Thursday, February 9, 2012

Here comes the sun... in six short hours!

I spent the last few hours running color tests of my reds (or at least as many as I had prepared mandrels for).  That makes 17 beads in one evening.  I think it's *almost* a record for me.  Reason I ran these color tests is that I made a few beads last night with a glass that looked the perfect shade of valentine-heart red, and when it came out of the kiln it was distinctly brown.  Now, I'm not going to worry about whether or not I had the right torch chemistry or kiln environment for this glass, or if I should have melted it slower or faster.  I just want to find the right color so I can make some beads for a friend to give to his fiance next week, and I don't have time to muck about with experiments.  At least, not those kinds of experiments.  I mean, seriously, I have about 30 different colors of red. I might as well take advantage of that and MAKE 30 different beads.  If he doesn't like them, then I can use them in a neat "shades of red" set.

My workbench with all the carnage of red glass.  I'm not a neat freak, I swear.  I just cleaned up so I could find all the red.
As promised, the meat of today's post is about the cigar boxes.  It's good to have a handy person around for these, and a power tool or two, but if not you can always cheat somehow.

My grandfather used to smoke cigars, and while the smell of the cigar boxes brings back all sorts of mental images of him from my childhood, mostly the smell just gives me a sense of well-being as if I've come home.  It's so amazing how our sense of smell works.  But, that's a topic for a totally different blog!

I present to you, the cigar boxes.

The handy part comes in when you open the boxes up.  My husband cut two strips of cedar to the right length to fit inside the box and then cut grooves halfway into one edge of each strip spaced the height of the inside of the cigar box.  When you lay the strips into the cigar boxes and shove them to the sides, you can set bead-laden mandrels into those grooves, and those beads-on-mandrels will always fit, because you can't put over-sized beads into the box and close the lid.

I haven't done it yet, but I'm going to attach a piece of ribbon connecting the lid to the box so that it will just sit with the lid open, like you see here, but without the other cigar boxes holding the lid up.

This is what I used to use to store my beads. I'm still using them for my spacers.  It's a nightmare getting the beads out, and there just aren't enough spaces for all the different colors of spacer beads I want to have on hand.  You can see my most recent batch of spacer beads in the bottom left corner, just waiting for me to buy another spacer bead box like this one.


I forgot how much I like listening to the radio while I'm making beads.  Tonight I set Pandora to the default Rock station and sang out loud to almost every song.  Oddly enough, there was a HUGE run of Beatles, Lennon, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr songs all in a row, and then interspersed with the rest of the songs, to an over 50/50 ratio.  Like now.  Paul McCartney, Live at New York City, singing "Blackbird."

Is that me?  The blackbird singing in the dead of night?  Sure feels like it, it's after midnight and I'm still writing.

Good night, I bid you Peace.

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