Thursday, July 30, 2009


The acid etched bracelet that I flung onto the floor. Too bad I didn't think to take it's picture before I removed all the goo. It was not pretty.

Some resin filled hearts that I think will be a sweet little class at Bead Haven in a month or so.

A couple of years ago my friend Gail and I were in a class being taught by my friend Anne Mitchell. We were fusing fine silver (think molten hot silver wire) when Gail had a spaz moment and a really hot piece of silver flew out of her tweezers. The trajectory of the searing piece of silver was dead on for Anne, who was standing there talking to us. Now, Anne is a fairly mellow person, but I have to say I've never seen her move that fast. She grabbed a pair of tweezers, picked the thing up, all while contorting her body in such a way as to stay out of it's path. Cat-like reflexes for sure! I'm not sure if it was lack of sleep or what, but this was one of the most hilarious things that I've ever seen. Anne's classes were in that very same classroom this year and by golly, the carpet in that room still bears the scorchy scar of that day!
Well, today I actually did a very similar thing. I was using a torch to heat patina a brass cuff bracelet during an acid etching class. The darn thing flew off of my tweezers onto the carpet. I don't know how I did it, but I got it off of the floor with the tweezers before it could leave a scorch mark, but not before it melted polypropylene all over the surface of the bracelet that I'd just made. It took me the better part of an hour to get the melty goo off of the bracelet and the fumes made me a little woozy! I don't suggest you do this. It's always great to be so smooth in class when you're the teacher. So Gail, sorry for laughing at you. I too am officially joining the spaz club.
On a nicer (and safer too!) note, check out the hearts pictured above. These will be a fun little class at Bead Haven soon.


Vickie Hallmark said...


I had a crazy moment in Celie's ring class, where I handed her my ring that I'd just taken out of the toaster oven. I accidentally popped out the polymer clay lining before it cooled and thought I'd ruined it. Old torch fingers here handles glass tiles from the toaster all the time without a thought, just juggling them a tiny bit.

Celie was not so immune to the hot metal, shrieking and trying to get it onto a non-scorchable surface after she tossed it.

Good move, huh? Scar the teacher -- that'll make me memorable.

Cris Leonard said...

HA! Vicki, that made me laugh! I was in that class with you and I missed that somehow. You're right, she'll never forget you! Way to go girl!

Gail said...

I love your story. Spaz sisters!!! That class with Anne had so many memorable moments. Still makes me laugh

And'll have to sit in the back of class wth Cris and I...where the troublemakers sit :)

~ Lora Hart Jewels ~ said...

All three of you are hi-LAR-ious! I have three burn marks in the carpet in my rented apartment. Can I play with the Spaz sisters too?

Cathy said...

Oooh... nice smell. Floor paint smells good too... and doesn't come off easily either.

Years ago, I did a workshop in a very eclectic pottery shop. They had all kinds of odd pieces of old furniture. The owner had me put my kiln on a wooden table. I put a piece of marble in front of the kiln for the hot pieces, but when I opened the kiln I accidentally knocked out some hot vermiculite which spilled between the table and the marble and set the varnished top on fire... just a small fire... but still dramatic =)

Cris Leonard said...

Lora, you can be a spaz sister anytime! The more the merrier! You too, Cathy and Vicki. What a good time we'd all have. I think I'll get an asbestos suit first though! I love the vanish fire imagery Cathy!

Deryn Mentock said...

It's usually my small, butane torch that flies through the air, all the while spouting a nice, solid flame. Not good!

Beautiful work you do!

Cris Leonard said...

Thanks so much! I appreciate it. I really enjoy your work too! I haven't yet flung my torch, but it sounds exciting, so I might have to try that!