My Glasswork and Jewelry
Below are some examples of my work in glass as well as a few jewelry items. To see a larger view of each picture, click on its thumbnail.
Glass Beads and Macramé
During the summer of 2002, I completed a workshop on the making of wound glass beads presented by Mr. Don Miller at the University of Michigan, Dearborn. Everyone, myself included, was surprised by my seemingly inherent ability to make professional quality beads so quickly. These frog beads were the most popular. Since the class, I purchased all the necessary equipment for a bead-baking studio and have sold some of my frog beads on E-bay. I plan to take this up again soon and start selling more beads. Below are some examples of my frog beads, some magic eye beads, and a few miscellaneous beads.
|Wound Glass Beads, 2002|
Here is a macramé necklace I made. The beads are all my own except the encased beetle.
I was lucky enough to meet an online friend who welcomed his home to me and spent an afternoon teaching me how to make a stained glass piece. This pyramid is made from 8 pieces, some curved, which I successfully cut and polished without breaking a single piece. I hope I have that kind of success the next time. I haven't made any others yet because I need to get the proper equipment. Perhaps some day I will---it was certainly an enjoyable form of expression.
Introductory Glassblowing Techniques
My Christmas present from my parents in 2006 was an introductory glassblowing class at the Glass Academy in Dearborn, MI. It was an 8-week class that met for a three-hour session each week, starting January 18, 2007. My instructor was Israel Nordin. While I was hoping to bring home some pieces that I had blown, working with glass turned out to be much more challenging than I had ever imagined. The first night, I found out that my forearms could really use some working out. I could barely control the 4-5 foot metal rod that I was supposed to dip and swirl into the molten glass in the furnace. It was hard to keep it from running into the sides of the door as I pulled it out. It was also nearly impossible for me to even see where the top of the glass was, so I kept dipping too deep. The week following the first class, I worked out my arms. The second week, I had a better time controlling the rod and was able to obtain much better gathers of glass (ones that didn't cover the rod with several inches of glass). I was also beginning to be able to see where the top of the glass was. The third, fourth and fifth weeks were spent doing the same exercise---marvering the gathered glass into a cylinder, then using the jacks (kind of like tongs with prongs at the end) to cut five even balls into the cylinder, then create a neckline where it can be removed from the rod. By the third week, I could get about 3-4 balls on a cylinder.
By the fourth week, I could make four balls.
By the fifth week, I could make 5 balls. I also made a mushroom-shaped figure with some red glass on the inside.
Since I had passed the test of making the 5 balls, I was permitted to "graduate" to glassblowing. I managed to blow some bubbles, but one had to work really fast, otherwise it was impossible to get a bubble into the glass because it would get too cool by the time you marvered it into a cylinder and prepared to blow. This left me rather light-headed. I decided to spend the rest of my time attempting to make some blob paperweights for my 6th class.
I was really enjoying working with solid forms. I decided to try to make some heart paperweights for my 7th class. I made seven of them. I have shown two different views of each set.
For the last class, I again attempted to make heart paperweights, but for some reason, they just weren't coming out as well as the previous week. I've noticed this with glassworking---it seems like some days you've got it and others you don't. I also tried to make some star forms.
This is a sample of my metal jewelry. I cut this piece of nickel with a coping saw, filed it, sanded it and buffed it. It does have a few file markings, but it was just about impossible to sand inside those small interior spaces. It also has a lot of surface scratches from wear and I no longer have access to a buffer.
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