Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I'm Unique! Guerrilla Angle!

Yep, that's right! I've cornered the marketing angle for me - I'm unique! According to this survey, How Many People in the US Have Your Name? There is no other Cindy Gimbrone in the US....does this mean I may run into another Cindy Gimbrone if I go global?

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Now that I've decided to become "guerrilla" - I've got to think of all the angles, right? Well, here is where I tell you all that I'm being sarcastic since reading a blog doesn't carry tone of voice. My sarcasm comes from the marketing research I was conducting this morning - the proverbial "vote for me" buttons on everyone's webpage.

Has anyone actually looked at the statistics, i.e., how many "hits" you get from that "Vote for Me" button? I did. The most popular sites get 60. Some of the best artists have only 30 or less hits. If you get the right 30 to 60 hits then 60 is enough, but if they aren't the right hits, then you're spitting into the wind.

Listing your site and posting the "Vote for Me" button is a painless marketing strategy but how effective is it? The site doesn't give any information on how many of the 30 to 60 hits turn into sales for the listers.

Hey, I'm not picking on anyone here - I've taken the painless marketing route too. I've been spitting into the wind for about 2 years now by listing my site on an artist ring. Generated lots of hits and two sales.

Wow - that stinks.

So that's why I'm rolling up my sleeves and "getting guerrilla." I've got to put better effort into this. I've got to look for the right niche and find what's unique about me.

The first thing I've found is my name. I thought for sure I'd find someone else with my name but nope, nada, none!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

The Next Big Thing!

So, I'm looking at some vlogs 'cuz I'm sick and tired of reading about marketing when I come across this - The Next Big Thing! Ok, so I gotta admire the guy for taking on the concept of marketing and making it BIG! Makes me think that marketing can be done in a cynical, outlandish way that might be pretty funny. He's taken the idea of fame and turned it on its head - this guy's a marketing genius and very insightful at the same time! Bravo!

Ok, I gotta go and make some stuff today! Think marketing, Y'All!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What the heck? Guerrilla marketing

So I have to kick myself in the a#$@ for the coming year. I've taken things in hand by buying a book called "Guerrilla marketing in 30 days" - if a guerrilla can't kick me in the you know what who can? The book sounds like a fitness plan - get fit in 30 days! See results fast!

Sell more beads in 30 days!

Earn more cash than you ever thought possible!

Ok, so now I'm getting cynical.

I do need to think about the business end differently. I miss opportunities for people to see my work. Gotta do something about that. So, I've got some pictures up for you to see some of that work!

These are flat spirals - they're made along with the long spirals and are made to compliment them. I love the reactive glass - this is from Doublehelix and is called Gaia - it's their best recipe yet! They're cooking with glass!

Another opportunity to see my handiwork is in the Annealer magazine that will be coming out this month. I wrote a tutorial on Lucky Knots and Lampwork. Can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Women Flameworkers in the 1940's....

While I'm on the subject of being a "baby boomer" or as I'd rather call myself, a "tail ender" - I've put up a publicity shots of my mother that appeared in brochures for a company called Fachney's. My mother was a flameworker during World War II. making glass thermometers at Fachney's. She set up a bench at home to do "piece work" - thermometers she'd blow at home and then take into work - she was paid by the thermometer or "piece."

Yep, that's my mom in the picture at the bench with her torch with the 1940's ribbon tied in her hair. She's doing the "Rosie the Riveter thing." Look at the glass! Where's the ventilation?? (Mom's 87 now and her lungs are fine!)

I wasn't born yet - so I don't remember her bench at home. I don't remember her working with glass. I don't remember her being a flameworker. Yet she was.

Tail Ender - or did I want to call the end of the boomers BOO-menders? Well whichever I decide in my own personal revolution, the reason is the same - wasn't there, don't remember - so how can you call me a baby boomer?!!?

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Duh! Baby boomer vs Tail Ender

The cable internet connection hasn't been working for the past two days. We were cursing the switchover of companies when my husband realized he'd disconnected the cable - DUH! Sometimes, we're just not very bright in this household!

I've been re-evaluating my business goals seeing how it's the end of the year and all. I'm re-vamping everything including how I present myself in writing and so it's time to take a look at my nice safe bio. It's time to mess with it a little and put a little bit more of myself out there - say a few things in writing that I'd say if you were having coffee with me. Be all I can be! Deep breath, here it goes....

I'm a baby boomer but never liked it much - I just don't identify with the boomer generation - never have, never will - probably because I'm a "tail ender" - born near the end of the baby boom (an "oops" baby as my mother describes it - as in "oops" I didn't mean to get pregnant at 40). I missed most of the things that "define the generation."

I think I should start a revolution - Tail Enders unite! Ok, so maybe I do have some of the generation's 60's rebel in me but seriously, how can those born in 1947 have anything in common with someone born in 1960? So, call them the boomers, I need a new name! Tail enders - boom enders....hmmm let's merge that into one word....boomenders - say it like BOO menders. What do you think?

So, keeping that in mind, I've re-written a more irreverent bio:

Being born at the tail end of the baby boom, Cindy has never felt a part of the baby boomer generation – she doesn’t remember when Kennedy was shot, she didn’t go to Woodstock and she didn’t iron her hair. Having a parent from “the Greatest Generation” has made her a packrat - saving and recycling everything because you never know when the stock market will crash again!

Quick! Go stuff your mattress with money!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

More Spirals.....

More spirals today - I've been trying them in every transparent color I have! I particularly like the "reactive glass" - Doublehelix being the best of the bunch I think. The green/blue spiral is Doublehelix's Gaia - awesome!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

That time of year! Spiral Remembrance Ornament

It's the holiday season and every glass artist worth her weight in glass makes ornaments of some kind. This is the the first year I've come up with an ornament. I haven't really gone to production level on the ornaments but am testing them out for the 2007 Holiday season. Right now, I call them Remembrance Ornaments. They incorporate the spirals and I may end up changing the name later on because of that.

The Remembrance ornament combines the meaning of the spiral with the significance of a milagros. Living in the Arizona, you would see these little metal charms left at the foot of a St. Francis statue. Wondering what they were, I researched them and found out that one says a prayer for the health of a loved one or any other significant person or event in their lives and leaves an offering to the saint. Living in a city where 85% of the population is Catholic, I was familiar with the idea of praying to the saints to ask for assistance.

A few years ago, I purchased a stock of white metal milagros that were handmade in the countryside of Mexico. They are raw and aren't meant to be jewelry quality as they are left with the statue.

The milagros paired with the handmade glass spirals makes a special ornament. I've made up several and am selling them through Chochkey's on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY. I have this one up on my website. I have only one to sell this season. I have one other left, that one is hanging on my Christmas tree!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New work...Spirals

In the drive to express ideas through my glass, I wanted to express the never-ending cycle of life. How events will happen at one time in your life and then circle back to them again - or how we repeat patterns in our life - you know when you think, "why does this always happen to me?" We have our own life-spirals and we travel around on them and come back to events although maybe not in exactly the same way. But a spiral can bring you peace too, the assurance that everything WILL circle back around. In that sense, it serves as a rudimentary mandala for us to meditate upon.

So, I chose to make spirals in glass to express that idea - glass is a perfect medium because of it's potentially fragile quality. A glass spiral can be beautiful, colorful, reflective yet if you don't treat it with some care, it could shatter.

I make these spirals out of soft glass and the "silver" glass. The silver glass reacts in an unpredictable manner, changing colors as I create the spiral. You can see this in the spiral entitled Spiral of Kronos II. I use two different transparent colors for the Water Spiral.

The Kronos style spirals were sent to Beadwork for the April 2007 Challenge. I'll be excited to see what they do with them! I've made a few into Christmas Remembrance Ornaments and placed them on my website along. If you like them, you can see more at my website

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Beadwork Challenge!

If you're familiar with Beadwork magazine, there is a regular column called "The Challenge!" (I added the ! - it just needs to be ! don't you think?). Artists, shop owners send in a "kit" of beads for the editors to incorporate into jewelry. Apparently it is a very popular column. I had to sign up last year for the April 2007 Challenge. The kits have to be sent off early of course so they can make the items and then photograph them, etc.

I'm giddy and nervous!!

Ok, so I've broken the first law of business, "never let them see you sweat!" My business goal for the past year has been- pimp my beads! If I had my druthers, I'd do the middle child thing and just be quiet! Pimpin' the beads is a HUGE step for me! So, I'm excited that I actually have done it and scared to death at the same time!

Ack! Feels like the first time I performed with my tap dance group when I was 5 years old! People are looking at you, Cindy, smile and keep tapping!

I'm tapping off the the post office now to send out the kits! My beads will make an appearance in the April 2007 Challenge column of Beadwork magazine! (tap, tap, tap!)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Guilty pleasures.....hooks and patterns

November 26, 2006....Ahhhh today I confess my guilty pleasurs! Totally off the glass topic, I'm a crochet addict when not in the glass studio! I've mentioned this before but today I'll come clean! Along with hording glass, I'm hording crochet patterns!

My mother taught me how to crochet many years ago when I was a kid. Mom didn't know how to read a pattern like she never followed a recipe - crocheting was all trial and error and figuring out what looked good. I think she probably had memorized a few patterns taught to her like the granny square or an afghan pattern and the rest of her work was done in a combination of the stitches from those memorized patterns.

A few years back, I decided to pick up the hook again and knew I needed to know how to read a pattern. So off I went to JoAnn's and signed up for a crochet class. Within a class or two, I had the knack of pattern reading and was so pleased that I started buying every pattern book I could get my hands on! Ponchos, shawls, shrugs, sweathers, mittens, hats, purses, scarves....you name it! I have a pattern for it!

Here's my latest guilty acquisition....Japanese Arigumi crochet dolls and Hello Kitty pattern books. I won't tell you how much I spent for a pattern book that's written in Japanese! But there aren't any English books like this and I have a hankering to crochet some dolls! (Darn that Crochetville!) I believe or hope that between the international crochet symbols and the pictures, I can figure out the doll patterns. Otherwise, I have spent alot of money for some great crochet eye candy!

Crocheters who make dolls are really sculptors at heart. Crocheting 3D objects is sculpting with yarn. Funny how most of us go into the yarn shop and don't see a 3D object when they look at skeins of wool and acrylic. Doll makers do.

My mother was able to crochet dolls without a pattern. That's the reason for the Chilly Willy picture. I loved Chilly Willy - you know the penguin that cried ice cubes?! He was soooo cute! Mom made me a Chilly Willy once without a pattern....hat, scarf the whole penguin! I'm pretty sure I still have it in the basement somewhere. Kewl she could do it without a pattern!

I'm sure that after I do a few, I'll memorize the pattern just as I've done with the mittens I've made this season. I've made so many, I no longer need to look at the pattern to make them. Then I'll be able to crochet just like Mom!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Glass artist required to be graphic artist!

I wish someone would have told me that I needed to become good at graphic arts, photography and business when I started making beads! There's really no end to the number of times I need to have an ad made or tweaked for a magazine or website. Including my own! This is the new banner I made in Photoshop for the Cindy Gimbrone Beads website. I had a lovely ad made from a graphic artist - I really loved it! The problem came when I needed to tweak it for the website or a web-ad I wanted to take out - I couldn't tweak the ad! I decided as well intentioned as it was to have someone else make the ads, I just had to make them myself. It was the only way I was going to know how to tweak it and update it regularly. I like what I've come up with and I know that I can do the adjustments on it as necessary. When I get my logo completed, I'll be able to tweak the banners and include it.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Memberships and Logos.....

November 15, 2006....Flare up with overuse syndrome has kept me from posting as often as I like. Today I'm going to circle back onto the idea of logos and memberships. I'm a member of the International Society of Glass beadmakers and I've posted their logo today. It's a nice clean logo in blue and white. It makes the point and is very recognizable in the glass world.

Along with it, I've posted a photo of a drawing my son made of me. It's "mommy anime style." He actually drew a complete anime figure but I've only included the head here. At one time, I thought of using this as a logo. Afterall, how awesome is it to have your logo be drawn by your son!?! I love this drawing and keep it at my desk but I don't think it qualifies as a logo. Logos need to be simple and convey the idea of what I do or my name in a basic way. So, I continue to tinker away with ideas of flames, beads and image. I'll continue to circle back around to the logo idea every so often until I find one I like. Stay tuned!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Knots and the Annealer...November 13, 2006

My tutorial for the Lucky Knots and Lampwork bracelet will be appearing in the Annealer Magazine in December. I did a bracelet because in teaching the class, I realized that a necklace takes too long for a beginner. I've also changed the closure/clasp on the bracelet from the original design (shown in the picture).

Let me tell you that photographing knots can really tie you up in knots! You'd think black cording on a white background would work but it's hard to see which cord goes where. So I had to choose two colors of cording and show the knots in progress. You get to see the "reject" photos here, I sent the two colored pictures to the magazine. The entire tutorial will be in the Annealer magazine in December.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Lost blogposts.....

November 3, 2006....Do your posts sometimes go off into cyberspace and disappear? I've had a few that once I hit the publish post, the screen blinks repeatedly and then tells me that there was an error. My missive has disappeared and errored! When I go back to re-write, the moment is lost!

I've been working on the other craft that makes me ruin my hands - crocheting. I love the fact that a generation of young women (in their 20's) are hooking! I see alot of fun and innovative patterns coming from them and it's fabulous!

I've been on a mitten and fingerless glove kick lately - hooking up a mitten in a couple of hours gives me a sense of satisfaction - I can complete something and don't just have an ongoing throw or shawl project - I actually get something made!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Oct 28, 2006.....

I put a bunch of pieces into the kiln yesterday and only one came out presentable. It's not the one you see here, but it's the same type of cabachon - a bead not quite up to par that has been slumped with a murrini chip. I'll take a picture of it and post it in the next few days.

This morning, I am itching to get out to the torch. Got some ideas rolling around in my head to "draw" and need to go while the ideas are fresh (and before I forget!)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Writing funny in the blogiverse....

October 27, 2006....Wow! I've been reading some crochet blogs this morning and some bloggers can be very funny! Their work has a sense of humor and they're able to convey funny even in their profiles. I really admire that! Here's one whose URL is funny:

Monster Crochet

Take a look at her profile: Artist, wife, mother, crocheting fool, wanderer, creator, knower of adhesive tools.....knower of adhesive tools?!? How funny is that?!? Every mother is good with adhesives and I just had to laugh in recognition!

Not crochet related but glass bead related is another funny writer I came across while reading a thread on "do descriptions matter?" on one of the glass boards (of course they matter but then that's another blogpost not this one) back to the writer - Nikki the Sheep Goddess! In one of her auctions she writes this description for annealing:

"All beads are made by ME, Nikki Carollo, the Sheep Goddess in my studio. Most are Moretti glass, but if I find anything else laying around I'm not against using it either. Everything is kiln annealed so my colleagues don't stone me."

Ha ha ha.... so my colleagues don't stone me! I've got tears rolling down my cheeks! Hats off to you Nikki! Keep those descriptions coming!

Now, I know I'm funny in real life....people do laugh when I make a joke or at least I *think* they're laughing at the joke.... but it's much harder to *write* funny than to *be* funny. I admire those who can do pull it off. Bravo!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006......

Here's another in the Glyph series - This one is entitled "happiness." I've been showing these on the glass boards to give them some exposure. Although I am a little reluctant because of some of the members believe if you put your beads out there, then it mean you are giving them permission to copy the *design.* Notice I say *design.* I don't think it does - if you publish a book, you aren't giving everyone permission to copy chapters from your book just because you have put your story in print. To me, it's the same with the beads we all put up in the "show" sections of the boards. So what do you do?

To show your beads or to not show your beads
That is the question

(sorry for the bad Shakespeare paraphrase!)

The dilemma is, if you don't put your beads out there, then no one sees them. People have to see your beads in order to want to buy them. Although, by the tiny number of hits I have on any of the "show" threads I start, no one is seeing them anyways! LOL! I'll keep plugging away - trying to find that happy medium just as many other artists do.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Getting behind.....

October 22, 2006....I've got to clean up my office! I've always been one of those people who has order in disorder but sometimes the disorder takes over! We re-modeled in our bedrooms in August and September and that caused me to neglect my office. So now it's much more disorganized than even I can handle!

Because I haven't talked about it, I'll tell you a little about the remodel - We had texture paint in our master bedroom - yikes! I don't like texture paint! and it was covering all four walls. So you can imagine that my quest was to get rid of it! We knew it would be difficult and messy - we didn't want to sand it and we didn't know how to drywall. I hear drywalling is easy but you need to have some basic carpentry skills, we only have very rough skills - not enough to drywall and make it look better than the texture paint!

We used Ventian Plaster - a finishing plaster with coloring to makes it look like old Italian plaster - yup, it was a hard, messy, sweaty job but we did it and very happy with it! We just covered up that bumpy, ugly texture paint and have a nice soft pale yellow wall.

That job was the reason I neglected the office too long. Now I have a hard, messy but not sweaty job awaiting me in the office! I better get at it!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Glyph Series.....

October 19, 2006....I've finally gotten some good pictures of the Glyph series beads! I've been drawing with enamels on beads but I wanted to develop another way to "draw" with just the glass rods. This is the result! I like the way the beads have turned out. Lots of garbage beads on the way to this but definitely worth the learning process!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Logos and business cards....

October 17, 2006.....I should have a logo shouldn't I? I have business cards and postcards that I change yearly because as I continue to evolve, I don't want the same old newbie beads representing me. I don't consider the bead pictures to be a logo, though - afterall, they aren't the Nike "swoosh." I like the pictures of my work - I like the photo so people know what I look like and I like using my name - but all that is not a logo.

I'm going to have to think about this for awhile and come up with something!

Suggestions and ideas are welcome!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Lost weekend!

On Thursday, I was looking forward to a three day weekend at the torch. By 7 pm Thursday night, I was sitting at home with my son and the power was out. It lasted until Sunday evening!

Thursday night was a night of no sleep - the trees were bent over heavy with snow on the leaves that hadn't turned completely russet yet. They looked like wilted flowers in a vase. Around midnight, I could hear creaking and snapping as they finally yielded to the weight of the wet snow. Trees fell on our house (as far as I can see, no serious damage), a tree fell across our driveway and in the back yard. There was nothing I could do but listen and watch. Since the power was out, my son and I slept on the couches in our great room where we have a fireplace. I kept the fire going all night to keep us warm.

The next morning I awoke to a scene similiar to "Clobbered" (taken from the Buffalo News and photographed by Derek Gee). We were stranded because of the tree blocking our driveway and the 2 feet of snow. My husband was out of town in Michigan where the storm actually started. We spent Friday wondering if he would be able to fly home and trying to keep warm.

Friday night, we ran out of firewood but my husband made it home. He said it was eerie walking through the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport when the power was out - he had to de-plane on the runway and walk through hallways lit only every so often.

Saturday we drove an hour and a half to Rochester, New York and spent a few hours standing in line to buy a generator. Funny how you can bond in a crisis with people you don't know. We stood in line with a variety of other people from Buffalo or those who had family in Buffalo - chatting away as if we knew each other as neighbors. We were fortunate to get one of the 15 generators delivered to the store that day. It kept us warm for the rest of the power outage.

Last night at about 8 pm, the lights came back on. Happy and relieved, we shut down the generator and took it to a family member who was still waiting for power to come back on.

I didn't think about the "lost weekend" of glass. I was just glad to be warm again! I still have alot of trees to clear out from the yard - hmmm firewood for next year?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


October 10, 2006....ARGH! That's me tearing my hair out over yet another shade of pink glass available! Do I buy this one? Do I already have it? Will it be pink after I work it in the flame? You're wondering, "hey, Cindy, what's the big deal? It's just pink!"

You're right - but in glass, pink is a hard color to achieve. I don't fully understand the chemical content of the glass except that the pink color is made with gold. You can burn it out and discolor it easily in the flame so it makes it a hard color to produce. Therefore, pink is a much sought after color simply because it's so hard to achieve. When a new pink is offered we all go running but will it keep its color in the flame? The only way to find out is to test the pink glass.

The test beads here today are lavendar-pink - I can live with it. I think the alabastro pink is the best though (that was the pink nude I showed a few weeks ago). Alabastro glass has a reputation for being difficult to work and incompatible (it will cause cracking) with other Italian glass so many of the glass bead artists avoid it. I did too for a long time - sorry I did. It's a lovely pink.

I posted a question to the glass boards and they're all just as confused as I am. No one has heard of the dark pink I'm working with (Super Dark Pink) so they post their 6 different shades of pinks that they have. None of them are the same! Oh no! Which of their six different pinks match the 6 different pinks that I have?!? You call yours "raspberry pink" - mine is called "super dark pink" or is that an odd batch of "orchid" that happens to be light? Is that the dark batch of the normal light pink that was made in the spring of 2005? Or is that the light batch of the dark pink made during the summer of 2006? Is that the "bubble gum" or is that the "cotton candy?" Is that the old streaky pink that everyone talks about with dewy eyes? Or is that the imposter bubble gum pink with the same stripe?

I'm confused!!!

So is every other glass bead maker.

Ahhh oh well! I'm telling you, we don't have to be confused. The perfect pink is here - it's alabastro dark pink!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Practice, practice, practice!

....that's what I'm doing with the glyph series. Some prefer not to do a design over and over again...I do because once I've mastered the skills necessary, I can start to play and create with the design. It's how particular series of beads evolve....another Glyph series bead today....this one is an animal of some kind....the Glyph Series are inspired by ancient cave drawings. I like the way I can take glass, apply basic techniques and make it took old and worn out. The bead is 14mm by 20 mm with a nice large hole - 3mm.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Development.....October 4, 2006

I'm developing in two ways....developing a series of beads, the "Glyph" series which is today's picture and developing myself as a business owner. First, the bead series, "Glyphs"....I've made some of these as donuts on a large holed mandrel - I like it but the technique of creating the glyph on the side of the donut is lost...the pattern created isn't recognizable as a "glyph" but is still very nice. It won't end up in the glyph series but is a lovely set of beads all on their own! This is a good example of the trial and error of development - it isn't what I had in my head, but is lovely anyways!

I recently took a business leadership assessment, the Enneagram. Very popular now within the corporate world - so I have to think about the results in terms of a self employed business person. Despite the focus on corporations, I found the results to be very useful and shed some light on how I approach the business end of things. It's all a process - I continue to develop in business and glass!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Good days and not so good days....

October 2, 2006....We all have good days and not so good days....the orange dot with murrini looks like it's not have such a good day...my lapis blue dot bead was just perfect with the murrini...the orange one is a little off - not completely but looks as if it's not having such a good day. I like the flameworked multi-layered dot beads slumped into a cabachon like this....the murrini in the center...so much so, I'm digging through my rejects bowl to find more!

Yesterday I thought I was having a good day at the torch....all the beads I made I liked....one imparticular was definitely "Bead Review" worthy - that is until I took it off the mandrel! It chipped around the beadhole - ARGHHH!! Not quite enough heat to the ends while I was making it - but it'll go into the slump line and I'm pretty sure it will be a great cabachon!

Off the the torch! Hope today is a good day for you - but if it isn't, you can always put it into the kiln and slump it!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Using your hands....

I've been CRAZY BUSY with interpreting work this month! I'm a sign language interpreter and use my hands to earn my living. With two master's degrees, people wonder why I don't do something different - but I love interpreting - it's challenging, hard work and I get to see people I adore everyday! How awesome a job is that?!? I don't think you'd do anything different either!

From May to August, work usually slows wwwwaayyyy down, so when September rolls around and I have to pay my quarterly taxes, I take alot of extra interpreting work to replenish my bank account. Unfortunately, it takes me away from the torch and September can be slow for beadmaking.

Either pursuit, though is work done with the hands - hence today's bead. Hands were one of the first sculptural beads I wanted to make. I have my original first ever hand - it's bad - misshapen but you can see where I'm going. The longer I've made these, the smaller I am able to make them. My flame-hand which is in the gallery show, Once Upon a Bead currently, is approximately 1/2 inch wide by 3/4 inch tall and approximately 6mm thick. Small compared to my first hand which is 1 and 1/2 inches tall and wide! One of my favorite hands is the "chakra hand" that has all of the chakra colors included in the fingers.

I have a set of new beads for the "glyph" series but am waiting to first send them into for the Bead Review - I want them to go there first - then I'll post a few here. Until then, I'll keep working with my hands, interpreting and making beads!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

September 24, 2006...Slumping...

I've lined up a couple of venues for the fall....I'll be hosting a trunk show at Chochkey's on the Elmwood strip in Buffalo, New York on October 14th and then I'll be at Beadfiesta held at the Eastern States Big E Fairgrounds in Springfield, Massachusetts on November 4th. I'm considering hosting an open studio in October/November but not sure which yet. I'll post the date when I decide.

Today's bead is a slumped faux-lapis bead. Slumping is using the kiln to heat glass to between 1300-1500 degrees Farehenheit so it will move and change shape. I made the bead at the torch and then melted it flat on one side with a murrini covering the beadhole. It reduced in the kiln and has a slight metallic sheen to it. The cabachon is approximately one and an eighth inch in diameter. It was slumped on kiln cloth and has a herringbone texture on the back side to ensure that the expoxy will hold the finding securely and won't turn around when worn. If you'd like to buy it, it is $14.00 US and free shipping to the continental US. Send me an email and it's yours!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Being present, paying attention and gifts....

I'm going to see the Dalai Lama today with my son at the local university. I was fortunate to be able to see his Holiness yesterday at a function for the university. Oh my! I was excited and thrilled to be there! I knew I would be closer to him than I would be today. It's important to "be present" - sometimes our excitement and planning can sweep us away and we miss the important moment when it comes - as I was standing on a bleacher waiting for his Holiness to enter the arena, I turned to look at the podium where he would be standing. Excited, nervous and thrilled at the same time, I completely missed him when he walked past me!! I missed the moment because I was too wrapped up in the excitement I was feeling.

The good news is that I recognized what had happened so that when the event ended and the Dalai Lama walked by me again, I was paying attention. In yoga, we end each class holding our hands in prayer position and bow to our fellow classmates and say "namaste." Namaste roughly means that I recognize the higher spirit in you or the light within you. I bowed to his Holiness and thought "namaste." Wow! It was my once in a lifetime moment to see one of the people I most admire in this life. I'm glad I was there to be in it! It was a gift.

Today's picture is a gift from Sheryll Anspach (Booger Beads). It's a Turkish Medallion. She sent it to me when I was collecting beads to make into a bead crown for Brenda Gillen who is fighting cancer. It's so lovely! This is a concrete gift, but the sentiment behind it is what is so appreciated. Namaste, Sheryll.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Lampwork Carnival Host: Sculpture on a Mandrel

I'm the host for this month's Lampwork Carnival. The theme for this month is "Sculpture on a Mandrel." I chose the theme for the month because I wanted to highlight one of the great things about glass and beadmaking - you can sculpt small works of art to wear or use the small pieces to create a whole sculpture- how cool is that?!?

I want to take you on a guided tour off the beaten path so to speak. Instead of the repeating many of the same artists that we all know and love, I'd like to highlight some of the artists who may be lesser known - along with a few of the well known artists. But first I want to explain what I mean by "sculpture." To me, sculpture has a very broad definition - "to fashion a medium such as glass into a three dimensional figure." (paraphrased from answers.com) So, the sites and pieces I'll mention fall into a couple of categories - beads made as parts for a sculptured wearable or non wearable object - JC Herrell shows us a non-wearable motorcycle on her blog. Jen Geldard collaborated with Andrea Guarino to come up with the Sacred Bird of Port Townsend Totem and Gizzaz Design makes Ancient Totems in the non wearables category.

Some artists are partial to creating sculpted animals. Glennie Sims of Calmwater Studio makes adorable and wearable kitties while Janet Crosby is fond of chickens.

Several torchworkers gain their inspiration from nature. Barb Svetlick creates flowersand Jodi Wheeler makes sea shells

Not leaving out the wonderful artists who work in borosilicate glass while sculpting florals or mythical creatures, Lluvia Brito's flowers have made me drool since she started making them! Bickley Studio's fairies created in borosilicate glass are magical!

Whether you are creating sculpted beads to work into a complete wearable or non-wearble, the process can be a journey. Fay Katherine well known for her sculpted animals, tells us of her journey to sculpted glass. We want to take that journey too! Last but not least, Lori Greenberg gives us a run down of her favorites - my favorites too! Kate Fowle's goddess bead was one of the first artist made beads I had ever seen, they're still gorgeous - hmmm maybe it's time to buy one!!!

If you haven't tried sculpting on a mandrel, I hope that I've inspired you to try it!

Monday, September 11, 2006

2,996 Tribute: Karen Hagerty

Karen Hagerty loved her horse, Ricardo and threw him a birthday party with a horseshoe shaped carrot cake. Her sister Deborah Hagerty says that along with her horse, Karen had two cats, Kitty and Buddy who she considered her "kids."

Karen was loud, funny and with what some described as an "outrageous" sense of humor. She also had a generous spirit that was evident to those around her. She organized and collected toy donations for a homeless shelter in the Bronx. Karen would urge everyone in her office to buy something "good" and insisted that kids wanted toys instead of clothing. One year, she collected so many toys, that a moving truck had to be hired to deliver the presents. Karen was also very involved in the Silver Lining Foundation a charity that provides one week campvacations to children with cancer or other life threatening diseases.

Karen was 34 and a senior vice president for the Aon, Corp. She was on the 78th floor of Two World Trade Center waiting for the elevator when the second airplane hit at about the 80th floor. According to colleagues, Karen had no pulse after the second plane struck.

Esther Goldbert Harrison left a fitting description of Karen Hagerty on the internet site, September 11 Victims, "I will never forget her, her rioutous laugh and infectious spirit...."


Newsday, Tribute written by Bart Jones can be found at Karen Hagerty Tribute
Tribute from the New York Times can be found at Karen Hagerty Tribute
September 11 Victims website at Karen Hagerty

Monday, September 04, 2006

Publishing, The Flow Magazine and new work....

I mentioned a while back that one of my painted beads would be in "The Flow" magazine - The Flow is a magazine for torchworkers - those who make glass at a torch. It is the focal bead entitle "Thoughtful." I made two of these beads, one in a red background and the other in an aqua background. I actually sold the red one about a year ago and honestly, I don't know who bought it. I wonder if that person has seen the bead in any of the publications it has been in over the past year. Probably not - afterall, it was most likely a collector or jewelry designer - someone who doesn't subscribe to any of the specialized glass publications.

I've been in the studio working on a new series of beads - hopefully, I'll be able to post pictures tomorrow morning of a few of them. It's an improvement of the "Ivory Glyphs" and I intend on making them into a regular series. I've also been working on my first conceptual and politically inspired beads - they're a surprise to me - I'm starting to express concepts and not just playing with the physical properties of the beads and translucency. Those beads will take a little while before they are posted because they're designed to be combined with metal and right now I'm working intently on the glass.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

September 2, 2006....Canime

My 14 year old son is an Anime (Japanese Animation) fan so today we are off to Toronto, Canada to go to the "Canime" - an anime expo. It's the largest anime expo in Canada - so I expect it will be HUGE!

So, today's bead is a painted bead that I made (and will be in the Once Upon a Bead show) using my son's drawing done in anime. This is a "chibi" style character that I transferred onto a piece of glass. He lent me a book on how to color anime and I hand mixed the enamels to come up with the shades of blue for the hair. Although it looks huge, the bead is about 22mm long and about 15mm wide.

Maybe I'll come back from Toronto with lots of new bead ideas!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Planning Fall schedule and torching.....

August 28th, 2006.....Here in the Northeast US, summer is drawing to a close. We'll still have some warm days in September and October but the summer comes to an end when the kids go back to school during the first week of September. If you have followed my posts or read my profile, you know I'm a part time sign language interpreter and interpreting work always picks up the last week of August. So, more time interpreting and less time at the torch!

BUT - I've added more shows and will do so steadily over the next year. Take a look the CindyGimbroneBeads website for the schedule - I'll have my beads in the "Once Upon a Bead" show in Hunter, New York during the fall and I'm pursuing other gallery opportunities. I'll also have a tutorial on the Lucky Knots and Lampwork in the debut issue of the Annealer magazine. So, you'll be seeing MORE of my work rather than less!

The summer has gone well, though. I've made good progress in organization and marketing. A biggy for me - marketing myself. So far, my schedule has worked out so I can have 3 un-interrupted days a week to work in the studio. My next project is to insulate the studio for the winter. I want to be able to work year round and in an unheated, uninsulated studio, I can't work January-February. I do sometimes go out there in the winter - but with about 4 layers of clothing! Smile!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Ancient Glass.....August 27, 2006

While on vacation in Toronto, we went to the Royal Ontario Museum, the "ROM" - and in the new Asian exhibit was this grouping of horned and warring states beads. I've seen lots of pictures of ancient beads such as these, but I've never actually seen the real thing until now. The beads are big - probably around 30mm-50mm. I find that most beads that have that many layers of dots have to be large. The holes are much larger too than most modern day beads. I really like them - it was a real thrill to see some "live."