Crafting is fun!

Not so long ago I was trying my hand at every activity I could think to try in the Bay Area.

Kayak with whales?

Did it and didn’t puke in high seas.

Race stock cars?

Did it and got the picture to prove it.

Pole dancing?

Tried my hand at it but discovered I was a better lap dancer.

Though I enjoyed most all of the activities – except for cave crawling – two activities stand out amongst the others:

Glass blowing and ceramics.

First I tried glass blowing.

I loved it so much I went back a second time and did the exact same thing I’d done before.

I made a beautiful bowl.

I have two GORGEOUS glass bowls for fruit or candy that I gifted to my mother.

I’m still floored that I was able to make them (the second time I was with my friend Kimberly and she made a bowl too)!

My ceramics class was also wonderful.

I made a dish and a bowl, which I glazed and fired and took home to my mother, not because they were something only a mother could love, buy because I wanted to share the beauty of them with her.

The only downside to my ceramics class was that it took place in a shady neighborhood in the Emeryville.

I’ve decided that for 2020, provided I survive this pandemic, I’m going to take up ceramics and actually pay to join the local ceramic shop – Higher Fire.

And I’m going to go back to the glass studio and make more glass objects to gift to my friends and family.

Nothing says I love you like a handmade gift, yes?

My grade school art teacher would be very proud, I think to know that I can’t throw clay without remembering the big nose mug I made in his art class in junior high.

I still have that mug (I use it as a pencil holder in the kitchen), it was made so well.

I think this is more of my homesteading urge coming to light, but I’m just going to go with it.

Crafting is fun!

Burning Man Gifts 2018

The other night, Tejas and I sipped gin and tonics while working on Burning Man projects.

I personally worked on my playa gifts.

Glass pendant necklaces.

They are BEAUTIFUL

I sourced the glass pendants from an etsy store since I couldn’t find a studio to charge me less than $10 per pendant.

I received my first batch in the mail and proceeded to glue bails on them, string them on 30” silver necklaces, and place them into individual organza bags.

[Two years ago, I used 18” rat tail cord and sadly my necklaces wouldn’t fit comfortably around anyone’s neck.]

So here’s my first batch of necklaces:

Hearts, for the most part, although I did a few dichroic diamonds.

It turns out, I like them so much I ordered another batch from the same vendor.

I’d like to have about 75 – 100 necklaces to gift.

My OTHER project was a set of light up kitty ears.

A vendor on etsy wanted $30 for a pair of them but between Tejas soldering shortened wires, and me wrapping the lights around a kitty ear headband, it cost me less then $7.

Thank you, Amazon!

Hot, hot, hot!

The thing about glass blowing is that it’s REALLY hot.  Of course, all of us know this going into it but when you’re actually there, experiencing the heat, it’s like nothing you’ve felt before…. kinda like how you imagine walking on the sun would feel.

IMG_3827

The next think you need to know about glass blowing is that it’s very sweaty.  Rivers of sweat were running down my face and back.  I was a hot mess.  LITERALLY.

So I arrived at my glass glowing class to discover Ryan, my huge, hairy, hunky teacher there.  Boy did I have fun learning from him.  He demonstrated the process one time and then took each of the students one by one and helped us make a bowl.

IMG_3828
 The process is a little like this:
  • Blow a glass bubble through a wand
  • Add color
  • Blow a bigger glass bubble
  • Add even more color
  • Blow an even bigger glass bubble
  • Pinch the neck of the bubble
  • Add a base to the bubble
  • Flatten the base
  • Transfer the bubble/base to another wand
  • Heat the bubble
  • Open up the bubble to make a bowl
  • Heat the bowl
  • Swing it around to make swirly edges
  • Knock the wand off it, heat the base and stamp it
  • Let it cool
That was basically the process which took about 15 minutes to complete.
And here are the photos from my glass blowing experience.  Hope you enjoy!
IMG_3841 IMG_3847
IMG_3850 IMG_3855
IMG_3860 IMG_3861
IMG_3865 IMG_3869
IMG_3873

Glass making and wine tasting

This weekend Tejas and I went to Livermore to make glass pendants.

I thought the class would take a few hours.

Instead it only took about 30 minutes.

IMG_8618 IMG_8617

 

We basically glued broken shards of glass onto premade shapes of black glass which would then have a clear glass overlay put on top before melting for 5 -6 hours in the kiln.

Here are my pendants:

IMG_8615It was a lot of fun however I found myself wanting to make more of a day of it and so Tejas and I went to Concannon Winery for a little wine tasting.

 

IMG_8620 IMG_8634

We tried 7 wines, including one white, one port, one dessert wine, and 4 reds.

IMG_8621The Malbec was both my favorite and Tejas’ favorite and so he bought a case…

…and gifted me one bottle!

Woo hoo!

I’d like to say I still have that bottle of wine, but instead I popped it open and shared it with my parents over dinner.

I can’t tell you how much we enjoyed it!

The woman who owned the glass shop where we made our pendants couldn’t say enough good things about Livermore, especially the wine industry there.

It got me thinking that maybe when I go to pick up my finished glass pendants, I’ll take a friend and we can go wine tasting in Livermore some more.

Pendant making may only take a few minutes but I could nose a good Pinot for hours.

Plays with glass

About a year ago, I took a glass blowing class which – to my surprise – actually involved blowing glass. I thought it was just an old terminology used to describe the process.

So I blew my glass and made a lovely red glass bowl for my mother for Christmas 2014.

Fast forward a year and I’ve signed myself up for a fused glass jewelry class where I get to make three glass pendants.

I think instead of sticking my glass pendant in a glory hole, I’ll get to use a blow torch.

Me, with a blow torch.

Now there’s an image.

So what am I going to make?

Probably some Burning Man pendants, if I can.

Pendants that show the sacred geometry, not The Man. There’s just something about the sacred geometry (shown here in platinum) that I LOVE.

necklaceSo wish me luck.

Hope I don’t burn myself or light anything on fire!

7066583_orig

Titillation

Glass melts at 2600 – 2900 degrees F, depending on composition.

And I will be handling molten glass this weekend at the Bay Area Glass Institute in San Jose.

Apparently, I get to make, and take home, a glass bowl.

I’m hoping we get to use glass molds instead of glass blowing (though my blowing skills are phenomenal).

It sounds really fun and I’m totally excited to try it. I hope I have a hunky teacher. A John Corbett type would be nice. He can distract me while I create art with my own two hands (or lips).

Nothing like a hot and sweaty man to make me hot and sweaty too.

In all the good ways.

Hell, I’d even be happy with a sexy classmate. I’m just looking for a little titillation here.

Just a skosh.