Sunday, 25 January 2015

silent sunday

It's Silent Sunday

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a project in progress :: framed glass pendants 2

Having got hold of a range of sized and shaped pendant tray frames, the next step in the process of developing these pendants is working out how to shape and fuse the glass to fit them (then called cabachons, or cabs), and how doing this differently will create a variety of effects.  The best way to do this is to experiment, but I am not a patient person, so I want to do this in the least separate firings that I can.  The only way to do that, however, is to be organised - another virtue I'm seriously lacking, so I'll just have to see how it goes.

Squares and rectangles

The square and rectangular pieces should be the easiest to shape, but measuring, cutting and breaking the glass will all need to be done really carefully.  I'm going to start with two layers of 3mm bullseye glass, cut to the measurements I've taken of the interior dimensions of the frames.  The more accurately the pieces are cut the better they should fit the frames, and the easier it will be to replicate for future pendants.  

This means I'll have lay ups of 25mm by 50mm for the larger rectangle (yellow), 25mm by 35mm (green) for the other, and 35mm square for the square (turquoise), logically enough.  As you can see, I've positioned two versions for each size - one with a coloured base (bottom layer)and clear cap (top layer), the other with a clear base and coloured cap.  This is just so I can decide whether one way looks better than the other - but when I'm making them properly I will probably use opalescent (opaque) glass for the bases so you don't see the base tray and glue through it.  

Friday, 23 January 2015

photography at Bristol Folk House {Pt 2}

Last week was all about the apertures, so we popped down to College Green to practice with Graham on hand if we needed any advice.  With Bristol Cathedral in spitting distance I focused on ... a feather and some bike gears.  See how I concentrated on keeping this magnificent piece of architecture at the preferred level of blurry-ness in the background?

Here's the feather taken in aperture priority mode (A on my dial) with a low f number on the left (small f number = small area in focus) and a higher one on the right.  A chained up bike caught my attention too - all the oil and spokes remind me of the cranes outside M-Shed.  

A few other random shots that I liked the look of when I went through them this afternoon...

 ...and on to the next brain twister - shutter speed!

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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

wherefore art thou house?

We've been trying to work out what we want (and or) need in a new home.  Right now we're renting a three bedroom bungalow (level throughout), and there seems to be a definite shortage of four bedroom wheelchair accessible places in the areas we're looking.

Our area is defined by distance to the site of Smiler's school, which is co-located with the secondary school Noah attends (and where Petal will be going from September) - Mr Manley wants to be able to walk Smiler in, and while Noah and Petal may well chose to cycle, walking would still be an option for them.  We found some promising roads, but they turned out to be (just) over the boundary into South Glos, and having to start from scratch for Smiler is just too complex, as he has pretty high level medical, educational and social care needs.  

This is a four bedroom bungalow on one of those roads - doesn't it look lovely?  I'm actually not sure about the 'bungalow' description, since two of the bedrooms are upstairs, but in terms of suitability this would mean Noah and Petal would have bedrooms upstairs, away from Smiler, and we would be on the same level as him.  Full bathroom on the ground floor so no need to build one on, big enough hall and doorways so Smiler could still get around mostly independently if he was using a walking frame or wheelchair.  Gorgeous bay windows, garden, parking (next to the house, so we wouldn't have any problem getting a charger for the car fitted), but it's in South Glos.  Bugger.  To be honest, this is also at the very top end of our potential budget, so we still might end up fifty grand short.  Ah well.  Didn't really want it anyway.  Honest.

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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

a project in progress :: framed glass pendants

The novelty of getting things in the post has never quite worn off for me, but this week I received a bunch of different findings for a new (to me!) venture in glass - framed fused glass pendants.

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Fused glass pendants can look incredible, but there are a limited range of ways you can turn a piece into a pendant.  You can drill a hole; you can include a void to use for hanging in the design; you can fuse a piece of fibre paper or string carefully positioned to leave a hole you can thread through; or you can glue a bail to the back.

First up - drilling holes!  I've always struggled with drilling holes in glass.  Although I have a dremel complete with flexi shaft, if I'm drilling a pendant this is usually 6 mm thick, so needs to be done in water (well, just at the surface of water) to prevent the drill bit from getting too hot and burning out, or getting clogged with glass dust, which (because of the admittedly nonsensical layout of my room) means I have to climb over the bed with a pyrex casserole dish lid in my hand, full of water and a soggy cloth, and then half an hour later climb back with the water now full of teeny tiny glass shards.  Not a lot of fun, and that's if you can ignore the whole water plus electricity thing.  As well as that, the glass can crack, the drill bits are expensive and it's very very noisy.