wombat1138: (narbat)
First of all, new shiny with a capital SHINE:

Secondly, I posted some new auctions on eBay last week for uranium glass bead bracelets. (They're just about over, and it looks like one of them will sell. Woohoo.) I'm noticing a lot more hits on the ones I put into the Pottery/Glass category than the ones I put into the Artisan Jewelry category, and after browsing around for some other stuff on my own, I think I can see why-- the so-called "artisan" categories are getting pretty choked up by mass-produced items.

I also rechecked etsy, where I've let my account go dormant because they have an four-month expiration date on unsold items. I am frankly croggled by the high prices being asked there for uranium glass beadage, which makes me think I should port most of my unsold auction listings over there and could probably double or even triple my asking prices. It's a pity that etsy's fee structure doesn't support multiple-item listings, or I'd start slapping up galore of my loose beads there as well. (People are asking *how much* for loose uranium glass beads there? More to the point, people are *paying* that much? Wow.)

If you shop for handmade jewelry, do you even bother checking eBay anymore, or do you write it off as a lowest-denominator consumer wasteland?
wombat1138: (narbat)
I've now lost count of how many lampwork classes I've gone to, though I could probably recover the tally from my checkbook register. I'm enjoying them, but I'm not quite sure what long-term goals I have, if any.Read more... )


May. 26th, 2010 12:15 pm
wombat1138: (narbat)
clickable for description:


May. 24th, 2010 07:48 pm
wombat1138: (narbat)
Picked up the beads from lesson #3-- they're actually semi-symmetrical this time, yay! I should probably snap some pix of the progression, but at the moment I can't find the USB cable for my camera; I should probably finish the necklace I've been thrashing out for the past few days anyway. I don't know why this particular necklace is being such a total pain in the butt-- I keep spacing out about maintaining the symmetry of the centerpiece region.

The instructor was kind enough to make two beads for me from the Bullseye "rhubarb" shift-tint glass that I bought from eBay and brought in to class. It's fairly similar to Swarovski's "cantaloupe": green in fluorescent light, red in incandescent, sorta grey in daylight. Not very exciting by itself, but it's kinda the principle of the thing.

Have gone ahead and ordered a few rods of Bullseye "cranberry sapphirine" to check its immediate visual resemblance to the (imho not very exciting) "saphiret" rhinestones that I finally got hold of-- perhaps these particular saphirets are some of the later dilute stones, vs. the old Victorian stones that initially attracted a huge following. I also have some rods from a Bullseye odd lot of "gold sapphirine", which might be better victims to bring in next time for more hands-on info about color-striking.
wombat1138: (spot)

(I got these strands from a local thrift shop, I have no idea what to do with them.)
wombat1138: (narbat)
Took an introductory class in lampworking glass beads last night. Playing with large flames is way too much fun.

Unfortunately, I'm still very definitely in the newbie phase (not too surprising, really). I could tell at the time that I was having trouble maintaining the symmetry of a basic bead shape, though my precision at applying melty glass improved somewhat as the evening went on. I went back today to collect my beads from the annealing kiln, and a fair number of them have cracks from inconsistent thermal control on the mandrel, including (imho) the prettiest one: pale transparent neo-alex with opalescent dots. I also chipped one of them at home while trying to clean excess bead release out of the borehole-- all of them need to have their boreholes cleaned out, so the casualty rate may still increase further.

Oh well. I definitely want to go back for more-- there's another class in two weeks, as well as occasional "open studio" days. The classes have a flat fee that includes 3+ hours of torch time, instructor attention, and a basic range of supplies; the "open studio" sessions have a lower per-hour fee for use of the torches and kilns, but people have to bring their own glass stash (and possibly tools/goggles).
wombat1138: (narbat)
1.) Finally managed to recontact the former supplier where these came from-- their website disappeared several years ago, but I tracked down an alternate email address-- which may mean that I can replenish my dwinding stash of little stone magatama in green chalcedony/moss-agate and white/black cloud agate. Hoping I can place a more targeted order this time... otherwise, I'll really need a way to bleed off the backlog of red, brown, orange, and yellow agate/carnelian/chalcedony-- which are all lovely in their own way, but which I'm still relatively drowning in. (Maybe just convert more of them into multi-magatama necklaces? Ook-- I like making them, but they don't have a great sellthrough rate.)

2.) Have been talking to a local glass artisan about the plausibility of custom art-glass magatama, which (if the test cuts go well) may mean tweakable proportions and specialized materials such as neodymium "alexandrite", uranium glass, and umpteen flavors of dichro. "w00t" does not even begin to cover the possibilities :D

3.) On a semi-related note, have also obtained some brass filigree to experiment with. I'm not really sure what to do with it yet-- the few rhinestones/cabochons I have seem too small to wrap the filigree around it as settings (note to self-- get some bigger dichro cabs from the glass studio!), and I don't have the proper mindset at the moment for designing with jumprings and cement/solder. Some of the filigree discs might make great armatures for attaching glass beads with wire, but I don't have much feel for that either.
wombat1138: (narbat)
Have been wrestling all week with an experimental festoon necklace pattern... actually, to make things even more abject, I've tried *three* festoon patterns in a row, and none of them have turned out well. Ironically, some of my earlier attempts from months ago were definitely better-shaped (the pic up here, frex). I'm deteriorating :b The real problem is getting the curvature right for both the main necklace strand and the down-dipping festoony bits.Read more... )


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