Monday, July 28, 2014

Mixed media, hmm?

Hmm, so apparently flint stones are quite sensitive to heat. At least glass melting heat.

Many years ago I saw this beautiful idea on the web, of a natural stone with a pit/hollow in it, in which was placed a nice colourful implosion. You can see the picture I had seen here, at DeMoss Glass Art. I love it, I do, and I want to try to do that too.

I'd obviously like the implosion annealed, so the choises are to anneal it while in place, with the rock inside the kiln (though I don't know if they would shrink equally or just crack the glass), or to shape the back of the implosion after the rock, anneal it and glue it in later.

Around the corner of my house is an empty lot covered with pocket size stones, so off I went to find a handfull of suitable ones. I did find some, nicely shaped and able to lay flat in the right direction, all of them flint.

I didn't want to just drop them into my kiln and fire it up, as they might explode, as they would in a fire pit. I don't want to endanger my heating elements, so instead I tried to push the backside of a hot implosion into the hollow of a stone at room temperature. It seemed like a good idea, but then within 3 seconds - smack! the flint decided to split, right in the middle. Darned! My best stone too of course, because why test it first :)

Split Flintstone
I do have a few thoughts -

The next step would probably be to try heating the stone after all. But I have no fiber blanket to cover it (if it should decide to fling shards around the inside of my kiln), and how would I get the stone out of the kiln hot, and handle it firmly, while also handling the soft glass implosion? Well, a grill tong perhaps, but it might well slip. Some sort of face shield would be good too, if it decides to jump at my face, while I finish off the glass surface, at an extra 500C above kiln temperature.

Maybe I need a larger stone to better withstand the heat when I press the implosion into it. Or maybe flint just isn't the best material for this project, though it is fairly readily available to me and naturally pitted. I wonder what stone the DeMosses use ...

So there you have it. I shall lay this idea to rest (again) for now, as I am going to be a busy busy bee for the next couple of weeks (explanation coming up in a few days).

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Testing Tumbled Beads

After the first success of tumbling the seaglass pendants, of course I turned to my ladies next.

I tumbled only a few, to test before possibly ruining a whole bunch at once :) and here is the result:

On these I am not quite as enthused about the clear lines. It doesn't show much on the ivory ladies, but is very prominent on the black one. I checked in on them at 10 hours, but this is the result of 24 hours of tumbling. If I tumble them anymore there will be no nipples left, and still the clear does not seem to go away.

Which was of course the entire point I was raving about earlier, and so -

Here are my new babies!

Beads with deliberate patterns as impressed lines, then tumbled for just 4 hours. They are sooo delicious! All frosted and smooth, still translucent, and with clear paths trailing all around. They are fairly large for what I normally make, but on a short cord you don't even notice the weight.

I have a second batch in the tumbler as I write this, in other patterns and other colours, and they are huge! Also, I build them up with clear cores and just two layers of a transparent colour on the outside, so they would be a bit lighter in colour than these, which are colour all the way through. It is summer after all :)

I can't wait to see how they turn out ... :)

ETA: The before and after ...

Shiny beads

Frosted! I like it :)

Yay! :)

Monday, July 07, 2014

How to turn a large desk into a workshop table

Earlier this year I were lucky and got a desk for free through Freecycle Copenhagen. The table I had was very shaky, which is both annoying and not very usefull, and I thought this model would be much more stable with the large 'feet'.

The desk was quite enormous, so I thought I'd remodel it to better fit my needs, which was a stable jewellers bench. As you see it already has a curve, and it was even in the right side for where I wanted to place it.

So - first we cut off the excess depth

and the excess width.

The legs were secured to a metal frame under the plate. Since so much was cut off there were no room for all 3 legs and the large frame around them, so two would have to do.

The table included an extra pull-out plate, so we split the frame, cut away about 20cm, and inserted the smaller pull-out profiles to make it a whole again.

then assembled the frame ...

And put the plate on.
To keep things from rolling off the edges we cut the surplus plate and had enough for a barrier all the way round.

and Tadaa, there it is. Such a major improvement. All I need now is a bit of silicone to seal the cracks, and I'm ready to move in :)
Hurray, metal work , here I come!

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