I’ll definitely have a variety of goddesses there – as well as smaller beads and focals that can be worn as pendants. If you’re in the neighbourhood, please stop by and bring a friend – there will be some great holiday shopping…
See you at the show!
After almost four months away from the torch, i’m back! And this time it was easy to get right into the groove… I think it did me good to not play with glass for a while. My vision is clearer now and i feel like i’m heading into new, complex and more interesting directions. Good thing too – I was getting bored with what i was making…
I’m still making my regular stuff of course… but trying some new (and wierd!) things as well. If you’re curious, check back in a couple days – I’ll have big news then, too!
And of course i couldn’t do it without my assistant Bali (note the carefully positioned “eat me” pose he learned from my other cat). He sits (or lies) under my chair in the studio and nods (or purrs) in agreement every time I ask him about colour combos. Most supportive studio assistant EVER!
Ok, gotta get back to work… the kiln is hot and I definitely do NOT have enough beads in there!
This is the question I’m most frequently asked when i mention i make glass beads (after of course, we get past that initial stage of incomprehension where i explain that yes, a person canmake their own glass beads if they so choose, and no, it’s not really like glassblowing).
SO! in honour of that ever repeating question, i decided to make a video demonstrating that process. Ha! easier said than done. Unfortunately life and the whims of a teenage schedule means that video never quite happened.
Instead, thanks to the wonder of modern technology, the internet and lots of people with way more time and video talent than I will ever have, here are some YouTube videos (of other glass beadmakers) demonstrating how they make their glass beads. I’ve explained the process and components on this page: My Glass Beads. Any questions? let me know…
My beads are essentially made just like these – but bigger.Enjoy!
Simple disc bead:
Sculpted polar bear:
(Yes, someday i will get my own video made and posted… someday…)
Here are some of the things i’ve worked on over the last couple months:
Verdigris Swirl: This was a custom order for a green pendant. Took me forever because i had the hardest time developing a great design in green (other than lime and olive, it’s not one of my fave colours). I finally won my battle with that quirky hand-pulled glass colour copper green and this was the happy result. The verdigris finish is a natural reaction of this glass. (sold)
Modern Ethnic: This pendant is based on a designer room i saw in a home decorating magazine. I really love the contrast between the smooth modernity of the red glass vs. the rustic look and feel of the ivory. (sold)
Tribal: This pendant was an experiment in black and white – the white glass stripes reacted heavily with the silver laden black and developed a lovely antique patina. A very cool and completely unexpected reaction. (sold)
Some additional ideas in development…
The first two were efforts to work with my Kalera long and lean bead press. I have a bunch of presses i never use, so i figured it’s time i tried them out. I’m sort of on the fence about pressed beads. On the one hand (once you figure out how to use them), they offer the opportunity to make consistently formed and sized beads in shapes that are near impossible to create by hand. On the other hand i feel like the design is a bit constricted by the shape. Now is that my fault or the limitations of press? hmmm…
i think i’ll etch them… a frosted finish might highlight the shape better…
That last one on the right is my usual handshaping with a 23k gold stringer decoration (love this and will have to make more!)… i think i’ll always have a preference for hand-shaped beads. What do you think?
These organic look beads are copper green with fine silver wire, raku and/or green adventurine frit – which sure spreads a lot on copper green. This is one of those cases where less is much, much, more. They’re small (for me) and feel just great in the hand… like smooth brightly coloured pebbles.
Tusk: this order was fun – the client wanted a different and personal take on the (currently very trendy) ivory tusk/bone/horn pendant thing. It’s about 2″ long.
Took me a few rather comical tries before i finally figured out how to make a tusk in glass… Quite impressed with myself actually as this is not only my first tusk but also my first successful bead with a horizontal (as opposed to vertical) hole.
I was asked to give the pendant the look of antique ivory – i think i accomplished that quite nicely. The ivory base reacted beautifully to the silvered stringer by crackling and turning a bit golden…