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 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!