Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Only a few more days, before ...

... the one and only annual danish lampworkers get together, arranged by 'Foreningen Danske Glasperler' (the Danish Glass Beadmakers Society).

On friday I'll be off to the most southern part of Jutland, where Ravstedhus graciously lend their land and facilities to the society for two days. Two days of demos, bead talk, tool and supply shopping and on sunday, the lampworkers market, and more demos open to the public. It will be great!

This year I made sure I took the time to make and send in a bead for the competition. The theme was 'Eventyr' (fairytales), or I could be completely wrong because that word can also mean 'Adventure'. Oops?!

In any case - I made a trippel dog bead, to illustrate the 3 dogs from 'the Tinder Box' by H. C. Andersen. What a weird ending that tale has. The soldier simply terrorizes everybody into saying: 'Why yes, of course, you must be our new king!' I realise that old time fairytales are not made for children, but still, is that the kind of morals we/they would want to pass on as great? I am a little confused.

So - I have never made a dog in glass before, and 3 in one does not make it easier I can tell you. I did need a couple of tries before I were happy. The first ones didn't even look like dogs, but rather teddy bears. Then I realised how to fix their faces and a more proper way to place the legs. They are still cartoony though, but after all it is a fairytale, so that is just fine.
I sent in the one on the left, in wich I included a heap of 'money' for the dogs to sit on.

view of the 3 little dogs 'cause they are cute

another side view

See how the ones on the right are all teddy-ish? Even with the tounge sticking out. They are all ivory and I fumed them a bit, for a more delicious tone of brown. There are always things you'd like to do different, but time is up and I am pleased with my progress, and with the bead I sent in.

I am looking forward to seeing the other peoples fairytale beads, to getting to do a roadtrip, meet all the lampworkers and to all of the weekends adventures. Yay! :)

I hope you have a great weekend too :)

Monday, May 14, 2012

More marbles (purplish)

I made some more marbles! :) 

This is a big one, more than 1" across. My vortexs seem to grow uncontrolably while I build them. This one, like my first vortex, is without a solid backside colour. I rather like it that way. It is also slightly transparent, since I didn't cover it completely in purple frit. I like that too.

It doesn't really show, except when you hold it, but the center of this one apears so deep it wouldn't fit inside the marble. It is very cool.
And check out that bubble I planted in the depth of the vortex. I thought it would go round as I finished the backside, but no, it has kept a neat pointy spaceship form. Vrooooom!

I am keeping this one, in my pocket for now, because even though the lens magnifies like crazy, it is still not smooth enough to live with somebody else.


Next time I'll see if I can get some light in there.


This next one has a name. Oh I know, you don' believe me, since I never ever name anything. Even my teddy bear I had as a child went without a name for some 13 years. But this marble has a name and got it as soon as I picked it out of my kiln. It's a Fairy Flower. Yeps. Because it's kind of like a flower, but not really. 

Two experiments went into that. The white center dots that melted into each other and didn't spike much, and the skinny purple things flabbing in the breeze. Those were made by pushing line-shapes into the back of the frit and imploding them. I expected to see raised lines, but no, I got skinny pointy bits.

I covered the back in white, because the purple frit keeps staying on the surface and devitrifying and looking really bad. Next time I'll dip once more in the frit before I cover it for a purple background. It will be lovely.

I also made another marble, but it photographs incredibly bad, so no picture of that. I am only mentioning it (without a picture) because a strange and interesting thing happened when I imploded.

I made a stringer from dipping clear in goldstone fine frit. It has a lovely minty blue colour, but since it is on clear it is very transparent and doesn't show up well in pictures.

In the marble I made 2 circles of bubbles and a single one in the center, then dottet them with the stringer. Then, to avoid too much boiling of the goldstone, I covered the dots in clear. I had expected the stringer dots to rise up, like petals and dots usually do, but they all stayed mostly flat. Then the outer dots curved downwards on the outer rim away from the center, following the side of the marble towards the back.

None of the colours I have imploded so far has done anything like that. I am sure it is because it was mostly clear and with hardly any difference in viscosity. Fascinating. I'll have to see if I can duplicate it some time.


This is obviously not a marble. It is a picture from my garden, where the appletrees are blooming like crazy! The cherry trees have already lost their petals, but they were lovely while it lasted. Just to let you know that spring is here, and it is fantastic!


Monday, May 07, 2012

Giant Spiderrs! (Don't worry, they are all glass)

At the Museeum of Natural History in Copenhagen, right now there is an exhibition about spiders. This might well have been one of those events where I think 'Oh, I'd like to see that' and then promptly forget about it. But when I heard some of the exhibits were made in glass - well, I just had to go and see it for myself.

The 5 glass spiders on exhibit are made by British glass artist Neil Wilkin. There was a short video of him,  making them in parts and putting them together on a center bit of steel. They are quite fabulous, and large!

Here is the Green Lynx Spider,

Here is the Black Widow,

a White Crab Spider,

a jumping Spider,

and finally a Tiny Orb Weaver.

But you really have to see them up close to apreciate the finer details. My favourite is the jumping spider, covered in frit and lovely soft colours.

There were of course live specimens present too, large and small. Most of them were kept in semi-darkness, but this palm-sized fishing spider had just enough light for a decent picture (I didn't want to use flash on the poor creatures). See that gubby in the water getting a little too close for his own good?

They also had a few examples of clothing made from spiderweb.
This hat-thingy was made by collecting webs with a V-shaped branch (or two braches put together). When the webs have formed a solid 'fabric' you are done and slide the hat off the branches. It is supposedly water tight, but ... it was also full of insect remnants, so a big 'no thank you' from me.

This scarf however, is beautiful. It was made by pulling the silk directly from the spiders, then spinning it to weaveable threads, and finally weaving the scarf. The amazing golden colour is completely natural, from the spidersilk itself. That I wouldn't mind wearing.

I am wondering what they will do with the glass spiders after the exhibition closes in december. I wouldn't mind giving that jumping spider a new home :)

Love and creepy crawleys,
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