Thursday, 27 March 2008

Float Glass Products

At last! My glass order is finally here. All these goodies are co-efficient with float glass (coe 82-84) and I am already experimenting with them.

Shown here: two sheets of "precious metal" glass in gold and silver, five jars of fine glass frit, three jars of glass bubble powder and a bucket of glass "tangles". The tangles looks fabulous and I hope to make some dishes based on sweet shop candy with them. They are like hollow twisted glass stringers, but a bit thicker than the normal stringer.
Not shown - two pens of "liquid" stringer in black and white and two nibs.

Below are some examples of float glass fusing products including a slumped dish made with different colored frits. I could have bought float glass millefiori too but the colors are rather disappointing. I think I'll wait until the technology for float glass can create colors that equal Bullseye or murano.

Anyway, I will be posting all my experiments (good and bad) here on my blog so please stay tuned!

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

More about Sources of Inspiration

Anything can become a source of inspiration for design. It can be a color, texture, shape, abstract, realisitc, organic or man-made. I am fortunate that my daughter works in an old fashioned sweet shop and looking at the many jars of sweets, stacked in rows, is a great source of inspiration (not to mention the delight in eating them).
The colours of these licorice torpedoes make them so appealing to the eye. The combination of their glassy look and synthetic colours were the inspiration behind this glass candy dish. Fortunately, Bullseye makes opaque glass that reflect the artificial brightness of this candy and placing the different coloured glass squares together was great fun.

I'm not a big fan of candy - I prefer chocolate myself but I am rather fond of licorice. Again the bright colors of Licorice Allsorts proved to be a source of inspiration, particularly as each bright color is bisected with black.

I have attempted to make these Allsorts cufflinks slightly more sophisticated by using deeper or more subtle colors than those in the candy, including turquoise blue, red, vanilla and soft blue. I hope that the "fun" element in the design hasn't been lost in translation. I really like these cufflinks and they look great on a white dress shirt. The studs are silver plated.

Finally, this dish is again inspired by candy but the colours are slightly different. Instead of opaque glass I have fused transparent glass onto white. By separating each coloured glass piece with a tile of white I prevent muddy colour combinations occuring. As transparent glass is see-through (obviously) it is going to reflect the colour underneath. Without the white tiles the amber glass fused to green would make a nasty brown, the turquoise on the amber glass would make a dirty green.

All this glass is available for sale at my Etsy Shop. 

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Glass Cabochons

Cabochons are actually gemstones that have been shaped and polished rather than facetted. This gives the stone a softer and smoother appearance than facetted gemstones have. Most cabochons are oval or round in shape.
Fused glass cabochons are glass nuggets that have not been made up into jewelry yet. Like the gemstones they also have a smooth, rounded shape which is due to the firepolishing they receive in the kiln. Once at full fusing temperature all sharp edges smooth down as the glass first pulls itself up and then slumps.

Buying fused glass cabs is a great way to create your own jewelry as they have many possibilities. They can be set, like gemstones, in precious metal or metal plate pre-formed settings to make rings, earrings, pendants, brooches or cufflinks. By grinding a ridge along the glass with a dremel (drill) they can be wire wrapped and they can be glued to bails or cufflink posts. Cabs can also be set in precious metal clay (PMC) or glued to magnets or even fused to compatible glass art.

All my cabs shown here are compatible to Bullseye (COE90) glass. They are available in sets of 4, 8 or 9 at very reasonable prices and all shipping is free.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Look what she did!

Beautiful books hand stitched and constructed by The Gift Shed using wax batik paper made by me!!! Here's Galloping Gecko (top) and a red Giddy Gecko.

I am now selling batik papers in packs of three and don't forget that shipping is free!

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Wax Batik Papers

I spent last weekend making 60 sheets of wax batik papers to sell in my shop They are fun to make because each one is different and the dyes are such vibrant colors. On some sheets I have double printed the lizards (geckos) and on others I have used a decorator's paint brush to splash and drip hot wax over the painted geckos (lizards). Layering the color is fun too because, by painting the first layer yellow, the next blue layer of color turns green. The red and orange papers are particularly successful as, combined, the colors just sing!

These papers come in packs of six, sized A4 and, because they are painted onto thick quality cartridge paper, make excellent book covers or gift tags.

The dyes are colorfast and, although all the wax has been removed from the paper, it leaves a stiffness to the paper and a slight sheen. I remove the wax by ironing the paper between sheets of newspaper. The heat from the iron causes the wax to melt and become absorbed into the newspaper.

The tool I use to print the wax with is called a tjap (pronounced cap) and is an Indonesian wax printing tool made from copper. It conducts heat from the wax pot so I have to wrap the handle in a cloth to prevent my hand from burning. Wax is an extremely volatile material and should be treated with the utmost care and respect.

I love the combination of golden yellow, tangerine and fuchsia pink in this paper. As the lizard-geckos were printed with wax on white paper, the white shows very clearly.

For a tutorial on how to print your own wax batik papers please visit