Monthly Archives: July 2013

Kilns and Torches and Enameling Fun

My granddaughter and I just finished our second year attending the Inter-generational Week at the John C. Campbell Folk School.  Last year we did woodcarving and this year we did enameling.  At its simplest, enameling is the process of heating glass and copper together so that they form a bond and the glass fuses to the copper base.

In this class, we used sheet copper most of the time which could be shaped by repeated heating and cooling.  For most of my work, I stayed with flat forms because I’m hoping to be able to use these pieces in my bookbinding.  Someone said to me that I seem to like rectangles and squares!  Only because my books tend to be that shape.  Here are photos of some of the finished pieces.

We used both torches and kilns to fire the pieces.  The kiln was more predictable, but the torches were more fun!

I’ve added a lot more detail about how we worked, the materials we used and lots more pictures here.  I’m excited to start trying to use these on some books.  I have no idea if it’ll work, but it will be interesting!

On a totally different topic, I had lots of time to think as I was driving home, it took 2 1/2 days! One of the things that struck me, was the way the road has changed.  I’ve driven Route 15 through Pennsylvania on a rather regular basis since the early 1970’s. In the early days most of it was two or three-lane, but now it’s almost completely a divided, four-lane limited access highway.  Some of it still goes over the path of the old road, which may have been over game, trails, Indian paths, logging roads – I haven’t researched it.  That evolution has been very fast.  My image, though, was of archaeologists several thousand years from now, long after the automobile has gone the way of the chariot, painstakingly unearthing, studying and recreating all those multiple layers of roadway.  Even now in towns and cities, when streets are replaced 19th century bricks, logs, rails etc. are found.  Just a thought while driving!

Oh, and by the way, I have lots and lots of HUGE cucumbers.  They’ve turned slightly bitter, so I think they’ll be compost or rabbit food, but the tomatoes are just beginning, so I haven’t missed those.

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Nibbled to Death by Ducks

Last week was one of those weeks where I was busy all the time but accomplishments seemed to be few.  Dental appointment, watch it rain, doctor check up, mow the high hay, watch it rain, finish up the “real” books from last week’s blog, watch it rain, pick and freeze strawberries, switch closet from winter to summer, finally finish cleaning up the marbling stuff, spend an afternoon as a sub playing cards, and did I mention – watch it rain.

The good parts are that the garden has started to produce. I just hope the cukes aren’t quite as prolific as last year because I still have a dozen or more pints of bread and butter pickles from my canning frenzy of last year.

The wild blackberries that grow all over my property are coming on.  I love being able to gather a handful every morning on my walk about.  The best are from a bush that came up next to the garage.  I don’t take care of it except to try to keep people who are helping me from tearing it out!

Here are the books I finished from the previous week.  Cased in and ready to go.  I’m particularly happy with the one with the leather spine.  After struggling with paring the leather, it went together very nicely.

After saying last week that I was tired of novelties, I returned to my cross laced long-stitch books and finished up most of the leftovers.  Because of the way the tabs are cut to interlock for the front and back, if you don’t use the same paper for both covers, you end up with either a lot of waste or an extra piece already cut.  Of course, I don’t like to waste good paper, so I had a bunch of leftovers, which became more long-stitch books last week.



Not sure what I’m aiming for this week – work in the garden for sure, no marbling but maybe some playing with the dos à dos format.  It’s close to a real book and I’d like to try it with a case-type binding.  We’ll see if it works!

I also have set up a Losing Her Marbles store on Facebook.  It doesn’t have many bells and whistles yet, but social media is slowly creeping up on me.


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Filed under bookbinding, Life