Yesterday I finally got back to the torch. I haven’t used my torch since last December. I just haven’t been motivated enough to get through all of the things that got on my way. I must have been really motivated this time since so many things tried to stop me.
Once I arrived at my husband’s shop (which is where I make the beads), I had to go theough a lot of glass to find the colors I wanted to use (not that unusual). Someone decided to use at least one of my mandrels and bent it into a hook. I wasn’t too happy as I have a limited supply of them. Annoying but not the end of the workd. Then the problems began.
I turned on the kiln and continued to get organized. After a few minutes I realized the kiln wasn’t making its usual noises. It wasn’t working! Ugh! I gave it a few more minutes, still nothing. Hoping it was just a glitch, I turned it off and then on again. It started working. Not sure what the problem was. Hopefully it doesn’t happen again.
So the kiln was working. I turned on the oxygen concentrator and it was very sluggish. Likely the filters need cleaning. The guages said it still provided the correct amount of oxygen so I continued on.
I turned on the propane. The flame was very bushy and didn’t look quite right. I turned on the oxygen and the propane virtually disappeared. I checked the tank and thought maybe it was empty. My husband removed the regulator so I could fill the tank but then we realized it was actually quite full. Customers came in so I waited for him to put the regulator back on. Once he did, I turned on the torch and there was no propane at all. He fiddled with the regulator and finally it worked! Hallelujah!
I sat down and hoped I could still make a bead. It’s like riding a bike, right? Thankfully it is, more or less. I was just finishing up my “pracitce” bead and my daughter calls. She is very upset so I try to console her. My husband had to run home and deal with the problem (a mouse in a mouse trap) and brought our daughter to the shop. I watched for customers while he was gone.
Once they arrived at the shop I was able to sit back down at the torch. I made 3 long beads and 2 specialty beads then it was time to go. At least I tried and completed something. And I want to go back again. Soon.
The beads I made (above) and some special order seam rippers (below).
I will be attending the Regina Farmer’s Market Cooperative this Saturday November 30, 2019 from 9 am to 1 pm. This will be my last market of the year, so if you are wanting any of my products, that would be the best place to get something. I am still able to make more products if you are wanting something. Leave a comment fill out the contact sheet here.
The market is held at the Core Ritchie Neighbourhood Centre in Regina at 445 14th Avenue.
I have closed my Zibbet shop. Unfortunately I never had a single sale or even a comment. I had high hopes but am not sure what went wrong. And now that they have changed their pricing, I decided it was time to go.
If there is anything you would like to order, please contact me and we can set something up.
I have been having a lot of fun at the Regina Farmers Market Cooperative this summer. Unfortunately I finished my holidays and had to go back to work which makes it more difficult to attend markets. I do have two date in August that I am able to attend - August 17 and 24. After that I likely won’t be at the market until sometime in October. My daughter is having surgery in September and I need to devote my time to taking care of her and helping her get back on her feet. I will post on Facebook when I am able to return to the market. The only other sale I know I will be attending this year is Whistlestop on October 25 and 26 in Moose Jaw.
I sometimes think people don’t realize some of the steps that go into making beads. One of the important steps is cleaning the beads.
Once the beads are cooled in the kiln, they need to be removed from the mandrels and the bead release needs to be cleaned out.
First I soak the mandrels in a cup of warm water to soften the bead release. Then I use a pliers to hold the mandrel as I remove the beads carefully. I usually like to let the beads soak a little longer but I sometimes will clean them at this point.
uThis is a picture of the beads just off the mandrels as well as the mess this can make. The mandrels have to be wiped off and redipped to be used again.
se a Dremel with a diamond bit to remove the bead release. Some beads take longer than others to clean. Especially the longer ones.
After they are cleaned, the beads need to dry. Once dry they can be used in what ever project they were intended for.
I will be at the Regina Farmers Market July 10 & 13, 2019. I will have a lot of my products with me like the ones pictured below.
I have a few of these cheese sets available. Each set includes a rectangular knife, an oval knife, and a large fork. All pieces come in a mango wood block.
I have a couple cute new sugar bowls for sale. They each come with a matching spoon. I have these two sets and I made some blue beads for another. The set sells for $30.
My work space
I really enjoy making beads but I really don't enjoy cleaning up my area afterwards. Any extra time I have there, I like to spend making the beads not cleaning. Here is what my work space looks like. It isn't pretty but it serves it's purpose.
This is my torch as well as some of the glass I use. A few tools sit on the bench as well. My kiln is in the corner ready to accept some newly made beads. My huge glasses are also in the picture. They fit over my prescription glasses and I am glad they do or I wouldn't be able to see a thing. Under the desk is a pan with vermiculite. Some people use this to help cool the glass slowly. My husband frequently uses this method when he "fixes" things. There is some really large tubing at the back which I ordered by mistake one time. Not sure what we are going to do with it. I also have my book with some sketches of what I planned to make that day. I have so many sketches. I need to have them or I end up wasting a lot of time because I get mesmerized by all of the colors of glass I have and don't stay on task.
This drawer is full of goodies! I have a lot of glass here as well as frit, powders, dichroic glass, gold leaf, silver foil, silver wire, several tools and other odds and ends.
This is the biggest mess I have. Just a huge pile of glass! I have jars of stringers and special glass that I don't use often. There is a pile of food grade welding rods that I use for my cake testers/pokers. I have one small bead press that I almost never use. There are old mandrels and old bead release. This is somewhere I really need to tidy up.
Thank you for taking the time to checkout my work area. Now I must go and do some cleaning.
Well it is that time of year. Christmas has just passed and the New Year is coming up fast. Leaves time for New Year’s Resolutiions. Always on my list is to change up my business and make it better than last year. This year I think I finally accomplished that. Even though I was not able to attend all of the Regina Farmer’s Market Cooperative markets, the ones I was able to go to were well woth my time. A couple were very trying as I had to battle the elements more than usual but still I felt my experience was quite successful. I am looking forward to going to the market in the new year as time permits. I met so many wonderful and interesting people.
am always looking for new shows to attend, so if you know of any please let me know.
Have a Happy New Year!