Who says I can’t …

As I’ve been playing with glass enamels lately – and seeing how they work with oils vs. water mediums – I had the ‘opportunity’ to work with lavender and clove oil.  They sound pleasant, don’t they?  Or at least harmless and aromatic.  Ummm … NOT!  That clove oil stunk.  It stunk BAD.  Like air-out-the-studio-for-2-days-and-I-could-still-smell-it BAD!   So, I started researching – because the idea of using that clove oil again had me just a tad nauseous.  Why these stinky oils?  Why not something bland and boring, like vegetable oil?  Corn oil?  Maybe even peanut oil?  Tanning oil?  What about motor oil?  I couldn’t find ANY info.  So, I asked one of the fusing forums.  While no one addressed vegetable oils specifically, the thought was that the bland oils would be too flammable.  Hmmm.  Yeah, maybe … but that clove oil really stinks!  So – I tried the vegetable oil.  Not super thick, just enough to give the enamel some ‘character’.  Outside of the trapped air bubbles within the fused cab (USER ERROR!!!) … I like it!

vegetable-oildryingoil-fused

In the meantime, I also discovered pine oil/squeegee oil/A8.  Which IS safe for fusing, and smells better.  (Not great, but tolerable.)

 

pine-oil-enamel  oil-enamel-2  oil-enamel-3

And, I’m moving along with my decal experiments.  These are three different color profile/printer settings (default, my specific profile and one I’m “not supposed to use”) … Mmhmm!  The next round of experiments are in the kiln now…

digital-decals

Time for a bit of sunshine -Note”Of relaxing in the summer sun, just lettin’ off steam.” Winking smile

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It’s been a while …

So, I have a little of this and a little of that to report on:

The twins will be heading off to camp shortly.  So, DH and I will be ‘empty nesters’.  Sort-of … but not.  Our four-legged family has grown.  Blondie had her babies (in under 19 hours!) and I took a quick shot of some of Izzy’s pups (13 days old).  I love puppy breath!

day1 13days

My sister and I went to visit Grandpa.  He’s a retired engineer.  [He’s not really demonstrative/cuddly or overly sappy …]  He is also NOT hard of hearing, BTW.  It was a good visit.  On our way out, I said to him, “Love you Gramps.” … Nothing.

[My little sister is not one for being ignored.]  She stops moving towards the car, looks him square in the face and yells loud enough to wake the dead, “WE LOVE YOU GRANDPA!!!”  Without skipping a beat Grandpa says, “Well I should hope so.” 

All-righty then … Well said Gramps!  Winking smile

Studio News:  I’m working on an experiment that has me back in high school, thinking chemistry/physics thoughts.  I’m getting there, slowly but surely, I think, maybe …  (Can I just say – Biology was my class, not so much Chemistry!)  Anyway – here’s what I have so far:

cab-experiments-2  cab-experiment

And – my latest decal trials.  The system is geared for ceramics, so I’m experimenting/tweaking for glass.  Baby steps … Although, the last photo is a slumping issue – which had nothing to do with the decal and is 100% user error.  Oops … Wonky!

latest-decalsdecal-suncatcherwonky-slump

Since animals are ‘on the brain’ at my house – I have a large kiln load of (predominantly) ‘animal print’ glass.  And, remember the Bullseye reaction glass I was so excited about?  It’s not so amazing once fired … Hmmmph.

animal-print-glass  BE-reaction-glass

That’s it for now.  I’m soaking up all the sunshine I can during this strange, cold summer.  And, thanks to a coworker, I am in love with Starbucks Refresher Cool Lime (you mix it with water).  Like, hunt-it-down-via-the-internet-to-purchase-by-the-case in love.  So,  I’m not drinking much Diet Coke these days, and for the first time in my life I’m drinking more water.  (I’ve also rolled past 10 months smoke free.)  It’s tough being this healthy!  Winking smile

starbucks refreshers

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The beat goes on …

Darn you Creative Paradise!  But, my mind was elsewhere, so I followed the firing schedule (even though, through previous experience NO LESS, I know better!) and messed up my project – and mold.  Aaargghhh! 

wrong-schedule     broken-project-and-mold

To top it off – my next move was to mess up my ‘lil palette knife beach scene.  Gone is the texture.  Can I fix it?  Yeah, probably but … Doggone it!!!

round-2-texture            no-more-texture

And, I’m still trying to work my way through this digital profile/computer stuff.  Believe it or not, those three images/items are all supposed to be matching in colors … (therein lies the most recent problem …)

profile-tile

I have had a few successes in the studio – so I’m shaking it all off, and reminding myself that the beat goes on …

slumped-peacock-bowl  large-poppy zebra-stripe-platter-bowl

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Love you Gram …

grandmaGod looked around his garden and found an empty place

He then looked down upon the Earth and saw your tired face

He put his arms around you and lifted you to rest

Gods garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best

He knew you were suffering, He knew you were in pain

He knew that you would never get well on Earth again

He saw the road was getting rough and the hills too hard to climb

He closed your weary eyelids and whispered  ‘Peace be Thine’

It broke our hearts to lose you but you didn’t go alone

For part of us went with you the day God called you home.

- Author Unknown

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I’ve been busy – and I like it!

I’m trying, re-trying and learning.  Let me show you:  Here are the fired pieces from previous posts;

ocean-tile-first-fire   trio-fishes-fired

Two coffin loads this week (Tuesday and today);

Tuesdays-coffin-load   latest-coffin-load

A close up of my first ‘palette knife’ trial (fingers crossed), peacock re-try WITH success (yay), and a new votive candle mold trial (didn’t quite work, but I think I’ve got it figured now);

palette-knife-trial  peacock  votive-candle-first

And the last of the photos – a few of my decal trial tiles fired.  Very promising!  I also sent the official trial tiles off to Colorado, so that my system ICC profile can be determined and set.  I’m so excited!!!

test-tile-pistons  test-tile-Maggie  test-tiles-decals

Grandma T update:  She’s writing notes.  In perfect penmanship.  And … getting annoyed when someone takes too long.  HOW AWESOME IS THAT?!?  Smile 

WWU:  We experienced an unanticipated number of ‘full moon’ cases for a normal weekend.  The amount of wimpy and/or bizarre male patients was disturbingly high, too.  Even my own beloved DH has been somewhat of a ‘chuckwagon’ of late … It must be in the air – or, maybe it’s just that broken chromosome …  Anyway – I’m hoping we got it all out of our system, so that this coming weekend can be pleasant.  (Um, yeah – the actual full moon weekend … I know … [Sigh!])

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I would be excited …

But, I’ve spent the last few days with tech support, on the phone, on computer-assisted conference calls, and with actual house calls.three-fish  My fancy-pants printer did NOT want to communicate with my computer, at all.  Well … they’re finally talking – AND learning to play nice together, thank you very much.  (No really – special thanks to Patrick, Bruce and Bob!!!)

So, once I get a few more pieces of data/supplies, and a kink or two worked out … I’ll be making some pretty coooool stuff!  Just wait and see … [I’m also watching photoshop tutorials like a wild woman, trying to master some mid-level and advanced photo manipulation techniques … My brain is feeling mushy!!!]

As for actual studio work – I continue with the beach/ocean themed items.  This week it’s a trio grouping of fishes.  I’ll be adding some sandy/grainy frit along the bottoms and then we’ll see what the kiln does with them – but here is today’s photo.

And, I’m working on a special order wind chime (like this) … so the letters are cooking:

family sun catcher    letters in kiln

l will have the coffin kiln busy for the next few days while I fuss about in the studio.  We’re also getting the garden planted (finally!) … I still have this hole (where Maggie should be), but I’m learning to live with it.

And, my Grandma sat at the bedside, reading greeting cards yesterday.  What an amazing woman she is!  She continues to take small steps on the road to recovery …

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L.A.M. -

Life After Maggie … is tougher than I was prepared for.  I didn’t realize I’d be grieving this much.  And it hits me at strange times throughout the day/night.  But, I haven’t cried today, so I feel like I’m advancing through the stages.  Maybe I’ll even sleep a bit tonight … [Oops – there I go …]

[OK - so I didn’t cry much today …]  I did play a bit in the studio.  I’m working on an ocean tile (with irid glass).  Just about time to see what stage one of kiln firing does for it …

ocean-tile

And, I have some requested – along with a few new – dichro cabs done; And my Santa Box is ready for final fire-polishing in the kiln:

recent-cabs    santa-box-pre-fire-polish

L.A.M. includes some new equipment:  That printer weighs a ton!  I have a special (training) date set up for next week.  Watch out digital images on glass –  I’m comin’ …

laminator

185-pound-copier

PS:  My Grandma continues to move towards recovery, at an 89 year-old-pace.  As a nurse, I am hopeful – while recognizing the huge obstacles she needs to overcome …

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