Monday, December 19, 2016

Abstract heart mosaic necklaces made from fused dichroic glass

I'm still learning how to cut glass into exact shapes because I find it difficult to score glass on a curve. It's much easier to cut it on angles. Therefore, I sometimes "cheat" and use pre-cut shapes for my base glass.

I love hearts, so I recently made these glass heart mosaic pendants:

These guys are about 1 3/4 inches by 1 1/2 inches. I'd purchased smaller hearts earlier in the year and all but one have sold. I wanted to try working with a larger canvas.

I may have saved some time by using pre-cut glass, but getting the mosaic shapes to fit is still pretty labor intensive. I had to make sure each piece fit and a lot of snipping and filing was involved. I wanted the pieces to fire evenly and not break, so I put them in my kiln for 15-20 second increments. This takes time, but I like using this method because I can remove the glass at the exact right moment. I generally start with 30 seconds, just to heat the kiln, and then fire at 15-20 second intervals. I put on my gloves and protective eye wear, and lift the kiln after each interval so I can see where the glass is on the firing schedule. With an industrial-sized kiln, you'd set the timer on a schedule so the glass slowly cooks over the course of several hours. Since I don't have that option, this is my modified version of that process -- and it works!

I LOVE these pendants, though. They're so colorful and pretty. I gave the one with the red section to my friend Nancy for Christmas. And I wore the one with the orange and green swirls. I'm actually thinking of keeping it. Imagine that? Me keeping a piece of my own jewelry!

Nancy was excited to receive her heart because she'd purchased one of the smaller mosaics from me. She likes to layer necklaces so her plan is to wear the bigger heart on a long chain and then pair it with the smaller heart, which she'll wear on a shorter chain. I'll have to get her to model the jewelry for you.

Because I love these hearts so much, I ended up buying huge pre-cut pieces that are several inches across. I hadn't realized just HOW large they are, but they're coaster-sized. Way too big to wear as pendants! I've worked on one so far, just to see what it would look like, and think these could make nice holiday ornaments -- or even year-round suncatchers. I mean, Christmas ornaments don't HAVE to be in the shapes of trees or gingerbread people, right? Sure, hearts are associated with Valentine's Day, but this is supposed to be a season where one celebrates love and family. Why not a big heart?

Check out the rest of my handmade jewelry at Naomi's Designs and MayaGirl Creations.

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