Pulling murrini from a kiln, an exercise in patience.

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Pulling Murrini from a kiln

A Lesson in Patience at the Bullseye Glass Resource Center

One of the best magic tricks ever! In the simplest terms, I am slowly pulling a murrini cane from a pot of molten glass suspended over my head. Pull a little, wait a little, pull a little, wait a little….. All the while never taking my eyes off the point where the molten glass exits the pot. To completely empty the pot takes about an hour and a half. Know what that means? I am definitely going to have to start a neck strengthening exercise program!

Here’s a closer (although a bit fuzzy) view of the bottom of the kiln. Though the outside of the glass cane doesn’t look exciting, when it is cooled and sliced into segments a beautiful interior is exposed.

pulling a murrini cane from a vitrograph kilnI have all kinds of ideas percolating in my head about how to use the resulting canes and can’t wait to test some of them. Stay tuned!

Raising chickens (even if only the clay kind)

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Sea Glow Fused Dichroic Necklace, Mary Williams Designs

Sea Glow Necklace

Some of the items I use as photo props come to me from family members (thank you and keep ‘em coming!!) and I’m always willing to add to my ever-growing stash of “oddities and endities”. When searching for a suitable model for my new Sea Glow Necklace my eyes drifted to this wonderful chicken sitting in my kitchen. Perfect! I took probably 20 shots until I had the shadows and glow that I was looking for. As it was, the wind blowing the trees outside the window provided a lot of different shadow effects.

The chicken was part of a gift from my son and his wife and of course the first thing I thought was “How cute!” and the second immediate thought was “NEW PHOTO PROP!”. I love the glowing teal of the glass against the chocolaty color of the hen.

Hello Monday!

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Swallow Tail Butterfly, www.marywilliamsdesigns.com

Hello Butterfly!

A beautiful butterfly visited and  I was lucky enough to ‘capture’ it with my camera. It hung around for an hour or more, I think possibly because it knew how good it looked posing on these red dianthus!

Yellow holly, marywiliamsdesigns.com

Yellow Burst!

Hello also to some of the first blooms we see at the beginning of spring. This lovely holly-like shrub came in second in bloom time only to the crocus and daffodils this year. It sits right outside the front door, and once again I was surprised when, overnight it seemed, it was covered with bright yellow blooms! How cheery it makes our entrance feel!

Contemporary fused dichroic patchwork pendant, www.marywilliamsdesigns.com

Contemporary Dichroic Glass Patchwork

And last but not least, hello to a picture I am happier with of my contemporary dichroic patchwork design than the one I took yesterday! Still a work in progess but at least headed in the right direction!

Have a great Monday!

Dichroic and photography- An ideal path to frustration!

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Patchwork Glass Quilt

Today is one of those days I question my sanity for returning to fused dichroic glass while I’m waiting to get my torch area up and running. The cabochon, or at least a more rounded version of this one, was one of my best sellers in the Napa art gallery that represented me, as well as being one of my favorites. I felt it was a good design to revive and rework to more contemporary standards. Oh-my-gosh, am I ever wondering if that was a wise choice! Especially since, with my usual enthusiasm, I did an entire line based on this design before trying to photograph it.

You see, it is virtually impossible to photograph dichroic glass to appear as nicely as it does in person. When the dichroic layer is on the surface it is nearly doable depending on the lighting placement, however, I like this particular piece capped with a layer of optically pleasing thick clear glass. See that lighter line of black between the more distinct black lines? That is actually a shadow of one of those lines which gives you some idea how thick the clear glass is. Adding that thick layer of clear glass while very pleasing in person, makes it immensely more difficult to photograph.

It took me nearly an hour to get a picture I was somewhat happy with and that is just the first view of multiple views I am aiming for. It isn’t the colors that have me dismayed, I think it is the fact that I just can’t capture the depth and true texture of the piece. I truly want to sell these online but I can see I have a long road ahead of me struggling with the photos.

Any professional photographer want to earn a lifetime supply of home-baked cookies?