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Sunday, December 20, 2009


Now that the weather is cooler, even here in Southern Calif. I get into the mood for more spinning. It's the perfect evening activity after a day of focusing on making beads, soothing and relaxing. I can get so intent on the drama that is hot glass, I tighten up my shoulders and neck but feel the strain ebb away as I spin. These are some new yarns curled up in my project basket now. The blue was a gift batt from a Ravelry exchange I participated in.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Mixing Color in Fiber

Here is a luscious pile of recycled sari silk. It has been fluffed into a cloud that I've added to a fine, soft wool called Cormo, blended slightly on my drum carder and then spun into a fine singles. In my knitting, random bright silk flashes show up. I'm encouraged to knit just one more row, just one more..... to see what colors will
appear next.I like thinking of all the beautiful Indian ladies who have worn these elegant saris for many years and now their fabric has a new life. All the work of those silkworms goes on!!! I have raised silkworms for their silk and appreciate the life connection to this remarkable fiber. Click the picture to enlarge.

Mixing color in hot glass can create many surprises. When I blend colors in fiber though, the results are much more predictable.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Color Inspiration

The best color combinations exist in flowers ,I do believe. I enjoy bringing the blooming color theme into my spinning or my lampworked beads. Purple passion flower is one incredible blossom! Click on the photo to greatly enlarge it and study the flower structure. I've been carding some wool, mixing colors to get that glowing purple. I may ply it with some red toned yarn, or maybe green .... who knows! But what fun to play with color. One picture is the single ply yarn skeined onto a niddy noddy and the other is the fluffy batt waiting to be spun.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The "Magic" of Manganese

The chemical makeup of glass and the interactions between one element and another makes a fascinating journey of discovery. I've recently learned that it is the element manganese that creates the metallic surface that I love ,with flashes of purple, blue, green and pink.At first I thought it was only a result of changing the flame chemistry by using more or less oxygen and propane at the torch. But I've found it is much more subtle, it is finding the correct spot in the edge of the flame that brings out the colors.It is a delicate dance between gently heating and cooling repeatedly that brings success. But just a bit too much heat and the surface goes back to shiny black, all suggestion of color gone. The two glasses in these pictures are dark silver plum and a new glass named "metallic black". They look very ordinary and unassuming in the rod form. Enjoy the "magic show" !!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

So, what IS frit????????????

Some lampworkers jokingly say ,"I have a box under my table where I throw my dirty shorts." This just refers to the collection of stubs of glass that are too short to use but are crying out to be transformed into frit. I've always bought frit,( see PART of my collection of little jars) but have recently starting crushing my "dirty shorts" into great glass combinations. I hold the stub with tweezers into the flame, melt into a blob, the plunge into a bowl of water. There's the fun part! the sizzle, crackle, kerpow and the glass breaks. I use different sieves to separate the sizes and break the large chunks up further with a few whacks of one of my heavy brass tools.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Color Inspiration

A vase full of burgundy and purple sweet peas nestled into an orange climber named Sunset speaks of one of my favorite color combinations. Purple and orange create a vibrant partnership. I have knit a pair of socks in these colors and have recently created a frit mix for my beads in this pairing. I can't quite explain why I'm drawn to these colors, I have no purple and orange clothing.... yet! I was surprised by a pot by my back door that suddenly began blooming, and without planning it, there were those colors again!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Fibery Pursuits

Finished scarves and shawls, some knitted, some woven.

Samples I've dyed and woven, click to expand size.

This is the warping reel I use to wind a warp, this is a 4 yard warp of linen for towels.

This is my loom with stacks of batts I've carded and some yarn I've already spun in the colorway. (And a beret I knitted in the yarn!)

This shows my loom with some completed fabric for a jacket draped over it - and the ever present companion, my Ragdoll cat, Whisper.

I wanted to add in what other color addictions I have- anything with fiber! I buy raw fleece, scour it,dye and card it, often blending gorgeous custom batts of mixed fibers and colors. Then I spin it on my trusty Ashford Traveler. I knit and weave with my yarns. I have a Schacht Mighty Wolf 8 harness loom.My new adventure is in trying soysilk, bamboo , and seacell for spinning.Here are a few pictures of my fiber travels.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Can Beads NOT be jewelry????????

I have made some tiny hummers to hang as light catchers in my breakfast room window and on the mirror in my car.

Here are some tiny decorated eggs I've made for an Easter "egg tree" table decoration.

My beads are destined to be jewelry... no, not always. Here I've made some mini narcissis wired up with copper and a tiny bead center for this spring bouquet in a miniature frog vase ( 1 1/2 in. high).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sculpture tools

Sitting at my torch with my pointy little tools at the ready I feel like I'm in the operating room readying for surgery. "Scalpel please, knife please, scarey pick please.....) Only I have no one to hand them to me. The Very Best Tool is the little brass knife. In its other life it languished in a kitchen drawer as a mustard knife- a very useless existence. Doing hot glass sculpture means lots of tools and there are still many I don't YET own. Here are some more pictures of sculpted glass.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Moving on from "round" beads

Starting out, beadmakers focus on round beads and learning to work with gravity to make that perfect roundness happen. Then it's on to pressing beads in a brass press shaped like a lentil, button, or nugget. So what follows? usually it's doing sculptural work with the taffy like hot glass. This opens up a whole new realm of possibilities! I'm adding some pictures of my forays into sculptural glass but I have many more ideas yet to try.....

Saturday, February 14, 2009

This is Gaia glass.
This is an experimental oddlot no longer available.

This is Terra, no longer available.

This is newly released Aurae.

This is an experimental oddlot no longer available.

95% of the glass sold is imported from Europe- Italy and Germany. But in the past 2 years American glassmakers have begun producing silver laden glass that has zoomed in popularity despite its' high price- $100 a pound!! Glass composition is all about chemistry and silver is one metal that reacts to heating and cooling cycles as well as increased propane to produce some incredible and unpredictable colors. Double Helix is the big name here with new colors introduced every few months.
The heartbreaker is that many named glasses have one release and if you don't manage to "invest" in some of it initially ,you miss out. Some glass formulas they can't seem to replicate. The price goes up way past $100/lb. for the rare glass.....

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