Sunday, December 19, 2010

lampwork station almost ready!

Merry Christmas to me! While this little gecko in my Etsy shop hangs around here, I'll show you what I've been up to. :-)

This is something I have wanted to do for years. On the work area in this picture is the beginnings of a 'Barley box' named after the talented lampworker Michael Barley, who designed this set up. The lampworking torch is set up with this 'structure' around it, with enough space to work, and the ventilation is in the top. Because the space is 'enclosed' the fumes from the process are pulled out of your workroom through the vent that goes outside (which is yet to be week.)
I've tried many types of ventilation and this is what I've had in mind for ages but haven't had the resources actually to have it made. It's hard to find someone with the time and talent to do this. But luckily we have a friend who does work like this. He just insulated our garage walls and ceiling (thank you tax credit!) and drywalled, and painted, and carried the heat and cooling out there with a wall switch to boot. We are calling it the 'Garage-mahal' !! I asked if he could help me with the ventilation. He took a look at the pictures and went at it! He still will vent the box to the outside and line the box with a white metal. We started with a range hood that has 4 halogen lights in it. (woo hoo!) and the strongest fan we could find. Now, this may need to be tweaked. We'll test it to see if it pulls the fumes, the theory being that with it enclosed, and with the large tube that will go to the vent, and the short distance, this should do it. If not... it's easy to add a fan and the lighting and hardware is all there.
ahhh...... It's so exciting! I hope to post soon, a picture of an organized work space, ready to teach private classes in my own studio in metalsmithing and lampworking. Woo Hoo!! step by step it's coming together.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

finally back to the fun stuff

Finally! Since the bead show in October, I have had many beads to list and no time to do it. So today I put up some disc beads and hope to keep taking pictures and posting on Etsy.

One reason it's been difficult to make new things is the many orders I've had for some silver work, and another is the second picture. Our garage is getting insulated. Yay for the tax credit! But it must be done before the end of the year, hence, the speed (haha we put it off way too long)
as long as it's being insulated, then we may as well drywall. Soon a studio will appear and I will even have a good spot to teach some classes. How exciting! Our friend, Brian, who is as handy as all get out, even fixed it so the heating and cooling will work there. See the handy dandy switch on the wall? He is amazing. And ummmm see the mess on my workbench? Looks like there is some work ahead organizing.
Hopefully by Wednesday the sanding will be done, the drywall primed and the next step of putting the exhaust fan in will be done. It's going to be a great vacation over Christmas, getting this all put together! Maybe there will be some pictures coming of a neat and tidy studio space!

Saturday, December 4, 2010


I took the plunge this week and had lasik. It was my concern when considering it (for years actually) that my close up vision would become bad, but after discussing it with the opthomologist, monovision seemed like the best decision.
I had the procedure yesterday and can gladly say seeing up close is still 'there' :-) Yay! time to throw away the glasses!
as I age (oh well.............) my close up vision has worsened in especially one eye, so that is now for distance. Optivisors will be handy but I tried a few things out today and it worked out great.
So back to the bench!! And the torch!! :-)