Here are some Handmade straight sided lentil, beads. They were made with a press, that you can purchase, at http://www.zooziis.com/slim.aspx They call these a SPREE, I like that name. Sounds fun, exciting. It could be a new word for SUMMER, as far as how it makes me feel. It takes a little practice, to get used to a press, but I really like the smooth ends, and the straight sides. I included a full pic, and a close up, so you can really see just one Spree. One of the BEST things, I have discovered upon wearing this style of beads, is how nice, and flat, it lays on the wrist.
The beads,in this bracelet, are very Dainty, and comfortable to wear. The plain blue beads, are etched, giving them a nice soft look. This color combination, could be worn casual, to elegant. I make all my jewelry, in my home studio, with my own beads.
Woke up this morning, and it actually felt kinda Cold. At least if you are in Florida, it is cold to us. We were having record high temps, and this morning, it was below 60. Now from 90's to 50's, that would make anybody a little chilled. Anyway, this Sunday afternoon, I am going to just relax. I worked at the torch this morning, and actually, had to wear a jacket. First time, in over a year!!! Here is a picture of the area, where I do my torch work. I will soon be upgrading, my torch, and have a new table, coming soon. Will be so nice, to have a larger work area.
Just am really excited about our first cool day here in Florida. I can really get some serious torching done now. It has been record temps, for weeks now. And the humidity, is very low also. Woot!!So this all means, that I will have some new items for my Etsy Shop, soon.
I wish to write a few things about the treatment of mandrels, and dipping. Recently, I made a trip to our local welding supply, because all my mandrels, had become bent. So I purchased 3 lbs, of 316L quality mandrels, 3/32 size, only to find that the manufacturer, had stamped and printed there name on one end. This as you all know would ruin, one end of two pieces of 12 inch lengths, out of a total 36 inches per un-cut rod. Make sure you look at your rods, before you purchase. I still cut them up, and filed down the good ends, and can use them for myself. They just would not be good enough to sell though, with one bad end. After you CUT them into either 12 inch lengths, or 9 inch lengths, they have to be prepped for the bead release to adhere. I have found that if you heat one end of each mandrel in the flame, until just lightly glowing hot, and allow to cool, that the mandrel will be ready to go. Now a BIG TRICK, what, I recently discovered, is that the speed of your dip, makes a big difference. I am self taught, so I discover as I go. If you dip, and pull out fast, you will have a thicker coating. If you dip, and pull out slow, then allow just a few seconds,still holding the rod, upside down, it will have a nice thin coat. Try this process of a slow removal, of the mandrel, from the bead release, and waiting a few seconds, before turning upright. When you do this, you will not have a lump of release, at the top of the rod, where, it has gravitated down. I then insert my mandrel, into a container filled with sand. Hahaha, as SAND, is so easy to find for free in Florida. Got it out of the BACKYARD!! But then I live in a rural resort area, next to the water. So my backyard, has all kinds of FREE sand. Here is a HANDY trick for removal of stubborn beads. You can easily use a pop rivet tool, to remove stubborn beads. Also, putting them into, the freezer, for awhile, will help with stubborn beads. And in Florida, with all our humidity, I have found that if you heat the rod, and remove all the moisture out of a pre-dipped mandrel, you will not have sticking problems. Sometimes, when I dip the day before, I end up with moisture in the pre-applied bead release, even if they just sit over night. This happens, to me, because, my sunroom, is not air conditioned. So I heat the complete end of the mandrel, where the release has been applied, and then let cool, ever so slightly, this way, the moisture has a chance to escape. Hope this has helped some of you with your mandrels, and bead release lampworking problems.
I am so ready to try some of my new frit samples from Dragonfly Glassworx. I received some of the most beautiful frit blends, and wanted to torch today. She also, shipped them, wrapped in a paisley tissue paper, inside a green plastic bag. Then all of this was wrapped with a lavish Purple and green bow. I liked the little present, and presentation, almost as much, as the wonderful frit enclosed inside. So to continue on, I wanted to torch today, as I said before, but I had to drive with my hubby, over to the East Coast. Ft. Pierce Florida. He had an eye appointment, and may require surgery. We drove an hour, after we signed in, and waited a half hour, they informed us that the Dr's Office accepted out insurance, yet there surgery center, did not. So wasted trip for my Hubby's troubled eye. OK, now for my real MOTIVE, to go along. I knew I might have to drive him back home, if they put drops in his eyes. I really went, so I could go to a Store I have wanted to check out for awhile. He agreed, so, we drove towards the Ocean, and the Historic Downtown. We arrived, and there were the nicest little shops, all lined up along the street. Then we parked in front of the store, called BEADS and BAUBLES. Now I was excited. We walked up to the front door, and it was LOCKED> Darn. They were closed until Oct 20th, on a buyer's trip. LOL, so the whole trip, over and back, ended up being a total lose for both of us. So I'm back home now, and passing time, writig here on the Blog. It is still so HOT, here in Florida, in fact, Record Temps, for this time of year. As soon as the West Sun is not blasting, directly into my Sunroom, where I torch, I am going to finally get to try out some of my new Frit.
Lately I have been using a lot of silver Glass. This is a another challenge, that is a little tricky to do, using a Hot Head Torch. Anyway this is a blue set, listed on my Etsy. Last time, I posted a silver glass set, they sold, within a few minutes of listing them. How lucky was that?
I am so thankful, with the economy being so slow, that I am busy making custom orders. The sad thing, is that I don't have enough time, to add new items to my Etsy site. I did add a nice autumn bracelet yesterday. I encased all the main autumn colored beads, with clear. I have been experimenting, with keeping the bead quite warm, when I add the clear. And making sure the clear is very hot, coming off the rod. It makes a thinner encasing, and I did not have any bubbles. Anyway, I kinda liked, and kinda miss, the bubbles. In fact lately, I have seen some beads, that lampworkers, are adding BRASS FRIT. This technique, creates a lot of beautiful bubbles. When I get time, I really need to try this.