lillian13: (Leverage 2)

The International Gem & Jewelry Show was this weekend. It's a traveling show, with a smallish "wholesale" area, and there are usually a couple of vendors I like to patronize. Also, I'd gotten a couple of free passes from one of the aforementioned vendors, so on Sunday, off I went, with my friend L in tow. I had a bunch of $2 off coupons that I handed out to everyone after me in line, which I figure is way better than some cheap chocolate bunny. :-)

One of the vendors cuts the most beautiful and unusual cabachons. His wife does amazing wire-wrapped jewelry, so we have a great time talking shop while I'm drooling over the stones. I bought some really nice turquoise, dinosaur bone, a lovely matched pair of lapis cabs, some nice black and white coral, tuxedo agate, and two gorgeous psilomelane pieces that will become a centerpiece of my "Christmas Collection". Made some really nice deals on kyanite beads and some nice unusual stuff like dyed lava rock. I'll post pics of all my new toys soon.

I got a nice pice of greenish schist tile from one of my Gem & Mineral Society members to cut up so I can mount my silver chasing piece. I just need to go to a tile place and get them to carve it up for me.

If anyone has a DW invite, I'd love one. Right now I'm over there on OpenID.
lillian13: (grenades)

What I bought
Originally uploaded by LillianB

Running errands today, as I tend to do on Saturdays. Got my car registration renewed (the HEB closest to me is actually in another county so I figured I might as well get everything done in one run). I was almost done when I remembered I needed new velcro for my hand splints--so I headed into JoAnn's.

I found the velcro, all right. I also found two fabrics I...kind of had to buy, even though my sewing machine has been in storage for several years. *facepalm* I guess I can go over to my brother's and use his wife's sewing machine...in my copious spare time. (I also want to try felting, but I want to try with wool sweaters first, to see if I actually want to do it before I start buying wool and tools and stuff.)

I'm enjoying my chasing/repoussage class--we have no first-years in the class (they're taught one-room-schoolhouse mode due ot lack of space), so we get more attention and help. I'm OK at it, but it plays merry hell with my hands/elbows the day after. Probably not something I'll be doing a lot of after the class, but still a good set of skills to have.

lillian13: (Default)

Rachel's glass
Originally uploaded by LillianB

Here's the glass I made for the World's Best Niece. Also, here's a
link to a lot of photos of my jewelry, for them what are interested.

lillian13: (Default)

Art Bowl (#3)
Originally uploaded by LillianB

A bowl I almost destroyed--I kept whacking it into things, but the instructor helped disguise all the problems with arty glass swirls. I've added 7 new shots, so go take a look!

lillian13: (Default)
To spare flists, here is the link to pictures of my first 5 pieces. More next week, including a vase and hopefully a parfait glass. 

Everything I make kind of....leans. I'm sure this says something deep and meaningful about my psyche.

Off to bed.
lillian13: (Default)

Stitches came out last Wednesday, and the dried dead skin around the incision is coming off. *squints* Looks like a Wraith hand. *contemplates drawing teeth on my palm*

Will post glass pictures tonight or tomorrow.

The Sweet Charity lanyard I sent to the UK in early May? Finally got there. The book I ordered from Amazon.co.uk? Arrived here in 5 days. *is boggled*

Off to glass-blowing class.

lillian13: (Default)
 The off-hand glass blowing class continues to be made of awesome. I have now made a total of 2 bowls, the Enormous Cup (which is a bowl, really) and, finally, a real glass. I want to make myself several drinking glasses.

The instructor showed us how to put handles on cups, and then said he didn't expect us to do that. I'm glad, because it looked really hard. He also showed us how to "draw" on glass using a long thin cane and a blowtorch. We get to do that next week. I can hardly wait.

I managed to drop molten glass all over the floor yesterday. *facepalm* I'm not used to handling it when it's fresh out of the furnace--seriously, that stuff is gloopy and hard to keep on the end of the blowpipe. But the instructor just picked it up with the pipe and dropped it into the bucket we put the hot blowpipes in after we're done with them--did you know that Very Hot Glass + water equals bubbles...made of glass? (They did not float, alas, they simply formed in the bucket.) They were very cool. I love physics. 

I managed to gather all my colored glass correctly and make the Real Glass--you lay out your colored glass in a small kiln and let it get hot. Then you take your gather of hot glass (which was cooler and easier to handle than the time I dripped it on the floor), and rooollll it across the pretty colored glass to make a pattern. I picked up the entire pattern, and when I was done it looked great. I'll have pictures next week, after the next class, I promise. I'm going to pick up some colored glass from a store the instructor recommended, since I know what I want to do for the World's Best Niece. I promise not to go too overboard, really...

This is a really great video that shows the basics of glassblowing. This one shows how they make glass canes, though our classroom isn't nearly so nice. Or air-conditioned.

State of the Hand: Well, I definitely overdid it Sunday and Monday. The hand is a bit swollen and stiff, though the incision is fine. Have lost another stitch; this makes three. I'm sure I'll get yelled at tomorrow when the stitches get taken out(!), but...glass blowing!
lillian13: (Default)
So, I've had my first two glass-blowing classes. And it's just as much fun as I thought it would be.
 
The classes are held in an big outdoor workshop, made out of that corrugated metal, with lots of gaps for breezes. No AC, but with the breeze we normally get, the fans, and the shade, even with the furnaces going it's...bearable. In other words, it's still very very hot--I'd say about 90-95F, but the humidity is low, so I only notice that the water level in my big container keeps going down. The nice thing? As long as we're in the workshop, the mosquitoes don't bother us. The stitches are holding up well--I'm taking off the splint and sleeve when I'm not actually working, which helps.

This class is...seriously cool. And fun. We're learning how to shape hot glass, add color, and do all sorts of interesting things. The instructor is being nice about my half-hand, and I can hardly wait until I can do the pipe work. We have to take turns, and we immediately began encouraging each other, helping each other out, and applauding at the end, when the instructor takes the piece to put in the oven to temper. 

I've made a big heavy drinking glass (I mean, Fred Flintstone could drink out of it, and use it to club dinosaurs afterwards) and a smallish blue-and-white striped bowl. I'm going to make some nice things for my sister-in-law and the World's Best Niece (who has a serious thing for glass and glass artists), and some things for me, of course. 

I'm going to see Spamalot on Saturday! Co-workers posted on our company bulletin board with an extra ticket, so I'm using my ill-gotten survey money I made last night (I had to get excited about chewing gum, seriously) to go with them to San Antonio to the matinee. Wheeeeeeeee!

State of the Hand: Incision is healing nicely; I have been gently flexing my wrist, as instructed by the physical therapist.  Still can't grip strongly, and I know when I've overextended or done too much. Ouch. Heat rash on my arm is going away, thanks to calamine lotion. I can't wait to get the go-ahead to get back to work on my jewelry!

Dr. H. Jones' application for tenure denied. Hah!

 

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