After making ornaments and selling enough to pay for my shop time, I was really keen on designing more things to make and sell. Lately I’ve been interested in vintage, 50s and 60s style glassware (think Blenko, Pilgrim, Viking). I’ve been buying some to resell and just love the simple designs and bold colors most designs have. I checked out a few books from the library and have been researching some to find inspiration.
Pilgrim topaz crackle high balls
Pilgrim miniature jugs
Blenko dented vases
I had some ideas in mind for small vases I’d like to make but wanted to add some elements that would make them more unique. I decided to try crackling and pinching to add some flair to these designs. I ordered glass color a few weeks ago to use for this project. The colors I chose were mostly jewel tones. Some of them turned out better than others the first time I used them, so I have some ideas for what to change next time I go into the hot shop.
Blue crackle vase
Crackle vase detail
These pieces and more are available on Madeline Steimle Art on Etsy
A few days ago I rented some more shop time. Now that I’m paying to blow glass I’m being much more careful about making things I know I can finish quickly and sell. I’ve sold a few ornaments that I made last time, so I’m hoping I can keep selling enough to buy more shop time. A few weeks ago I made my first batch of ornaments for the season. I made about 10 in two hours. This time I was able to make 20 things in the same amount of time. What’s even better though is that the ornaments I made weighed less overall. Making ornaments thin is tough! It’s something I’ve never done all that well. But with practice lately mine have been getting thinner and thinner.
I don’t have much color at the moment. I’ve been making mixes with some of the leftover frit I had from other projects and even crushing up some of the bar I had to make frit. I’ve learned a few good lessons so far about which colors interact well with each other. So far I’ve gotten a few ornaments out of the annealer that were just hideous because I didn’t know the colors would look so bad together. Once I order some more color I want to start making some vases, tumblers and other projects for after the Christmas season is over.
Here’s some photos of the ornaments I made. All are available for sale on Etsy:
Ever since my pumpkin making retreat I’ve been obsessed with doing production work. Selling things I’d taken a lot of time to make was rewarding in ways I haven’t felt in a long time. I’ve been selling vintage on Ebay full time for about 2 years now and am starting to get burnt out. Since the holiday shopping rush is already going strong I’m trying to get some holiday items made while I can. A few days ago I rented shop time at the studio by my house and started making ornaments. I was able to crank out about 10 ornaments that I’ll best listing in my Etsy shop in the coming days.
So tonight I got to try out the mold I made to blow my glass putz houses. I didn’t expect it to work out on the first try but was pleasantly surprised that my plan worked! I’ve still got some tweaking to do to the design but am very excited with how the first few turned out.
After pouring a wax of the original model I made a two part plaster mold that I could blow into.
This pretty little piece of plaster coated inside with graphite is one half of the two part mold I blew into to make the house.
Two part plaster mold
Shape of glass going into the mold
I tried the design in clear a few times. When my first attempts come out the annealer I can start to plan what to do differently to the finished pieces. As is the nature of glass the house ended up a bit more rounded than the original model. I like the effect but might try and find ways to make the angles of the roof show up better. I also need to decide what colors I plan to make the finished pieces in.
Every fall for the last 5 years or so I’ve made glass pumpkins. In college I made them as part of the glass department’s pumpkin sale/fundraiser and since then I’ve made them at another glass studio that runs a pumpkin sale. This fall I got invited back to my old college to help with their pumpkin sale in exchange for making some of my own to sell. It was a very rewarding experience. Not only did I get to make a lot of pumpkins and have fun in the process but I was able to talk to and share ideas with a lot of other creative minded people. Making pumpkins 6 hours+ a day for 2 weeks really made me think seriously about doing more production. I’ve been selling online but haven’t done much in the way of selling my own work since college. Since I’ve moved I’m only a few blocks from a public glass studio where I can rent time and I’m already thinking of things I can make and sell. I’ve sold out of all the pumpkins I’d made, so unfortunately I won’t likely have any for sale on Etsy this year. Though I am designing some Christmas ornaments that I’d like to start making and listing soon. Keep an eye on MadelineSteimleArt on Etsy and see how they turn out.