Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Contain my Enthusiasm

by Patty Lakinsmith

Live Love Laugh
Sweet inspiration inside a hollow bead.

I've been busy lately creating a studio metamorphosis, and I'm bursting at the seams with excitement. I've had the same torching setup in our detached garage since I started about 6 years ago, and was ready for some changes to make it more functional, more efficient, and a more attractive place to be for me and my guests to create. I'll reveal the complete makeover in an upcoming post, but for now I thought I'd share a couple of takes on D'Arsie's "Container" theme for this month's Art Spark challenge. The first is the pendant above that I created with a message inside. It's a hollow glass bead with PMC bead caps.

The second take on the "container" theme is my glass rod storage. My raw materials are glass rods, cut to around 12 inches long. For the last 6 years I'd been storing them in short cuts of PVC pipe, stacked into a box that I had affixed to the wall. It became apparent to me over a year ago that there were not enough cubbies in this arrangement for all of my glass, and the unit began to show signs of structural failure from all of the weight. Glass is heavy! Not only that, but the mice treated it as a condominium, storing rice that they had found elsewhere in the garage (we don't keep rice out there any more, and the rodents are now gone) in the sections of pipe. Not good.

Old Glass Storage
Original glass rod storage system, in the beginning.

As you may recall, I found some ranch fencing and cut it up to create new, square cubbies for my glass, and found an appropriately sized and priced stereo cabinet (no back, no front) for sale on Craig's List to contain it all. It sits on top of a metal cabinet with wheels, so I can move it any where I want. I cut some MDF for the back and painted it black to match. Then I built a frame for the door on the front and covered it with some clear corrugated polycarbonate roofing material, threw on some hinges, a magnetic catch and a knob, and it's done!

New glass storage
New glass storage cabinet.

No more rice showers when I take a rod of glass out, and my glass stays clean and safe too. Plus it's nice to see all the colors beaming out at me from behind the clear plastic.

I look forward to sharing the rest of my studio makeover with you soon! It's almost complete, and I'm very excited.


MaCarroll Beads said...

I LOVE what you did with the hollow bead! It is amazing!!! and...not only are you a lampwork artist, but now you are a cabinet maker as well.... Great job! I have had more than my own share of mice stories.... They just manage to make their way into anything! A few years ago when I was living alone, I would come home every day and pull up to the mailbox and reach in to get the mail. Sometimes there were envelopes, but every day there were shreds of paper. I kept thinking, "those darn birds are trying to build a nest in the mail box." Every day I would scoop it out only to come back to it the next day.....then one day, when I reached into do the daily scooping I scooped out a mouse! AHHHH!!!!! I don't know who was more frightened..... I then discovered that the paper attempt at a nest that I had been scooping out every day was my mail! LOL

Patty said...

Mary Ann, that is hilarious! I hope it wasn't an important bill or check that they shredded. It reminds me as well of the damage that the mice did to my car in the garage. They started shredding what they could find in the glove box, and ended by chewing a hole through the carpet on the hump next to my accelerator pedal.

MaCarroll Beads said...

Yup! Had the car problem too (making a nest in the engine)..... Keep in mind I have lived in the country my entire adult life and those country mice are very smart. Unfortunately, the advice I was given to put moth balls in the engine was not too smart..... I was smelling moth balls for months even after they were removed.... as usual, I did a little overkill and used 1/4 box rather than just a few....perhaps that wasn't too smart! He may have meant 1 or 2 would do the trick!!!!

mairedodd said...

patty i so love those hollow beads you make that hold messages... in their simplicity and meaningful-ness - they are some of my favorites... and your glass storage solution is wonderful! cannot wait to see that studio make over!

VanBeads said...

Patty, that looks fabulous! I love your new studio setup! If I ever get back into lampwork the way I used to, I will definitely take a look at how you've organized your space.

And I love that hollow bead with the message in it. Hollow beads are so much fun to make! What a brilliant idea!

D'Arsie Manzella said...

I would love to see more pictures of the case! That is an awesome set up and I like your glass bead very much~ Beautiful representation of the Art Spark Challenge!

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