Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's Alive!

Let me introduce you to "Jade", my new ASW Table Top Machine. She is set up and working now.... and I literally did think "It's Alive!", as if I was Dr Frankenstein bringing this tool to 'life'. It was quite the process and involved more trips to Home Depot than I would have ever thought!

Since I had to set this up in my studio and when we built out house I didn't think I needed a direct water line to the studio (that was wrong), I needed to use a water circulating system to operate the machine. This is a photo of what that circulating system looks like. That involves using a pond pump, flower pot, a rather large rubber trash can, series of tubes and connectors. Initially I was following the directions supplied by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, they didn't contain specs on the type of pump to purchase, so I bought one that was too small. Course, now I can use that to create a bubbling vase out in my flower garden come June as right now the flower garden is covered in about 2' of snow (but that's another story).

Then there was the challenge of connecting the intake and outtake lines, getting the proper connections. Fortunately, the folks as ASW are very nice and helpful. I called and was given the actually make and model of the pond pump to use, which simplified the connection problem and the water output problem. The nice gentlemen at ASW thought all of this should be put out on their website for folks like me and was going to talk to the inventor of this system to have them put it out there. That would be great!

Unfortunately, using this type of system means that I will have to empty the water by hand. Course, even if I had a direct hook up to a water line, I would still have to empty the 'waste' water into a bucket like I've shown here because you can't dump this water down your drain as it would eventually clog with glass particle residue. I can use this water on my plants and things outside, no problem.

I picked Jade up on Monday of this past week and have been putting things in place for her use and Friday afternoon I finally got it up and running! Yesterday I started work on the 4 pieces that were waiting for the coldworking process. Oh my goodness, what a difference this machine has made in my ability to quickly (key word quickly) get down to the finishing process.

She came with a set of 6 finished discs, varying diamond grits (another key word here, diamond!). The discs are pictured here. They have magnetic backings so they fit securely on the disc that rotates. Let me tell you, it is quite the job getting these discs off the platen....I'm sure I'll figure out the technique, but right now it's a challenge. So I worked on "Hues of Nature", "Meteor Showers", "Eclipse of the Black Moon", and "Growing Love". I only got the first grinding phase done and now I need to empty the water and start fresh as I move to the next grit level.

With a circulating system like this, because I'm grinding off the most glass in this first phase, the water has LOTS of ground glass particles. Now most will sink to the bottom of the main bucket, but there still are plenty floating in the water that is being circulated back up to the grinding disc. And those tiny glass particles are ok for this phase of work, but I need to clear them out as I move on in the finishing process so they won't scratch what I'm working on for the next phase.

I find it hard to believe that I took my first coldworking class at D & L last May and I was seriously intimidated by this type of a machine. Then I took Kent Lauer's class in September and Patty Gray's in November. By then I knew that I couldn't do the work I wanted without one of these beauties. So Jade has quickly taken her place in my arsenal of tools and I am in awe of what she can provide to help me with my glass work.


K S Jewellery Designs said...

Gosh Kathleen, that's a serious bit of kit you have there!!! I look forward to seeing some of your work you produce with Jade's help.
Kristin :)

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Kristin! Yep, Jade is a serious machine. There are bigger, but as far as I'm concerned she is a gem and I'm so happy I've been able to get this system set up.

SCJ Jewelry Design said...

Have fun with Jade! Looks like a workhorse and will streamline your art. My list of new tools that I want grows by the day! Enjoy your new inspiration!

Janelle Goodwin said...

Hope you and Jade have many happy, creative hours together!

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Sandy & Janelle!

Jade & I did a lot of work over the weekend. Wow, what a difference she makes. It's exciting to see how things unfold. :)

Tracey Clarke said...

This is so exciting! I can't wait to see the work that comes as a result of your new machine!
I remember thinking that I would never, ever be able to paint in oil or produce on canvas what I had in my mind. I was so afraid of it. And, at the right time, step by step, it was time.
It's your time, my friend.

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Oh Tracey. Thank you sooooo much. As you know I truly value your opinion and support. You are a dear friend.

Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter said...

Kudos to you for figuring out all the logistics! I hope you and Jade become best friends.

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Thanks Deborah! Last night Dan asked me why I called her Jade and I explained....he was thinking I should call her "Swamp Thing". Had to laugh at that one!

Karen said...

Aren't new toys (I mean tools) great?! Now you will be so productive you will have to post here like twice a day. :)

Kathleen Krucoff said...

Yes, new toys/tools. I'm looking forward to posting the results of using Jade.

José said...


if you weren't an artist, I would think that this would be a sort of home-made hemodialysis machine :-)

Kind regards,