*Studio Tour*

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Studio_Vertical2_JPEG.jpg (69143 bytes) Meanwhile, back at the Lab... this is the work area.  The table with armrests is new, and can be expanded to 8'. The rolling chair is for quick escapes when the glass starts popping, a bookcase and cabinet keep tools and supplies handy, and the kiln lives on a rolling platform (behind me in winter, off to the side in summer).  I store my glass rods and beads across the room in The Cabinet. When Safeway Corporate HQ moved, they sold their old furniture, and I was in line at 5am and managed to snag a 25-drawer oak cabinet used for architectural plans and maps.  It's huge and deep, full of beads & rods, and everybody in the local bead society is plotting to steal it.  Can't show a picture, or you'd be after it too.
Studio_Workbench2_JPEG.jpg (98112 bytes) Here's my 6' workbench, kittycorner to the lampworking area. This is where I remove beads from the mandrels, soak em, clean em, do wirework to put together compound beads, and dip the mandrels again.  There are grinders and a diamond saw underneath, and a bunch of towels that I forgot to fold nicely before we took this picture.  The TV used to be on the Country Music channel while I worked; now I melt glass to unabridged audio tapes, mostly suspense, mystery, and SoulSucking Demons From Hell (Thank you, Preston & Child! Thank you Koontz & King!)  The shelves are infested with inspirational toys - check out the purple doll, it's an Obscene Jester, made by Meredith Edwards.  A hoot - you need to get one!
Studio_Torch_JPEG.jpg (37128 bytes) This is a Bethlehem Starfire surface mix oxy/propane torch, my primary torch.  It works great, and looks like a Laser Cannon in a grade B Scifi flick (always a nice combo!)  The black dials roll the barrel up & down like the Guns of Navarrone - pretty cool!  I mostly use the center flame for my work, only occasionally crank up the outer ring when I'm working on a murrini.  I use a Nortel Minor Bench Burner, too (it's not pictured) - it's smaller and lower to the table, and I've been alternating the torches to keep from developing back, arm, and wrist problems, since positions and movements are so different with each.  So far, seems to be working.  TORCH UPDATE:  yee-hah, the Meatloaf Loving Man Of My Dreams got me a GTT Phantom for Christmas - will post a pic soon!
Studio_Kiln2_JPEG.jpg (32478 bytes) Here's the kiln and controller, both from Arrow Springs.   Craig built me fancy custom doors with latches on the front for bead making, and it can top-load for big pieces I might eventually make (giant Hind-Lick Maneuver goblets, perhaps?  For dinner parties when we're serving Boston Butt?)  It's on a rolling cart, weighed down with kitty litter for stability (as are my cats).  We recently converted it to 220V - saves a bunch on electric bills, and it heats up a lot faster.  I used this kiln when I made all the cat face tiles for the bathroom remodel - I could fuse eight 4x4 tiles and about sixteen 2x2's in one batch.  Ohhhh you should see the bathroom - I'll have to post pictures!   Back to the tools - I use the long pliers to move beads around in the hot kiln, works great.  They're 16" long, and $5 at the flea market. 
Studio_Robot_JPEG.jpg (23283 bytes) And here I am with my new floor lamp!  This guy has the Best Art Deco Butt In Existence - I just LOVE flea markets!  His Eye Of The Storm Face Bulb is burnt out, darnitall, but if I can get it fixed, you can touch it and get those X-Files lightning bolts popping out at your fingers.  I asked around and found that in his life Before Me he held a little round glass table top at a Very Interesting Rock Club somewhere in the L.A. area (kind of Clockwork Orang-y, eh?) Now he's all mine and Jim just shakes his head every time he goes past and keeps giving him the laundry basket.   Until I come up with a better name, he's Al, and Gravity Is His Friend.   FYI,  I'm the one in the back.
Sweet-Potatoes-3.jpg (179498 bytes) And here I am with my fellow Sweet Potato Queens at the 2003 Fourth Of July Parade in Orinda, California.  There were a bunch of us and a local VW dealership gave us 3 convertiBugs to ride in - we had a wowser of a good time tossing kisses to cops!  I'm the Perp in Pink and Janice Peacock is the Perp in Red.  Janice and I have taken this show on the road, appearing with our minions as the Flame Dames at ISGB Gatherings - Silly Contests will never be the same, BWA HA HAHAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  Click on the pic - it'll blow up BIG!
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