Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Brief update

After taking most of Monday to catch up with Sunday night's computer failure at work it took me most of today to catch up with what I didn't do Monday (at work, wfacq3 - again). Lucky me, my husband cooked dinner last night. Tonight I drilled 100 mgambo seeds and caught up with the bead cleaning (including catching up with the batch annealed ones - I did the last batch of batch annealing for now on Sunday), including the broken, chipped and otherwise ones. I can now turn those into frit (whenever time allows). Petrol green, partially reduced, ought to look pretty good on dark ivory, with the red and some orange.

Now to get over this head cold ...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Maren's day off

I took today off from work because there was something I had to do, Norman needed me home (and that's as far as I'll get into this, nothing scary, everything is well). I got some of my bookkeeping done, that was part of the plan for while I was spending time not at home waiting. Found that I should probably use a calculator as in the end my wholesale and retail totals didn't add up to my total total. Maybe it's time to go back to computer aided bookkeeping. (Rethink that: Lug notebook computer around instead of ledger? Bank on power available when battery runs out? Better keep that calculator handy. Weighs a lot less.)

So, getting back home after having a late breakfast out, got some stuff done and then decided I needed some more sleep. The weather wasn't for yard work or making beads anyway. Missed a sortof repeat meeting of my Etsy street team during the time, feel bad about that in hindsight. After a while the weather got better for yard work but worse for making beads. So, did some more yard work. Pulled another 500 or so Alexandra Palm tree seedlings, got another few (definitely single digit, and small) strawberry guava stumps out, but found a buried tool, no handle left, pick axe. Rough as it is (Norman says it predates him, and he lives here since 1984), it came in rather handy and helped me to get a bunch more stuff out without mangling my fingernails completely again.

Now, what happened to the bead making? The wind finally died down way after I got back from grocery shopping. I did more yard work after grocery shopping first before the wind died down. As tomorrow is another workday, no go on the bead making.

At least I got most of the house vacuumed, the laundry put away, the UKIRT fault summary in on time (yes, I try to do this on vacation too, but don't always manage, today I did), and I still didn't take pictures of the beads I made a week and a half ago, still didn't list the 6/0 Ornela seed beads on Etsy, still didn't make any new jewelry to send over to Kona. I'm glad I took the whole day off in spite of that Norman didn't really need me to stay home the whole day. I did get caught up on some things. However, it doesn't feel like I got caught up on sleep, so some of that is next (7 hours at max, and I call that catching up).

As I made some headway on my weekend stuff (grocery shopping included), there's some hope for making beads during the weekend.

I should have taken a "before" picture of the driveway because an "after" picture alone is going to be useless. I did some more work on that today too, after doing a lot of driveway weeding last weekend.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Updates: Etsy street team, new lampwork on Etsy, and I'm getting a second (spare) torch

Much to my surprise I got invited to join a new Etsy Street Team, Prayers on a Wire. We're about rosaries and rosary supplies. While I have never made a rosary yet this is partly due to supplies other than beads being hard to find here, though I have been asked (in spite of the Lutheran church that I grew up in not using rosaries, I would make them), and I have sold Job's Tears to rosary makers before. I hope to make lampwork sets for decadal beads and the like as well.

Our Street Team has a summer competition going that is entitled "Colors of the Ocean", and while it is not required to list the entry on Etsy, I did:
This is Hilo Bay Beach, light teal, the link will take you to my Etsy listing. This set of lampwork beads was made by me, here at home, one by one, melting glass with my HotHead torch. The smaller beads are Moretti (Italian glass) light teal, the larger ones are the same light teal, rolled in sand from the Hilo Bay Beach and then encased in clear Moretti glass, annealed in my digitally controlled Glasshive kiln and the bead release cleaned out with my Dremel drill. You can see through these beads, including the empty space, not like a lot of the beads imported from Asia.

As I got sortof addicted to lampworking as time and weather allows (I can't make beads in the carport when it's windy, and work comes before lampwork) the last thing I need is my torch to give out (I already have 2 kilns), so when a good deal came up I ordered myself a second one (another HotHead, hopefully old style).

Once I get my second torch, and a get second gas hose, and as long as both are working, if anybody wants to come by and use a hothead when I'm home, and possibly already even making beads, I'm game. It'll be kinda tight spaces, but I'm sure it'll work somehow. Bring or buy your own glass and mandrels (I have some extra) and clean your own beads. I'm not saying I can teach you anything, I'm still a newbie, but if you want to come by and make a bead or three (or three dozen) we can talk about it.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Announcement regarding lawsuit against Ullja Kuntze

Not my lawsuit, though some friends were involved with it, and I helped with the fundraising for the AGLF (Artisan and Glassworker Legal Fund). I should say that I didn't write what follows, I'm just re-posting it:

June 17, 2010 Announcement (permission to repost granted):

The Plaintiffs in the defamation case Liz Putnam et al v. Ullja Kuntze have filed to withdraw their motion seeking relief against Ullja Kuntze for defamation (libel and slander per se) and fraud.

The Plaintiffs arrived at the decision to withdraw after Ullja Kuntze, with much delay, finally complied with court-ordered disclosure and provided documents confirming that she publishes the blog "handmadeartisanfraud.blogspot.com" and has made false tax evasion reports specifically naming the Plaintiffs and many others to the IRS and state revenue offices around the country.

During the legal proceedings, the Plaintiffs attempted settlement with Ullja Kuntze and requested that she remove the blog, but Ms. Kuntze refused. The high cost of pursuing the case to completion has been weighed against the satisfaction of her admission that she is the publisher of the blog and the person behind the spurious reports to local authorities against artisans around the country. The investment to date resulted in obtaining evidence of her acts, an ample and welcome reward.

However, to pursue the case to completion and obtain an injunction against Ullja Kuntze ordering her to take the blog offline would be very expensive, given her lack of cooperation to date. With proof of her wrongdoing, the Plaintiffs and others targeted by Ms. Kuntze have the needed evidence to protect their professional and personal reputations individually.

The Plaintiffs wish to thank everyone who contributed to the legal costs and to assure their supporters that with proof of Ullja Kuntze's guilt, a win in civil court is not necessary. Thanks to the support of the artisan community, the evidence of Ms. Kuntze's acts is now a matter of public record for all to see.

Case information is available online at the Harris County Clerk's website. The case number is 200966253 and can also be located searching for Defendant name "Kuntze, Ullja".

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Not so new anymore lampwork, and some lampwork experimenting

I made these beads a couple of weeks ago, the first time I have had time to light my torch in a month.

They're Moretti light teal, Moretti light teal with Hilo Bay beach sand encased in clear and the longer bead had some Moretti dark ivory glass in it as well.

Today I did some experimenting with P.I.G glass (a glass that was made in India but isn't made anymore). What I can tell so far is that none of the beads broke right in the kiln. The Indian glass looks awful on the outside, at least some of it, but I could tell it was going to before I put the beads into the kiln. I only used one rod of it, and I did not only preheat it on top of my kiln as I normally do with all my glass, but stuck it into the kiln for more preheating after the tip of the rod shattered when I tried to gently, in the backflame, heat it more. While I know that some poeple disagree, for me this glass is frit material. On a hothead it is stiff and hard to melt to a round bead, especially into a small round bead as I usually make, and for all I can tell so far, the outsides of my beads made with this glass look like cheap imports of the kind all bead sellers are offered from China and India. I really honestly don't want to make that kind of beads deliberately.

Another experiment I did today was with recycled glass frit that I don't know the COE of. Mixed glass, mixed sizes. Again, none of it came out of the kiln broken. I have to say, though, that the beads I made with Moretti/Effetre glass with this frit are a lot smoother than the beads I made with the Indian glass.

For all of these, watch this space. (but I'm not promising this to happen in the next day or two. I have a job, and beads to get off mandrels, and then beads to clean.)