Glass Affair

Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads and Jewelry by Sue Power


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A New Year!  And finally…. some New Beads!

Where did 2016 go?!  I can hardly believe how fast time passes as I get older.  Although It has been a while ( okay, a long,long while 🙂) since I posted, it does not mean I have not been learning about and creating glass art!  

Last spring I went to a Glass Craft Expo in Las Vegas where I learned so many new and exciting techniques that I became quite overwhelmed! It will take me years to explore and develope everything that was packed into those  five days!

In the fall I joined my daughter in Europe and travelled through Italy and France. Of course we visited Murano, Italy where some of the most incredible glass art sculptures in the world are found. This is also the place where a lot of the glass I use to create my Beads is manufactured.

To start this year off I decided to limit myself to using only a few colors to create as many different types of Beads as I could. So far I’ve been using the same color pallet for over a week and I still have more ideas exploding in my head!  So here is what I’ve come up with so far!

These are really tiny Beads!  

This one…. not so small. –  about 1 1/2 inches

And last but not least ( still on my work bench!):



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New Beads …

Mokume beads with astrid Riedel

“Mokume”  beads with Astrid Riedel

A couple weeks ago I was very fortunate enough to take a class from a very well known contemporary glass artist, Astrid Riedel. She was visiting Vancouver as part of a teaching tour in Canada. She is originally from Holland but now lives in South Africa. I would guess this has a big impact on the minute details and vibrant colors that pop in her designs.

She introduced me to “cold working” beads. I used a diamond drill bit to “carve” into the beads that I had made. I then reintroduce the bead into the flame (without cracking it!) and fire polished the glass. The resulting effect is exciting and amazing. And I am slowly, but surely incorporating her ideas into my new beads.

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I have never used orange, red and yellow very much before – but I love the look.  Of course, my own color preferences and “swirls are helping to make the beads my own!

Wimageorking with glass is so interesting – you never know where the next inspiration is going to come from and the direction your own work will take!

Be sure to let me know if you “like” my new beads as much as I do!

I think I might even list some of these on Etsy!


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Hearts for Valentines Day!

Heart (1 of 1)Happy Valentine’s Day!

 I haven’t really been doing a lot of torching in the past few weeks. 😦 However, I have a good excuse!  I have been vacationing in Mexico!  Lovely Akumal, Mayan Riviera – beautiful spot.  Honestly, I have been thinking more about making glass sea turtles – since I had the chance to actually swim with several large turtles in the shallow waters right in front of the resort where we stayed.  So beautiful!

I did manage to focus a little more and came up with a new creation to show you – in  keeping with the spirit of Valentine’s Day.

Free form hearts!  No molds used – just gravity and a lot of heat control.

Here are a couple of beads from previous years … so much fun to do!

Heart (1 of 1)-2Heart (1 of 1)-3


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Back to the Torch!

Jans pendant set 2 (1 of 1)

My First Pendant and Earring set of 2015

After the hectic rush of creativity that led up to the Christmas Season, I thought it would be longer before I felt the familiar itch to start melting glass again!  However, as fate would have it I had a special request for matching earrings to a pendant that I sold in December.

Creating matching earrings can be quite a challenge!  Often, the reactions that happen when melting glass in the flame of a torch or in the kiln when the beads are being annealed… can be very difficult to reproduce later.  It is much easier to make matching earrings, bracelet, or pendant at the same time.  Difficult but not impossible!  I am always willing to give it a try.

This set was made for a special lady who loves pink and black .  I am thinking that these colors would look good in heart shaped beads too… just in time for Valentines Day!

Back to the Torch!


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A Christmas Story… sort of… about making Glass Christmas Ornaments!

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My First Christmas Ball Ornament!    A couple of weeks ago  I stepped out of my comfort zone!  Kind of like stepping out of the frying pan and into the fire! The Glory Hole to be more precise!  Yes, I know there are other references to that term, but believe me this was about melting glass and making a beautiful glass Christmas ornament!

A couple of weeks ago I stepped out of my comfort zone and I signed up for a very quick  20 minute glass Christmas ornament class at Terminal City Glass Co-op in Vancouver, BC .  I enjoyed a  one -on- one  “instructional opportunity” with a very nice ( looking – ok, not just nice to look at but very patient too!) young man named Brad.  I have to admit that my first attempt was a complete flop – literally.  Blowing a glass Christmas ornament is really hard!  You ‘ll just have to take my word for it .  Brad kindly came to my rescue – with a long rubber tube that he blew through…. no questions please 🙂 –  and I ended up with a really descent ornament that I can be proud of!

I have been making lampwork beads for about eight years … and I have never “felt” the heat like that!  (And, it wasn’t  because of Brad 🙂  Actually it was an inferno! There were furnaces full of molten glass and blazing fire.   I surprised myself by being surprised… Obviously it is going to be hot – but this was much more than a typical hot flash!! (yes, I am I am Fifty something!…)  I have seen glass blowers doing their thing before but believe me it was something else to actually be the person doing the “Thing”!

Brad - at Terminal City Glass Coop

Brad – at Terminal City Glass Coop

The Process:

I first donned a pair of safety glasses and a fingerless glove on one hand to protect myself from the glare of the flame and the heat.  Next,  we heated this massive steel blow pipe in the Glory Hole (a huge barrel like structure that is lying on its side full of fire – with an opening on one end) till it was glowing.  We then moved the blow pipe over a few feet to a similar looking “hole of fire”  except that this furnace was actually a vat of molten glass.  We dipped and rotated the pipe in the molten glass to pick up enough glass to make the ornament.  We removed the rod while constantly rotating it so as the molten mass remained centered on the rod and did not droop to one side.  Quickly, I rolled the very hot glass in a mixture of different colored crushed glass called frit.  I choose a green mixture. Apparently, I have very good “frit” pick-up :).

We returned the rod with the molten “glob” to the Glory Hole to melt in all the frit.  Then, I removed the rod and gently rolled it back and forth on a steel table to smooth and shape (marver) the mass of glass.  One more quick heating of the mass of glass and we moved to the rolling bench.  This is where I made my first pitiful attempt to blow puffs of air into the pipe to try and expand the mass of glass on the other end of the pipe.  Brad was much better at this than I was… but then again he used a rubber hose. (You have to take the class to really understand what I’m saying!).

Next, we kind of “pinched” off the now somewhat Christmas ornament looking shape using these huge tweezers… and another kind person (I don’t know her name..) was waiting to help fashion the hook on the top of the ornament.  I have done this part many times when creating my Christmas Icicle ornaments – so I was feeling a little more comfortable at this point.

Quickly, the ornament is placed into an annealing kiln where it cooled down at a very slow rate ( just like all the beads I make) so as to avoid any thermal shock to the glass.  This takes several hours so I returned a few days later to pick up my treasure!

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Four Clear Christmas Icicles

The whole experience was a lot of fun, but I do not think this is something that I will be adding to my repertoire very soon.  However, I do hope to be able to offer other types of Christmas ornaments for sale soon.  For now, I am content to make Christmas icicles.  I hope you like them too!

Merry Christmas to all!

If you are interested in ordering glass icicles please email me for pricing.

suepower101@gmail.com


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A New Website

I have a brand new website! It’s https://glassaffair.net/. Not only that but I have tweaked my name a little… Glass Affair (not A Glass Affair). I think it makes it a little easier to remember. The good news too, is that I now have a blog. I meet a lot of people at the different glassy events I attend who are interested to know more about how I manage to get that little flower inside that bead – or how do I get that shape of bead etc. Through my blog, I hope to show you more about what I do and how I do it. I really enjoy sharing this information with anyone who will listen!

So, please join me and follow my Blog! I want to keep you up to date on where my creative interests are leading me (they do wander!) – and to let you see where they have been! And please leave a comment- I love to hear from you!

Next challenge: Face Book!


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St. Thomas More Christmas Craft Fair

My favorite Christmas Craft fair is coming up soon! My eighth year in a row!

I am busy creating lots of new pieces of wearable art for you to enjoy! I will try to post pictures of some of my new lampwork glass beads, pendants, and silver jewelery that will be available. Be sure to check this out – over 100 vendors and lots of variety for you to enjoy!

St. Thomas More Collegiate
Christmas Craft Fair

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014 10:00 am to 4:00 pm

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
7450 12th Avenue
Burnaby, BC
http://stthomasmorecollegiate.ca/craft-fair

See you there!


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My Latest Work……

A very pretty focal bead made with silvered glass.  This can be made into a pendant on it’s own or incorporated into necklace – lots of options!  You can tell I like it a lot cause I’ve used a close up in my  blog header!

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1 1/4 ” diameter , 3/8 ” thick Focal Bead 3/32 ” hole

 $25.00 US

$5.00 US shipping

Buy Now Button with Credit Cards