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Copyright, All Rights Reserved. All content on this site is copyrighted, Dana Worley, as of the date of posting. Reuse or redistribution of this content is strictly prohibited without express written permission of the author.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Beginning

I suspect people think it's a little weird when you tell them you've been in the basement all day melting glass. Especially when you tell them you were having fun doing it.

I have always enjoyed a variety of "crafts". (I don't really like that word. It conjures up images of gingham, ducks, and tole painting.) Even as a small child I was begging my mom to puh-lease let me use the sewing machine so I could make clothes for Barbie. Over the years I continued to expand my interests -- crocheting, embroidery, cross stitch, quilting, paper making, stained glass, bead weaving, and bead "stringing".

I liked creating jewelry with beads, but somehow, it felt like I was cheating. All I was doing was buying beads and stringing them on a wire -- anyone could do that. So I decided I wanted to begin making my own beads. At my request the darling husband (hereafter referred to as DH), bought me a lampworking kit for my birthday. So one afternoon, armed with tools of the trade as well as a fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, and flame retardant suit, I began.

The kit provided fiber blankets in which to place the beads for cooling (to prevent thermal shock). I successfully created several blobs and one beautifully round bead. It was a miracle! I carefully placed each creation, still on the metal mandrel, into the fiber blanket. Imagine my dismay when I later found that all my carefully crafted blobs and one beautifully round bead had cracked!

Those fiber blankets weren't going to cut it, and I wasn't too convinced by the google searches that turned up flower pots of vermiculite and other cooling methods. I knew at this point that a kiln was in order to properly cool and anneal the pieces.

Once my kiln arrived, I got excited about all the possibilities. Not only could I anneal lampworked beads, but I could fuse glass! And I could fire metal clay! I knew that to calm my excitement, a trip to the Hobby Lobby was in order for just one small piece or two of glass for fusing.

Thus began my journey with fused glass.

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