Friday, August 29, 2008

Tool Gloat

The past year or 2 has been pretty busy with all of my time being spent elsewhere, I thought, but it appears that I've actually gotten quite a bit done in and around and even for the studio. I took my newest grandbaby into the messy studio when she was 2 months old, and I grandly gestured around the room and exclaimed: "One day, this will all be yours!"

She cried.

Anyways,I'm surprised, when I get down to it, that I've purchased 2 major cold-working machines, made a little glass topped table (only 13x13x24), held 2 open studio/house evenings and made some very cool thin unusual cabochons and pendents. It's good to know that I've actually squeezed in some quality time in the studio. I didn't think I had!

Obviously, as you can see from my posts here, I've listed a few times on Etsy ( ) and have had some fun creating "treasuries" there. Treasuries are a lot of fun. You're not supposed to promote your own stuff, so find other items to display in a rather unique way to showcase talent, and of course, your own good taste. If not good taste, then wry humor or dry if you wish; conceptual twists on titles or names that are familiar. These are often ways to communicate with the world wide community out there. I've met some interesting people and stumbled across some pretty neat items.

But I digress! back to my original premise, I'm doing STUDIO! I've gotten a new disk grinder after having burned out 2 grinders this year, and it's been nice! I've been making some super thin dichroic cabs that may have faceted sides or are flat. It really brings out the Dichroic shimmer and shine plus it's just not another dichroic blob. Nothing against blobs, I 've had my fair share of them and they remain in favor. It's just that I never wanted to do cold work. It is really cold and it is really work! But I can't help falling in love with the results.

The machine I just ordered is a studio sized wet belt sander (WBS) another one of those cold work machines that will be messy, cold and hard. Sobiet! I've got a couple of 12" platter type of landscapes of Empire MI's South Beach Bluff that are stunning, but I don't like the stands for them. So, they'll be off to the WBS for some finishing detail on the edges and and smoothing up of the back, I hope, then into a treated mold to be slumped into a bowl. Both of these platters are of the same bluff: one view is from the Empire Beach, looking south. The other is the same bluff viewed from the south, say, Otter Creek. If I were to fuse the 2 together, I could, but I don't know how I'd finish it or display it. But it would be cool to have the back looking like another view!
So, bowls they will be!

I've got a few pot melts waiting for a sanding and slumping too.

(Bottom layer layout)

The Table is a wrought iron frame with an opening for your table top. I saw a picture 2 years ago that inspired the Japanese garden style bridge, river, Big tree branching out, green & red leaves, stone walkway. In the following two years, I worked the design out in my head, in between other events, and finally got it clear enough how I was going to do this piece dimensionally. With all of the layers of glass and crushed glass, it's now about 1/2 inch thick and pretty darn cool.

(top layer know how I love naked trees...)

And here are both layers laid out in papaKiln, with piles of crystal clear frit (crushed glass) piled on high. It took five hours to process and another 10 hours to cool.

I'll get finished photos of the table up here soon!

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