the mo report

Hello Mo fans!

bandit bob in hiding

We have a guest report this week from Bandit Bob!  He is a very handsome kitty that lives in Bend, OR.  With his deep blue eyes and fancy markings, he is one special boy.

Yes, it was a road trip weekend, going to visit other cool cats.

Bandit Bob lives in a house with a pretty garden, and like all cats, he knows where he looks good and chooses to hang out there.  So the blue birdbath that matches his eyes is one of his favorite stations.

bandit bob at the birdbath

working with flame

How does one make a lampworked glass bead?

half made bead

Take a steel rod of 2 – 3 mm diameter, coated with a clay release agent, and heat up this rod in the flame.  With the other hand, select a glass rod of the color needed, and introduce this slowly to the flame as well.  The end of the glass rod will begin to melt, and form a blob, or “gather.”  Drip this onto the rod, and wrap it around.  Click on the photo for a larger view.

I usually marver the bead now, by rolling it on a flat surface until it takes a cylinder shape, and use this as my canvas to paint with more colors.  I keep adding layers of color, and often finish the bead with some clear glass encasing.

fully molten bead

fully molten bead

The bead can be rather lumpy at this point, like a raspberry.   I heat it up further until it is entirely molten, and takes on a smooth rounded shape.  You must continually rotate the rod to keep the bead centered.  If you wish the bead to be textured you skip this rounding.  The bead can also be shaped by rolling it on a flat surface, or pressing it into a mold.

Then let it cool down until the normal colors return to the glass, and put it away in a kiln or warming thermal blanket to rest for several hours.  The next day it can be taken off the rod:   after a soak the clay rinses away and it twists free, the bead is complete and the rod can be re-coated with clay for the next dance.

The flame is a Minor lampworking torch with a mixture of propane and oxygen fuel.  Proper ventilation and didymium safety glasses are essential.  Wikipedia has several good entries relating to beadmaking and glass art.

Click on any photo here for a larger view.

torch, glass rods, and safety glasses

the mo report

Hello Mo fans!

Pleeeease let us out

The cats are enjoying the warm days of summer.  Mo loves spending the night outside and sleeping indoors during the day.  They prefer the warmer upstairs and when I get home they will be stretched out flat on the floor or on their backs, waving the paws in the air.

Miss Nimbus had to be kept inside for a few days due to a banged up eye.  A redness was visible above the eye and it got swollen, either she bruised herself or got a bee sting.  It is looking better this morning, and she was extra happy to get her morning petting.  Poor little girlie girl!  Here she is sporting her collar with fancy bead.  Mo is super happy to have lost yet another collar, that bad boy.  Tsk tsk.

Miss Nimbus has a sore eye

the spectrum

I have a fascination with the electromagnetic spectrum.

the electromagnetic spectrum

The rainbow shows a spectrum of light, the piano keyboard a spectrum of audio vibrations.  It’s all the same energy, just vibrating at different speeds.  Artists use color wheels to predict what colors will blend and complement.  Musicians know the same relationships as chords.

Here’s the cover of the BEMI Journal showing the electromagnetic spectrum with inset illustration by the visionary artist Alex Grey, well known for his art depicting the human aura and anatomy.  Brainwaves are way down at the slowest frequency.  Click for a larger view.

Glass is technically not a solid, it is a super-cooled liquid.  I like to think of human brainwaves as super-cooled light.

The BEMI Journal ceased publication years ago, but here is an article on Bioenergy Healing that references it.  See my rainbow stripe beads for my salute to the visible spectrum.

the mo report

Hello Mo fans!

mo inspects the beads

Mo and Nimbus had a weekend alone when I was on the road visiting OTHER cats and dogs, chickens and goats.  I had the opportunity to visit Bev’s Farmstead Cheese out in Prineville, OR, and watch the goats being milked!  I also got to try several varieties of goat cheese.   Wow, the garlic mozzarella is delicious.

The cats are enjoying having me back and seem extra playful.

Here is Mo, helping me inspect the beads.    There are new beads up!  Seafoam Blues, Rainbow Stripes, Candy Canes, more Crazy Quilts, and I also added a Digital Art section.  Bev got one of the Candy Cane beads to celebrate the 4th of July, and I came home with some goat cheese.  Great weekend!

butterfly beads

I once had a butterfly stand,


where I sold hand colored paper butterflies to my mother, who wisely thought that safer and more creative than a lemonade stand.

I suspect she still has those paper butterflies, carefully stored away.

Now I have the chance to try my hand at butterflies again, shaky childish efforts only a mother could love.  Click to see them fly.

glass butterflies

Could this be an example of the mother-daughter butterfly effect?

the mo report

One Saturday morning I was teasing Miss Nimbus by sliding a leather belt along the floor like a snake.  She watched it carefully from a safe distance, keeping a chair between herself and this threat.

I got to wear her shoes later that day, when an odd striped turd caught my eye, while out visiting my friend’s farm.  Yessiree, a genuine rattlesnake!

rattlesnake coiled

I snapped a photo, and then participated in the rattlesnake relocation program, holding the lid on the bucket while we escorted the snake several miles away.  I did not participate in the actual capture, rest assured.

There are some thirty species of rattlesnake, this one was thankfully relatively docile.  It was photographed near Ruch, OR.