Thursday, 12 September 2013

Crack in the World

The world cracked from side to side..... and around the middle, across the top, and everywhere else!
The terrible blog title comes from a 1964 sci-fi disaster movie, 'Crack In The World', but in this case it should be millions of cracks as I struggle to get some little world earrings made. Producing them is turning into a disaster movie of their own!

I've been wanting to get some of the glass that makes such lovely cloudy effects for while now, and about six weeks ago I ordered about 3/4lb of this precious glass that hardly anyone seems to stock from a European stockist. And yes, that's in old school pounds weight, as glass producers still use imperial measurements as if they are sweet-shops (which, for anyone who works with glass, they are really!)

So I waited, and waited, and waited a bit more. Without going too much into the sordid details after several weeks, a lack of communication from the supplier (which would have smoothed things considerably) I eventually had to take it to a paypal dispute to get my money back. I got the refund, but not the glass I really needed.

So, now it was an order into an American stockist, which turned out to be super fast. They recommended using DHL for a few extra dollars, and considering the delays I'd already had I figured it was better to have the glass as quickly as possible. The last order I'd had from The States came from USPS (US Postal Service) was still moving around in the USA in the first three days, this delivery was picked up from the USA warehouse at 4pm Wednesday afternoon (their time) and on my door step before noon on Friday! Amazing, even more considering the USA is half a day ahead of us too, so they lost time flying it here!

So, kiln on, 23ct gold leaf ready, and I start making worlds. Or rather, I don't. This batch seemed to be reluctant to make the nice cloudy effects, I made a good 20-30 or so to see how they came out, and switched to another type I had that doesn't always make such nice clouds. I expect a few to crack, normally they are straight in half, and the second batch were mostly fine, but the new glass I'd waited so long for was a disaster! As you can see from the photo's, they have some severe incompatibility cracks, normally caused by mixing two glasses with different expansion rates together (COE) which may be the clear I normally use. It's always been fine in the past, and worked with the other glass fine. I have tried emailing customer service of the factory, but they don't seem interested in answering their emails to tell me if they've had anyone else have problems with this batch.

So this means that little worlds are going to be delayed even longer now, whilst I figure this out, or try to get another brand of glass to perform the same tricks I could get out of this one. I've even been giving serious thought to making my own, it'll probably be quicker to get that way! I am experimenting with some new world designs though, so watch this space.

In the meantime, and on a more positive note, I am now finally getting my Etsy shop refilled. I've been posting on Facebook to let people know, although I've been doing so much I'm worried all my Facebook followers are going to start thinking I'm spamming them! There are lots of new pendants, marbles, a few pens and pins, although earrings may be in short supply for a few more weeks, however when there are they may be some more unusual designs, so keep an eye on my status!

Bah! A days work and loads of gold leaf wasted :-(