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2013 - Year in Review

This is the year I quit smoking by discovering Vaping!!

Murrini TanksWhat is vaping? In a nutshell, it's 'smoking' diluted nicotine in water vapor using various personal vaping devices, also known as E-cigarettes. The reason I don't like using the term 'e-cigarette', is that people think they are the little cigarette replacements you buy at 7-11. Technically, they are called the same thing. But what I use are much larger units that I directly add 'juice' to.

Juice is diluted nicotine in vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. No, not the stuff in anti-freeze, the stuff used as a dilutant in perscription asthma inhalers. I mix my own 'juice', so I know exactly what's in it. It contains nicotine extract, diluted in vegetable glycerin, water, and baking flavors (the kind you use to make desserts and food). That's it!

You put your juice into a 'tank' to store it for use. In the center of the tank, there is a metal tube called a 'cartomizer' or 'atomizer', which holds wicking material (like a cotton batting), and a metal wire coil. The cartomizer heats the 'juice' in the tank. The tank is attached to a small battery, known as an APV, which sends current to the coiled wire in the cartomizer, which turns your juice into vapor. Thus the term 'vaping'. The process is very similar to what a fog machine does. Makes steam. It's genius in its simplicity.

And, just like that, NO MORE TAR for my lungs, and I am away from the other 499 toxic chemicals in a cigarette, while still getting the nicotine I am addicted to, and which helps my brain function better.

Well, with my new enthusiasm for vaping, and my great need to personalize my equipment because I can, I started making tanks and drip tips (this is the tip you suck through... what's cleaner than glass?).

The above is an example of n APV, comprising of the battery, the atomizer, the tip. In the photo above, instead of decorating the tank, I decorated the inside of the tank with small pressed murrini. Some closeups of the above decorated tanks.

Sunrise Murrini
Dragon Eye Murrini

I progressed to making my own cartomizer tanks... which look like this:

Tanks- 3
Tanks- 2

More Tanks:

tank 1
tank 2
tank 3

Tank 1

tank 2

tank 3

tank 4
tank 5
tank 6

tank 4

tank 5

tank 6

 

I'm still working on new tanks and tank types, and will update as I go. I'm really excited about what I plan to do with this in 2014!!

 

Bead and Button Bead Dreams 2013

This year, I entered the Bead and Button Bead Dreams Competition for the first time since 2009. My marble set was called "Silver Vortex" and explored the different colors that you could bring out in silvered glass. Apparently, the liked my marbles (am a bit embarassed by my novice wire-wraps), because they put them in the Bead and Button show as top 10! Click here to go to Bead and Button's site

Silver Vortex Marbles Bead & Button

One of the Show people was nice enough to help take photos of my entry in the Exhibit Hall at the Show because I couldn't attend. Yes, my marbles are the teeny things next to the gigantic blue ribbon winner - which was pretty amazing looking!! :

Silver Vortex Marbles

 

Collaborations with Master Silversmith Steve Ferenz

In 2013, I made some collaborations with master Arizona Silversmith Steve Ferenz. I sent Steve some marbles and glass Cabochons, and he made what he thought would work with them in his signature silver. Wow! I cannot take photos that show how beautiful they turned out, just STUNNING!!

If you want something incredibly special for someone, Steve will happily work a custom piece for you. Let me know!!

 

     

2013 Cabochon Collaborations

 

with Steve Ferenz

 
 

Silver Pendant 1

 

Silver Pendant 2

 

Silver Pendant 3

 
 

SF- Silver Pendant 1

 

SF- Silver Pendant 2

 

SF- Silver Pendant 3

 
     

2013 Marble Collaborations

 

with Steve Ferenz

 
 

SF- Marble 1

 

SF- Marble 2

 

SF- marble 3

 
 

SF-Silver Marble 1

 

SF- Silver Marble 2

 

SF- Silver Marble 3

 

 

2013 Marbles and Pendants

2013 was the year of marbles and pendants for me. It's mostly what I made all year long. I FINALLY perfected my silver color control this year.... that's been a goal for the last 5 years for me, so I'm really thrilled! Here are some of my favorites. Silver marbles are nearly impossible to photograph, they are far more interesting in person than a picture can possibly show!

The top row below are shot in natural full sunlight. The lower ones are shot under an indoor lightbulb. With flash, colors change again. Silver colors are very difficult to photograph, but they are always interesting to look at!! They are called 'silver glass' because the colors you see all come from 99% fine silver used to color the glass. Heat is what changes the colors into the rainbows you see. It's a painstaking process, but the colors are simply spectacular!

 

     

2013 Marbles

     
 
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marble 2
 
marble 3
 
 

marble 1

 

marble 2

 

marble 3

 
 

marble 4

 

marble 5

 

marble 6

 
 

marble 4

 

marble 5

 

marble 6

 
     

2013 Pendants

     
 
pendant 1
 
pendant 2
 

pendant 3

 
 

pendant 1

 

pendant 2

 

pendant 3

 
 

pendant 4

 
pendant 5
 

pendant 6

 
 

pendant 4

 

pendant 5

 

pendant 6

 
 
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ęCopyright Helen Starkweather - 2008-2013. All Rights Reserved.