Friday, February 20, 2015
I fell in love with this photo by Vadim Trunov. I have had a long love/hate relationship with the critters. My head says they are pests, by the many times, we've had to evict them from our attic, or had to redo roofing from their voracious gnawing. And of course, coming back from a trip and finding our outdoor furniture torn apart...apparently the pillow stuffing would be nice and soft in their nests. But, I still think they are cute. Especially from a distance.
Thursday, February 19, 2015
Lampwork Glass Shamrock Quick Mini Tutorial
Nothing like a freebie, is there?
a. 1 rod of transparent green glass
b. parallel mashers (any mashers are fine)
c. glass shears
d. Stump Shaper - other tools will work as well
Step 1. Base Bead
Using your transparent green glass, make a base bead that is shaped kind of like a fat football.
Gently mash your base bead to flatten it into a thick oval.
Then using your glass shears, make your first cut as pictured above.
I am using a 1/16th mandrel and you can see that I am careful to snip near the mandrel, but not close enough to jeopardize breaking bead release.
Snip the rest of the cuts as pictured for a total of 4 cuts. You can see you have made the basic shape of the shamrock already. Please keep the base warm, but not hot. If you accidentally warm it too much, then gently flatten with your mashers to return to the shape you need.
Now make mini snips on each of the horizontal petals. Only go in about a third of the way. Two snips total with your glass shears.
Use your flame (keep the heat gentle) to warm the top petal that is divided by the mandrel. I do a combination of heating one side and holding the mandrel on an angle upside down to slightly droop the glass to help form the rounded section, and also using my brass Stump Shaper to gently indent the glass close to the mandrel. It's almost like making a mini heart. If you are having problems, then feel free to add a dot or two of glass on the outside edges away from the mandrel, to give it more definition. Do both sides.
I use my brass Stump Shaper to gently push in the glass at the bottom to form more of a stem. Both the non sticking brass and the wedge of that tool make it easy to get in there and gently press toward the mandrel to make it look more stem-like. Voila, you are done. Pretty easy, isn't it?
And perhaps you aren't into shamrocks, but this easy technique would be great for flowers as well. I could see them with frit, stringers and even and extra raised dot in the center with a cool murrine, or so many other ways.
Hope you enjoyed this easy tutorial. I have decided that I will be making more of these for your enjoyment. Please stop by and see me on my FB business page or my StudioMarcy etsy shop.