Flower of the Month Suncatchers

Earlier this summer, I was sitting in my sunroom having my morning cup of coffee.  On a sunny day, this is a relaxing place to sit.  Looking around the room, I thought it would be nice to add some more color to the room, possibly suncatchers in the windows.  When I counted the windows, I realized that there are twelve of them and I thought that something related to each month of the year would be nice to try and settled on a flower for each month.

  • January – Carnation
  • February – Iris
  • March – Daffodil
  • April – Daisy
  • May – Lily of the Valley
  • June – Rose
  • July – Delphinium
  • August – Gladiolus
  • September – Aster
  • October – Marigold
  • November – Chrysanthemum
  • December – Poinsettia

 

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IMG_3177To make the suncatchers, I used COE 96 clear glass cut 2″ x 6″ as the base.  Only a single layer was used and the glass was fused at 1350 degrees, a temperature between tack fuse and contour fuse to give a slight softening to the edges of the glass.

For the stems, I used green noodles and stringer.  To create curves in these, the glass was heated in the flame of a soldering torch and allowed to bend before placing on a heat resistant tile to cool.

For the flowers, a variety of techniques were used.  Some flowers were just pieces of cut glass.  For the Lily of the Valley, frit balls were first created by heating to full fuse small pieces of glass.  For the delphinium, I used coarse frit. For the gladiolus, I used fine frit.  And for the marigold, pieces of tangerine glass were dipped in glass tack and then dipped in yellow fine frit to create the light colored tips.

Here are some of the pre-firing photos:

And, the photos hanging in my windows:

 

 

One Smile Gala

The Minnesota Dental Foundation held their annual One Smile Gala last Friday evening.  The gala was an evening raising funds for the Foundations outreach to the under served in the state.  It was a fun evening seeing colleagues and friends from around the state.

The vision of the Minnesota Dental Foundation is to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. The Foundation raised over $1M in 2018.  These funds were used for the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Give Kids a Smile, and several other programs.

Along with attending the gala, I also donated a few glass items to the silent auction.

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These garden flowers were well liked and raised a couple hundred dollars for the foundation.  Perhaps next year I will do some other glass garden art for the auction.

 

 

 

Fused Glass Turtle

img_3091.jpgWaste Not, Want Not – that is my approach to my crafts. I just hate to throw away fabric, yarn, glass, or anything that could potentially be used in another project.  That’s why I have baskets of small pieces of fabric scraps, drawers of larger pieces of fabric, other drawers of yarn, embroidery supplies and beads.  I even save small pieces of batting because I never know when I might need only a bit.

In my glass room, I save all my glass scraps as well.  I even save my failed projects, things that crack or just don’t turn out the way I wanted.  These failed projects are given new life with pot melting.  These pot melts are really cute made into  mushrooms, of which I have made numerous.  Running out of people to give mushrooms to, I really needed to find another idea for using pot melts.

For the past  year, I have had three different pot melt circles sitting on a shelf in my glass studio waiting for me to come up with an idea.  When making the glass centipede for my garden, I finally had a bit of inspiration.  I was looking at clip art pictures of different garden animals and insects and saw a cartoon of a turtle.  Looking at the image, I thought that the shell of the turtle could be made out of a pot melt circle.

So, a new project – fused glass turtle!

Materials
Green COE 96 1/2″ pebbles, 2 pieces
Black COE 96, 12″ x 18″
Castalot Glass Mold Material, 3 cups mixed with water according to directions
Cardboard box for forming mold
Exacto Knife for shaping mold
Copper end caps, 1/2″, 2 pieces
Copper pipe, 1/2″ x 1 3/4″
E6000 Adhesive, clear and black

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Steps:

1. Pot melt a 7″ circle of glass. Slump over a bowl shape. Since I already had some of these, I used what I had.  In the future, I probably would not have fused the white pebbles onto the pot melt.  But, since I had already done this, I used what I had.

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2. Draw a turtle outline on paper and trace onto clear plastic.  Cut two pieces of black glass  from the turtle pattern.

If you want to replicate this idea, I am providing the turtle pattern.  Print out the photo, making sure that your printer is calibrated to the 1″ box on the pattern.

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3. Full fuse the two pieces of black glass.

4. Contour fuse eyes to the head piece.

TurtleMold5. Create a slumping mold.

Again, I am providing an outline of the mold.  If you want to make one, the mold is 1″ thick.

 

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6. After allowing the material to set for an hour, remove the cardboard and use an Exacto Knife to carve the edges of the pattern smooth. Allow to dry overnight and then fire according to the directions on the package.  Coat the mold with several coats of Primo Primer Kiln Wash.

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7. Place your turtle shape over the mold.  Slump the shape according to your kiln settings.

 

IMG_37568. Using the black E6000, adhere one end cap in the center of the back of the turtle and allow to set over night.  Meanwhile, run a thin bead of clear E6000 along the edge of the turtle shell and allow this to also set over night.  This bead will provide a cushion between the shell and the body of the turtle to avoid having glass against glass that could cause breakage.

9. Cut a piece of copper pipe the height of the slumped pot melt. Generally you want the  turtle shell to light rest against the turtle body.  Insert this pipe into the cap on the turtle back.  Add a copper cap to the top end of the pipe.  Place black E6000 on the copper cap and adhere the turtle shell to the copper.  Note that the copper pipe is not glued or secured to the copper caps.  This will allow you to take apart the turtle a wrap it for save winter storage.  Allow the adhesive to set overnight and your turtle will be ready to invade your garden.

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Glass Centipede

IMG_3635Centipedes (from Latin prefix centi-, “hundred”, and pes, pedis“foot”) are predatory arthropods belonging to the class Chilopoda of the subphylum Myriapoda, an arthropod group which also includes Millipedes and other multi-legged creatures. Centipedes are elongated metameric creatures with one pair of legs per body segment. They are found in an array of terrestrial habitats from tropical rainforests to deserts. Accordingly, they are found in soil and leaf litter, under stones and dead wood, and inside logs.

Okay, enough with the scientific definition.  According to a patient I saw this week, a centipede is a “creepy crawly bug with a lot of legs”.  Gotta love working with kids!!

Cartoon

 While looking at ideas on-line, I saw a cartoon of a centipede and thought that this might be a fun idea for a glass project. 

My first idea was to fuse copper wire between sections of glass.  This idea didn’t go so well.  The glass was very fragile with the embedded wire.

So, instead, I decided to solder a framework (or exoskeleton, if you want the scientific term) for the centipede and then use a glass adhesive to secure glass sections to the framework.

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Materials
Green COE 96, 1″x1.5″, 16 pieces
Black COE 96 chips
Copper wire, 6 gauge
1″ (7 pieces)
6″ (7 pieces) with ends bent back
Copper foil tape, 1″ wide
1″ x 3/4″ (8 pieces)
E6000 Adhesive

Steps:

1. Position and solder copper wire and foil tape.  Bend the wire 1″ on each side of the framework to make legs, then bend each tip outward to make a flat surface to support the glass sections.  

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2. Full fuse two pieces of green glass with black glass chips.

3. Contour fuse eyes to the head piece.

IMG_36344. Adhere each piece of glass to the framework.

This new bug can now be found in my front yard flower garden crawling among the daylillies.

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Give Thanks!

A year ago, with Thanksgiving approaching, I decided to make a decorative fused glass plate for my kitchen. IMG_2537

 

  • Grapes: Transparent Glass full fused to make 1/2 inch pebbles.
  • Corn: Varied pieces and colors of glass full fused to make small pebbles.
  • Cornucopia (streaky tan) and Pumpkin (streaky orange) opaque pieces heat polished (1300º F) to smooth the edges, transparent amber fine frit between each piece prior to fusing the plate.
  • Words: Photo Transfer Paper, Delphi Glass
  • Light Contour Fused (1325º F) to create plate.

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All went well until I placed the glass in a ceramic mold to slump it into a plate form.

Unknown to me, the contractor that was doing some work in our family room shut off the power to a few circuits.  The power to my kiln was interrupted and when I returned from work and opened the kiln, my plate had cracked. Bummer!

Unfortunately, this meant that my plate was not ready for Thanksgiving last year.

So… back to cutting and heat fusing.

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This time, all went well and I now have a plate to display for Thanksgiving this year.

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To salvage the cracked glass, I broke it into smaller pieces, pot melted the pieces and made a beautiful melt plate.

 

One Smile !

Generic-OneSmile-logo-Outlines-652x256Tonight is the Minnesota Dental Foundation annual fundraiser gala. The vision of the Minnesota Dental Foundation is to eliminate unmet oral health needs in Minnesota. The foundation supports the Minnesota Mission of Mercy, Volunteered Dental Services, Give Kids and Smile, and many other programs.

The annual gala showcases the recent activities of the Foundation and highlights the organizations that benefit from the work of the Foundation.

I’m looking forward to spending a nice evening with many professional colleagues and some of my business partners.

One of the activities at the gala is a silent auction.  You can preview the auction items at  www.qtego.net/qlink/mndental.

Normally I do not purchase any items in the auction.  At this point in life, I really don’t need more “stuff”.  But, I do support the auction by donating items.  This year, I donated two custom made items.

Fused glass serving plate with the MDF logo.

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Stepping stone with MDF logo.

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Hopefully these items will bring some nice bids.  Looking forward to a nice evening!

The Minnesota Great Get-Together

img_2410.jpgThe Minnesota State Fair is currently taking place.  If you are not from MN, you may not realize how big our state fair is.  While MN only ranks 12th in size and 21st in population, it ranks second in state fair attendance, with over 2 million people attending each year.  This is just behind Texas at 2.25 million visitors.  However, Texas is second in land mass, second in population, and their state fair runs for 24 days (twice the length of the MN fair).  Thus, I would say that the Minnesota State Fair outranks even Texas.

The fair is so popular that, even on a rainy morning like today, there were lots of people in attendance.  What do people like to do at the fair?  When I asked some of my friends, they replied: eat the food, attend a concert, eat the food, see the animals, eat the food….

I think you get the picture – there is lots of food to eat if that is what you are interested in.

For me, the State Fair is a place to go to see the craftsmanship and creativity in the Arts and Crafts Building. Today was no exception.  After getting very wet walking from the transit center to the A&C building, I spent a couple hours walking around taking pictures.

Here are my quilts:

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Me (with my wet hair) in front of “Burst Doll Quilt”, which received a first place in the child quilt category.
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“Burst” bed quilt received a second place in the pieced bed quilt category.
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My reversible tree quilt “Childhood Memories” received a second place in the mixed techniques category.  Unfortunately, you can only see one side of the quilt and none of the shadow painting.  
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“Window on My World” placed fourth in the wall quilt category.  I re-entered it this year because I was surprised that it did not place last year and knew that there was a different judge this year. 

Some of the other quilting highlights:

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Sweepstakes winner – Mary Alsop

 

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Best Hand Applique – Terri White
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Best Machine Quilting – Marilla Schmitt
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Knit & Bolt Award – Susan Nevling

 

Some other crafts that caught my eye: