Mixing It Up

This year, I’ve  gone from a metal and soldering frenzy to a  lamp working frenzy, to a  glass and ceramics tumbling frenzy, to a glass fusing frenzy, to a felting frenzy.  Every so often, I get in the torch enameling.  And there are always the seed beading designs I’m  working on.  Did I mention that I ruin a lot of stuff?  But some of the metal can be recycled and most of it started out as recycled anyway. (I used to have a lovely let of brass charger plates.)   The fused glass can be cut up and refused.  The lamp working failures can be turned into frit or  become elements in fused pieces so long as you keep the COE straight.  And you can use an ugly felted bead as a base for another bead.

I decided to combine the polymer beads and lamp work into a necklace and make a clasp. The polymer beads are interspersed with the lamp worked beads.  Many of the lamp worked beads are fumed with silver and the focal  bead is hollow .  For for the clasp. I made jump rings and soldered them to copper washers from Harbor Freight that I textured with my home made texturing hammers.  I’m not sure if I am happy with all of the polymer beads; I might make  some new polymer beads at Clayathon .    But here’s what I have so far.

Frit Experiments

A few weekends ago, I took a polymer clay recycling tip and separated my broken beads and tiny stringer remnants by color. Then I smashed them into frit. What you see below are my containers of frit and some of the beads I made with it.

I have an unorthodox method of using the frit; I melt the end of my Moretti Rod, dip it into the frit container, introduce it slowly back into the flame and melt the colors in. I repeat these steps a few more times then I wind the glass onto the mandrel.  

Here’s Lampworker Tom Wright on YouTube showing how he adds frit to beads.