Square to the Tenth Power
November 23, 2011
The last month has been devoted to a new series of bracelets. I can’t tell you how many squares of glass I’ve cut, but I photographed my process to show you. By the way, you can purchase my bracelets-‘Adornment-for-Your-Wrist’ online via this link.
I like the rhythmic sound of my glass cutter zipping a long score line down a fresh sheet of colorful Bullseye glass. One inch at a time. Zip, zip, zip, the motion, the sound, the rhythmic scoring and snapping off each strip of glass is Zen like.
Those strips become squares and are built into fun, beautiful bracelets. I keep a sketch pad on my workbench to document all the new ideas that flow into my head as I methodically score and break. After all the glass is cut I slice a million strips of fiber paper. Yes, a million.
I confess I don’t enjoy the process of ‘building the guts’ of my bracelets, cutting tiny strips of fiber paper to hold channels open and placing them precisely on the blanks. If I have good (loud) music playing in the background I get them all built in spite of the tedium.
The design work is divine. I love the design part….whether I’ve preplanned with sketches or just start moving bits of scrap glass around into pleasing shapes styles colors etc. And who can’t resist a little dichro!
I made ladybug murrini for the bracelets going to the Yard, Garden and Patio Show in February. Then I bought some of Andy Nichols’ cane but it was too large to go through my tile nippers. The arrow points to my own murrini, the perfect size. When I whined on my Facebook Page, Cynthia Morgan recommended a big nipper from HD, using a hammer to close the jaws. Thanks Cynthia, that did the trick!
In the midst of my mess, an old friend asks “where’s the cobalt?”…so I stop my process & go back to cutting squares. Of course, I can’t just make one. By now, you know that about me!
Fresh from the kiln, forty two bracelets, after a second firing for textured, three-dimensional designs are now ready to clean up and string.
A tedious and dreary job, cleaning the spent fiber paper out of the channels. Even worse is cold-working all the spurs left behind in most of the channels.
Once they’re cleaned and dried, all my beautiful new bracelets are lined up and ready to string.
To make it interesting, I clean up about a dozen at a time, choosing my favorites at the moment.
Have you been counting? Between 7 and 8 dozen fresh new bracelets will be ever so slowly added to my online shops.
Three dozen bracelets remain in various stages of completion. Some are waiting for more design components to be added & re-fired; some need to be cleaned and cold-worked; and some just need to be strung.
Edit: Photo above and below added post publication for documentation purposes. One last batch waiting for additional design elements may not be finished until after the holidays.
Some earlier work with squares, this bargello bowl, was donated to The Dalles Art Center for their annual auction earlier this month and I was thrilled the gallery director won the high bid.
The early part of December I’ll have a trunk show at J D Smith Jewelers in The Dalles. We haven’t firmed the date yet, so if you’d like to join us let me know so I can send you a note!
Wishing you all a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with love, family and great food!