Monday, October 29, 2012

Universe / Planet Marbles

One of the very first things I bought when I started lampworking almost 6 years ago, was fine silver leaf. 25 little sheets of it, and guess what I still have laying around.

Well, this week I made good use of some of them and made these universe marbles.

Click for a larger version.
These marbles are so lovely in the sun.

The three smaller ones are thinly encased, and I'd like to try one with a thicker layer of clear next time. It is fun to see the center 'landscape' bend under the clear, and a thicker layer would magnify even more. I might be able to make mountains or craters or perhaps even clouds. Some sort of structure in any case.

The two bigger ones have a spiralling indentation under the surface. They are not too tight, but I think people call them tornado beads, when using this technique for beads.

Those two marbles are my biggest ones yet, but I gave the very biggest to a new friend, and forgot to measure it first, so I can't say exactly how big it was. I any case, the spiralling technique adds quite a bit of clear and makes the marble grow considerably from its base size.

As for the roundness - I'm getting closer every time :)

Monday, October 15, 2012

What is a MARIMO?

No, not a fancy new lampworking tool, or a fabulous new colour of glass - a Marimo is a bunch of algae, living and growing as a free flowing ball, rolling along on the bottom of Lake Akan in Japan. They have no roots and sometimes they will lay on the bottom, sometimes they will rise up to the surface, presumably to get more light.

See videos on YouTube about marimos

They are good for clearing the water in your aquarium, where they will use up all the nutrients before other types of algae gets a chance to grow. If you do not have an aquarium that needs tending, you can keep the Marimo as a pet (or more likely, as a houseplant, though submerged in water).

A few weeks ago I first encountered these intriguing lifeforms, and I'm afraid I fell in love right away. It is probably just a fad, but ... my Marimos are here! Woot!! :)

I ordered a bunch of them. I have some for my aquarium, some for my desk at work, some for the windowsills, some for my children to love, and even some for my mother. Yes, the madness is spreading :)

And hey, being a lampworker, what else could I do? I made Marimo beads!

Just a couple so far, testing out colours. I used my new cane-making abillity to pull stringers with an opaque center and a transparent coating. It is very suiting for these beads, emulating algae strings overlapping the ball surface.

The first cane was made with a peagreen center, and ended up in this bead.

Then I accidentally grabbed a rod of Kiwi, same peagreen surface, but with a transparent center. When pulled to a stringer and applied it has a more ghostly see-through appearence. I like that too on these darker versions.

I tried a few different colours for base colour, which all seemed possible from what I have seen on YouTube, and now that I have the real deal to look at I will see what I can do to make them a bit more velvety. I'm happy about the texture though.

The Marimo balls also exists in other places, like Iceland and Estonia, and even in Denmark we have a similar ball of algae. In Danish it is called 'gedebolle' (goat-ball), named after the green ball a ruminant will retch up for a second or third munching.
Not quite as charming as Marimo or Mooskugeln as they are called in Germany. So mine will be Marimos, unless of course they each get a pet name ... We'll see about that :)

Monday, October 08, 2012

Kim Fields: Take Flight Class, at Bifrost Copenhagen

So finally, here are my bird beads from the Kim Fields class, in order of completion.

Day 1:

First bird, 3 layers of wings on such a small body is not easy. The head is tilted to the left. I didn't mean to, but I like it :)

Second bird, an owl, came out kind of okay. With a white coating on the belly, wings on the back, a tiny bit of a tail and many many tiny little claws. The eyes were difficult, in that the indentations in the white were easily lost since white glass is so soft. The beak is more of a nose, but the placement is good. The horns ... meh.

Bird no.3. A little extra one I fit in, in the afternoon. Nothing special.

Day 2:

Bird no.4 the Pudgie. Markings around the beak and eyes. Took a lot of fiddeling and didn't come out too well. Also made me forget to heat the tail, so it popped off later in the kiln. Oh well ...

Bird no.5 An actual bird, the Vermillion Flycatcher. Mine is a bit chubby, but I like it all the same. The black line on his face was supposed to go through the eye and through the beak, but as red turns black when hot, it was not easy to see where the colours met. Trying to tell the to colours apart, I got it too hot and the line flowed downwards. An ekstra dot of red on the top of the head pushed the line too.

This final bird we made is the Musvit. I am very pleased with how it came out. See how the head is round with an angle at the back and a full melt-in at the front? It has a good size too, compared to the body. See the half-circle marking on the cheek, and the eyes properly indented? And it has a line of black running down the chest and some white under the tail.

The wings need work in the shape and thickness, but they have a lighter line across on the upper part, and a coating of striated stringer (which I made myself, Woot!) on the 2 lower wing layers. It is on the topside of the tail too.

After only 5 sparrow shaped birds ever, I'd like to declare it a success. Yay! :)

This last bird is not made by me. It is made by Kim Fields herself, and now resides in my glass collection. Isn't it fabulous? :)

All in all I have to say it was a wonderful experience. Being in a room full of hyper-focused people is a special feeling, and I am very pleased I got to be a part of this class.
Thank you to all involved.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...