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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Blogging Gets Delayed

I haven't written in ages...

 But I've been busy learning metalworking.
 And enameling on copper.. and embossing and etching.
So that's why you haven't heard from me, I'll try to do better!

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I've gone through trying different packaging for my beads, from re-purposing wallpaper from big sample books,to sewing little packets with recycled upholstery samples, to leftover dyed wool from my spinning. Now I've ordered a lot of little boxes but have put off using them because of their dull light brown color. Not content to put my bright and sparkly beads in the dun colored boxes I've begun painting little watercolor gardens on them- such fun! I am not a painter but am enjoying filling these tiny "canvasses!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Sometimes I am in the mood for labor intensive beads.This is a new design I've been planning since I ordered a metal prong device for forming murrinis. These are the first raku murrini I've made with it and I'm very proud of them! Making the murrini takes a bit of extra time in itself but I decided to do a two layer white heart bead and then etch it for that wonderful glow. Now comes the labor intensive part! I applied a liquid mask to each murrini to preserve its shiny surface while the bead is dunked into the etching bath. Then I had to clean the mask off. The dots are metallic black.
I'd had this image in my mind of how I wanted them to turn out, but they exceeded my expectations!
Here is a picture of the nifty gizmo that begins the forming of a murrini. Several layers of glass are rounded up into a fat cylinder and then plunged into the center of the brass rays. Cool a moment and pull out and use another color to fill the slim channels. Heat again and pull to a diameter of 4 to 5 mm. Cool and cut with glass nippers into small sections about 3-5mm. I'm going to have to make and sell A LOT of murrini beads to pay off this $ little gadget!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Disaster Strikes!

Every bead in the kiln was melted off its mandrel into spreading shiny puddles across the kiln floor! Usually, after the soak cycle ( gradual cool down) I turn the kiln off and let it cool slowly overnight. This time my husband went out to the studio to do it for me. He accidently turned the control dial past " off " and it went into a super heating cycle. This is a bit of bad kiln design, ( it's an AIM) as the red light was off but the heat wasn't. Fortunately he went out into the dark garden about 2 hours later and noticed a strange glow from the studio window. Extreme heat met him and he quickly unplugged it.

I thought the kiln elements would be ruined but it runs fine. Getting the sheets of melted glass off the fire brick bottom was another story.

I waited two days and then grimly remade the 50 or so beads...

Here is a picture of a remade set I especially liked.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Saying "Goodbye" is so hard to do.

From the song, "Saying Goodbye is Hard to Do", to letting go of favorite bead sets! I made this set over a month ago, it has traveled in my pocket, purse, and decorated my computer desk and photography light box. I just couldn't bring myself to offer it for sale not knowing if I could make it again. For a while I decided they were "my" beads and I'd make myself a necklace with them. Then I had to face the fact that I have way too much jewelry and have had a self imposed moratorium on making anything for myself. I listed them at bedtime last night, they were sold when I woke up this morning! Packing them up to mail off I feel sad to see them go..... Some buyers send me photos of what they design with my beads- I'm hoping that this buyer will too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What else can I make with beads?

I had saved up my lumpy, bumpy, beginner beads. Some went in between bricks in the garden but some I epoxied around the edge of my license. One day I pulled into a gas station and a car pulled in right behind me. A woman hopped out and said"I've been following you. Do you make beads?" I gave her my card and later she did buy beads from me! I've been thinking of getting a personalized plate...... what should it say?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have a package of gold leaf but its high cost has made me hesitant to use it. I like the gilded flash look of gold and just discovered that by starting with a layer of silver foil and quickly encasing it with the right transparent , presto! it looks like gold. These nuggets are hand shaped with a little brass palette knife(once a mustard spreader). This creates a faceted surface with much more light bouncing off it. I SO much want to make myself a bracelet of these.... but I've taken a vow not to add to my excessive supply of bracelets.

Catalina Glass on Etsy

About Me

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Basically I love working with my hands to create with color and texture. I fill my days with lampworked hot glass, teaching, spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, gardening, reading, cooking and traveling. Come to to see my current work