TOOLS

 I have lots of tools.  Do I need all of them? Probably not but I do use them all.  My excuse is that if you make sculptural beads you need more tools.  (Of course Sharon Peters, the sculptural guru, probably only needs 3 or 4  tools but we can't all be Sharon!)

Here you see my work area.  Since I have so many tools I try to keep them in specific locations so that I can find the one I need when I want it.  That only works if I remember between beads to put things back where they belong.  Right ...

 There are some close-ups below but in this photo you can see my murrini warmer in front of the work bench, the magnetic tool holder on the edge of the table to the right side, cutters and mashers under the table and ready made mandrels on the upper left of the torch area..  I also keep a variety of tools - knives, pick in a old knife holder. The aluminum covered toilet paper roll is my arm rest and the coffee can under the table is for placing glass pieces when I brush off the work space.  In front of the torch is a graphite square raised up which is a tool that  I learned to use in a class with Kristina Logan.  If you are good at "I spy", you may spot a stack of coffee filters - which Syvie Landsdowne recommended as an inexpensive lint free glass cleaner.  At the left of the work area are the plastic draws in which I store frit, enamel and pixie dust, foils, murrini and dichroic  glass.

 

A  close-up of the magnetic tool warmer purchased from MicroMark.  I wish the magnets were stronger but it was very reasonable and it is helpful .  I keep heomstats, tweezers, scissors and small mashers on it.

On the left hand side of my workspace, I use an old knife holder to store blades, knives and tungsten rakes..  Graphite Marvers are usually in the jar but I laid out some of the new mini tools because I find them very useful in sculptural work. You can also see the prepared mandrels in this photo.

 

 I'm right handed so I keep large mashers and glass cutters under the work area in easy reach. Do you see the cheese grater on the floor - I wonder if I can use it to make frit.

 Below is the Murrini Warmer made by Mike Aurelius's company Aura Lens.   I got it in 2003 and wish it had been available sooner - my arms would be less scarred from flying glass bits that result when you are too impatient when you introduce your glass rods into the flame.   I find it particularly helpful for the larger casing rods, for chunks of goldstone and for warming dichroic glass before I start to apply it to a bead.  I haven't done it here but I usually attach a hemostat to the dichroic before I put it in the warmer. It makes it easier to get out.  A side view follows.  Warning: this tool is a bit pricey but oh so nicey!

A Lazy Susan holds all the tools that I don't use as often.  Garage sales are great for locating things to store things in.

Last picture is of my rolling tool box which is one of my favorite Christmas presents.  It is huge but  I love that I can fill with tools, glass, my torch - even my lunch when I go to class.  It is really a studio on wheels and if people look at me rather oddly, when the see it rolling under the table and keeping me totally organized as I work, sometimes they change their mind.   These are sold in Home Depot and probably other tool stores. 

TOUR (This is page 4 of 7)