Thursday, June 29, 2006

New glass color!

A new glass color! The glass factory in Italy has come up with a new shade of green - parrot green! Sitting at the torch with the color, the glass wanted to be a mask bead. I've been trying faces on and off for a few years. Usually, I'm not completely satisfied with the result. This one is cute - the green is just perfect with the other contrasting colors.

I'll be working in the studio today. It's a good day to work - temperature won't go above 75 degrees Farenheit so it won't be too hot. After my morning walk, I'll be at the torch. Yipppee!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Circles, circles, circles

I'm staying with the circle theme as I said yesterday! There is little or no texture left in these off mandrel pendants. One of them has tiny dots of accent red and the other has a shiny iridescent raised heart. These are between 25mm - 27mm (1 inch) in diameter. What do you think of the accent red on the circle? What about the shiny raised heart?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Besides Beads....

June 27, 2006....what else do I do? Today, I'm going to digress for a bit and show you another craft I work in...crochet.

During the past few years, I've re-learned how to crochet. I say re-learned because I crocheted during the '70's when I was a teenager and crocheted garments were "groovy." I stopped crocheting when I went to college because I never seemed to have any time! I carried my yarn stash around with me for years before I finally got rid of it.

Then beading came very popular again and along with it - crochet! All of a sudden I was seeing these lovely crocheted beaded ropes! I wanted to do that! Made several attempts on my own (boy were they AWFUL!) with no luck. So, I signed up to take a basic class with larger yarn (not thread) to see if I could get my skills back. I took the beginner class, the intermediate class, the summer poncho class (I posted a picture of the poncho last year along with the beads I made to go with it), the fall poncho class and was off making my own garments again. I've designed my own very basic shrug and am working on a pair of socks. The beaded rope? Well, I still haven't master that yet. But I've moved onto thread.

Today's picture is one of the 3 crochet projects I have going. It's cotton thread in a size 3. All different sizes but the same shape, a circle - circles, very bead-like don't you think? My initial plan was to make a scarf that would go from large circles down to small ones with tiny circles as fringe. I may still do that but making the circles is addictive. I can make one or two circles every evening and feel like I've accomplished something! Pairing the colored circle with the black outline makes the color pop.

Circles have been my theme lately. I'm making the flameworked glass circles and at the same time have been making the crocheted circles. Somehow, they'll come together but you and I will have to stay tuned to see where the circles lead me!

Monday, June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006 Results of the weekend's experiements!

I woke up at 4:15 this morning and I just can't go back to sleep. So, I thought I'd just get up and post to the blog! Crazy, isn't it?! Most would roll over and go back to sleep - I just couldn't. Laid there for about an hour and then just had to get up and do something!

I worked all weekend on "new" techniques for me. It takes awhile to come up with something that is worth showing, though. Sometimes, I come up with a bead that looks fabulous and when you photograph it close up, you see little teeny things you didn't see before! Geez, now I know why models are so obsessive about their physical appearance! When you get photographed you see things that you just don't see in real life! So anyways, it can take several weeks of practice on a technique before I come up with something presentable. I do have a bead that I really like to show you today!

Today's bead I'm calling, Enameled Kronos. No, it's not very creative but that's what it is! I rolled a base bead of whatever transparent glass I had lying on the bench in white enamel (powdered glass). Dotted on the Kronos - let me tell you, it was difficult to strike because if I used my usual reducing flame, it caused the white enamel to go gray-black. So, I had to wave the bead in and out of the flame, let it cool almost to cracking and then re-heat. Making this bead took alot longer than it normally does. I like the look of it and it's a nice barrel shape. I've been carrying it around in my pocket all weekend. Definitely "pocket worthy."

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Who is Lampwork Diva and why is she a Diva?

I probably should have explained "Lampwork Diva" in the very beginning when I started the blog but I didn't. The longer I have the blog, the more I realize I should explain "the Diva."

The lampwork part of the Diva, comes from the art/craft I have chosen, flameworked glass. The word "lampwork" is a traditional term used to describe the torches or "lamps" that the ancient and traditional flameworkers used - therefore the word "lampwork."

The Diva comes from wanting to create an online persona that would jump out of the computer at you - a woman, full of confidence and able to create beautiful flameworked glass. She's loosely based on my paternal grandmother and my father's sister. My grandmother, according to my parents, was a full fledged DIVA - she only wanted the BEST of everything. My father's sister was a bootlegger in the 1930's. She loved risk and could hold her own with the men. She was a DAME.

My own personality is a little quieter than either of the women in my father's family. But I do admire the confidence that they both carried - a little like Matahari in the picture I posted today. The confidence these women exude is the confidence that I have in my flameworked glass. I express that confidence through Lampwork Diva - she loves glass and she's confident that you will appreciate her art.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Experiments Continue.....

More experiments with the faux boro beads. This time the beads were made with an opague or pastel base and then the stringer laid over top of that and encased in clear. Someone on the boards had suggested that using a pastel base made the beads brighter and I agree.

If you've been reading regularly, I've been experimenting with this faux boro technique for a few weeks. I don't know what it says about my personality but I really like to go through most all of the possible combinations of a bead before I move on to another techique. I like to explore the technique fully. I like to understand everything about the process. It will come in handy later.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Memberships and Indecision

June 17, 2006.....I realize that I don't have my memberships listed anywhere on my sites. I haven't figured out how to add pictures to my templates so I haven't added the logos. Soooo, thought I'd mentioned them here. I'm a member of the International Society of Glassbeadmakers (ISGB) and the Glass Art Society. I haven't gone to either of their conferences - in fact the Glass Art Society is meeting in St. Louis this weekend - mostly because of the locations. A little too far away and not enough $$. I'm shooting next year for the ISGB if it's on the East Coast.

I am undecided about this frit from Val Cox, "Bora Bora." I think it's too dark - I was light on the frit but still it looks very dark to me. This was a test bead to see how the frit looked against the background. It's encased to give it depth. It does have that kind of boro hazy feel to it. Wondering what you think?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

The Flow Magazine, "Thoughtful" and new work....

Got my proofs today for the special women's section of The Flow magazine. I hadn't heard from the editor for so long that I thought I wasn't going to make it into the women's issue. Seems that there was such an overwhelming response that things have just taken a lot longer. They have included one of the painted beads focal - Thoughtful in Red. It is one of only two that I made and is the only one with a red background. I sold it a couple of years ago to a private collector. I made a second one with an aqua background that I sold just recently at the Urban Glass Show in NYC. Thoughtful is part of the Every Woman series of painted beads - I'd like every woman to see themselves in one of the beads - so I make a wide variety of faces to reflect the wide variety of women.
I've posted pictures of the new off mandrel work I've created in the past few weeks. I'm experimenting with texture in the off mandrel pieces. The one above is a floating eye - the eye is such a powerful symbol and the basis of understanding American Sign Language (remember I'm a free lance sign language interpreter in my other life!). Not sure how I'm feeling about leaving the ridges in the piece, though. In person, it feels like texture but in a photo, I'm not sure it looks that way. Any comments?

The disks were made to be sewn onto a felted wool bag I made - just a different way to use and show off the beads!.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Glass Disks and To Bead and Button or not?......

I've got a couple of things I'm thinking about today, the eye candy for the day, the glass disks and the 2007 Bead and Button show.... first the eye candy!
I've been working more and more off hand or "off mandrel", today's eye candy is just that - glass disks inspired by Kandinsky's color study done in circles - but all done without a bead hole. I like this kind of glass art but I can't tell you more than that about why I am moving in that direction. It's an intuitive process for me so I can't verbalize it or explain it very well yet but I like creating things that aren't beads. I still like the beads but I want the glass that I create to stand on it's own and not necessarily be a part of a finished composition. I want it to be THE composition.
On to the next topic....the 2007 Bead and Button show....The Bead and Button Show is the most well known venue for selling beads. I haven't ever tried to go in an capacity, as a buyer or as a seller or as an instructor. I played with the idea last year but missed the deadline to submit. My bad. So, right now, I am shooting to submit for 2007 as an instructor and as a vendor. As an instructor, they suggest that you submit proposals for 6 classes or 4 workshops! That's alot of classes and workshops! Not sure what that means other than I have to get busy and develop more proposals! I have 3 but better work on more!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

June 11, 2006....Reactions and colors

As I said in an earlier post, my glass hasn't been about the reactions and colors I could get in the beads, it's been about what I could create in the medium....but in the interest of expanding and growing, I've been working on color and reactions. This set of beads is more a study in color with a little emphasis on the reactions. The copper green will behave in a particular way when layered onto the purple/orchid and opal yellow. I've had the opal yellow and the copper green for about 2 years now. I wasn't crazy about the colors or the fact that the copper green had to be "cleaned" of its rusty devitrification each time I made a bead. I've gotten a better handle on the copper green now and know how to work it in the flame. The copper green will absorb into the base color and create a fine line of concentrated color....a nice effect!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Research: Roses in Frederick Law Olmstead Park

Yesterday around lunchtime, I found myself with about an hour to kill. I took a walk in the city's park to do a little glass research. Wow, what gem! Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (the same person who designed Central Park in NYC), the park is really a horticultural sanctuary in the middle of a city. I took pictures of the roses in the rose garden and wandered along a few of the park paths. You can click on the title and it will take you to a site on Olmstead - the first American landscape architect - click on the "works" and it will take you to the various sites that show his actual parks and park systems.

I was in the rose garden taking pictures to understand better how to create the roses and flowers in glass. Glass is a perfect medium for sculpting flowers because of the vibrancy of the colors, the ability of the glass to reflect light and the fluidity of the glass which allows it to be formed into detailed representations. I don't always do enough of this kind of research - to figure out how the living thing is "built" before I try to "build" a representation in glass. It was a good day of research - look how beautiful these flowers are!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

June 4, 2006....Cindy Gimbrone Beads Website

Ok, so I have the blog about flamework glass beads and DUH! I haven't linked to the site! I've finally fixed that with tonight's title: Cindy Gimbrone can click on the title and it will take you to my glass bead website. Originally, I intended to develp two lines of glass products, one a line of auction beads that would be low priced (lampwork diva) and the other a high end. Well, I've decided after about a year, that I can't separate the two lines from myself the artist. It seemed like a good idea in theory but in practice, it hasn't worked very well to try to separate the lines. So, I'm going to stop trying! First step has been to add a linked title!

Today's bead posting are more of the faux borosilicate beads in a transparent green. I like the light, summery look to these beads. I've got some more faux boro beads sitting on the desk as I type. I'll take some pictures tomorrow morning when I'm fresh - I'm just not a night person! I know - you're going to look at the time I posted the blog and say, "Jeeesh! Cindy, it's only 8:30!" Yep, I know! My engine starts to slow down around now. I wake up early, 5:30 am or so and get my best work done! Godd pictures in the morning!

Friday, June 02, 2006

June 2, 2006......

I woke up waaaayyyyyyy too early this morning! 4 am. Not sure why just woke up and was awake. Been noodling around with the cindygimbronebeads website and was able to customize it a little more. I've been able to add my logo/business card to the header. It repeats itself but I'd rather have just one big card as the header - I'll keep working on it.

Weekend coming up so I'll be able to work at the torch this weekend. I really need to clean and re-organize. I posted a picture a few days ago of my workbench and you can see I really need to do something! I just love to try to have EVERYTHING at my fingertips!
Posted a couple of pictures of beads I've made in the fairly recent past. I really love the flower ring. The finding was made by Catherine Ondrey and unfortunately, she isn't making them anymore. The ring is mine - I made it especially for me - so sorry to those who'd like to purchase it. It's a great ring!

The red flower is a one of a kind. Unfortunately, it met with an early demise - the customer who bought it contacted me days after she bought it to tell me it had lost one of its petals (yes it was properly annealed). Having guaranteed it for the first 7 days, I remade one for her free of charge and it is in her possession as I write this. It was a one of a kind - a test the market - do people like this flower? Would they buy it? It was the first thing sold off my table at Urban Glass. I may make a few more during the summer. If you like it, then keep your eyes out for the possibility that a few will appear on my website.

Cooler weather allows me to work at the torch and with fusing glass at the same time. I feel so productive when I can do that! It's making me want another kiln, though. A small one to use for jewelry pieces. I have a large one (15" across) for plates and cutting boards, but it does take quite awhile to ramp up and fuse and then anneal. I'll be perusing the websites for small "test" kilns - I'm feeling the need. I think that the new torch idea is out for this year. To upgrade, I want to buy a generator and that is around $2K. Yikes! Don't feel I can justify that at this point. I need to generate more $$ before I can invest in the whole upgrade - I really really really want to do goblets, though and I'll need more fire-power!