Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Cutting glass circles

I know there are a lot of people who have difficulties cutting glass circles so I thought I would just tell how I do it and hope it will be of help to somebody.

So, I start by cutting a square of glass a minimum of 2 cm larger than the diameter of the required circle, so for a 24 cm diameter circle I cut a square with sides of at least 26 cms. The smaller the circle the more excess is needed.

Using a circle cutter I then score my circle, trying to place it as near as possible in the middle of the square. Making sure to apply even pressure, I then score the whole circle only once. When I have scored the circle I then turn the glass over and place it on a softer surface, I use a fairly thick tea-towel folded in half.

I then apply gentle pressure to the glass above the score (this is easier with clear glass as you can actually see the score line). I do this with both thumbs, one pressing on the nail of the other and I use a really soft bouncing motion, gradually increasing pressure, until I see a crack appear in the glass. The crack should run in a circle along the scoreline. Once the glass begins to crack in this way I move my thumbs around the circle continuing to apply gentle pressure and watching the crack appear.

Once I can see a clean crack all the way around the circle I turn the glass back over and make a score from the circle to the outside edge of the glass where the circle is closest to the edge (ie at the centre of the side of the square). Repeat this score on the four sides. If the circle isn't almost falling out by itself, use your normal method to break along the score line starting with the part of the circle nearest the corners of the square.

After some practise it's possible to remove the circle by making only one further score which leaves the scrap glass fairly intact and ready for a picture frame or mirror (a lesson for another day maybe). Here's the scrap left after cutting the white circle seen above. The small dish is only there because my camera wouldn't focus without it.

Hope this is helpful!

Saturday, 27 September 2008

Midnight Rainbow

This morning I have another fused glass dish to show. Fresh out of the kiln is Midnight Rainbow. A really dramatic look to this one, lots of contrast between the colours and the black and the straight lines and the curves of the finished piece.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Fused Glass Coasters

What a beautiful sunny morning it is here in our part of Scotland this morning. It was really lovely to get out into the woods for our walk. There's also a slight chill in the air, soon the leaves will be changing colour and the scenery will change again.

This tree was lit up in the sunlight and looked quite splendid.

Back to the glass, and out of the kiln is the set of four coasters with a Christmas feel. Lots of aventurine green glittering with accents of white, red and a little bit of dichroic sparkle for good measure.

These will be going up for sale on my website later today. You'll find them here if you fancy something special for the Christmas table.

Monday, 22 September 2008

Lampwork bead pendants

Had fun yesterday putting together some jewellery, something I very rarely do these days but maybe I will try to do more in the future. I used my own lampwork beads and incorporated them with sterling silver beads and swarovski crystals to come up with these three necklaces. I've put them up for sale on my website, you can find them here.

Now off to empty the kiln and wash things ready for the finished shelf.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

I'm back!

Wasn't around much last week as I was called to go and do jury service! Goodness what a boring time just sitting around waiting to see if I would be picked to actually be part of a jury. They actually pick names out of a glass jar! Well I never got picked so it was all very unexciting.

Anyway hopefully things will be back to normal now and I can get back in the studio and start making more glass things!

Stay tuned to see what comes out of the kiln next...

Friday, 12 September 2008

Another fused glass dish

Trying to build up a stock of items for an exhibition I'm doing in October. This time it's a gorgeous deep purple dish though that's very hard to show in the photos. This one had to have several firings but it's finally finished.

I took a shot in front of the window to try and show the intense purple colour but on my monitor it looks more blue than it is in real life.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Profile photo

I've been thinking for a while that I should put up a photo of me on my profile. Unfortunately, I have very few recent photos of myself - tend to try and stay behind the camera these days. However, when I was rooting around in some boxes looking for other stuff I came across a photo that had been taken about 11 years ago. It is one of the few photos of me that I've ever thought was ok so I've decided to put it up here! Well it is still me, just me how I looked then, surely I can't have changed that much....hahaha!!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Woodland view

It's back to the wet weather again today but we did get a few dry days when we were able to get up into the woods to walk in the mornings. About halfway up there's an opening in the trees which makes a nice viewpoint.

As for what's in the kiln... well this is a view of the glass before firing, it'll be going in today for what will hopefully be the final fire-polish before it's time for the slump.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Blue Floral Lampwork necklace

Well, quite a bit of fused glass work done over the weekend but not very much to show for it yet, hopefully by the end of the week there will be more things to put on the finished shelf. One thing I did manage to finish was this necklace which I had started some time ago. It used 3 of my lampwork glass beads, 1 floral with two matching beads. The necklace itself is seed beads worked in spiral herringbone stitch. I'm really pleased with how this one turned out.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Check Mate!

Another fused glass dish this morning, this time in check rather than stripes. Came out really well this one but the photos don't do it justice. I like the way the brown streaky glass almost looks like wood.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Fresh fusings

A few finished items are fresh out of the kiln this morning. The striped dish is going to be called the 'Cat's Pyjamas' because the name popped into my head whilst I was making it and now it's stuck. I think all the straight and curved stripes just make me think of clothing.

Also going onto the finished shelf this morning are a couple of really pretty bowls made of red iridescent glass. They are only small but I really like the shape of these and they could have so many uses... great for night-light candles or for change or keys or sweeties...mmm

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Kiln Full of Glass

Well, the kiln is on today doing a slump cycle which will hopefully finish off several items. I don't think I could have fitted anything extra in there so definitely making the most of this firing...

Looking forward to seeing these things finished, especially the stripy dish which has been quite time consuming to make.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

A walk by the river

Just thought I'd post a couple of pics of where I have been walking my dog recently. Normally she would get to run in the woods but at the moment its so muddy there that we've been walking alongside the river instead. Here's a picture of the spot where we normally stop so that Sadie, my dog, can cool her toes and get a quick drink in the river...

and here is Sadie herself with cold feet...

and here's a picture of someone else who was taking a break by the river this morning... a heron

Back to the glass and the kiln is on and I also have the next thing ready to go in ...

Monday, 1 September 2008

Introducing fused glass keyrings!

How about these fused glass keyrings then? I had lots of cabochons just sitting around waiting to be used but I felt I had enough pendants for the moment so I had the idea of turning some of the cabs into keyrings! Bought nice strong rings and drilled some holes and presto! Fused glass keyrings in lots of fun colours and styles. I already grabbed one for my keys and will be putting some up for sale on my website later today! They'll make great stocking fillers come Christmas too!