Wednesday, April 29, 2009

and so it is....

The pretty pouch in my previous post was made by one of my customers Lisa of lsa1sew. She sent me that beautiful hand-sewn gift with some skeleton keys she picked up at yard sales. Two of the keys were earmarked for special necklaces for Lisa. Yesterday I videotaped (more like digitally captured... what is the current term?) Anyway, yesterday I made a bead on one of the keys for Lisa and here is that footage. It's actually my third video but the second one was 38 minutes long and bliptv won't accept a file that large. Anyone know of any good free editing software? Let me know.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bead Unplugged

A recent conversation with my kids made me realize how utterly and hopelessly dependant I am on the Internet and my computer. Typically while at baseball practice with my kids I am perfectly happy on a lawn chair with some glass or bead magazines or a good book. However it's early in the season and Mama gets cold real fast on 45 degree days. I knew I was going to be trapped in my car for 2 hours, so on this particular practice last week I brought my laptop in hopes I could "borrow" some Internet from a nearby neighbor or the school in front of the field. I had the following conversation on the way home from practice.
Thomas: (sounding annoyed) "Mom, why were you zig-zagging around the parking lot during practice?"
Me: "I was trying to get Internet?"
Emma: "I thought you were leaving us and I got sad."
Me: "I wouldn't leave you here alone Honey. Mama was just trying to update my Etsy shop."
Thomas: "Well you looked ridiculous, you moved your car like 6 times and then when you got out of the car and looked like you lost something....."
Me: "I'm sorry did I embarrass you?"
Thomas: "Well kinda, I mean Mom you looked kinda unstable"
Me: (Trying not to laugh and feeling a little bad) "Ok next time I'll just read my book."
Thomas: "Did you get it?"
Me: "What?"
Thomas: "Did you steal some one's Internet?"
Me: "Thomas, I didn't steal anything and no I wasn't able to get a signal."
Thomas: "Jake says it's called pirating. Did you pirate any Internet?"
Me: "No, Thomas your mother isn't a pirate."
Thomas: "Oh. Well that would have been kinda cool."
Me: "Ok, I'm a pirate. But not a very good one."
Thomas: "Mom. I think you should just get the I Phone and go back to reading your Twilight book."
Me: "Ok, Thomas I promise. No more computer at practice."
So as you can see I am a hopeless embarrassing case.
I need my kids to remind me to unplug once in a while.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

When I Grow Up

My kids fight over who is going to take pictures of me modeling my pendants. I assign the job to whoever gets done with breakfast and brushes his or her teeth first. This morning my daughter got the job. She will be 8 in a few weeks and the camera is bigger than her head. lol. She's a very cute and careful photographer though. She spends time making sure the lighting is right and I am posed correctly. Sometimes she angles the photo in an artful way and sometimes she captures it dead on. I'd like to think that exposing my kids to my art and the business of selling it will inspire them to have creative outlets someday. My son wants to be a lawyer right now and my daughter wants to be a teacher but we'll see. They can always do what Mom does and be an artist by moonlight.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beads 2009

I have been featured on the cover of Beads 2009 and I am so excited! Danielle Fox, the editor of Stringing asked me to submit some keys, pendants and big holed beads to this sister publication. My bumpy key made it on the cover! The key and 2 big holed beads are featured in the Steampunk section, there are 3 floral implosion pendants in the Flora section and Danielle used one of my keys in a necklace on page 44. You must check it out. I see several other glass artists I am familiar with featured as well. It's so exciting to see bead magazines embracing handmade. I'm just thrilled because I think it helps all self representing artists when mainstream publications who could just as easily show imported less expensive components (and those companies who pay big advertising dollars) instead highlight the handy-work of individual artists. It's very validating in a collective beady way!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Into Spring

Check out this beautiful collaboration piece created by Poppy Adams of Groovy Glass Girl and me, Paula McDonough of The Venerable Bead.
The completed project is called Into Spring and is available in Poppy's shop.
We did an interview for the Esty Glass Artist's blog:

Please tell us a little about yourselves and what kind of art you make.

Paula: I am borosilicate glass lampworker. I melt glass rods in the flame of a torch to create beads and pendants.

Poppy: I work mainly using stained glass techniques and wire work. I started fusing last year when I got my own kiln, so now I incorporate my fused glass into the pieces I make. For the most part my work is jewelry, only because with a busy family life I find that I can complete small projects much easier.

Can you tell us how you got started on this project and how it has evolved.

Paula: The team has been collaborating on a series of projects to be featured here on our blog. I did several collaborative necklaces with another team member a while back and I must admit it's very addicting to make collaborative pieces. I have always wanted to make a cabochon that could be incorporated into a dark metal necklace but I am not a metalsmith so it's only been a dream until I saw Poppy's work.

Poppy: Paula contacted me about doing a collaboration and of course I was thrilled to work with her. The whole process came together quite quickly.....her work combined really well with my techniques.

What inspired you about your partner's art?

Paula: I have such a weakness for oxidized metals you have no idea. I saw Poppy's Twig Series and I though "Oh man, wouldn't a flower implosion look cool in a necklace like that?" So I approached her about it.

Poppy: I have always loved borosilicate glass and Paula has some great steampunk inspired pieces that I admired.

How did you ultimately decide to make what you did?

Paula: Well I decided to make a flower in subtle cool colors. I chose blues and greens to work well with the dark silver metal. I wanted the necklace to flow and work together... like something you'd find in nature. Once my cab was done I sent it off to Poppy and she worked her magic on it.

Poppy: Paula mentioned a "Twig" series necklace that I'd just listed in my Etsy shop that she really liked when she contacted me about doing a piece together. I wasn't sure I'd be able to work a large cab into a piece like that but I have another line called "Urban Artifacts" that features really large chunks of glass so the resulting necklace is kind of a combination of the hammered swirls found in a lot of my work, the lines of a "twig" series necklace and glass and solder detail of the "Urban Artifact" series.

Did you find this to be a rewarding experience and why?

Paula: I am so beyond pleased with the finished project. I love it so much I want to marry it! lol, ok well maybe not marry but definitely go steady! Seriously, it was so much fun to plant a seed and watch it grow in the hands of another artist.

Poppy: I found this experience to be so rewarding that I can't wait to do another one! Trying to incorporate another artist's work into your own and still maintain a unified style that flows can be difficult. I have to admit this time it was easy....right from the initial sketch that I did with her cab to adding the metalwork. I kept the beautiful floral implosion cab the focal point of the necklace which was my main concern. The hardest part was knowing when to stop.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Watch Me Torch

I started a blogging course yesterday which inspired me to run down to my studio and video a very inpromptu torching session. My face is cut off, there's no zoom and it cuts off in the middle of making something but I'm sharing it anyway. They can only get better. So here I am in my infinite imperfection