Friday, 25 March 2011

Highly Technical Progress..

I've been having a Highly Technical (note capitals) week. Madcowbeads can now be found tweeting on twitter. I appreciate that cows should really moo, but tweet it had to be!

We'll use twitter to announce new offers, pass on some really interesting stuff from manufacturers and other people of 'beady prominence'. What we also thought twitter would be really good for is a quick answer:

You can just send a query, or a nice compliment, or a request or any random comment in 140 characters or less(!) to @madcowbeads and we will be tweeting merrily together. Modern technology eh? If you don't have an account, just pop along to and get one. It's very easy - even the cows managed it!

The other Highly Technical thing that happened is that Madcowbeads have their own facebook page. It's here

We'd really like some likes! The poor mad cows are a bit lonely today, rattling around in their new, shiny, but quite empty Facebook page, so please join them.

Enjoy the weekend - rumour has it that the sun may make a brief appearance!

Friday, 18 March 2011

Glass Fusing in the Microwave

I*totally* love my Hot Pot microwave kiln. I always end up feeling like a cross between Delia Smith and Professor Brainstorm (showing my age now!) or perhaps.. an alchemist! Mr Mad Cow says I look like a witch with a cauldron - but I think he's just being mean :-)

One of the things I really like is how the colours change in the glass. A few tiny scraps of dichroic glass and a few minutes fusing and an original piece of art is produced!

It's also not completely scientific - every microwave produces slightly different results.

My top tips for using the Hot Pot Kiln are:

  • Just enjoy it - experiment - it rarely goes wrong. You may have unexpected results, but not 'wrong' ones!

  • Keep a 'firing journal' of firing times and results

  • Precut glass shapes - particularly the circles and hearts - mean you will waste less if you are not confident cutting curves. They are more expensive than sheet glass, but remember there is no cutting waste at all.

  • Start with small pendants. Leave earrings for a while, unless you like the 'asymetric' style - it's quite difficult to get matching pairs.

  • Using a black base with dichroic (see picture) gives a really rich glow

Hot Pot have made two short films about using the microwave kiln and cutting and preparing glass for fusing and also some useful tip sheets - you can access them from the Hot Pot site here

Happy fusing!