Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BBC reports that wearing high heels may improve sex life.

Um, is that really news? I would have called that olds.

Still cooking happily away at the torch, making lots of beads. I love beadmaking, but it's kind of a strange posture (no, I don't make them in heels) and when I first start up after weeks away from the torch, I find the first few days I get tired very quickly from working with the glass. (Or maybe this is a more subtle form of lingering weakness from last year's pneumonia?) It's certainly not heavy or anything, but the movements are very fine and tension and fatigue can lead to little tremors. You don't want to know how terrible it feels to be shaky when you have a wodge of motlen glass within 6 inches of your hand and working around an 1800° F flame.

I made some beads with a colored Moretti transparent core, a wrap of 23K gold leaf, then encased in a clear Lauscha glass on the outside, with darker colored transparent dots on the outside. The flaky looking stuff floating in the beads in the photos is the gold leaf.

The way (flat or raised) dots are made on beads is that the tip of a rod of the dot color (molten, please) is touched to the surface of the (also hot) bead and then pulled quickly away, making a little tentacle of glass pull out and then flame cut. Then the little spokes must be melted either down to a nubbiny bump, or melted flat into the surface of the bead. I wish the filaments weren't so fragile, because they look like little starfishy spokes radiating out from the bead, but they can snap off in your fingers and are too delicate for this world. I made a one-off so you could see what I mean about the little tentacles. Before torchwork, the mandrel must be dipped into the liquid ceramic (bead release) for a coating which will allow the bead to slide off after the torchwork is finished - this is a gray-ish coating that you can see in the photos.

All the beads in these photographs have a diameter smaller than a dime, btw. It's funny that looking at them so macro makes their flaws so obvious. Sheesh.

The torch is loud, but I love listening to music while making beads. Sunday I thought it would be fun to listen to Giorgio Moroder's Moog magic on the soundtrack to Midnight Express, but I figured out that I'm not comfortable with sudden shocking and industrial-sounding ka-bangs in music whilst beadmaking - I jumped a couple times. Tuesday I listened to Asides and Besides which is a retrospective of Talk Talk, and then it was on to Gogol Bordello. It's amazing how working with transforming objects from solid to liquid to solid states can be so soothing, and it's great to combine such fun activity with music I love. Sometimes it's fun to just pop in an old favorite cd and see where the glass takes me. The surprises are often the best outcomes.


J.R.Shirley said...

I'd be pretty damn careful around a jet of hot gas, too- if I had the guts to do it at all!

phlegmfatale said...

j.r. shirley - I AM careful, hence I've never been burned. Considering your military career, I'd say you've been in way hotter spots than I've been in, and you've got guts beyond the average Joe or Jane.

Christina RN LMT said...

Beautiful and fascinating as always...and the beads are pretty special, too!


phlegmfatale said...

christina - aw, shucks, honey.

Anonymous said...

They are so beautiful. I totally understand what you mean when you say you play the CD and let it take you away. The outcome is wonderful. Keep up the great work;)

Anonymous said...

Nice work and i'm sure it's enjoyable. My son did some of this kind of thing along with some figurines. Unfortunately, he no longer does it. Someone broke into his home and stole a bunch of things and when the cops went to visit a likely suspect, his daddy dumped a whole bunch of meth. That kind of annoyed him and he burned my son's out building and there literall is nothing left but melted glass, a couple of metal parts from the oxygen generator, and a couple of large pieces of his kiln.

phlegmfatale said...

lainy - yeah, the most fun time with hot glass is when you set out with no destination in mind and just watch it unfold. Your compliments are very generous, and I thank you.

anonymous - Thank you. Isn't it a bummer that people will so gleefully destroy the possessions and lives of other people? I'm sorry for your son's losses, but I hope he gets back to his glasswork sometime - it's really therapeutic.

FHB said...

Damn yer good. Those are so purdy, and the whole process of creation is fascinating.

B said...