Monday, October 25, 2010

Birthday sale at Etsy

It's my birthday, so I offer all my work in Etsy at a 10% discount! Valid till 26 October 2010!!!
Hurry! :-)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday pretties

I made this necklace a few days ago, after I sold a similair one. I would love to have one of these myself!

And some hearts that I etched. Ivory glass, some with coral and silver shard decorations. It still need to get a sterling silver bail bonded into the glass.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Play date with silver leaf and shards

Some new focal beads from the kiln this morning. I played with shards and silver leaf yesterday. I blew the shards myself. And all the beads are hand formed by me. I was very happy getting the round shape right for a change!
I got an e-mail this morning from someone who wanted some information about one of my beads. I might think about doing a tutorial on it ...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Glass Hoop Earring tutorial

So you would like to make some of these cool hoop earrings? This tutorial explains how I make them. I would imagine that there is lots of ways to make it, and you can go out and buy some fancy cutting tools, etc. I made them, using standard Lampwork tools that I already had in my studio. Please use this tutorial as a guide, and remember to always put safety first! I wear glasses, but should you have perfect vision, please wear safety glasses. Since you are cold working the glass in water, I do not think that there is danger of inhaling glass powder ...

Let's start, OK?

You need to have at least a 5 mm thick (minimum) disk bead. I used a 16 mm ring mandrel to make my disks. If you need help to make a ring/disk on a ring mandrel, please view my ring tutorial, also in this blog. (

I am going to cut a 1/4 wedge out of the ring. With my first attempt, I just cut a ring in half. It really did not look good. If you look at most hoop earrings with a stud post, you will see that they are about 3/4 of a circle. I drew a circle on paper and crossed it. This allowed me to mark the cutting lines correctly.

Since I use my normal diamond bit that I normally use to clean beads, it will eat about a mm of glass. For this reason I start cutting the ring a bit inside the 1/4 area that I want to remove from the ring. It will also allow me to clean up the ring after I completed it, and ensure that both rings is the same size.

Start by cutting just a small groove in the glass.

Now cut on both sides of the ring. The reason I do this, is to ensure that if the glass breaks while cutting it, there will not be a chipped edge.

One side grooved.

Repeat the same groove cutting on the other side. Remember that you need to cut inside the line ...

Now it is time to cut through the one side. At this stage it is important not to hold the glass in the 1/4 area that you will eventually remove. That area is your 'Weakest Link'. I allow the diamond tip to eat away at the glass, with minimum pressure on the glass. Move the diamond tip in the groove as you cut.
(Normally I do the cutting under water but for the sake of clear pictures, I have captured images in the air.)

The first cut is complete. You can see a slight butt of glass. That will be smoothed out later.

Repeat the same on the other grooved cutting line. Remember not to hold onto the ring in the wedge area that you are trying to remove. When I cut the second area, I take my time. Just allow the diamond tip to eat at the glass. Do not put a lot of pressure on the glass.

Now it is time to clean up the edges. I gently roll the diamond tip over the surface, Visually eyeballing it to see if the edge is straight.

Change the angle at which you clean the surface, make sure that your surface is flat. Repeat the process on the other edge. Measure the ring on your drawn circle, to make sure that you have removed a 1/4 wedge of glass.

All done. But is it really done? That is a tiny surface to glue a post on, and if you bond your ear post to the 5 - 6 mm area, how secure will it be long term? I think we need to do some more work!

Using my 1 mm diamond tip I start to drill a hole in the centre of the ring. Start slowly, allow the diamond tip to slowly open up a little hole.

Continue to drill a little hole inside the glass. I try to drill at least a 2 - 3 mm hole.

All done!
Now the easy part! Normally I make my own posts.
If you do metal work, it is real easy! I cut a small disk from sheet silver (diameter of the glass surface), drill a hole in the centre, the diameter of the post, insert the post rod in the hole, letting it protrude a bit. Solder, pickle, and polish ...
But, I found some earring posts online that is used for pearl ear studs. Just SO much easier! is just one of many online suppliers. My posts-with-peg is on it's way to me!
Use a good quality 2 part bonding agent, and cement the post into the drilled hole in your glass ring. I normally use Areldite, but I have been told that TRIOLYSE Glass Fusing Jewelry Metal Craft Glue is a very good bonding agent. And a little birdy have told me that Malcolm from might stock it.
Allow the bonding cement to cure, and enjoy your new Hoop earrings!
p.s. If you feel that this tutorial (or any of my other tutorials) will benefit you, and you feel so inclined, please feel free to make a small donation.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

a new button on my blog ...

I have never sold any tutorials on working with glass. I have always felt that it was my little way of 'passing it forward' all the good that I have received from the glass community. But as with everyone, times is tough ... So with that in mind, I have added a Paypal button, should you feel that you would like to donate a $ or 2 for tutorials that I have prepared. The next step for me is to convert my tutorials into PDF files. Should you require any of my past (or future) tutorials in a PDF format, please feel free to contact me! I will do it, still at no fee.

And speaking of tutorials, I think it is about time to do another one, lol! I have made these cute little earrings for some time now, and think that it is time to share it with you guys!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

squiggle necklaces!

Summer has arrived in Cape Town. Every afternoon when I reach the station I first slip into a food outlet and get myself a vanilla cone. By the time I board the train the cone has cooled down my tummy, jummy!

So it is time to get out all those bright summery colours. Here is 2 necklaces that I have made in the last 2 days. They are fairly short, and the squiggles open up in a fan pattern over your chest. It was fun making them too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Purple bell flower necklace and other stuff

I have finally added some candle stick blanks to my Etsy shop. Hurry, there is only a few available! This will make a very nice gift to someone who does not wear jewellery, lol!

And a new necklace that I completed this weekend. I took the picture outside, and just loved how the sun played on the transparent glass.