Monday, June 30, 2008

Frit Beads

A much better day at the torch, although I didn't update yesterday as promised. Yesterday I straightened up the house, and then collected my neighbor's dogs for a week-long stay, much to the disgust of my Quality Control Inspectors. They see a dreary week of living under my bed during the days; I know that they'll be used to the dogs within three days. Plus Milo, the puppy, and Diamond, the two year old, are both crate-trained and sleep at night in their boxes (much to THEIR disgust, as they are used to sleeping in their owner's room). Then I had a lovely dinner with a friend whom I haven't seen for a long while. We had chickpea tomato soup, and talked, and garlic bread (we both share the idea that if there aren't at least four cloves of garlic per meal that there's something wrong!), and salad, and blueberries and cream for dessert.

Anyway, I did some plain frit beads, and had a more productive day. First I started testing a frit blend developed by my sister, who sells frit and beads on ETSY as Iron Mountain Jewelry and That Frit Girl. It's a lovely bluegreen. Maybe Mountainside as a name? I don't know. Anyway, in the picture from left to right there's the frit on Moretti white, on Moretti light ivory, on clear, on white with silver, on white and swirled, and on white, encased. The encased bead cracked, but I don't know if it was the frit or if it was the wrong COE clear. I want to do one of my Kalera Long and Lean series ... which I need a name for. Some shards of cobalt would look great with this frit as a base.

Then I did some plain sprees in a frit called "Aphrodisiac," on sky blue for a base, with tiny flat-leaved flowers.
Those went fast and were fun to do. I swirled the frit because I was afraid the frit blotches would compete with the plain flowers. On balance I think I'd leave them be next time. It made a nice, straightforward set that went pretty quickly. I actually made eight beads, but one chipped when I was cleaning it, and one I hadn't firepolished well enough.

Finally I tried Copper Green and Purple frit, which came out beautifully. I thought something was missing, though -- a texture or interest point -- so I added a layer of fine silver foil, and that got the look I was hoping for.

This morning I have to grade papers in earnest--in an eight-week semester the chore never ends, not if you want to be responsible and give regular feedback so students can grow. Maybe I can torch this evening.

Meanwhile, the canines are barking at my neighbors, and it is time to bring them in!

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