Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Playing with glass and other New Art...UHU glue reviews

I have been playing with glass and experimenting with how it melts. For me, since I know basically nothing other than what i have read in books, it is all a big experiment. I waste a lot of materials this way, and often, when I finally get the hang of it, I switch to a new project....mainly I think out of frustration that I am not an expert at it and it is not perfect. Lately I am trying really hard to complete projects....and I am attempting spontaneous art - you know - just DO IT...don't judge. Be patient. Give it time to speak to you and to develop.....and don't hurry. I like to take shortcuts and usually that means big time mistakes and interesting wastebasket liners....
OK. Back to glass. I was using wasser red flame glass. It had cool orange and yellow flame streaks amongst the red. I put a piece of thin dichroic glass on that and also a copper inclusion that I half-a**ed coated with boric acid powder in alcohol, to keep it copper colored. I didn't think to burnish it flat, and by the time I put the copper on the glass it had dried and was flaking off. No matter. I stuck everything together with glastac, including a bullseye clear glass that I topped each heart with (same COE as the wasser). Then I put it in the kiln. This is how they turned out.

Fronts ...the one on the bottom left is the one i grooved and wire wrapped. More about that later....

As you can see, all of the Wasser glass blended together and became a solid red. The back of this glass was white streaked on the red. The one piece I fired with the white side up, turned mainly white! The backs, turned yellow and brown. Very weird. Turns out, wasser glass full fuses about 50 degrees lower than the clear bullseye topper, and since I fired the kiln at 1490, which is for the bullseye, I super melted it all together. The dichroic glass I used was cut in triangles, which I also don't like. I wish I had shaped it with rounded edges. But I loved what the copper did - It turned a dark red with even darker edges and had a nice shimmer to it.
Next step, I decided to grind off all the extra clear glass on the heart's edges and fire polish them. The white heart I decided to groove the edge so I could wire wrap it. Now I've never grooved glass before, but I have a new groove bit for my grinder so I tried it. I went around twice to be sure i had a deep groove. i had a deep groove, alright - a canyon!
Big air bubbles, cracked edges - pretty sloppy! But the copper heart looks great!
I wrapped it anyway and thought I'd be really clever and use UHU glass and metal epoxy to help hold the fine silver wire. The glue worked great and allowed me to wrap the wire tightly. I will also use it to attach bails later to the other pieces ( I will do a full review of this glue then - I need to test the strength over time) ....the pieces are all way to thick to drill holes into.....
Then I got the bright idea to refire it with the other pieces to polish the rough groove edges. This was a bad idea. There was no firescale, because I had used fine silver, but the silver turned the glass edges yellow (which happens) and of course it weakened the silver. Ultimately i took the wire off, ground off the groove and ugly glass, and refired it.
These are new piece for the kiln, and the big hearts from above are being fired are on the bottom shelf. I am also firing tiny glass scraps to make glass balls for other projects.

Here they are out of the oven. The new pieces (the little hearts) I super coated the copper and the copper stayed true copper colored. I prefer the copper to turn red, like it did in the original hearts. I also used dichroic "paper" which was a real waste. You can see the shadows of the tiny dichroic hearts, etc, but the dichroic shimmer is gone. I think the "paper" has to be fired at a lower temperature. It is really expensive and is really a dichroic decal, but you can punch out any design you like. Too bad it works lousy! The eyeballs (click on the photo to see the detail) have huge bubbles in them because I layered dichroic glass that was too thick, and fired it too fast. I am going to experiment by drilling out the air bubbles and refiring.
Here's a pic of a stone and a skull I am covering in latex to make molds to cast as plaster investments. I will use the stone's investment to fire with pmc clay around it. After it is fired I will remove the plaster investment and add the stone. The skull I want to use with an"freeze and fuse" glass. Stay tuned!

and here's a large painting I am working on. It is a shibori crinkled paper tree trunk and lots of foam circles. I used some of the UHU epoxy for texture, as well a pumice, thread, and liquid nails, molding paste, fabric and tar gel. It is white because it has gesso on it. When it dries I will start painting it and will put transfers of people? embryos? ...well, something. It is called "life from a bubble".

UHU Foam Glue - another FREE FULL SIZED SAMPLE from Maria Filosa blog site.
UHU glue for foam is the best product I've ever used for foam. I used to build foam costume heads and bodies (covered with fabric) and the glue we used was stinky and messy. The fumes were terrible in the head of a costume! This stuff is low odor and works remarkably well. It works best foam to foam. I have some heart charms that are all layered foam that are stuck together with this stuff. You put it on both pieces and let it dry, then squish the pieces together.

Pay it Forward - free art!

Here is a fun thing I stumbled upon, so here's the game:

Pay it Forward
Belinda, Jo and a number of other talented ladies have posted this on their site recently. Now i't is my turn!I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF (Pay it forward) exchange.I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week, but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise!The only thing you have to do in return is to pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.So basically, if you’re one of the first 3 comments, I’ll send you something crafty that I’ll make!Once you sign up, copy and paste the above paragraph on your blog, and three other lucky people will be recipients of your handmade work.

Please leave your email addy so I can contact you to get your address!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

My cousin Diane came to Kauai this week with her family. I met them in Hanalei and they treated me to lunch at Bubba Burgers. Here's a pic of us.

L to R: Me, Diane, her husband Chip, daughters Carly and Michele.

Her in laws were there too, as well as Chip's sister and husband.

...and this is the missing photo of Fran and I from her visit a few weeks ago. I stole it from her blog. You have to go to her blog and see her journal sketching in Kauai - way cool!

...and this is a cute little rat that my DH trapped. We have a huge rat invasion around here. None in the house or in the shop, but outside they like to get into the car's engine and the tractor's engine and nest there.....and they also chew on the wires.... so we have to keep tarps on the engines and then remember to remove them before you drive. I wish I could say we were trapping them humanely because I cared about their sweet little souls. But alas, I just hate emptying their squished little heads from the spring type traps. This was the 4th one this week.....I just take the trap about 3 miles away and open it at an empty field....and now he's someone else's problem.

I've been blog hopping today. Sometimes I just like to go to a blog, click on one of their links, read it, click on one of their links, read it, click on one of THEIR get the picture. I see pictures, artwork and gain interesting insight to all kinds of folk I would never have "met" or learned about.

Which leads me to Thanksgiving. Blog hopping has shown me such diversity in souls and spirit. People post very intimate details of their lives, their health, their feelings. Brave, scared, scarred and joyful. Blogs to journal an autistic child, a brush with death, a shared life. Amazing honest writing of incredible depth.

I am thankful for the insights these people have given me. The grass is truly not always greener on the other side. I have been motivated, inspired, moved. Sometimes, I have laughed out loud! It is very powerful stuff.

...and so.....I have such gratitude for all the blessings I have been given.

My Family. .... My Friends....My Life .......and..... Internet Bloggers.

Thank You Thank You Thank You

Saturday, November 17, 2007

grotesque ROOT DOLLS

I liked Fran's doll so much, i decided to try my hand at doll making, but I wanted to make something original. I came up with the concept of root dolls - using vintage photos of children's faces and bodies that look like tree in family history roots, etc. Deep aren't I? hah!

Anyway, I made 2 dolls of patchwork applique with lots of stitching and thread embellishments (root hairs...). I thought they would make a nice gift for my sister who says i never make her anything. When my husband saw them he said the were the most grotesque things he had ever seen.....sigh.....(that's me sighing, he was laughing....) I guess I will have to send her something else.

...a Bare Root Exposed Root
Today I must clean up my huge mess and stop sewing projects and paint projects and do glass work.
Oh, I got a great book called Paper, Metal and Stitch by Maggie Grey and Jane Wild. It has incredible techniques - even stitching metal shim. I highly recommend it and am dieing to try some of the ideas....especially using wonder under to distress velvet......but I really need to concentrate on Christmas presents, so it will have to wait.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A present from Fran!

Today I went to Poipu to see my friend Fran Saperstein. We had a lovely breakfast at the Grand Hyatt (ocean view!) and then we sat and talked and talked and talked! This is the 2nd time this year Fran and her husband have come to Kauai for a convention - and I love it because I get to visit with her. Look at what she made me for my birthday.
Isn't she amazing? Look - she even has a hula skirt!
Here's a close-up. Aren't those the coolest embroidered hands?
I took a photo of Fran and I together, but it turned out (....ok, I turned out....) so ugly I erased it. Oh vanity! ...maybe Fran will post the one she took on her blog......

I have been playing with the heatpress a bit. Here's a paper/fabric collage i did. I grabbed whatever was in reach on my work table - I didn't want to get hung up thinking about it. Sometimes I think and plan and draw and think and plan and then I get tired of it and overwhelmed and nothing gets made. Anyway, it started with a sheet of cardstock with black webbing that was leftover from some other project. I squashed up tissue paper and made it into the tree. I had lots of leftover eyeballs, so I put them on the tree. It could have used more, but that's all I had. Then I found the preggers woman drawing and the bird and the hands, so I just tar gelled them all on. I used gesso and dyno flow for the color, and a bit of sienna acrylic and a black sharpie for the tree. Finally I threw on some fibers, coated everything with tar gel and threw it in the heatpress ala DJ Pettitt.....Preheat to 320 degrees, load in your image, close the press and unplug. Cook for 10 minutes. The result is a smooth vinyl like top. Afterward, I mounted it on fabric, added some ribbon trim and heat pressed it again. Voila!

It says "go forth and multiply"
A few months ago I posted a fabric painting I started. I hated the background, so I cut it out and I made more flowers, some reeds and a much better horse. It has also been heatpressed, but only the castle has tar gel on top. I didn't want it to be shiny. It's not done yet - it still needs some more topstiching and to be mounted. I'm hoping the copper frame I am making will look OK with it. Click on it to enlarge so you can see the detail. The edging is shibori dyed silk I made, but I don't like it, so I will take it off and the figure out a new way to edge it.

I found a bunch of photo's on the camera from when i was in LA and when I was with my dad in Sacramento., for all the "Jericho" fans out there, here's a photo from the set after we blew something up...I can't go into too much detail - mum's the word!

...and here's my dad. We went to Travis Airforce base to get groceries and stopped at the museum.. He's next to his favorite airplane, a B29.

...and her'e my grandbaby hana who came to visit me!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Today is my birthday and I am officially a senior citizen. Whoever thought I could have lunch with my Dad and we BOTH could have the senior citizen special.?!? Sheesh! I don't feel 55! But i am! Birthdays are just sailing by and I think of all the things I've yet to accomplish - all the things I WANT to accomplish....
it was a terrific day. My Dh made me a lovely breakfast - but then we had to finish the mowing!
The day was glorious - no rain, a lovely breeze - and the yardwork went quickly. When we were done, Lance made me a large drink - an "absolute sin"- my favorite! Then he made me a great dinner, coffee and brownies with ice cream! I also got lots of wonderful art presents and lots of cards and calls and emails.
i am so very blessed.

Friday, November 02, 2007

NEW WEBSITE and other info....

Check out my dear friend and art buddy Joanne's new website:
She does amazing work with photoshop and has created some fabulous collage sheets.
She also makes awesome art dolls - her buttons- OMG! ...but you'll have to wait to see those, they aren't on her website yet....but check them out on her blog:

On another note, my friend Fran Saperstein is coming to Kauai tomorrow! We are going to get together next week for an art play date - i'm going to show her heat press techniques and fabric fusing ala DJ Pettitt. Fran is a wonderful artist too!

Look what i won!

I belong to a terrific yahoo group called " " and the moderators hosted a treasure hunt contest. The group is supported by wonderful vendors and prizes are given for contests as well as art challenges. Anyway, clues were given each day and you had to follow them to various vendors websites and find the described object. I was the
2nd Place Winner!
This very creative paper mache' purse is just stuffed full of goodies for our 2nd Place Winner: Connie Williams! Congratulations!!

Look at all the cool stuff I won! It's valued at over $100! I am so thrilled!
There will be a new contest for New Years - to join, see the link above.
This is the blog associated with the group: