Welcome to my happy place!
(otherwise known as: I used to have a closet full of really cute shoes but now this is what i spend all my fun money and spare time on…)
I’ve finally come to accept that my studio is not going to get any cleaner, anytime soon, so here it is in all it’s messy glory: my glass beadmaking studio in its actual working state.
The bucket to the left is used to presoak and clean the beads; the bottles are all filled with various grinds and colours of frit (tiny glass chips) and enamels (intensely pigmented powdered glass). In front of the bottles is my Hothead torch which i attach to the green can of propane when i’m working.
The black and white mug holds water which is used to either cool my tools or send fuglies to their proper demise; the two ivory mugs hold my sculpting tools.
In the back right corner is a heated crockpot of vermiculite i use to slowly cool down beads when i’m only making one or two at a time – those beads are batch annealed in the kiln later. The rods i’m working with sit in a mason jar on a cup warmer which preheats the rods (cuts down on the exploding glass).
I’ll be getting a proper ventilation system installed in the spring (so don’t follow my fan in the window example)…
Here’s my kiln (or annealing oven). Completed beads are placed in here and run through a digitally controlled heating and cooling cycle to remove internal stresses – makes for a stronger, more stable glass creation. The big, square box to the left is the digital controller. (And yes, i move all the crap surrounding it before turning it on…lol)
My everchanging glass supply: i keep about 7 or 8 brands of glass stored in chopped up drainspouts. The bin on the bottom holds my single rod colours. The round grey and white thingie is a side view of my respirator which i wear each time i torch – it protects my lungs from the fumes and dust created since i use a lot of silver, gold and powdered glass in my work.
Here’s just a portion of my frit and enamel collection – the shelves are now almost completely full. I LOVE single colour frits and the effects that can be created with them. The table to the right is my jewellery making area (you don’t want to see the rest of it, it’s a huge mess). The blue thingie is a rotary tumbler used to etch beads and polish jewellery findings.