ShebaMakeda @ the 2012 New Art festival


For the fourth year in a row,

i’ve been accepted into Ottawa’s premier artists show the New Art Festival this coming weekend and i’m really looking forward to the show despite the fact that the weather is calling for rain both days.  

(Hopefully it’ll just rain overnight or something and be nice and sunny during the day?)

Details & Map
Saturday June 2nd & Sunday June 3rd, 2012
10am-5pm (rain or shine)
Central Park in the Glebe
(Bank Street & Clemow just south of the 417)
TNAF website:  (for further details and the list of artists)

I’ll have my usual work plus a few new additions as i’m somewhat changing direction (see that big gold goddess statue? i need to post the awesome back story to that one but no time yet). Click on the pics for large printable versions of the flyer and site map.

Hope to see y’all this weekend!




Goddess beads for sale in my Etsy store!

 Etsy store 08042009

(Click on the picture to take a look! )

I’ll be listing additonal beads over the next few days… 

Have a great long weekend!



Sparklers? yes, Sparklers!  I love these simple, shiny little beads so i’ve decided to continue making them hence they definitely need a name.  img_1847

I think i’ve now tried every colour of transparent glass in my studio, refining the mix to get the finishing, colours and shapes i’d like (plus discovered some new ones!).


I’m now very, very happy with these European bracelet-style glass beads – i’ve been sporting them on my Pandora bracelet and necklace and they truly do sparkle in the sunlight.  I think i’ve narrowed down my preferred colours so i’ll be making more and experimenting with some other bead styles.


The specks of fine silver coordinate so nicely with the bracelet in a way that plain glass beads just can’t match.  Extra BLING!


These beads will fit any of the Pandora, Chamilia, Biagi and Troll charm bracelet systems.  They’re available for sale now, just email me directly for purchase (

I’ve been playing in the studio…


…making twisties.  I tried a new way of making them: painting the colours right on the end of the rod rather than winding the glass on  the end of the mandrel.  Obviously my technique needs some work.  It was hard to control the molten glass plus guesstimate how much mass i needed to pull a decent length twistie – as you can see some were more successful than others…  I do like the simplicity of these though – they’re like little springs or ribbons and have a much more contemporary feel than other complex twisties i’ve made before – much more my style. 

A “Twisty” is just a cute name for the miniaturized version of  intricate Venetian glass canemaking with traditional names like reticello, ballotini, latticino, zanfirico.  Glass blowers have used larger versions of these canes to decorate vases or sculptures for centuries.  We glass beadmakers use similar techniques (on a much smaller scale of course) to decorate our beads and add a level of complexity.

They’re easy to make: just take a molten ball of glass, stripe on some contrasting colours, melt smooth and pull out while twisting.  It does take time though, to develop enough skill to be able to make a nice long smooth cane – it’s a delicate balancing of the right amount of heat and gravity.  img_1262

I especially like the two at the bottom of this pic where i layered the colours to make a two toned twist.  I’ll have to play with this idea some more…  Can’t wait to try them on some  beads…

Beap poop sucks…

You know how there’s one chore that always just truly SUCKS?   Could be anything, it’s just one of those necessary things that have to be done but yet (if you’re like me) you hate to do it so much you delay and delay (and DELAY!) and don’t get to it until it absolutely cannot be left for one minute longer?  At home it’s cleaning the bathroom.  At work it’s filing.  I hate both of those chores with a passion and can find many, many other things to keep me busy before the grime (or the pile) forces me to face up to my responsibilities, chin up and just “git ‘er done”.


In the case of beadmaking, the chore i hate the most is cleaning out the bead poop (the bead release/clay left in the bead hole after i remove the mandrel).  There’s no just way around it though.  Compared to the speed and excitement of sculpting a molten glass design in a roaring flame, it’s gotta be one of the most creativity-killing, boringly tedious, soul-suckingly rotten chores that exists on this entire planet.  And no I’m NOT exaggerating. 


But whatev.  This morning I resigned myself to the inevitable, put on the news and set myself to cleaning the pile of pooped-up beads that has been steadily accumulating in my studio over the past few months. 

Only stabbed myself with the bit three times too – barely bled at all…

(If you look closely you can get a glimpse of some of the new designs i’m working on… not telling ya nothin’ yet though)