Sunday, 3 August 2008

New Crafts Forum

A brand new crafts forum has opened it's doors

Crafteroo is a new forum, part of a larger site to be launched later this year. It's a place were anyone of any crafts discipline can get together and talk shop. It's brand spanking new so go and make yourself at home! The crafts forum is very much in the users hand and new alterations will be added to suit. The only rules are to chill out!!...No bitchiness, no nasty comments, no worries!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Save Money Using Ebay...without getting on seller's nerves! the blog has gone a bit consumer crazy lately but I'm on a bit of a mission!
Anyway... there are plenty of bargains to be had on ebay. Everyone's heard of auction sniper tools...they lurke around auctions putting late bids on things and driving sellers crazy!

There is a way to save money using ebay another way... a bit sneaky...but it's a win-win for you and the seller!

First...hunt down items using spelling errors on ebay...using websites such as

These are great sites to mooch around on as there are loads of items on there with simple spelling errors, meaning that prospective bidders can't find them, therefore next to no (or no) bids!

Next, take a note of the item details and hop on over to . Buy the item at the bargain price you've found it at and buy it via the bigcrumbs site and recieve money back from it!

Saturday, 26 July 2008

How to drive Traffic to your Ebay Store

I've just written an article explaining how to drive traffic to your ebay store or shop. You can read it here .

Drive traffic to your ebay store.

No matter what you sell via ebay, we could all do with ways to boost traffic to ebay and therefore hopefully pick up a few extra sales. I'll add to it as needed so check it out!

Save money using Ebay with!

I stumbled across this excellent site will I was tinkering around on the internet . The idea of the site is simple. Shop and earn money back will you do so! The site works by giving you back some of the money the webshops pay to advertise. There's no tricks or gimmicks....think of it like coupons from a magazine!

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Glass Fusing Kilns

I've been very busy this weekend troubleshooting some new ranges i'm bringing out. I'll try and get some nice piccies on ASAP. When I get a mo i'll try and add some more glass fusing tutorials to the dichroic glass website too.
For the time being though, I've written a guide to buying a glass fusing kiln on ebay so have a look if you're interested!

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Dichroic Glass Jewellery on Ebay!

Check my latest listings on ebay!

Dichroic Glass Jewellery Making Videos!

Beads By Lilli have given us the honour of being featured in one of their fabs jewellery making videos on You Tube.

Beads by Lilli's web store is jammed packed with jewellery making supplies and anything and everything beady- well worth the look! A few of their handy guides are featured on the dichroic glass tutorials site with more to come. They are excellent quality and make everything look so easy...although perhaps they are a bit more challenging to us lesser mortals!

Friday, 18 July 2008

Glass fusing tutorials!

More tutorials have been added to the Dichroic Glass website-join up and join in!

Monday, 30 June 2008

Dichroic Glass How To and Glass Fusing Tutorials

Get your self over to the new dichroic glass forum and have a goosey at the latest glass fusing tutorials, lampworking how to 's as well as the latest glass art news and info.
There are monthly competitions and you can also submit glass fusing URL 's and lampworking websites to the monitored links section.
Get over there and take part!

Saturday, 28 June 2008

Glass Fusing Book Reviews

There's an ever increasing amount of books reviews now available on .
Don't waste your money on books that offer you only pretty pics. Get a review and buy wisely!

There's a glass fusing forum on the site too to discus your opinions and ask any glass question you might have.

If you've got an Etsy shop, ebay shop or other glassy website, add it to the links section and shout about your fabulous work- join now!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

A Big Thanks to Swirly Arts!

A big thanks to Lynsey from SwirlyArts who sent me this fab Chicken doorstop! Lynsey came to one of my glass fusing classes and noticed I had a need for the door stop so...taadaa!
I love it. Lynsey is a recycling fanatic! I found this out when she could resist using every single scrap of glass. Nothing went to waste!

SwirlyArts was fabric specialist and sells lots of eco-friendly goodies so check them out. Check out Lynsey's blog here too!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Glass Kanvas goes green!

So, I've decided I'm way too wasteful with the packaging I send out. People don't really need boxes and boxes and boxes. My home is full to the brim of boxes of boxes and boxes of envelopes for the boxes, it's ridiculous!

From now though, all my dichroic glass pieces are going to be sent out in recycled packing, using recycled paper or if possible reusing envelopes! I'm sending out everything in bags that can be easily reused and recycled and i'm making my own protective packing for the pieces!
Every little helps!

Monday, 9 June 2008

Glass Fusing Classes

I've had a hectic weekend hence a lack of new posts for a while. I've been busy making alterations to the new glass fusing and lampworking forum , plus I had one of my glass fusing classes on Sunday.

I'm really pleased with the work people turned out. Really impressive for new fusers!

The people who came were great and really enthusiastic. I purposely keep the classes small because I have tendancy to baffle people initially. Keeping the numbers small means I can respond to confused faces quickly!
I think this will be my last class for a while. I'm just so busy, but I'll put the details up here again once I restart.



I've started the first of 's monthly competitions. These competitions are open to anyone on the forum and to enter you only need to post a comment on it. To enter have a look at the Competition Post . Good Luck!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Glass Kanvas on ebay!!

Mid season is a dry...dry time. Stock up now for Christmas then!....Bargains to be had!

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Glass Fusing/ Glass Artists forum

The new glass fusing forum is going well with nearly 6000 hits in just 2 weeks! Join up, drop in and say hello!

The new site is a site for glass artists of all disciplines. The aim is to share information and increase the knowledge and profile of all our work!

We're looking for moderators to help out with the site so if you're interested join the forum and send me a message!.... Send the message to

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Glass Related Blogs

I move a good mooch around the internet looking at all the beautiful work glass artists produce. Blogs are quite addictive too here's a few I love!

Take a look yourself!

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Weeeell, what a week!

Things have been so hectic this week that i've not known whether i'm coming or going! The new dichroic glass website and forum is only a week old and going strong! The site stats are really interesting to watch in the background...I can see where people are from and it's coming up some surprising hits...and some not so surprising!
Come and say hello on the dichroic glass forum and make yourself known!

Lee from Kilncare is now watching over the kiln/technical bit for us so all your kiln related queries will get answered by an industry leader!
I'll be starting the first of my monthly competitions this week also. Check out the website for details.

With all the hubbub with the dichroic glass website i've not forgotten either my dichroic jewellery website or ebay shop!

I've added lots more dichroic bangles...and more are coming over the next few days. I'm also adding lots of new dichroic ranges too-so think on!

Tuesday, 20 May 2008 Online!

The new Dichroic Glass Website is now up and running!-Come and say hello in the new forum or drop us a line if you've got something to share!

Saturday, 17 May 2008

Ebay Changes

I know this a bit of an obsession with me but ....have you checked the new feedback changes?!
My feedback doubled in one fell swoop! Another new addition is the fact that the negatives and neutrals are now can click on 'em and have a snoop why the customer left the negative score. It's actually quite funny!....Also check out other people's feedback, you can see the seller who previously were attacking customers with negs and also telling complete lies about them!....Maybe they're a good thing?..Well maybe not but they're a good laugh at least!

Friday, 16 May 2008

Exciting new glass fusing website-preview!

Ok, so i've had a few emails ths week asking where the tutorials have gone?

The answer is that i've still been doing them-but they're now going into the new dichroic glass and glass fusing website- Launching early next week!

The new site will be packed with news and info relating to all things glassy-with the emphasis on glass fusing! They'll be a tutorials section as well as forum to swap all of your tricks and know-how. A new links section is being added to get the details of your crafts out there an there'll be a website of the week, in which we'll spotlight an artist, supplier or resource website. Check out early next week!

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Ebay's been Credit Crunched!

Anyone who deals on ebay know how many changes it has gone through over the past few months. There have been price hikes, listing regulations added, feedback changes and a hell of a lot of disgruntled sellers!

I sell a lot through ebay as I repeat...well, repeatedly. This changes have affected me heavily as they have everyone selling either dichroic glass jewellery and other handcrafted goods-to the point that a lot of sellers have simply abandoned ebay altogether.

What ebay don't seem to grasp is that those who sell on ebay also buy via ebay-I myself, buy a lot of findings etc on ebay simply out of conveinience. As the sellers have packed up shop, this in turn has had a knock-on affect on our sellers all noticing a slump in sales.

A few months back, Ebay announced the restoration of visibility to the US and Canadian markets via This change will have a similar affect in reverse on This means that items placed on auction on the UK version of ebay will be advertised on also...for a fee of course! This change couldn't come soon enough for me as before the drop in visibility ,I was regularly posting 3-4 items to the US daily, after the change 2-3 per week.
Check Spelling
Ebay have now also announced that this summer, the gallery listing-the picture that appears on the auction listing will be free , all summer!

This is unprecedented for ebay, and I can only assume it's due to the amount of people no longer bothering with auctioning item, coupled with people's strained finances at the moment.

Hopefully this incentive to list, along with access to overseas buyers will restore people's faith in ebay-myself included.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

A big thanks to Dichroic Sparkle UK

I must take this oportunity to thank Dichroic Sparkle UK, Tracey Mead for her help with a feature for the new website launching later this month.

Tracy kindly let me showcase her fabulous work on the site-it's first feature! I went to Tracey first because I was so impressed with the uniqueness and quality of her beautiful dichroic glass jewellery!

I'm sure you'll agree how amazing her work is-well worth a look!

Monday, 12 May 2008

It aint 'alf hot mum!

I'm writing this form the comfort of the park across the way from my apartment. Thanks to the wonders of modern a few wireless networks in the local office blocks I'm able to write outside! Here's the view from my apartment....I was getting jealous!

The British summer last approximately 23 minutes so i'm making the most of it while I can! Having a few kilns in my living room, it can feel a little stiffling in this heat!

I'm gathering news stories for and i'm testing as we speak so hopefully it'll be live and kicking in the next week or so. I'm also beefing up I offer wholesale dichroic glass jewellery accounts so get in touch if you're interested.

Ebay is picking up nicely again now. I've been mulling leaving it for a while. Although prices have come down I think that's largely down to changes that haven't had an effect yet. I've met a lot of lovely people via ebay so it'd be a shame to loose contact with them, I will keep a presence there even if it is reduced. While it's true some fellow sellers can be a little aggressive, most are lovely and I enjoy reaching out to them through this blog....Although one cheeky blighter writes all over the internet criticising plagiarism yet got the know-how on how to make their latest ranges from this blog! ....If they're shooting at you, you must be doing something right!

Saturday, 10 May 2008

Isn't the world a small place?

Doing this blog I get to see/pry where it's readers are from. The results are always quite surprising-Here's a screen shot of the last 2 days visitors. No-one's interested in Greenland! How rude! I'm busy adding bits to my dichroic glass jewellery website as well as my ebay store. Tryng to fit all this in whilst preparing the new site has been tough but thanks to the glorious weather this week i've not been too over stretched-everyone's outside!

Here's a few from my sundrop dichroic pendant range. These are all based on transluscent art glass-very summery! You can get one for every outfit...please!

As well as my ebay site which is my sale site, my website also offers wholesale dichroic glass accounts for resellers so just get in touch!

Friday, 9 May 2008

Dichroic Designs of Shaker Heights

Oooo, I'm now featured on a great website based in the US. Dichroic Designs of Shaker Heights, a fab website featuring some truely beautiful dichroic glass jewellery. It's an honour to be among them!

Got that Friday feeling?

Friday's here already and the weekend is upon us. Bank holidays really through me out of sinc with the week so can never remember what day of the week it is. The only clue really is the church next door rings it's very loud, very annoying bells on different days to alert me. Not just for me obviously. Friday's are practise night and tonight i'm looking forward to 4 hours on monotonous clanging from the novices. Can you tell i'm not a fan?

When the droan starts I normally put my ipod on to drown out the noise. One podcast I listen to regularly is Craftcast. It's a multi-discipline crafts show I download to tunes and is great for ideas and resources. It deals with so many fields that you're sure to pick up inspiration for your next venture. It's also good to reach out to the craft community from time to time.

With that in mind....stay tuned for a very special announcement from me and incywincy crafts about a brand new website for the craft community starting very soon!

I really must slow down with these websites!!


Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Summer's Finally Here!

British weather is a marvellous thing. One second it feels like we're in suburban Antarctic, the next it feels like the Algarve!

The sun is currently cracking the flags and everyone is out an about- hence no-one staying at home buying things from me!- Seriously, it's tragic!

I always notice a downturn in sales when it's sunny so i'm not too concerned-I'm enjoying the weather too much myself!

I'm busy adding to my website and getting things together for a bit of a relaunch. My main sales avenue is ebay and to be fair the whole site is fast going down the drain! So i'm going to concentrate on that -plus the new website!

At the moment i'm doing quite chunky designs with textured dichroic glass. It can be quite a pain using ths type of glass as the clear top you add can pull in, ruining the piece. Conveniently though, i've already done a how-to for the new site so it'll be easy for beginners to tackle using this glass after they read that....if they want. Not that i'm pressuring anyone or anything.

I'm also starting to reintroduce dichroic 'slider' pendants. These pieces are fused with a hole near the top so they'll 'slide' right onto chain etc. They're probably my favourite pieces as they're so thick and full of depth. The finished result can be so random after fusing! I get quite a few questions about these so i'll add a how-to on these to the site as well.

Anyway-it's too blooming nice to be stuck indoors next to the kiln so i'm going far a walk!


Sunday, 4 May 2008

Exciting New Dichroic glass and Glass Fusing website

Exciting news folks!...Well relatively speaking that is. I'm launching a brand new website launching in late May for everyone interested in dichroic glass and fused glass jewellery and art.

The site will combine tutorials, news from suppliers and artists, website reviews from both glass artists and suppliers plus a forum!

I'll be adding contact details here very soon so please get in touch if you've got anything to share in the world of fused glass.

I've been very quiet on the blog for a while as i've been so busy working on it and I'm hoping it'll be a great resource for anyone.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Competition Winner and New Glass Fusing Classes!!

Firstly...Can I just apologise for the delay in announcing the winner of the competion. I've been working so hard lately that a few things have gone promised....the winner of the with Home Kanvas.....probably just as well because some of the entries were, well...interesting!....The competion winner can contact me via the website with the address details.
Next...following on from the first Beginners glass fusing glass, i'm holding the next one on..June 8th!....Like the previous one, it's going to be a small class ranging from the very basics of working with glass to using dichroic glass. We'll be making several projects including items of jewellery and a few items for the home. The aim of the class is to give you the fundamentals of glass fusing and going through the lessons you can apply them to any of the future project you want. Plus..i'll act as your 'remote tutor' after the class, so if you've got any questions or want impartial advice you can drop me a line!
Anywho...must go, the kiln's beeping!

Friday, 18 April 2008

I'm Back!!!!!

Hello again!

Sorry it's been sooo long since the last post but I've been a little overwhelmed with work lately and answering emails something had to give!
What have I been upto?! Well firstly, I held my glass fusing beginners class and it went really well!....In fact I got quite jealous at some of the work produced! David, Harriet and Lynsey all picked it up really quickly and some excellent things got made....I expect to see one or two glass fusing rivals very soon!
As well as that I've been making room for some brand new lines...and i'm thinking big! Which means a new kiln!..yey! New ranges will include some wall art, platters and other homeware lines...and lets just say they take up quite a lot of room!
My third bit of news is still very hush hush.....but lets just say i've got a new website! It's going to be based on the blog but I don't want to say too much as the spies are out there!

Back tomorrow with more news....and the competition winners!!!....Ooo time for a new competition I think!

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

New Wholesale Dichroic Jewellery and New Designs!

With my website still undergoing a spot of spring cleaning I thought I'd better get some new designs made as well as trial new offers on my ebay shop.
My auctions always start at wholesale prices but now i'm listing some buy it now wholesale packs. There'll soon be an option to buy packs of each of the ranges I offer. Great if you're a reseller or if your buying for groups etc.
In the meantime have a look at these new designs i'm selling. Dichroic glass rings and dichroic dog tag necklaces. Available from my ebay shop. I'll be adding lots more over the next few weeks as well as some very exciting new items i'm currently working on.

On an entirely different glass fusing classes are proving popular...One place left though! See my website for details! It looks like i'll be adding more dates soon also so check back for future dates.

I've not done a tutorial for a while so I'll blog back soon with a do's and don'ts of glass fusing. I get lots of emails as a result of the blog now, which i'm thrilled with, but I also get a lot of the same questions so i'll try and answer them all in a FAQ...drop me a line if you have a query you want answering.


Thursday, 28 February 2008

Simple Custom Dichroic Patterns

Ok, quick tutorial!
I quick and easy way to make custom dichroic patterns...well when you don't have a lazer engraver or sandblasting unit to hand is etching creme. It's not as precise as either of those two but a lot less messy and it's a good way of adding writing to fused glass should you want to..I write like Daniel Day Lewis's right foot so it's not something I'd want...anywho...

First stage is to 'mask' areas you don't want etched. There are a couple of ways to do this. If you want to be precise you can use a stencil or even a sandblasting resist film to mask the dichroic....I think there's not enough time in the world to do that so I use 'sharpie' markers. They're quite effective..if you add a few layer they're even better! ...One cheating way of doing it is you use card making 'peel offs' to make quite a precise design.

I sketched a quick design using the marker...The key word here is 'sketched'. I did this simply for the blog so I wasn't really inspired at this point!

There's a lot of black here but remember to do the design in negative so the creme will take of the unmasked parts.

Here's the creme. You can use it do some interesting effect on glass but use it with caution! Remember to use gloves as it is caustic and wash you hands after use!...We wouldn't want this stuff reaching the parts that other beers can't reach!

This is the dichroic piece afterleaving the creme on for 5 mins....a bit rough and ready I know but it was just for show....and i'm not Picasso. Wash the glass thoroughly.

Here's the etched dichroic glass in a section of one of my jubilee pendants....purty ain't it!

And now for something completely different!

I'll be starting bi-monthly glass fusing classes from my home studio on 30th March. Details available from the website or you can email me at . I'm limiting the number to 4 so everyone gets a decent amount of attention so drop me a line fi you're interested!


Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Spring Cleaning...and a very British Earthquake!

Well, so much to talk about! It's been quite a hectic week all in all so blogging has been a bit on the backburner. Meetings with accountants and advisors are the boring bits of working for myself but very necessary...especially when, like me you can't remember my phone number let alone tax start date...or whatever was said at that meeting.

I'm also trying to knock some sense back into my website which because of other commitments, i've had to neglect for a bit. It'll be back in shape later this week with some very exciting new lines i'm working, i'm going to be displaying some dichroic glass by other artists! There's a small minority or glass artists who are quite hostile to other artists and sellers. I hope through this blog and my growing list of contacts I can slowly dispell that and get a sense of community that should be there!

Anyway. I usually end up working late through the week so was up for the dramatic earthquake that hit Lincoln in the early hours of this morning. When I say dramatic...I mean a few bits of masonry came down in some village (ok, so they landed on someone which must of hurt), but it was hardly the end of the world. I've had curries that looked more threatening..and with the same wobbley effect. Still it proves how luckly we are in Britain to not be at the mercy of nature as much as people in other parts of the world are...although walking down the sea front outside my apartment is like an assault course at times!

Very exciting news this week is that my work is feature on .

Which is indeed an honour to be among such great work! Check it out and add it to your list off faves!


...back tomorrow hopefully with a mini tutorial of making custom dichroic patterns!

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Competition and Gossip!

Just a short one tonight-i'm bushed!
Ok, so the ebay strike is underway!....Nothing has happened though! No change whatsoever and the sky has not fallen in...which is always nice. I'm hoping it forces sellers to be a bit more customer focused and not so bitchy about other sellers. It's definately not as attractive a place to base a business anymore but that has been the case for almost a year now and nothing looks as though it'll change.
I've had more grief from competitors than customers in the past six months. When craftspeople like me make the same items, from the same material some sellers honestly think their work is pioneering and all others, forgery! They get so bent out of shape once started a smear campaign via blogs etc which was quite funny as the spelling was rather...erm...irratic.
Doing this blog I hope people feel they can ask questions and i'll try and respond in as open a way as I can.
Here's a few new designs...domino dichroic pendant and textured glass pendants.

These are quite a contemporary shape, with a double bail...they look great on a choker! There's a load more on my ebay shop.
These are more from my textured dichroic glass jewellery range. They're very tactile and I guarantee they will get lots of admiring looks from the magpies in the office.

I'm giving away this fused glass plate from my dichroic glass website. It's the first of a new selection i'll be putting on soon. It's eight inches square with a slight curve and will look great on any table.

For a chance to win just help me answer the following question in the comments section..
I'm producing a new range of glass jewellery and home accessories based on this style pattern.
What should I call it?

The rules!
Competition ends 26th March and answer will be picked at random from a selection. All inappropiate answers and comments will be removed as nesessary. Postage will be paid for and the prize will be posted within 7 days of the competition close. No replacment will be available in the event of loss or damage whilst in transit. The prize cannot be exchanged for cash alternative. Entry not limited to the UK.

Monday, 11 February 2008

Dichroic Glass Fusing Books

People quite often ask how I started glass fusing. I think when people look at fused glass pieces what they mean to say is 'How Can I Make this?' Well I had the same reaction when I first looked at dichroic glass. I've always loved working with my hands. I studied Architecture but preffered making models than working out how a building stays standing. The office was never for me! I worked a series of jobs with no future before I decided to just go for it and work for myself. The last one was in a jewellery shop which I kind of liked but hated my boss! He sold fake goods and took exception when I refused to rip off the people who ventured into the shop. I used to practise making fused glass at night when I got home. The final straw in the last job came when my boss got so annoyed that I was making more money selling my pieces in a local hairdressers than he was in his shop. I can't really remember if I was fired or walked out... it was probably a good thing!

Anywho...the point is...the ways I learnt was with 3 things....trial, error and this book.
This book, Contemporary Warm Glass by Brad Walker, was so helpful in starting out. It answered all the little queries I had about kilns, firing glass and techniques. I bought this before I bought my first kiln which was a very good idea because before reading this I had no idea what a kiln shelf was let alone shelf primer....I though I could melt any old glass! There's several tutorials in there that'll give you basic techniques that you'll keep refering back to time and time again.
The link to Amazon where you can purchase it is on the right hand side of the blog. I genuinely recommend this book to any glass fuser!
The next book I'm going to recommend is this-
Kiln Formed Bracelets, by Jayne Persico...again the link is on the right hand side of the page.
This book is my new favourite! I bought this book when I wanted to learn how to make the dichroic glass bangles that are now a feature in my shop and this book tought me everything, from what kiln to use, to how to size the bangles correctly. It's got loads of tutorials from some very unique dichroic canework to making dichroic watches. Again it's one book I keep on reffering to!

Saturday, 9 February 2008

GlassKanvas on

GlassKanvas was featured on this past week, how exciting!
It's a great honour because the work featured on the site is so beautiful I have to restrain myself from looking at it too much in order to preserve my bank accounts! The site featured some of my dichroic bangles and dichroic pendants and got some nice comments.

I have to say that it made my day so thank you cuteable and thank you too swirlyarts!

On another note....I'm going to start a series of glass fusing jewellery classes, starting in March and i'll post details up soon. It'll be aimed at beginers to intermediate level fusers. I'll be teaching compatibility, cutting, kiln use and dichroic techniques. It'll be for groups of 4 and depending on the level of interest will be held once or twice a month from my home studio based in the heart of Liverpool City Centre.


Friday, 8 February 2008

Dichroic Glass Donut/ Doughnut Tutorial

Well...what a week! I've been trying to get around to this tutorial for days but as usual work and life got on top of me! January is supposed to be a slow month but the opposite has proven to be the case this year. Let hope things get back to normal soon! I'm working on a great new range of dichroic glass jewellery, I'll have pics next time!

Anywho.. First things first!
Glass donuts are easy to do but with so many things in life, you need the right equiptment!
For my version you will need-
A drill can buy a reasonable for £30/$60, nothing flash!

Diamond core drill...2 sizes, one around 35mm and another roughly a half to a third the size, around 14mm

Safety googles

Protective Gloves

This method is great for using up all your scrap/mis-shapes and the great thing is that it's a great way of recycling because not only can you make dichroic cabs whilst you're making the donuts but the scrap you make can be used again to make more donuts.
Firstly you need to fire a slab from which you cut the donuts. I use hot damz and arrange them in a square. If you're not familiar with them, they're kiln furniture you can use to build dams to control the thickness of pieces as they fire.
Fill the square with scrap but don't over fill. You want the fully fused slab to be around 1/4 inch thick, any thicker and the fired donut will lose it's shape. If you're using dichroic glass scrap try and keep the dichroic layers all facing the same way to avoid them 'repelling' each other as they fire. A good tip is to use either clear or transluscent glass along side the other scrap, it give the finished piece real depth! You can simply use layer dichroic glass if you wish...4 layers of 2mm is about the thickness you should fire.

Fully fuse your scrap slab and don't try and skip the annealing stage. the slab will be subject to heat later on in the manufacture so you want the slab to be as stable as possible.

Arrange your drill press on a level surface and make sure the surrounding area is covered to protect it from water splashes.

Set up the drill with the larger of your diamond core drill bits.

These are usually used by plumbers to cut through marble or granite worksurfaces so work well with glass.

You're best to put something over the base of the drill to drill onto, and old towel or piece of carpet works well. Also, have to hand a water bottle in order to cool the drill bit as it's working through the glass. Wearing both your protective gloves and glasses drill the glass with the core bit, making sure the drill is set to a fairly high speed other wise you'll simply blunt the dimond coating. Keeping the drill bit cool as you work with the water and don't try and 'force' the drill otherwise you'll leave the cut glass uneven. You should be able to quite easily cut a circle through the glass. It doesn't if the cut piece is even...a minute or two with the grinder should see to that.

Next step is to fit the smaller sized bit. Work out where the centre on the cut glass circle is and line it up with the centre of the bit. Cut through the glass making sure your wearing the gloves. At the this stage you need to work slowly! If you try and rush things now it'll simply crack the donut and you'll be swearing like a marine.

Carefully wash your cut glass and fully fuse! When you fuse ground glass, drilled glass etc slowly ramp the kiln up to full temp to remove the marks left by the diamond coating.
Here's one I made by simply stacking 4 layers of glass....rembember, the thicker you make the initial slab the less control you'll have over the finished piece.
Hope that clears up a few queries...leave a comment if you have any questions etc..i'll try and answer ASAP
It's i'm going to bed. Forgive the grammar if it's bad, my tired eyes can't cope!

Friday, 1 February 2008

Ebay Sellers Strike Feb 18th-25th

Anyone familiar with ebay or any of the popular online forums this week will know that the online community is not happy with Ebay's latest policy changes...well most of them anyway.

I sell dichroic glass jewellery via Ebay and these change will effect me heavily.

Ebay has lowered the cost of listing items, whilst taking a greater percentage of the final value fee once the item sells.

It has also withdrawn the ability of sellers to leave negative or neutral feedback to buyers.

At first glance these changes don't seem to drastic but i've no doubt that they will be the straw that breaks the camel's back in terms of using ebay.

Whilst the lower listing fee is welcome this is only because ebay has lowered visibilty on UK auctions to the extent that a larger proportion of items sell and when they do I barely cover the costs. I use Ebay mainly to advertise now.

Not allowing sellers to leave feedback is potentially far more dangerous to the sellers. Sellers are now far more exposed to 'neg blackmailers' who effectively extort sellers against the threat of ruining their feedback profile. Also, what's to stop a unscrupulous competitor from 'negging' you if a seller cannot leave reciprocal feedback?
When it comes to fashion jewellery and handcrafted jewellery, I think the feedback system will now become more of a 'critic' than an honest feedback of the transaction.

I have always prided myself in honest and efficient customer service and in my 20, 000 ebay transactions I have only ever left 1 negative feedback but i've a feeling the negative feedbacks will now start flying about and therefore lose the effectiveness of them in the first place.

The strike is due to take place in a few weeks...should I take part? Based in Liverpool, UK I was hit badly by the October/ November Royal Mail strike which lost me a great deal of money and nearly cost me my livelihood. I'm not sure I can afford to take part, but then again can I afford not to?

The out come of the whole thing is that i'm now much more focused on other outlets than Ebay.
I'll pay much more attention to my website and ETSY...let ebay put itself out of business!

Ooo New Dichroic Pendants!

Well, I really have been so busy this week trying to keep up!

Things are really quiet in terms of selling...I think the credit cards bills have been stinging people. As a result i've been really slogging myself trying to get things made to sell...whilst trying to get together my paperwork-the tax man cometh!

Anywho-tutorials! I've not done one in a few weeks to i'm going to get a few done over the next week or so. I'll do a troubleshooting guide and another for making dichroic donuts as i've had quite a few emails that i've busy answering!

These are a few images of my new range of dichroic glass jewellery. I'll be adding them to the website soon but for now i'm going to ebay them. I call them scraffito dichroic pendants.

For anyone who doesn't know my rather irratic job history....I used to do a lot of textile art and also studied architecture, although I found the practise of being an architect quite soul destroying. Anyway, I transfered some of the designs I used in my textiles...which were often based on church architecture onto these dichroic pendants.

They're a kind of blend of architectural shapes and stained glass windows. I'm still in the early stages of these designs so i'm hoping they improve but for now i'm happy with their look. I'm expecting some new glass tomorrow with some brand new glass colours from CBS so I can't wait to see how these look with them.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Sneaky Beakies and a World of Fakery!

My blogging has gone to pot this week sorry! January has been a bit of a blur generally as business is so slow. It's been quite painful in fact!... Part time work, here I come! I started to get really paranoid that it was just me till I started chatting with a few online friends i've made in various forums. It seems the credit crunch has, well..crunched!

On the plus side I made several contacts as a result of the blog...Hello! I've had various emails...wanting advise on kilns, where to buy stock etc. I've also had a few emails from other

glass makers which is always nice. Nice because my experience with fellow glass crafters has been up to this date frosty to say the least.

I had one accuse me of copying her website.... odd, seeing as mine was older, not made by myself, and, well not rubbish. I can say that as I didn't design it myself.

I had another accuse me of copying her designs. When I say designs I should actually say design to be factually correct. She has one which she repeats and lets just say it is not a work of technical genius.

..The last and most recent didn't actually accuse me of anything as such. Instead, he copy and pasted titles, auction details and then wrote an addendum stating that 'other people might use the same title etc but their work is just an inferior copy'. I'm paraphrasing somewhat as his spelling and grammar is terrible. I'm not exactly Chaucer but he makes Jade Goody sound like a scholar.

The point of this blog is mainly to share my work. To share my passion for dichroic glass and if I can help people along the way that's great. Glass fusing isn't a mystical art and people who protect their work like the holy grail are fooling them selves. Everyone brings something new to the pot, no matter what craft they participate in. You can be inspired by someone's work but imagining you can carbon copy another person's work is just plain foolish.

I've had several people get in touch over the week about dichroic pendants on ebay coming mainly from Hong Kong. These are really one of my bug bares as I can't believe people pay money for such crap. I ended writing a ebay guide to fake dichroic and murano in the end. Check it out...I do tend to go on a bit!

Another reason I've not had much time to blog this week has been that i've been busy trying to set up my etsy shop and adding to my website pieces. I had a big order last week which cleared me out of my fused glass bangles which i've been busy restocking.
Anywho...back soon with some new work and a better mood hopefully!