Melinda and I spent about three hours is Doug's Garage today. We were there last Sunday, too, which marked the first time since the wedding that we melted glass (and only the second time since July that we were there). Today's session featured bigger projects for me and productivity for Melinda. My first project turned out to be a homely blown glass ornament with Dark Garnet wig-wag stripes. In concept it's what I wanted to make but in practice, well, I need practice. I intended to make a sphere but ended up with a sphere + cone, which still could be pleasing, but the top of the sphere, where you'd place a hook, is bulky and lopsided. The mechanism that I haven't figured out yet is how to turn a point while inflating it. (Translation: a "point" is a short length of glass tubing with hollow tapered handles on each end, one end plugged and the other open so you can blow in to it. The goal of turning the point, or any hot working piece, is to nullify the effect of gravity, which would otherwise cause your piece to sag asymmetrically.) When I working on a closed-end tube rather than a point it's easy, because both my hands are on the same length of tubing and I can turn without letting it go. When they're on each side of a point, and the glass in the middle is soft enough to bend as I'm blowing (that's the goal, of course), well, I'm not sure. I need work in this area.
Project #2 was the flower I planned out while dozing in bed this morning. Six petals, three turned down and larger and three opening up and out, smaller. Much like an iris, although the petals are much more narrow. Stamens are made of an implosion marble (Lemon Yellow, I think) using the pin frog technique to get a small bubble on each stamen. Stem is 8mm clear, hot welded to the marble after it's done and before adding any petals. I use an 18" punty as the stem, mostly for counterbalancing what I expected to be a heavy flower (and it was). The balance was very nice. Petals are a ribbon with yellow and Purple Luster, assembled and pulled before making the center of the flower. Striped petals on, first the three bigger petals then the three smaller, up-turned ones, keeping the flower warm all the time. Final order of everything: pull yellow stringer; make ribbon of yellow and purple luster; pull petals; re-attach punties on petals to be on the outer ends (hot seal -- the tips are narrow and the risk of a cold seal breaking off is too great); make the implosion from 15mm clear; hot seal the stem; stripe on the six petals; bend and flame cut the stem.
Melinda's projects were: two pendants; an ornament; a flower; and the latticinos for a tiger.