Dia de los muertos…doh!

Sorry for the lag, I’ve been busy with work, but have also done quite a bit in the studio.  The one thing I haven’t been doing is blogging, but I’m working to catch up.

A few days before Halloween our friend Meg, whom we’ve known for years, invited us up to the Kollock family home of Woodlands for a Dia De Los Muertos dinner.  Woodlands is a wonderful mid-19th century gothic house, and we love visiting the warm and welcoming Kollock clan.
woodlands

Meg loves the traditions and iconography of DDLM, so the day before I decided to try my hand at candy skull beads.  For those not familiar, here’s a site offering a variety of traditional candy skulls:

Mexican Sugar Skulls

I managed to make a few decent examples, although I had a terrible time with the white glass that I chose, which boiled fiercely (and so brightly it was hard to see, even with my didymium glasses).  I need to check my invoices and figure out which color it was, but haven’t done so yet.  I managed to work it further back in the flame, and fashioned the skull shape by making a large base donut, adding additional glass at one spot, and then marvering the extra into the shape of the mandible.  Once I was happy with the shape I added eyes, nose, teeth and decorations.
skull beads

Meg and her sisters seemed to appreciate the attempt.

The kids were making their own full-sized skulls on the porch, and Meg had decorated the house with all manner of All-Hallows/Souls/Saints decorations, including a garland of brightly colored cardboard skulls that I’m going to use for future inspiration.

sugar skulls

skull garland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inspired by my first attempt at sugar skull beads I was back in the studio the next day, but a moment’s distraction cut my torch work short for the day. I was pulling stringer to use in decorating future beads when I passed my right hand through the torch flame. It was a split second mistake, which took almost a month to heal. Pictures below, don’t look if you’re squeamish.

 

The burn minutes after it happened.  I kept it in cool water for about an hour. The next day, blister fully inflated.  It popped a day or two after this. After a couple of weeks with bandages and antibacterial cream most of the blistered skin had sloughed off.
The burn minutes after it happened. I kept it in cool water for about an hour. The next day, blister fully inflated. It popped a day or two after this. After a couple of weeks with bandages and antibacterial cream most of the blistered skin had sloughed off.