When I am not designing and making beautiful dichroic glass jewellery, working at my Monday to Thursday job, working for my partner Sue of Inspired by Script or catching up with all the odd jobs that needs doing around our home and garden. I occasionally try something that I have never tried before.
This week I had a few hours spare so decided to do something with all the Elderberries that we collected over the last couple of seasons.
This first pictures shows the small amount collected from a previous year in the bag and the bowl carries the next years collection.
After de-stalking the berries they were put in the freezer until I had time to do something with them. The choice was Wine or Jam and as Sue doesn't like red wine I decided on the jam option.
Well that was last year and this week was the week to get boiling.
The next picture shows straining the boiled berries, I expected a little more than this but free jam is, free jam!
Here you can see the hanging set up. The straining sheet had string attached to each corner and then hung from a long piece of string from handy hook in the ceiling.
(where there is a will, there is a way).
The same amount of suger with pectin was added with a little lemon juice and brought to the boil, and kept vigorously boiling for about 20 minutes. You can see this short video on the following link.
Whilst the jam was boiling, I sterilised a few jars, more than I needed but I did not want jam left over with nowhere to put it.
Here is the final product, about 1kg in total.
Nicely set as well.
One thing I didn't know was the smell of Elderberry jam, whilst being made and when finished. It's a very peculiar smell, lets hope it tastes better than it smells. LOL.
Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed this little diversion to my normal blog post. I will be posting other daft stuff in the future, I might post about the fully insulated box for our local stray cat I made for the garden or the multi coloured garden shed or whatever I have not even thought about yet.
A short story of how I make Dichroic Glass Hair Barrettes.
First things first, pick a selection of different coloured dichroic glass sheets and cut into 5/16" x 2"3/8" pieces. Then cut matching Tekta glass to make the pieces thick enough for the fusing process.
Set all the pieces out on a kiln washed firing tile. Yes, nicely regimented and possibly a bit OCD at this point.
Then, carefully place in the cool kiln, making sure no pieces of glass has slipped. This final check of the unfused glass is is very important as once the temperature starts rising in the kiln, it's a bit late to be sticking your hands in to adjust something you have just spotted. Trust me, I know from experience LOL. As you can see from the first picture of the closed kiln, it was a warm day as the ambient temperature was 17 degree centigrade.
These two pictures show the kiln at full fusing temperature. After the holding time the door was opened very slightly to crash cool the glass to about 370 degrees centigrade. Then closed again to anneal for about 20 minutes. The door was then opened again, very slightly as I did not want any temperature shock to shatter the glass and left to cool to room temperature.
Once the kiln had cooled. The glass could be seen in all it's sparkling glory.
These long thin dichroic glass cabochon are to be glued onto these convex hair clips.
And what you see in the kiln are very flat cabochons.
How to bend glass very simply.
I have a small square of copper, about 4" square which I curve to the same curvature as the hair clips.
Not sure if it's necessary but I then apply 5 coats of kiln wash, drying each coat before then next one is applied. I added this kiln wash as I really don't want these cabochon stuck to anything.
A very strong coffee was introduced at this point to steady my hands. With steady hands I laid the flat cabochons on the former and placed them in the kiln for the slumping process.
Out of the kiln they came slumped nicely into the convex shape that I needed for these hair barrettes.
Whilst I was waiting for the kiln to finish I managed to glue a few pairs of Bobbin Hair clips as well. I know what you thinking, a man multi-tasking.
What can I say, I'm a new man. LOL
And here you are. Slumped cabochons glued onto the hair clips with E6000 glue and all lined up drying. I have to wait about 48 hours for this glue to set fully so these will be on display cards and ready for selling in a few days
If you would like to see other designs then click on my website link.