11:47 AM

Wow, March 22 2006

March 22, 2006. That was the last date I posted to this blog. When I think about what has happened between that day and now, it is kind of mind boggling. Not quite sure where to begin, but I'll try.

On April 3, 2006 I had surgery to remove a rather large tumor from my pituitary gland that was causing Cushing's disease. At least that was the going theory. In hindsight, this surgery was a lot more scary then I realized at the time. But by that point in time I was so sick that my only focus was on staying alive for one more day. I lived those "one day at a time" days for probably close to six months. I don't really remember a whole lot of what happened between April 2006 and October 2006. Maybe that is just the higher power's way of making life easier. All I do know is that I made it and that I no longer take tomorrow for granted. In fact, I don't take a lot of anything for granted any more. I was close enough to crossing over to realize that each day is truly a gift and one should treat it that way.

In late 2006, my neighbors in an effort to get me out of the house and moving again, invited me to go with them to a glass fusing class.

A really simplistic way of explaining glass fusing is you take glass, put into a kiln, heat it up until it melts together and then cool it. There is quite a bit more to it, from both a scientific and technical perspective, but I'll save that for another time. People makes fused glass pieces that are used in everything from jewelery to large platters and bowls.

My first project was a large plate. When I say large, I mean large, probably about 22 inches across. It was called a fractured plate, because I cut two large circles of glass, one a bit smaller than the other. Then I covered one with a cloth and hit it with a hammer, causing it to fracture. I then layed those fractured pieces out onto the other class circle and filed the cracks with ground glass called "frit". Popped it into the kiln for an extended period of time and ended up with my first fused piece and the start of an addiction.

Working the glass made me forget about all the aches, pains, and challenges of recoverying from surgery and Cushing's disease. Recovery is not a quick process. It's been over two years now and I'm still working on it.

I will be the first to admit I'm a bit of an enthusiast. I'm not content with just starting slow and working my way up. I jump in and in a big way. So shortly after that first fusing class, I had filled my garage with a large kiln of my own, sheets of glass, jars of frit, and lots of molds.

Anyone who has a "glass addiction" will tell you that one technique leads to another. In April 2007 I decided to take a class in making glass beads using a torch and "soft" glass rods. That lead to a class in July 2007 to learn how to make glass beads out of a different glass called borosilicate. Which lead to a class in how to make glass ornaments out of glass tubing...which lead to a class in how to make marbles. Which....well you get the picture.

Now my garage is home to a rather large torch, a couple of oxygen concentrators, a propane tank, and lots of glass rods. Yes, the kiln and the sheet glass is still there as well.

I work primarily with borosilicate glass now, also known as "boro". For the moment I seem to be focused on making marbles and winestoppers, usually with a floral theme.

One day I hope to actually sell what I make online. I've reserved the website already, http://www.purplelemurglassworks.com/. Nothing there yet, but one day soon. I'm just working on getting up the courage to take the plunge.

I don't know that this blog will have any kind of theme associated with it, other than me taking one day at a time.


Ramblings of a lunatic mom and lampworker said...

Glad to see you're blogging.

Chat soon and hugs.