Patiently learning …

DH made the vit pot for me, so we can use square glass in it, instead of cutting circles for clay pots.  Much easier to prep and load, but the stainless steel pot has it’s own learning curve.  Add to it, I still have a bunch to learn regarding my color choices for a vitrigraph cane pull!

muddy-cane   my-own-vit-pot

I thought I chose well (wisely?) – making certain I wasn’t mixing glasses that don’t playchose poorly well together (sulfur, lead or copper-bearing).  I thought a nice gray/red/white color palette would look wonderful.  I mixed in transparents and opals.  Then we took that metal pot (with that transparent red) to 1600 degrees.  And, I was less than pleased as we were pulling yard after yard of ‘MUD’ … Duhhhh!  “You chose poorly!”

vit-stack cane

We stopped the kiln after pulling down to muddy brown stringer, thinking we were close to empty … Nope.  This is what came out of the cooled down pot (- it’s about an inch thick).  Hmmm … Yep, lots to learn!


So, I’ll pick my next stack of colors with a few more parameters added … and we’ll try again tomorrow.  In the meantime – Chloe loves belly rubs from DH (no, she really does!)!


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Learning patience …

Or trying to, anyway.  We’re waiting for some supplies to come in.  Like a crate of Bullseye glass (they had a sale – what can I say?) and some stainless steel sheeting.  [DH is going to make a vit speed pot for me!]  Then we can really play with the vitrigraph kiln.  So much so, that I’ve asked DH to create an easy break* (modified arbor press) for making quick work out of the murrini cane. I KNOW!!! Super exciting stuff.  But for now, we wait!   *Kind of like this one, but tweaked a wee bit.  Photo credit:

BE glass packstainless-steel-sheets-250x250chopper

Which is ok.  I’m getting cabochons cut and fire polished, pendants drilled/epoxied and assembled.  All while I’m trialing my bail findings to make sure they hold up to not-so-gentle daily wear (and they are!) …

cloud-cabs  fritrini-pendants-2-17

In between, we’re romping with our four-legged crew.  We also continue to teach Chloe some manners (who is napping here – with her tongue hanging out) … Manners are hard work!  Smile


WWU:  Made it through my first weekend back to work.  Volume wasn’t bad.  Acuity got a little nutty there when a very large patient had to be pulled out of a private vehicle, all blue and ‘over-dosey’ … But the elbow held up and after making me work for it, my pt was pink and sassy when I ended my shift!  So – my broken wing is healing, I just have to wait for it!!!

Next up – I think I’m just about ready to play with some pattern bars … oh my!


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Our 2nd Vit pull …

mary butternutAnd dinner.  First (and most important) – we made our favorite cold weather soup (Acorn squash soup)!  But this time, we used a butternut squash.  Yep – just one – cuz it was just that big (- and from my Mother-in-law’s abandoned garden … from November!)  It changed the flavor a bit – but nothing a touch of buttermilk and half-&-half couldn’t overcome!


And then I tried this recipe.  So easy, and so much better than I remember in my youth.  I went with the nutmeg (not sure that I’m a fan) and added some ground mustard.  I’ll play with it a bit – but it sure is promising!


20170201_181224So, on to our 2nd vitrigraph kiln pull.  Much better consistency – once we elevated our clay pot and opened up the hole (both in the pot and in the kiln floor).  Here were my color choices:


And this is what we got … some 21 feet in cane.  Most of it (to my eye) in a camo-color … Not my first choice for an Object D’art … but a learning lesson, for sure!


I officially head back to work in … 2 DAYS.  I’m excited.  No – really, I am.  Someone please remind me of that about 20 minutes after I get to work on Saturday.  (We’re in the middle of a renovation … Those TOTALLY stink when you’re trying to work through them!)

totally stinks

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We Did It!!!

vit-set-upWe set our (4th) kiln up and had our first vitrigraph cane pull!  Yahoo!!! [So, yeah … it’s THAT kiln, the vitrigraph kiln … Which will forever be called ‘She Who Causes Broken Wing’ … I ❤ her!]

We still have a lot of fine tuning to do – but – I’m happy!  Definitely having issue with temperature control and flow from the pot (- according to the readings on the manual pyrometer, we were dancing between 1550-1725 degrees) … Our cane never did ‘pull’ as easy as the Bullseye video demo.  I’m thinking our crucible needs to have a larger opening … We’ll see.


And, while I had my stack all nice, layered and round within the pot – we didn’t have much luck with simple concentric cane.  But – I LOVE these colors!!!  And – DH can’t complain, cuz I didn’t spend any (additional) money for this experiment (… YET)!  HAHA!  Smile


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He Just Showed Me Up …

Doggone it!  But – we’re starting to learn to make torched murrine up in here!  I’m definitely having issues with heat control.  But DH took to it like he has been lampworking all his life.  WTH?!?  

My pitiful attempts:


And his …


We’ll keep playing and figure this stuff out.  In the meantime, I’m also thinking vitrigraph-kiln-thoughts … UH-OH!!! Winking smile  I do have an extra kiln hanging around at the moment (purchased when I broke my arm!) …


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So – the funny thing is …

no-oxygenIt turns out, you can’t play with your torch if your OXYGEN tank is empty … Nope!  Doesn’t matter how much of that glass glob you place into your ‘hottest flame’ … This is what you get … And now, I am waiting on my (new) O2 tank arrival(!);  Meanwhile murrini is on hold!!!

But – I love me a new saw blade!  Yep, the new Taurus 3 blade is slicing through tiles like butter!  Arrgghh – if I ever win the LOTTO … !!!!

            11-down   turquoise-cloud-tile

It took me a while, but I eventually had 29 cabs laid out … I have 19 cut & shaped tonight.  I’ll have one heck of a kiln load for ‘fire-polishing’ SOON!


Meanwhile – DH and I are getting accustomed to Alexa.  I have the ‘Dot’ out here in the studio.  It’s neat and all, but … I’m not sure how I feel knowing some ‘smart-thing’ is listening to me ALL THE TIME … Like when I’m yelling at the glass for insubordination, or scolding my canine-kids for unauthorized accidents (poops)… ???


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Today is the Day!

… I think(!)  … Maybe … Yes!!!  I’ve been torch-bench-murrini-prepwanting to play with the torch and making my own murrini for a while now.  I’m just about ready …  So – this is it! …

… AFTER physical therapy! [Arrrgghh! – my arm is already ACHING!]  But, I can do this.  And – I have to play with fire to start learning – so I can figure out what I’ll need to fix!  I’ve got some gorgeous colors prepared.   And – my fire extinguisher is close by …

In the meantime – I’ve got two kilns running (foil tiles x2, cabochon pieces, and a bespoke spoon rest).  I’ve drilled a few more pendant (pinch bail) holes and prepped some other cabs.  And – I bulk ordered a few (hundred) new pinch bails … I know … I KNOW!(!)  But, I NEEDED THEM!!!  [And – when I die, someone is gonna make out like a RAT{!} at my estate sale!]


I ALSO have my next two tiles ready to go … Along with a fire-polish round, a slumping round and a couple of other planned firings …


But first – SLEEP (- snuggle time with Chloe and the Yorks!), PT, and then … a new cycle of ‘Torch-MANIA’ …  “Say Goodnight Chloe!”  Winking smilegetting-sleepy

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