Wednesday, February 29, 2012

First Miss Tanzania Necklace

What do you think?  She is made of wine and beer bottle beads, antique copper beads and wooden beads.


Monday, February 27, 2012

Miss Tanzania, Recycled

Well, here she is...Miss Tanzania, made from a recycled beer bottle.  All dressed up and ready to party!  I played around with etching a bit.  This one is etched using a chemical that I bought for the process awhile ago.  I etched some of the smaller, accent beads with baking soda, while they were still in the flame and I think that I like that look better, as they look more "aged".  Interestingly, all the beads that I made yesterday were from an amber colored beer bottle.  The ones etched with baking soda look almost blue and this one looks black.  You'll see the others when I complete a necklace with them...hopefully in the next week or so.  She stands 2 inches tall and has a shallow crack in her forehead, but I think that adds to the antique look.  Hopefully the next one will have boobs.  What do you think?

52 earrings a year

Friday, February 17, 2012

Miss Tanzania, 1981

I'm continuing with Tanzania and with glass.  Not bottle glass yet.  I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with my green bottle beads and I want to get the bugs out of Miss Tanzania in glass before I break a beer bottle for her.  I just happen to have some (gluten free!) beer in the refrig in her perfect color!

First:  I must introduce--the original--Miss Tanzania, 1981:

She is a wooden sculpture--4 feet tall that we purchased in Tanzania in September.  So named because, when we were admiring her the salesman told us that she was an antique.  When I asked how old she was, he replied that she was about 30 years old.  What does that make me?  Anyway...for some time now I wanted to see if I could make her in glass--somewhat smaller and just head and shoulders.

Here is my first attempt:

 Of course, she's still on the mandrel because of a telltale crack in the middle of her back.  You already know about my cracking troubles.  This time it's due to the height of the bead.  It's still difficult for me to keep larger beads evenly heated in the flame. Though he didn't work in glass that I know of, now I know why Van Gogh cut off his ear!  This bead--at about 2.5 inches tall is almost twice as tall as my birdies.    I did manage to pierce her ears though.  You wouldn't expect me to let her go naked, would you?                       


Saturday, February 4, 2012

My First Bottle Beads


Here are my first bottle beads:


My observations--and a disclaimer--I did not use this brand of wine on my beads--though it is a very nice wine!

1. It wasn't too bad making bottle beads.  The most difficult thing about it was overcoming the shockiness of the glass, which I did by preheating the glass shards in the kiln.  The only problem with that was, it took a LONG time.  I preheated the kiln at a ramp of 200 degrees per hour, so I wasn't up to bead annealing temperature for more than 4 hours.  Next time I'm going to try to ramp it up faster.  I did start making some beads and putting them in the kiln long before it was at annealing temperature.  It didn't seem to harm them at all.  I started playing with some shards after they were at about--maybe 350 degrees in the kiln and were still a bit shocky.  Not long after that, they worked out fine.

2. My bottle beads seem to be crystal clear.  That's good, but a bit disconcerting!  Why is it that wine bottles destined for the trash make crystal clear beads and glass rods--which can be very expensive--can be scummy?

3.  Wine bottles come in a rainbow of colors--provided that the rainbow is different shades of green!  Any donations of wine--or booze--bottles will be greatfully accepted, but NO GREEN, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!

4.  You don't want to see me start drinking more, do you?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And the Winner is...

                                                                    Happy Feet       

                                                      Thank you, Kate Behrokh,

                                              and to all others who participated!