Monday, April 30, 2012

Glass Blowing Safety

     Very important!!!  Goggles.  Your goggles should be didymium lens glasses that filter out the yellow flare, UV and IR.  The yellow flare is due to sodium (actually it is orange).  All elements have their own spectra-finger print which show up in various spectrums, ie... visible, IR, UV, etc...  Sodium shows up as orange and potassium shows up as a beautiful purple.  OK, enough Chemistry.

     Make sure you have the proper clothing.  Even the best glassblowers, drop their glass.  So, no opened toed shoes (sandals/flip-flops), no low cut tops or tank tops (once-in-a-while the glass way, explodes and pieces may go everywhere), and no shorts.  

     Make sure a fire extinguisher is near.  Pull the pin and use a sweeping motion at the base of the fire...for a large fire.  Use a fire resistant table to glass blow.  My table is lined with a cement board. These are found at Home Depot, in the sheet rock section.  For burns, I suggest Burt Bees "Res-Q Ointment."  This works so much better than cold water.  REMEMBER:  HOT GLASS LOOKS THE SAME AS COLD GLASS!!!  You WILL burn yourself good, at least once.  After a while, you only smell it, not feel it.  Use a towel for breaking glass...  And if you get frusterated...just walk away, eat some chocolate and have a diet coke, then come back.

     Next Monday, you get your supply list.

More of my students works.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Heart Earrings...Tatsmithing

     This is the pair of earring that goes with the Tatsmithed cross.  The stones are carnelian agates and the threads are two strands of gold, copper, and silver.  The earrings measure 1 1/8" square.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Itty-Bitty Tatsmithing

     This was a small pendent I made for my secret tatting exchange person.  This would make a wonderful pair of earrings.  
     The stone was a 11 mm round, banded agate.  The thread was two strands of silver sewing thread.  The dimensions were 1" X 1".

     Someone left me a comment about Glass Butte, OR.  My google account doesn't work right.  I can't leave comments on most of the blogs I read, nor does it allow me to comment on my own "Comments".  Sounds like some of you have the same problem.  If you know how to remedy this problem, let me know.  Glass Butte, OR is near Bend, OR on Hwy 20...Central Oregon.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Amusement Doily

     This is the "Amusement Doily" (pattern), by  Celtess.  The thread was Lizbeth size 20 in Vineyard Harvest.  The doily measures 6.25" in diameter.  This makes a lovely doily for a small teapot!!!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Heart's Honer Book Mark

     This is "Heart's Honer" (pattern), by Wanda Salmans (Wanda's blog).  The thread was light and dark purple, pearl cotton #8.  The dimensions are:  8.5" X 2.25".

      The bookmark is for my "Spring Tatting Exchange" person from In Tatters.  If your not familiar with either In Tatters or The Tatting Forum, they are excellent tatting forums/rings for beginners and expert tatters.

      Greeting cards I found at a yard sale.  Notice the tatting and bobbin lace prints.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Glass Blowing Monday

     I'll try to use Mondays as glassblowing time.  For those who's had my "Scientific Glassblowing Class" or "The Glassblowing Workshop", this will be a good refresher course.  If your don't have your torches and supplies ready, don't worry, we'll get into that.

     Colors:  There are less, hard glass colors than soft glass colors.  This is due to the hotter temperatures used with hard glass.  The greens and blues come out wonderful.  The yellows, oranges, reds, and purples can be fussy.  These colors may come back if you "strike" them in a cooler flame.  We'll get into this some other Monday.   Some colors start out one color and come out another...trippy!!  Why is that....Chemistry :)  !!  Blue may have cobalt oxides, violet may have magnesium oxide, red may have selenium, yellow may have iron, green may have copper or chromium.  I say "may have", because not all reds may have selenium..they may have cadmium.

Some of the things my students made.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Finally a Cross Pendent For Me

     The "Tatsmithed" cross is similar to the pattern I drew out for my silversmithed cross, about 7 years ago.  The only exception,  another heart in the center.  I could never decide whether-or-not to use turquoise or opals for the inlay work inside the hearts.  They are my two favorite stones.

      The cross is 2.5" X 2"

      The stone is an 11 mm round carnelian agate (Christ blood shed for the forgiveness of sins).
     The middle rings are two strands of silver sewing thread (the white/pureness of Christ).
     The hearts are two strands of copper sewing thread (Christ love for us).
     The outer scroll work are two strand of bright gold sewing thread (all His Glory).

     Next week, the matching earrings.

Two of my decorated shuttles.  

     I used fingernail stickers...they are very sticky!!!  I put a few of coat of colorless fingernail polish, on top, so they would move smoothly between my stitches.  Sometimes the larger rhinestones catch and fingernail polish remedies this.  The colorless fingernail polish also worked on my Clover shuttles.  It DID NOT work on my Lacis shuttles.  There was a reaction and the polish peeled off.  The stickers still held.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Peach Broach

     The broach pattern was from Teiko Fujito's, "Tatting Lace."  It's in Japanese...don't worry, if you can't read Japanese, it's all diagramed.  The information on the beads are easy to decipher.  There is a number for the number of beads used and a number in millimeters for the bead size. 

The total size is 2.25".
The thread is peach, size 10 crochet thread.  The beads are Swarovski crystals, rosy-peach pearls, and rocailles beads.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tatsmithing VII & Another Estate Find

     This is a free form pendent, made with one strand of bright gold and one strand of copper thread.  The combination created a "rose gold" appearance.

Carnelian Agate, 1.75" X 1.5".

     So you ask, how is "rose gold" made?!  Well, put on you safety goggles and get ready for a brief Chemistry lesson in metal alloying.

     Pure gold and silver are too soft to use by themselves, so they are alloyed with another metal for strength.

     Yellow Golds contains: gold, silver, and copper
     White Gold contains:  gold and either nickel, manganese, or palladium.
     Rose Gold contains:  gold and copper
     Green Gold contains:  gold and silver
     Sterling silver contains:  silver and copper
     Brass contains:  copper and zinc
     Bronze contains:  copper and tin
     OK, take of your goggles.  Here are some nifty things I found at an estate sale.

 Crochet ball holder with a cro-tatting hook in the drawer.

 6.25" X 4.25" brass box with a glass lid and gold velvet on the bottom.  This will make a lovely display for my craft shows.

 My "Tatsmithing" ready to go.  I used a removable, black piece of felt to pin the pendents to.

Tin with a crochet-print.

Most of my cabs...ready for "Tatsmithing".

     I also found a box full of thread, ranging from size 50 to size 10.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Tatsmithing VI

     Working on my third book:  "Tatsmithing, the art of silversmithing with string"  or something of this sort.  Hopefully it will be done by the end of May.
     This is a simple pendent.  My husband and I had the same idea, leave it plain with a few beads dangling down.
     The thread is two strands of Coats & Clarks copper sewing thread.

Mahogany Obsidian with gold sheen, 2.5" X 7/8".
The beads are copper and glass on the ends.
(For Sale on my Face Book Page:  West Pine Creations.)

      This stone was found at Glass Butte, Oregon.  This is a really cool place because each hill has it's own unique type of obsidian.  Some of the type of obsidian found here are: mahogany, rainbow, gold and silver sheen, pumpkin, and mid-night lace.  You don't need a shovel to find it, there is a lot "a-float" (on the surface).

Monday, April 16, 2012


 What am I glassblowing?

     Here's your brief Chemistry lesson on the types of glass.  This was touched on, last Monday.

     Soft glass is a mixture of:  72% silica, 15% soda, 9% lime, 3% magnesia, and 1% alumina.

     Hard glass (Pyrex) is a mixture of:  80% silicon dioxide, 14% boron oxide, 4% sodium oxide, and 2% aluminum oxide.
     This type of glass takes a hotter flame.  The nice thing about Pyrex is it strong and can withstand the thermal shocks.  Such as letting it cool down quickly and heating it up in a flame quickly.  Softer glass, will explode/shatter to any type of thermal shock.
     Whey does Pyrex behave this way??....It is due to the COE (Coefficient of Expansion).   The COE is the expansion and contraction as glass heats up and cools down.  The lower the number, the less expansion and contraction occurs.  Softer glasses (Bulls-Eyes glass) has a COE of 90, while Pyrex has a COE of 32.   Being a Chemist, Pyrex is used since all of our glassware is made out of Pyrex.

     To tell whether-or-not you have hard or soft glass, immerse the colorless glass in a solution of 16 parts methanol (MeOH) and 84 parts benzene.  This solution has the same refractive index (the bending of light through a substance) as Pyrex.  The Pyrex appears invisible, while the soft glass shows the form of the glass.

    OK, enough Chemistry today........

Friday, April 13, 2012

Tatsmithing V

     This is a simple scroll.  The pendents are made with two strand of Coats & Clarks bright gold (24 K gold) sewing thread.

 Banded Agate, 1" X 1 1/8".

Montana Agate, 1.25" X 1.25"
Looks like nature took it's "fan brush" and painted a grove of trees in the background.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


     This is another doily from Teiko Fujito's, "The Tatted Artistry of Teiko Fujito."  If you haven't checked out her book, you should.  The book starts out with one shuttle and progresses to three shuttles.  The thread is Lizabeth size 20 in tropical punch.  The doily is 6" across.  This is a great little doily for you tea pot.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tatsmithing IV
     This one is my favorite so far.  My husband, my best and worst critic, suggested to use two stones.
     The round stone is a carnelian agate and the tear drop is a banded agate.  The thread is two strand of silver sewing thread.  The total pendent is 2" long.

     The silversmithed versions:

 (for sale, click on the blue words for the link)

 (for sale, click on the blue words for the link)

Petrified Wood

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Tatsmithing III

     Here is an attempt at scroll work.  I was able to get half of the scroll.  I need to work on the other side.
     The cabochon is Chinese Writing Stone and the thread is two strands of silver sewing thread.  The finished piece is 1.75" X 1.5".

     The silversmithed versions:

Red Moss Agate


Petrified Wood

 (for sale, click on the blue words for the link)

 (for sale, click on the blue words for the link)

(for sale, click on the blue words for the link)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Glass blown Leaf Spoons

     A few examples of my leaf spoons.  They are about 9" long and made out of Pyrex glass.  The leaf is made with a leaf press.  I use them for honey in my tea or to stir my hot chocolate.  When they are dirty, they go into the dishwasher.

     Pyrex if considered "Hard Glass", the same stuff cooking glass is made of.  "Soft Glass" is what your soda/beer bottles are made out of.  Many lamp work blowers (glass beads)  are made out of soft glass because they melt at a lower temperatureBut we'll get into the chemistry of glass blowing another day.

     OK, a little chemistry.  Believe-it-or-not, the color in the top spoon starts out amber.  Once it hits the flame, it comes out amber and purple.  It has something to do with an oxidizing and reducing flame.  But more on that later.

These spoons are for sale on my face bk:  West Pine Creations
They can be made any style, color, and length. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Tattsmithing II


The cabochon is a 22 X 30 mm, unakite stone.
The thread is two strands of metallic gold sewing thread.   The finished piece is 1.5" X 1".

Below are my silversmithed version of the tatting.

(for sale, click on the blue words for the link).


(for sale, click on the blue words for the link).

Snowflake Obsidian

Tiger Eye

Thursday, April 5, 2012


     Lately, silversmithing has not been an economical hobby.  Last year silver stayed around $40/ounce.  Lately, it's been around $32/ounce.  It used to be about $6/ounce. Thankfully string hasn't gotten that out of hand.  
    I have a tin full of cabochons, a garbage can full slabs, and more garbage cans/crates full of rough rock.  I've decided to tat the cabochons, as if, they were done in silver.
     Below are some of the designs I've done in silver and then tatted (tatsmithed).  

(for sale, click on the blue words for the link).

(for sale, click on the blue words for the link).

Paua shell


20 X 35 mm jade, with two strands of metallic gold sewing thread. The finished piece is 2" X 1.5".   I finished this one on International Tatting Day.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Strawberry Jewelry

     Finished designing and tatting this last week.   When the light hits the red bauble just right, it looks like a drop of strawberry,  um mm!!
  Makes me hungry just thinking about it.
     The smaller baubles are from my new book:  "Baubles and Motifs II".  The larger bauble is a the same pattern, with a larger string and bauble.  The pattern is called "Small Flower Bauble."

The baubles are red glass, with grass green and strawberry pink thread.  The necklace adjust from 14 - 16.5".

Matching earrings with gold filled ear wires.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Estate Find

     Found this wonderful, miniature sewing box at an estate sale for $1.  It is sitting on the end table, filled with tatting supplies.

The bottom holds size 80 threads, vials of beads, and little pieces of paper with diagrammed patterns.

One side holds the scissors, paper clips, floss threaders and tatting essentials.

The other side holds the shuttles.