February 28, 2010

My Stained Glass Adventures

Well here's my first stained glass piece completed!

Stained glass is more fun than I thought it would be!  I love cutting and grinding each piece of glass.  Foiling... eh, I don't love that part.  Soldering is actually fun!  I'm not very good at it yet but I will enjoy practicing and getting better.  :)
Traditional stained glass panels aren't really my thing so I'm looking forward to creating some fun and unique pieces... leaning towards 3D style like prisms and stars. 
Our next project will be a leaded panel... I'll keep y'all updated!

February 23, 2010

Facebook Fan Giveaway Entry Form

Hey all you people out there in Internetland!
My giveaway for facebook fans is officially up and running!

Check my website for your chance to win a pretty awesome looking sushi plate.

Facebook Fan Giveaway Page

Here's the prize for this drawing:


When I was making this plate, a tiny piece of green glass stringer wanted to be friends with the plate and got fused onto the edge of the glass.  I could have just melted it down and made something else... but I'm sure someone out there would love to give it a good home.  :)

February 19, 2010

Facebook Fan Giveaway!

I'll be having random giveaways for my Facebook fans!  Something different each time... could be a necklace, maybe a suncatcher, might be a plate... or something else!

Be a fan and fill out the entry form on the amykglass.com website for each drawing.  One entry per fan each drawing and no duplicate winners in a one year span.  More info and the entry form link will be announced when it's time.  :)
Winners will be announced on the website and on this blog. 

More information to come.. stay tuned!

February 12, 2010

Help name the latest suncatcher!

Finally got creating this style of suncatcher mastered... now I just need a name!
Help me name this design!

The blue and white swirls together.. reminds me of a sky.  Looks great in a window (turns lighter blue) and also on a wall.
Searching for great naming ideas for the style, not colors. 

February 09, 2010

Launching a New Website!

Here it is!


Yes I know some of it is empty... but it's a work in progress and I just had to share with y'all.  :)

I'll have information about my glass, myself and the studio. 
Tips, tutorials and giveaways will be added in the future.
I look forward to sharing!

If you have any suggestions or ideas for the site, please let me know.

February 08, 2010

Light tables can be expensive... here is a solution.

Transparent glass items can be difficult to photograph... you want to show off how the light shines through it.
A regular photo booth can to some degree but if the item is small it's a challenge, especially if you want to lay it flat.
I was getting frustrated with my dark photos and my friend Lee Black, a great photographer, suggested using my laptop to help shine light through my glass.
So here's what I did and I'm really happy with the results!  I'm sure this could be used for small transparent items that you'd like to shine light through.

What you need:
Steady hands or tripod
Laptop or flat screen monitor
Tracing Paper

Here's my laptop.

Change the background to white and move any icons out of the way... less is better.
Carefully flip the laptop over so it looks like this... hold onto it if necessary.  Doing this won't hurt anything if you're careful.
Take a single sheet of white tracing or tissue paper and lay it over the monitor screen. 

Have the product that you'd like to take a picture of ready.

Gently place the product on top of the paper.  Take a picture!  DO NOT use the flash.  I like to use a tripod and add 2.5 second exposure... just to let in a touch more light.

Crop and edit your photo... all done!

Use this at your own risk... it worked for me so I just wanted to share.
NOT recommended for heavy items... you could damage your monitor screen.

February 05, 2010

Stained Glass and Lead Poisoning

I had it in my mind for a long time that if I learned stained glass I would be at risk for lead poisoning and get sick.  That mindset kept me from advancing towards learning this art.   I was wrong.
After lots of reading I learned that while stained glass workers do tend to have slightly elevated lead levels in their blood, if I'm careful there shouldn't be any reason why I won't be safe and healthy.

•Touching cold lead does not absorb through your pores.
•Soldering iron does not get lead solder hot enough to create harmful toxic fumes.  (But I'll use a fume trap just to be extra safe.)

•Avoid dropping hot solder and have it burn through your skin.
•Avoid eating or having open drink containers in the stained glass work area.
•Wash your hands often and don't touch your face.

I love this article written by Glass Campus please read it!

If I'm careful and treat it like raw meat (avoid touching but when I do, wash hands after) there shouldn't be any lead poisoning in my future.
Good idea to get a blood test each year just to be safe.
Only lead free solder is allowed for items that are near food (napkin holders, etc), jewelry, anything within reach of children, and items being constantly touched (ie: chessboards, etc).

My Stained Glass class starts on February 10th... wish me luck and remember... Safety First!  ^_^

February 04, 2010

Glass Craft & Bead Expo

I just found out about this event and now I'm very interested in going.
Going to be held in Las Vegas, April 9th-11th.  Classes start on the 7th.
Too bad I didn't know sooner... the classes I'm interested in are already sold out.  :(
Ah well I think that I'd still have a fabulous time at the expo... being able to talk to vendors, look at products, and see shiny new things!  Any opportunity to learn... count me in!
Glass Craft & Bead Expo is the premiere event in the art glass industry.

Oh and to quote Scott... "IT'S VEGAS BABY!!!"

February 03, 2010

Will Fuse Glass for Pizza!

I'm new to the Etsy community and love it so far!  So many people seem so nice and helpful.
So I decided to join an Etsy Team.  What is a team you ask?  Well an Etsy Team is a collection of artists and crafters who share ideas and help promote each other.
Will Craft for Food is a team for creative people working hard to turn to their art/craft into a primary source of income... and to keep sane and creatively fulfilled. 
Here's the story I shared with the team:

Check out the blog for some great articles and links to some nice shops. 

Will Craft for Food

February 02, 2010

Taking a Walk on the Cold Side

Stained Glass is considered cold glass.
Fusing Glass is considered warm glass.
Torchwork and Glass Blowing are considered hot glass.

I'm at a crossroads... so I've decided to branch out and take a stained glass class.
Warm glass is awesome and I couldn't imagine my life now without it.  I took a torchworking class (Intro to Boro) at Aquila Glass School.  The class was cool but I think people already working with hot glass would get more out of it than I did. 
Another reason that I'm looking at stained glass is... well many supplies and lots of glass for stained glass came with my studio.  So start up costs would be much lower.
Here's some of what I have to work with:
Several packages of copper foil tape (probably expired but stored well), a foiler, many rolls of 50/50 and 60/40 solder, three soldering irons, many boxes of various beveled glass pieces, two wet grinders (not pictured), a band saw, a wire saw (hidden on the left) and lots non-fusible sheet glass.

So I say... why not put all of this to good use?  I was never excited about stained glass before... thoughts of working with lead and hot irons didn't exactly float my boat.  But now the more I look at it... and realize that it can be much more than just making suncatchers and panels... I'm interested for sure!

My classes start on February 10th... I'll keep everyone posted.  :)
Oh and if you work with stained glass, I'll take all the advice I can get!