Tag Archives: Satake

Japanese Fan Torch

I finally got the torch I bought at the Gathering up and running! I had to install a Y connector so both torches can be hooked up to the propane tank at the same time. This involved drilling a hole in the wall between the garage and my studio to run the new hose through. I also had to cut one end of the hose to fit it on the torch fitting and I had to install a hose clamp. Then I had to leak test the lines. I’m not a very handy person and this project, although not outside my capabilities (obviously) was a bit nerve wracking. I was very grateful to my mother for helping me through it.

I made some beads on the new torch with some Satake glass I had purchased. They aren’t great beads, but they are what I made. I had a little problem getting round beads as you can see from the picture. Also, I made a small simple murrine first and used that on all the beads I made. I really like this glass. The colors are just wonderful!

I did a little bit of experimenting with these beads and found out a couple of important things. One, black bleeds a bit on transparent purple. Two, if the torch isn’t set right (and I still don’t know exactly when it is) black will become metallic. Three, if there isn’t enough air being pumped through the translucent white I used will become sooty. And four, silver will not burn off in the flame when applied to the outside of a bead.

All and all, I think it was a productive day even if I was scared of the new torch and glass at first. I don’t know why I was scared – maybe because it was something new. But, I persevered and tried it out and got some ‘interesting’ beads as one observer said.

Now, I have to go back and review my class notes from the Jeff Barber class that I took so I can make some more interesting beads. And then, once I order some more glass, clear especially, I will try making a flower murrine as I learned in the Akihiro Okama class. I also want to try some other murrine that are in a Japanese bead making book I have. And then, I will do another Wednesday Night Supper program for church. So, I have a lot of work to do.


1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Sometimes It’s The Little Things

I made these Sunday. I was so thrilled about the colors that I just made some simple beads to show off the glass. I’m going to make a necklace for my mother for Mother’s day. That’s still quite a ways off and it won’t be a surprise, but oh well. I think she’ll like it anyway, and this way she has some input into the design.

These beads were very tough to get off the mandrel. I don’t know if it’s the glass, or the stress created by the design or what, but they were a bear. I got a pretty bad blister on Monday trying to get the beads off the mandrels, and I still wasn’t able to get them all off. It wasn’t until yesterday night that I was able to get the last bead free.

It’s funny, because Monday started off well. I made my first Etsy sale, and I got out to Curves early. When I got back however, it was rough going trying to get my beads off the mandrels. And, I had to get them off in order to re-use the mandrels for more beads. By the time I removed as many as I could, and tended to my bleeding blister, I was hungry.

So, I ate lunch a little early and decided to mail off the earrings I sold on Etsy before I made more beads. By the time I finally started work on new beads, I was horribly uninspired. My finger hurt, my gas canister was running low, and I wasn’t having any fun – I didn’t have any creative ideas floating around in my head. I took a brief break to look at stationary online – it’s terribly expensive – and I saw a brown and green pattern that inspired me enough to make a couple of beads. But, my heart wasn’t into it.

Yesterday, on my way to Flame Tree Glass, I was still ambivalent about the whole melting glass thing. I wasn’t looking forward to the private lesson, and I was generally blah. I worried that my interest was declining, maybe I was declining. What I had so recently declared was my passion held little interest all of a sudden.

The lesson perked me up a bit. Lance obviously loves working with glass and that kind of enthusiasm is infectious. I enjoyed working on the Bobcat, and appreciated how quiet it was compared to the Hot Head. I learned some basic sculpting exercises and started some work on the human form. It was an all together good experience and I look forward to the next lesson. I won’t be able to do that more than once a month. It’s kind of expensive.

Last night, I was still feeling a little less than inspired about melting glass, but when I finally got that last bead off the mandrel, it was like a weight lifted. Suddenly I was excited again. I was looking forward to cleaning the bead and taking a picture of all the Satake beads together (as seen at the top of this post.) I was looking forward to my next session. Some times it’s the little things that do it for you, and that bead was the little thing weighing on my mind.

Today, I was able to push through some not very good beads to get a good working example of a new idea I had. I was enjoying the process again. My glass just looked more appealing to me. I still got a little tired of standing at the torch, but hopefully I’ll have a setup where I can sit soon and listen to music.  I think that will be ever so much better, and I’ll probably spend hours at the torch – I already do, but probably more hours. I hope.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Satake Transparents

Well, this wasn’t the greatest week for bead making. Monday I only got an hour in because I had to go to the Doctor in Birmingham and run some errands for my mother. Thursday I went to Atlanta – Flame Tree Glass in Roswell, and dinner and a movie with a friend. Actually, it was take-out and a movie on demand, but still good stuff. Friday, I had some time to work, but it was Satake day.

Satake is softer than Effetre, which means that it melts at a lower temperature. It also doesn’t hold its shape as well. When I tried to make a square bead, it turned round again almost immediately when I returned it to the flame to polish it. The spiral shaped beads held their shape a little bit better. I have to say that I enjoyed working with the Satake though.

I think I may have promised my mother a necklace made of the Satake transparent spiral shaped beads. Now I just have to figure out how to make a necklace. I’ve never made a necklace before. Earrings sure, but not a necklace. It will be especially difficult because I have to order my materials online because there are no good beading/jewelry supply stores around here. Oh well, I’ll figure something out.

We went to Birmingham today to see the Metropolitan Opera production of Peter Grimes – live in HD. No local theaters are broadcasting it. We’ve been to most of the operas since they started broadcasting the operas in movie theaters. My mother is a bit of an opera fan, and I’ve been accompanying her. Being exposed to the opera has been quite enjoyable, but I don’t think I love it as much as my mother does.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Satake Glass

I just got my sample pack of Satake glass. I played with the glass today (Friday) and it’s still in the kiln. This glass has a long kiln annealing schedule – of course that means I had to add a program to my kiln. I started work after I got back from Curves. It was a bit tough. I wanted to try at least a little bit of every color, and I did. I made 14 beads, a good day’s work for me at this point.

We made fish for dinner – and we drank a whole bottle of wine. The fish was a Rachael Ray recipe. Dark chocolate and red wine was for desert. It was a very good dinner.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Glass Holder Contraption

This is what my mother and I built out of pvc pipe, glue, and duct tape. We’re still working on it. More layers and a stand are coming soon – well they’re coming anyway! Last weekend we got all the pipes cut and today we glued these together. The pipe is glued in rows – the rows are not glued to each other. The back ends are closed with duct tape.

This morning, while drinking my morning coffee, I ordered a sample of Satake glass from Dogmaw Glass. I’m so excited! I’ve been wanting to try Satake for years now. The sample pack is 20, 11″ rods in whatever colors you want to pick for $35. I picked out 10 transparent colors and 10 opaque colors. I can hardly wait ’til I get it.

Speaking of packages, I got my kiln couches etc. a couple of days ago. The kiln couches work great – I can get more beads in the kiln, so that’s good. And I’m looking forward to another package tomorrow. I got a sample pack of Effetre special colors (the yellows, oranges, reds, and browns), and orange and red transparents. I’ll have to figure out what I’m going to do with all the orange and red – other than sticking it in my glass holder contraption that is.

I joined the International Society of Glass Beadmakers. I’m thinking of going to the convention in August. That would make two conventions this summer, and the obligatory trip to visit my father. That’s a fair amount of traveling. So, I spent some time today looking at the convention book (downloadable from the website), and it looks like it will be a lot of fun.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized