Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Sweetest thing......December 7, 2005

As I've been telling you, when the temperature goes below 30 here in the Northeast US, I'm unable to work in my unheated studio. Well, my husband did the sweetest thing on Sunday, he surprised me with two very powerful heaters that he placed in the studio. Within 2 hours, the studio was as warm as a July afternoon! Wasn't that the sweetest thing to do!? I think so and now I am able to work happily away even in the winter! WhooHoo!

I've been working on a fairly simple yet elegant design - a single crystal placed into a single colored round tab suspended from a rondel-bead. I'll be working on them again today in the studio to see what sort of variations I can come up with. I like the elegant look of these beads - the single crystal. Adding the 2mm crystals to the bead isn't easy. It's the preparation that's the killer! I place a tiny dab of glue on the end of a stainless steel mandrel and glue the flat end of the crystal to the tip of the mandrel. I've lost quite a few of the crystals because 2mm is tiny! It's hard to see which end is flat sometimes and the crystals will slip off the bench and onto the floor! Sometimes I find them, most of the time, I don't. Once the crystal is glued onto the mandrel, I make the rondel-bead and had the round bead to the end. I flatten the round bead then heat a section of the round tab bead and press the crystal into the hot glass. A dab of clear glass is placed over the crystal as a lens to magnify it. The clear is melted smooth in the flame and the bead placed into the kiln to anneal. I'm showing one of these beads but have several different variations sitting on my workbench. I'll photograph them later in the week and post them here.

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