Thursday, December 20, 2012

Stingray Christmas Ornament Fused Glass Suncatcher

This year Cece and I decided to make each of her four teachers a stingray suncatcher ornament for a holiday gift.  A stingray is her elementary school mascot.  Here's a photo of the finished ornament.

Fused Glass Stingray Christmas Ornament Suncatcher
Fused Glass Stingray Christmas Ornament Suncatcher

Cece likes to help create the teacher gifts and I love that she still likes to make things with me.  To create the stingray, we first drew the black outline with liquid glass squeezed out of a craft syringe.  The liquid glass is actually black powdered glass mixed with cellulose gum.  Cece then filled the inside of the stingray with a mix of purple and lavender glass frit in assorted sizes.  The outside of the suncatcher was filled in with a mix of blues.  A glass hook was added in a second firing.

Fused Glass Stingray Christmas Ornament Suncatcher Creation
Cece adding glass frit to a stingray.

It is hard to know what your child's teachers really want.  I do know each teacher receives more trinkets that they could possibly keep and that they would probably appreciate gift cards more than stuff.  So I hope they enjoy the sentiment behind the gift and we'll get them gift cards at the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Laser Sailboat Fused Glass Window

My niece sails lasers at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Cape May, New Jersey.  She is a senior in high school and this will be her last season sailing.  It doesn't seem possible that she is old enough to go to college, that must make me pretty old too.

My brother asked me to make a glass laser with her sail numbers.  I like the way it turned out, just good clean lines and a simple color palette to make it completely about the sailboat.

Laser One-Design Fused Glass Window Panel by flutterbybutterfly on flutterbyfoto
Laser One-Design Fused Glass Window Panel

Here is the photo I worked from.  I tried to give the sailboat a three dimensional perspective using two different shades of white and tapering the blue stripe on the hull.  The boat and iridescent background were taken to a solid contour fuse.  The sail numbers were done in liquid glass and taken to a quick tack fuse so they didn't spread on the stiff white.

Laser One-Design
Nicole's Laser

Enjoy Nicole!  I wish they retired sail numbers so you could keep your sail too.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Nordic Tug Fused Glass Window

My parents lost their Nordic Tug in Super Storm Sandy.  They are very lucky to be safe and still have their home, but I know it upsets them to lose their boat.  The boat was eventually found sunk and destroyed, the interior coated with fuel and mold.

I decided to create a fused glass panel of Tuggen, their tugboat.  This window measures about 10 inches wide by 8 inches tall and is suspended by 2 metal rings fused into the glass.

Nordic Tug Fused Glass Window Panel by flutterbybutterfly on flutterbyfoto
Nordic Tug Fused Glass Window Panel

Here is a picture of their boat motoring out of Canyon Club in New Jersey.  I tried to reproduce the details that made their boat unique while maintaining clean lines.  The background is created in transparent shades of blue and turquoise to make the picture feel cooler rather than warm like the sunset in the original.  I thought driving off into the sunset would be too cliche after losing your boat.

Tuggen, their boat

To create this panel, I first cut and pieced the background sky and ocean taking it to a full fuse.  This ensured that the rings were an integral part of the panel and I now had a smooth surface to start building the tugboat on.  Stiff white was used for the foreground of the boat and a more opaque white for the boat parts in a different plane.  For a little sparkle and glitz,  the windows were cut from an iridescent violet and the open door and portholes are adventurine blue.

Nordic Tug Stages of Construction by flutterbybutterfly on flutterbyfoto
Nordic Tug Stages of Construction

My parents are tough customers, so I hope they like their gift.  I wonder if my dad will point out the lack of a swim platform or the missing antenna, we'll see.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Handcrafted Wire Findings

After making quite a few beads and then contemplating what they would look like as jewelry, I browsed pre-made findings online and just couldn't find anything I truly loved.  This is probably because I have no idea what I want the finished product to look like.  So, I purchased Handcrafted Wire Findings by Denise Peck and Jane Dickerson and tried creating my own.

glass bead lampwork necklace wire findings
Glass bead necklace with handcrafted wire findings

Not bad for a first try, except I used copper and copper turns your skin green.  Who knew?  Well, the statue of liberty and copper pennies and I guess I wasn't thinking.  But, I am really happy with the rustic curls of the metal next the shiny clean lines of the glass.  Here's a close-up of the clasp and some of the beads.

Handmade copper wire clasp lampwork torch glass beads
Handmade copper wire clasp and glass beads

Maybe I'll try silver next time.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Some Holiday Lampwork Beads

A friend is going to show me some basic jewelry making techniques.  She is bringing the wire and the tools and I'm bringing the beads.   It took all week for me to make them at my mega minor torch.  I really tried to create pairs so we could make earrings.  I hope she likes them...

Christmas Beads Lampwork by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
Christmas Beads

After seeing them strung together, I am afraid they are too big for bracelets.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Fused Glass Cat

This fused glass cat was a custom order and is about 10 inches tall by 7 inches wide.  He has lots of textured fur and stripes.  I used bits of beautiful dichroic glass for both eyes and the nose.  The background has 3 wild flowers with some frit shading.  This piece hangs from two metal jump rings fused into the top and a piece of white grosgrain ribbon.  The cat was fired to a contour fuse, so you can really feel the texture.  I used Bullseye striker glass for the cone flower petals and love how the color turned out.  Even the yellow petals of the black eyed susans seem to pop against the transparent yellow background.  Maybe a fused glass dog is in my future!

Fused Glass Cat by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
Fused Glass Cat

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fused Glass Garage Workshop

The Navy moved us from Okinawa, Japan to Jacksonville, Florida this past summer.  It seems like it takes so long to get settled each time we move.  But, we are settled and my new shop is mostly complete.  I now have half of our garage and I love it!

Fused Cast Glass Workshop by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
Fused Glass Workshop

I bought this amazing 8 foot work table from Craigslist.  It is constructed from pipes and metal and there are these really cool seats that swing out from underneath.  I bought the table from a local appliance store that was remodeling their break room.  The previous owner said it was a lunch table from an old steel mill.

Fused Cast Glass Workshop Seat by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
Worktable Swing-out Seat

Here is a photo of my new kiln - I even drove to JenKen in Lakeland, Fl to pick it up.  This kiln is a huge upgrade from my previous Bonnie Glo, I mean literally a huge upgrade!  This kiln has a feature that will determine cost per run and I'm really curious to see how much electricity I use.

Jen Ken Glass Kiln by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
My New Giant Jen Ken Glass Kiln

I also have a permanent place for my torch and plenty of room for glass storage!  Now I just need to get started!

Mega Minor Glass lampwork Bead Torch by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
Mega Minor Glass Torch

Fused Glass Storage by flutterbybutterfly flutterbyfoto
Workshop Storage for Glass Sheets, Frit and Tools