Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Road Trip: Corning Museum of Glass

Road Trip! I've just printed mapquest directions from my house to the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG). I love the Glass Flowers that are usually housed at Harvard University but the flowers are on the road and at CMOG this summer. Whoo Hoo! Ok, yeah, I've got to get a life but as a flamework glass artist - those flowers are a masterpiece!

I was downloading info for the museum when I clicked on the link for Flamework Live!. CMOG has re-created the torch of the Czech glass artists who made the flowers in the 1800's. Cool. Take a look at that - how'd you like to have that mounted on your bench at home? The museum acquired an 1800's era flameworking table from the Czech Republic. The oxygen comes from that bellows underneath the bench. Can't wait to see that in person!

Lots of glass to see today - I'll post about it when I get back. Can't wait to see the Harvard Glass Flowers!

(All photos from the CMOG website)

Monday, July 30, 2007

New Pages Added to Website

Quick drive by post today....I'm running a little behind for my freelance sign language interpreting job this morning. I took it last minute after I checked out my bank account! So, I put some more beads and pages up on my website. I've made the Niagara Skies series beads for about 4 years now, if you see me at shows, I always have a few with me. I decided the web needs to see them too! I may add them to wholesale later. Let's see how they sell.

One of a Kinds was added too - these are my prototypes and experimental beads - the ones I like!

Enjoy your day! Leave a note and let me know you've stopped by today! :-)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Collaboration Exploration: Exuberance!

Today I unveil my creation from the jewelry exploration I embarked on with Jean Yates and Earthenwood's Melanie Luckacs.I talked about the Collaboration Exploration on Monday. Yesterday, Jean showcased her lovely "Little Sprite Earrings" and Melanie introduced her Sunken Treasure necklace. I've been enthused about this collaboration since Melanie and Jean said yes to it!

So, with that in mind, I named this necklace, "Exuberance!"

Exuberance includes my spirals in topaz and seafoam green, Melanie's seashell charms. gunmetal chain, gunmetal headpins and Bali-style sterling silver beadcaps. A petite gunmetal lobster clasp is accented with a starfish charm. The topaz and earth tones of the seashell charms are punctuated with the unexpected color of the seafoam green.

I like fluidity in my necklaces so the chain and the spirals placed end to end create a movement to the piece. The gunmetal chain finish gives the piece a vintage look. The spirals lay in the front of the necklace right where you can see them! I've been wearing the necklace around town with my capris and have gotten nothing but compliments! The seafoam color against the earthy topaz fits the summer and yet can be worn right into the fall in winter.

Thank you to Melanie and Jean for joining in this Collaboration Exploration!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Collaboration Exploration

Do you like to go exploring? I used to explore in the woods on my parents' farm when I was a kid. As a beadmaker, I found another way to explore - through jewelry!

I got together with terrific beadmaker and budding designer, Melanie Lukacs of Earthenwood Studios and awesome jewelry designer, Jean Yates to do a design challenge. Melanie and I put together a selection of beads and sent them to one another and Jean. Our goal was to create a piece of jewelry incorporating our selection of beads.

We've been working on our pieces and are ready to unveil them - but not yet. The three of us will be blogging and showing our pieces this week. Too excited to wait?!? (I know I am!!) As a teaser, here are the beads that we've chosen to include in the Collaboration Exploration:

Spirals in Amber and Seafoam Green:

Melanie's Terra Trinkets

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the Collaboration Exploration jewelry design on our blogs this week!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Lampworking on YouTube

YouTube is the people's broadcast network. You can see movies of anything and everything, from good quality to poor quality. I went on the tube the other day to check out the lampworking videos. I was thinking of posting some video on the blog. After screening some of the video, I decided not. The reason is you can't see the hot bead in the flame due to the soda flare from the glass. I won't go into a long explanation about soda flare but the reason flameworkers wear the rose colored glasses (didydium lenses) is that the rose color cancels out the soda flare. We, the audience, need to see the bead. I couldn't really get a good look at any of the glass in the flames. Although the skill of the artists was good, the soda flare gets in the way.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What are Fused Glass Beads?

Since yesterday's post was about fused glass beads, you might be wondering, fused? What's that? Fused glass beads and cabachons are made by melting glass in a hot kiln. Layers of sheet glass are stacked on top of each other and placed in a kiln. The kiln is heated approximately 1400 degrees F to where the layers of glass become molten and fuse into 1 piece of glass. Small pieces of fused glass without holes are cabachons. Holes are made by drilling a hole into the glass or placing a piece of kiln paper between the layers befopre heating in the kiln.

Today, I'm showing two fused glass cabachons. One was a bead whose beadhole was a little rough. It was sooooo beautiful (the periwinkle cab) that I couldn't let it go into the bead trash. So I slumped it in the kiln and then ground the edge and firepolished it. It's gorgeous! Looks like a stone!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sepia Image Beads on Etsy

"Thoughtful" appeared in the the spring issue of The Flow magazine. The image of a young woman deep in thought is painted with enamels on glass and then melted onto a base bead at the torch. The gold was applied after the image was melted onto the bead.

As a beadmaker who paints images on beads, I'm always fascinated with the image-making process for glass. There's a fairly new process in fusing that applies a shellac onto glass. The image comes out sepia toned and is very detailed. I love the look of it! If you're interested in a how-to, here's a thread on Wetcanvas!

There are Etsy glass artists who fuse beautiful images onto pendants. I've listed a few of them and shown some of their pieces. Since I'm a hand freak (i.e., I collect hands in any form), I had to show a hand! I love hands! This one is Heart Line by the Ethereal Girls

PollyFusia's Jolly Roger is a creative twist on the pirate image that we're seeing all over. The color sets off the sepia tone of the image beautifully!

I like to see artists refining techniques to give a polished look to their work. Twenty Crosses by SquidGlass achieves that with a pattern that goes to the edge of the pendant. A nice detail that makes for a sweet pendant!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Spirals go Wholesale!

Spirals are being offered for wholesale. If you're a qualified buyer, you can now purchase spirals at wholesale prices. Go to the wholesale page on my website for details.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Clearing out the studio

Time to clear out the studio! I'm finding beads I forgot I made! That means theyse are prototypes, experiments, or I was trying to push myself outside my box beads. Poor beadies, neglected by me - I've put them up for adoption for a good price. Just click the title and it will take you to EtSy where you can adopt them!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Lampwork Glass Art Beads and Beadwork

I've been talking about combining seed beads and lampwork art beads lately. The fine gradations in color you can achieve with seed beads is a marvel. Often that is the focus of beadwork. Yet, lampwork art beads can be incorporated into lovely beaded artwork - Art beads are limited only by our imaginations - they can be used in a variety of creative ways. One of those is in Beaded Art such as pictures, sculpture or dolls Cabachons can be used as heads, bodies or as part of the structure of the art piece. Artisan made heart beads can be worked into the beadwork or eye beads used as talismans in the beadwork.

Here is a "painting" done by Rebekah Hodous entitled "Voices"

My prototype art bead yesterday was inspired by beadwork - the texture, the color and the ingenious ways that cabachons and glass beads are worked into the piece. True works of art.

Have you combined beadwork with art glass beads?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Prototype Beads.....

This may not seem to be keeping with the seed bead theme but here's a bead-pendant in the Anime/Amigurumi style - I call her "Goth Kid." She's a prototype - I was trying to create the look and feel of a Beaded Art Doll but the glass wanted to be Goth Kid. The beadhole goes from "ear" to "ear." I like her, pretty color reactions in the body and the black is a good background for all of it.

I think I'll put her up on Etsy later on this week, it seems like the right audience for her. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


Still thinking outside the box today? I am! Hand button-beads! These are little hands with a hole in the center - like the button-beads yesterday, they can be used as a button on that crocheted purse or as a clasp on your new necklace.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Beads as Buttons/Clasps

Thinking a little bit outside the box, a large, flat bead can be used as a clasp in a necklace or bracelet design. All you need to do is add a seed bead to catch the thread or cording and you have a ready made clasp!

I've posted a series of single bead-buttons that I've paired up with a seed bead to show how a size 8 seed bead fits right into the hole. The holes in the bead/buttons are a little larger than normal - if you use sating cording or yarn like I do, you need a larger hole.

This is a preview of what I'll be putting up this week in my etsy shop and website. Thinking outside of the beadbox can help you use your beads in creative ways!