Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I live in a part of the country that has
four distinct seasons and from now through March is my least favorite time
(I much prefer Spring and Fall). The last couple of years in particular, I've had a really hard time getting through the
bone-chilling and hard Northeast winters. Driving is
treacherous here on the unpaved back roads in Cow Country and though I love my house and acreage,
I don't know how many more winters we'll withstand here. New York is a tough place to live and though I'm a native and have been here all my life, between the winters, the roads and the taxes (don't get me started), I think it might be time for a change.

Does the Winter inspire you to create more or do you hibernate? I find myself alternating between being creatively active and just wanting to snuggle under a quilt with good books. The library has been one of my favorite places since childhood and I still go every week. My library of choice is the Cheney Library in Hoosick Falls, everything a small town library should be with a great selection, friendly staff who are always ready for a chat about books, good hours, and access to the online upstate NY library system, so for what isn't on hand in the libary, they can get for me within a few days. Ironically, the book I'm reading right now is Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. I highly recommend this author and I'm working my way through her books now. Time for a few chapters and a cup of tea now!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nichrome Wire and Glass Fusing

Nichrome wire is a high-temperature wire which is perfect for using with fused glass as it will remain intact at temperatures up to approxim...ately 1700 degrees Fahrenheit. By using your hands and/or jeweler’s pliers, high-temperature wire can easily be formed into any shape and secured in place with suitable glue  (a little bit of Elmer’s white glue works just fine) in between the layers of glass and fired in the kiln in order to create cabochons suitable for jewelry designs. You can also assemble your creation directly on your kiln shelf if you have steady hands and position the wire in between the layers of glass thereby avoiding the gluing process.

As the glass begins to slump in the kiln, the wire will become permanently encased between the layers of glass. After the firing is complete, the nichrome wire will appear somewhat discolored
and dull, and you can give it a gentle buffing with some steel wool to quickly restore the luster. The projecting outer end of the wire can then be used to attach the fused glass piece to a jewelry finding or whatever else you're creating. (my photographed piece is a small chime piece)

I'd suggest using the wire with glass other than transparent because with transparent glass the wire will show through, which is not attractive! I've used this wire for jewelry pieces, ornaments, suncatchers and chimes of light to medium weight, but wouldn't suggest it for heavier weight pieces.

Get some nichrome wire and check it out!