Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Fire Divas Holiday Traditions

Believe it or not, sitting behind our torches aren't the only things Diva's do for the holidays. I asked the Divas to share some of their holiday traditions.

My own personal favorite holiday tradition is going to the bonfire lighting on the levee of the Mississippi River between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Tradition there is that Santa can't see to navigate the bayou in the dark so all the families would come out and build these 20 - 30 foot high bonfires to let Santa know where to stop. Now, entire villages have bonfire lightings. 
 Some of the bonfires just before Christmas Eve 2009
They have contests for the shape of the bonfire, the local fire dept will have a chili contest and sell of the makings. People play Christmas music from speakers on top of trucks. It goes on til Midnight and you can see bonfires for miles miles on the levee. 

Lara Lutrtick's favorite holiday tradtition dates back to junior high:

My mom would bake gingerbread houses and my sister and I would go and pick up the candies we wanted to use and make yummy houses. My sister now lives far away, but I would like to see her and my nephew make gingerbread houses too, maybe when he is older.

Sonja of Silver River Glassworks reflects back to her German heritage

My favorite Christmas tradition is Christmas Eve at my sisters house. We have a traditional German meal with homemade spaetzl and then read the Christmas story out loud. Then we open gifts and hang out.

Amy Sims of Amy Sims Designs concentrates on making memories for her children:

I don't really have any from my childhood, but for my kids we've been making gingerbread houses every year and that's been a lot of fun. Now that they are getting older the house are getting more elaborate and better executed!

 Rose of  Spawn of Flame takes pleasure in simple tradition.

We go to church.

And Cindy of CindyLynneGlass cracked us all up with her holiday traditions:

There was a traditional poker game that my parents and my mothers brothers and sisters would always play after dinner and gift opening. My cousins, my sister and I would put on a skit each year. We did little comedy acts, or made up plays, I would do some gymnastics. Havent thought of that in years! But I can remember a picture my mother took of me wearing a wig, white gloves and a short shirt funny, I can see that picture clear as day in my mind!
 And folks, here it is! Cindy in all her glory!

We would LOVE it if you shared some of your holiday traditions with us below!

Happy Holidays from the Fire Divas!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ventilation for Glass Beadmaking

Last month Sonja gave you a tour of her studio space, and this month I thought I'd elaborate on some different methods of ventilation. Ventilation is an often discussed topic in the world of lampworking, and it is one that not everyone is in agreement over. When you are working with a propane and oxygen mix torch, silver, fine powders like pixie dust and enamel, it is very important for your health that you have good ventilation.

A good ventilation system consists of a way to expel the air around the torch area to the outside, and a source of clean make-up air. Depending upon the size of your room, the location, (enclosed basements are not a good place) and the number of windows you have, you will need to find a way to make sure that you are getting all of the bad air out of your space so that you don't breath it in.

When I was setting up my first studio in Ohio, I ended up setting it up in the front room of our house! I realized that the basement would not work because I would be too close to the furnace and I no good source of makeup air. I found a good scratch and dent range hood on ebay that had a 360CFM fan that we hung over my table. This was vented out through the window along with the propane hose. When I torched, I opened up the dining room windows so that I had a good source of fresh make-up air. This worked very well.

When we moved to Atlanta, I had the opportunity to start from scratch with my studio, which was great! My studio is in our walkout basement, with a door and a window. I had a vent installed on a side wall for fresh makeup air-I just open it up when I  torch. For my ventilation fan I chose to use Andrea Guarino-Slemmons' concept. I bought the fan she suggested, and had it installed under the window beside my table.

The inlet sits on my desk, and is piped out under the desk. It works great-I've accidently had it suck up my silver leaf! I thought this would look much cleaner than the vent hanging over the desk, and it does. But, I quickly learned two things: first, I missed the great light I got from the vent hood so I had to get a floor lamp to set behind my table! Second, I miss the space on my table that the vent is now taking up. Oh well! I'm still very happy in my new studio, and I can breath easy knowing that I have great ventilation :) If you would like to see more of my studio space you can check it out on my website: www.amysimsdesigns.com/studio-2

Monday, December 3, 2012

Fire Divas Holiday Glass Beads

We interrupt your regularly scheduled lampworking due to a Christmas decoration Pile up Blocking your access! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!
In the meantime lets visit some of the other Fire Divas who are able to get to their workspaces!
Holly has made these adoreable Ornament beads, what cute earring these would make! http://www.etsy.com/listing/14629092/ornament-earring-pair-glass-beads-red
Lara Lutrick made this cute snowman pendant what a great gift!!
Rosemarie Hanus Made this set of gorgeous organic Christmas beads.
Amy Sims made this beautiful big hole bead perfect for Chanukah or Christmas gift giving!

Kathleen Robinson-Young shows her attention to incredible detail in this gorgeous floral bead.

Sonja McClung made this beautiful set of Christmassy florals.

We wish you all Happy Holidays.... now go forth and shop!