.  Gah.  I want my life back.

I called Lesa today and had a total meltdown.  She’s not used to hearing me hysterical, I don’t think.  LOL  She’s coming in tomorrow and I’m looking forward to seeing her.  It’s her birthday tomorrow and I don’t have anything for her.  Wonder if I can get a chainmaille bracelet made for her tonight.  Off to see what rings I need….

Goin’ to the Dark Side…

No, I’m not doing that.  LOL  I do hot glass.  I LOVE hot glass.  There are very few things I love doing more than hot glass.  But I do ‘soft’ glass and have hundreds and hundreds of pounds of soft glass rods.  There’s another kind of glass called, surprisingly enough, ‘hard’ glass  🙂 or borosilicate (boro for short).  It works very differently than soft glass and most people tend to like one or the other most and do pretty much one or the other.  I’ve resisted even trying boro because I LOVE hot, soft glass.  I have always felt like I needed to do soft glass very well before I tried boro and have resisted quite well until now.  At Beadapallooza,  I won a prize.  A prize of 3# of boro glass.  I decided I’d try it and just as I got my stringer pulled we ran out of oxygen.  Phew…saved by a tank.  Maybe the dark side won’t get me afterall.

Nope…now a friend and fellow beadmaker who does amazing boro work is teaching at Blue Fire Beads.  I really want to see him and to take his class.  What am I going to do???  I just really think I’m being set up by the boro gods.

 I’m sitting on the couch with my laptop. Velcro, one of my cats, is sitting on a pillow behind me and keeps sneezing.  Don says he’s learning all his sneezes from me.  I think he’s sneezed about 30 times in the last few hours–all over the back of my head.  I’m going to need a shower before I go to bed!  Wonder if I can teach him to put a paw over his mouth?