Friday, December 21, 2012
Thursday, December 13, 2012
I'm happily settled in my new two bedroom/two bath apartment in south Seattle. It already feels like home. That California sunshine is soooooo nice. But it is sooooo expensive.
At any rate - I'm back in touch with my Bead Club - Fire and Rain - after attending the Christmas Party last weekend and joining up for the new year.
Next, setting my glass studio back up. Granted, my studio in California was to die for, but my studio here in Washington is also fantastic. Although I do have to drive to my mother's, about a mile away, to fire up my kiln and fire up my torch. But, it is an act of pure love. So .... here I go ;o)
Soon - not sure how soon with the holidays just around the corner, I will be posting new beads and jewelry. Thank you for your patience.
I love you all ....
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
This is a 32mm (1.25") focal bead of ivory and double helix silvered glass. The necklace is strung on 1mm leather cording with African Silver Trade Beads and matching sterling silver earrings. The focal sits on top an ivory spacer bead with spun double helix glass round the middle.
Maroon, Deep Lapis Blue and the ivory fumed to an antique finish by the silvered glass make this an unusually unique and beautiful piece. The front and back of the focal bead are shown.
It is approximately 20" long from the clasp at the back of the neck to the top of the focal.
Monday, November 12, 2012
This pendant was made with ivory glass and double helix silvered glass as the fine stringer work. The two together create an antiqued look. the necklace is approximately 1 1/4" in diameter and the cording measures from 20" to 26".
I found some beautiful Chinese knotted cord to string these lentils on. I love them. They have a hand pull knot at the neck which will lengthen or shorten the cording allowing slipping over your head. They come in all colors so I'm looking to purchase many more for the holidays to string these beads. Simple and Elegant
This necklace is for sale in my Etsy Shop a little later today! Just in case you are interested in a little Christmas shopping. What a great gift.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Happy to report the winning bid for this necklace at the UpRising Yoga Fund Raiser November 10, 2012 was $115.00
This was quite a project for me. My PMC skills are definitely being improved upon and then I soldered the sterling silver jump rings closed and oxidized the silver to match the bead more completely. I'm very happy with how it turned out. The entire necklace is about 22" long and the diameter of the bead and silver is approx 2" across.
I also received my new lap grinder so I was able to grind off the back half of the bead in order to make a cabochon to set into the hand carved .999 Fine Silver Bezel and Setting.
Now, I go improve.
Wiping sweat off my brow...
This piece has been donated to UpRising Yoga for the silent auction next Saturday evening,
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Are you an AUTODIDACT???
When I began making beads I didn't know where or who to go to to learn this skill. My oldest son came up with a torch and my youngest son helped me buy a kiln. The rest was up to me.
I found someone at a fair who made enamel beads and talked him into showing me how he did it in his garage over 100 miles from where I lived. I drove there and sat with him for about an hour and a half for $40 to learn what he knew. From there I bought a book by Corina Tettinger, Passing the Flame. I was making beads in my mother's garage for two years before ever taking a class. It wasn't until today I discovered that I am an autodidact as I continue experimenting, practicing and pursuing this passion I have for glass any way I can. One day, I will be a master.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Saturday, October 20, 2012
Friday, October 19, 2012
Another thing, I've finally taken the commitment plunge to do Precious Metal Clay on a professional level. Getting off the fence has done a ton for my joy levels. Now I can't wait for the materials to arrive from Cool Tools !!! Yay.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Working on detailed fine stringer work since the arrival of Claudia Trimbur-Pagel's book "Glass Bead Trip". I go to sleep looking at the pictures and reading her instructions. The only answer to her wonderful world of glass beads...Practice...Practice...Practice.
I wake up in the morning excited to see what the results of yesterday's work is. I run to the kiln in the sunroom to fetch the prize. There is always room for improvement and it takes me a couple of days to appreciate what I've made because of that bugger - perfectionism. There is always room for improvement and I have to work at appreciating where I am at right now. Otherwise, I'll lose sight of the joy of my glass bead journey. I AM happy with todays glass beads. Now this afternoon, I'll hit the road a runnin and improve upon yesterday.
I'm willing, able and once again, inspired.
Monday, October 15, 2012
I just received Claudia Trimbur-Pagel's first book for advanced bead makers.
I was fortunate and one of few in the US to take a class from Claudia back in November of 2011 at my favorite bead shop "The Mandrel". Claudia was brought in to teach from France, where she lives, by Donna Conklin and a few others across the United States.
Her work with glass and with Precious Metal Silver Clay is absolutely the most exciting, inspiring class I have ever taken. So I will be reading and reading again until I have a much better understanding of glass and Precious Metal Silver so my work will take an even sharper turn than it has lately and be even more facinating than it is right now!!!!
So, get ready, cuz here I come...
Lovin you all because you all are lovin me !
Friday, October 12, 2012
This pendant is as refreshing as the deep blue sea and as pure and white as snow. This beautiful lentil shaped bead carries with it the refreshing clarity of mind that comes with cleansing your soul. The two headpins gracefully hanging from the bottom of this bead signify the eyes of our Creator watching over you as only a Father can with love and acceptance.
Wear this piece knowing you are loved and accepted for exactly who you are right now with no expectations and that you are being well taken care of in secret.
The necklace comes in a gift box ready for giving. A card with regard to the artisan (me) is also included. ;o)
Thursday, October 11, 2012
This is a new technique I am trying out after purchasing a tutorial from Astrid Riedel, one of my very favorite glass artists. This is a yummy, marshmellowie, blue with a pea green and black stripe twist covering half the bead. Very unusual and amazing.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
OK I think I'm hooked ! This is a size 5.5 ring as well as a necklace. So if the ring size is too big or too small, it doesn't matter at all. Wear it as a necklace and pretend you are going steady with the man or woman of your choice!!! How about that. This piece is prettier than the camera can pick up. It begins with a multi-silvered expensive specialty glass made into a flat disk upon which the next silvered disk sits on and then yet another speckled (kinda looks like a bird's egg) on top of that. Sandwiched between the speckled bead and the freely hanging fleur de lis is a small copper bead.
The ring shank aka bail is hand forged, antiqued and hand burnished copper 16 gauge wire on a copper ball chain approximately 17" long. Perfect length for a V-neck t-shirt.
I'm liking making these a lot. Stay tuned for more tomorrow!
Monday, October 8, 2012
This is such a PIECE with a Topsy Turvey Playful attitude. Not only is it a pendant on a ball chain - it is also a size 8 ring !! WAY... I love this piece. It has two of my lampwork beads. One disk shaped specialized silvered glass bead on top of the pendant or the bottom of the ring. And one ruby red round lampwork bead balancing on top the silvered disk. Also an enameled headpin hanging loosely from the bottom or again top !!
Set comes with the copper 17" ball chain for use as the pendant.
All beads are separated by hand cut and burnished, etched, domed and antiqued copper disks. 16 gauge copper wire also antiqued forming the bail or in this case also the ring shank.
All for so much fun depending on your mood for the day. Wear it as a necklace or as a ring.
The necklace/ring comes in a gift box ready to be wrapped by you for giving. A card with regard to the artisan (me) is also included. ;o)
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I've been expanding my skills, as many of you know, as of late in making my own findings - clasps, etc. out of copper, steel and sterling silver. There is a lot of work involved as you can see in Shannon LeVart's video on her blog. It looks easy as pie and I mean, after all, isn't it just a circle of copper and some wrapped wire? Yup, but what all happens to that little piece of wire before it looks like this is a whole other story. I won't go into detail because Shannon tells it all in her video.
I first found Shannon's work in the the art jewelry magazine called "Belle Armoire Jewelry". I've been following her work ever since.
The behind the scenes preparation is, antiquing in Liver of Sulfer, tumbling overnight in a tumbler to remove the black crust formed by the antiquing, hand burnishing to get that antiqued warm copper glow and then sealing the wire findings with a finish all before it even ends up in the piece of jewelry you see above. Why is handmade artisan jewelry expensive - because it is not manufactured by a machine by the millions in China. Thus, the wonderful energy these pieces of jewelry exude when wearing. I love it. I wore my new copper bracelet to yoga on Friday and I swear it made me stronger...haha no really! I could feel it - I swear.
At any rate, I love the look of this kinda western - I am from Wyoming after all - style of jewelry. And you will more than likely be seeing more it it included with my glass beads. tra la la la !
If you care to see the behind the scenes dirty low-down on making hand forged metal findings for jewelry - click on the link...
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
This matching set is with my lampwork beads, leather cording and silver African Trade Beads. I've handmade the closure of steel wire and earwires are hand formed silver wire. This is a 'pure' artisan set. Nothing manufactured in China here !!! Totally made in the USA.
It looks beautiful on the counter where practicing yogi's sign in for class. Kudos to Tiffany, owner of Manhattan Beach Bikram Yoga Studio, for her belief in and support of this artisan jewelry designer. It is so nice to have good solid peeps who believe in you. I told her today her belief in me as an artist is making me soar to new heights. And that, is the truth. She is such a high powered YOGI !!! I love you Tiffany!
My goodness, got lost in my praise there for a moment. I AM calling this necklace set "I AM Centered". The upper half of the lampwork bead is a lovely silvered glass that shimmers burgundy and cloudy whispers of ivory with blueish undertones. The lower half is silvered ivory with a twist right in the middle joining both top and bottom with lapis - blue - dots encasing the twist. Well, let me say, it is just beautiful.
Have a great day!
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Sunday, September 9, 2012
We headed out this morning for the Farmer's Market in Mar Vista and picked up some outstanding Heirloom Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Avocados, Hard Sour Dough Bread. Yummy my favorite Tomato Sandwich for dinner.
So here we are. Mom is the one on the right
We ended our experience with ice cold coconut water, mmmm how refreshing on a hot summer day at the market. The coconut itself was so heavy I didn't know if mom was going to be able to carry it. But she is a strong woman. Can you believe, by looking at her, that she will is 89 years old????? I love her..
I love going to the market on Sunday morning. I stay strictly to the Organic Veggies just after I buy a pastry full of sugar and usually chocolate and do a taste off from all the vendors walking around with non-organic slices of nectarines, peaches, cheese, bread with pesto on. I'm very strict about what goes in my mouth at the Farmer's Market NOT!!! I cheat on myself on Sunday.
The rest of the week, I'm a good girl shopping and buying at Whole Foods. Have I ever told you that I am a Certified Nutritional Consultant through the Global Institute of Alternative Medicine? Just another not well known factoid about me that you probably will never need to tap into. However, from time to time, I will mention some stored knowledge I have learned about Living Well and Feeling Better.
Well, just offering a bit of fun til I'm back at the torch or jewelry bench tomorrow. Wonder how much work I'll actually get done while mom is here. We'll see. I'm certainly not going to worry about it. She is my number one priority.
Friday, August 31, 2012
I thought it might be fun for you to see how some of the bobbles are made in my jewelry wears. For instance... How does this
become a tiny little button closure on these wrap bracelets...
become a tiny little button closure on these wrap bracelets...
And so, the process begins...
I hand cut 4" pieces of steel annodized wire from a wrap of wire approximately 50' long. Sitting at the torch the ivory stick of glass pictured is melted to around 1500+ degrees and becomes liquified. While working with the glass in this form it is wound onto the steel wire at one end. At the same time, the glass is shaped into a small round bead type button on the tip of the wire. While the glass is still hot I "shmush" the glass into a little pile of glass frit [crushed glass] purchased from my favorite glass shop "The Mandrel".
SIDE TRIP: My friend Donna Conklin is the owner and a fellow glass buddy. I take all my classes at "The Mandrel". It is a great place to learn the skill of lampworking. Donna always picks the cream of the crop to come teach us at "The Mandrel". OOPS got off on a tangent there...
At this point the tiny buttons looks like this...
After annealing in a kiln, stabilizing the glass in the cooling process for durability, the headpins (called headpins and not buttons at this point) are ready to be wrapped into the button shape to be used in the "Yogi" wrap braceletes.
Another Side Trip: I may be changing the name to "Namaste'" braceletes. I just can't make up my mind because my darling dog's name is Yogi and he should have a bracelet named after him. Maybe I'll make up another bracelet or necklace and call it the "Namaste'" bracelet...or necklace. Whew ! So, "Yogi" Wrap it remains. Thank you for helping me make that huge decision. How could I have even questioned it. I hope "Yogi" didn't hear all that. Now I feel guilty for even thinking it. Kisses "Yogi". Mamma wasn't present for a minute.
The next part is the hardest part for me. Haha. I have to make a loop and then begin wrapping the rest of the wire around and around itself forming a neat little protective chair for the button to sit in while it is being a button on a bracelet.
I'm very particular with this wrapping process and it has to be button worthy. I like things right, straight, neatly wrapped. If it isn't, well, then, it just doesn't make the grade for a bracelet. Since I love every little button I make, I take great care to wrap them perfectly so none are lost in the process. Which would be a dog gone shame.
Viola! The Yogi Wrap button is born and ready to become the most important security portion of it's very own bracelet. A very important job. The closure, so the bracelet doesn't come UNDONE and fall off an unsuspecting arm during what could be a very important conversation with a friend or foe, or just walking down the street while window shopping or worse, during a purchase right in front of a clerk!!!!!!!!!!!!! or the PostMaster while mailing a letter.
Well, none of that will be happening here.
This - ta ta ta ta...is the finished tiny little button we have come to know and love.
I hope you have enjoyed this journey into a bit of my world. I know I babbled but it was fun for me. Sometimes I am just a bit of a babbler too.