Well, I did it. I bought myself a glass kiln. I plunked down $505 cash money and took my baby home. Can’t wait to fire her up this weekend and try her out. i think I will name her Annie, in honor of Ann Badesh, who allowed me to have my jewelry show at her delightful restaurant, My Just Desserts, so I could earn enough money to invest in myself and my art by buying this power tool for the glass artist.
She’s a beauty – bigger than the ones I used in class, with a hinged lid, and easy access. I think we’ll make beautiful jewelry together. Glass, of course. Maybe I will learn copper enameling too. Why the hell not? I am mostly harmless, and anyway, I’ve already got the fire extinguisher and carbon monoxide detector set up.
I want to capture the beauty I am learning to see, by allowing myself to think and feel like an artist, in glass creations. Pendants, earrings, objects d’art – natural wonders, butterflies and dragonflies and color collages, with a bit o’ frit, and maybe a touch of gold… My work is not precise or perfect, but it does have a playful quality. I enjoy experimenting, trying things out, putting unusual combinations together – and to my surprise they work better than I could have planned! There’s a sense of “second chance” to it – I think anyway – I may not be Dale Chihuly, but I do enjoy carrying on the glassmakers tradition of my Swedish ancestors.
I can’t wait to go play and burn something beautiful this weekend!
It was a dark and rainy day at My Just Desserts, the little restaurant where I had my jewelry show this weekend. But despite the gray skies and wet weather, lovely people came in to have a wonderful lunch, fabulous desserts, and stop by my jewelry table and browse. Many people bought a necklace or earrings or a set: over the 2-day show, I earned enough to buy my own little fusing kiln – which was my goal! I did better in this unusual venue than I have at any craft show (it probably helped that I did not have to compete with other jewelry people, and that the restaurant has such nice clientele.) Plus I got to enjoy lunch & pie there myself – always a treat! (Sat. was peach cobbler and Sun. was fresh strawberry pie – I was a happy girl!)
It was fun to people-watch, to see what browsers showed the most interest in. They seemed to like the natural items, that had animals on them, like the angel fish necklace, the seahorse necklace, and the dragonflies and butterflies designs. Some were drawn to the sparkly crystals, while another found a vintage look (pink sea glass beads) necklace that suited her style. Long necklaces, all the rage in the big city, didn’t do so well in my small town venue…but there was something for almost everyone. (I had to apologize to a nice young man who asked if I had any pins for boys, because the only pins I had left was one with pink and purple dichroic glass and another made of Belgium lace, not quite his style.)
I enjoyed telling those who were interested how the “glass sandwiches” were made, and where I took classes (a few blocks up the street from the restaurant at Alton Stained Glassworks). I hope it was as educational and fun for them as it was for me. I did think it ironic that I made more money selling jewelry in one day than in 20 years of freelance writing….I certainly worked harder on my creative writing, but Iguess people are just big racoons, we like “shiny things” – like dichroic glass and Swarovski crystal!
I am invited back to do another table show May 2 and 3 (just in time for Mother’s Day gifts) – I have lots of new things I want to do and bring before then! Of course, it made it hard to fall asleep last night – dreaming of all the creations I want to make next!
Wikipedia has a nice summary…
I usually use this dichro glass provider’s glass in my creations:
I also use mostly Swarovski crystals (and it is a dream to some day to go to their headquarters in Austria!)