Latest additions to my collection…

 

I found these two quirky items from a UK ceramics artist while randomly surfing etsy (click either picture to get to her store). 

They are tiny, handmade and absolute perfection.  The base is offwhite clay with embedded glass (you knew there’d have to glass included, right?) and gold and platinum highlights. 

I had the teal pendant custom made and then found the purple brooch in her store – i LOVE purple!  I’ll need to wire the pendant or maybe make a necklace for it. i think i’ll wear the brooch to an event i’m attending tonite.

I keep picking them up to look at them ‘cuz they’re just too perfectly precious…

 

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Tales from the torch: Jan. 26th/08

Results from my last few torch sessions – a goddess and two pendants for a couple custom orders:

Hades GoddessHades goddess back

Hades Goddess:  (sold) Sometimes simple is best.  This is just black glass and silver leaf passed through a reduction flame to bring out the iridescence.  I had originally planned to tart her up with some frit and a latticino or two but once i reached this stage, i realized she’s perfect just as is.

Tempest leftTempest right

Tempest:  (sold)  Ever been on the beach during a thunderstorm?  As the wind rises and the sea slams against the cliffs, the water, foam, seaweed and sand all swirl together wildly. And if you’re lucky enough to find a good vantage point, you can enjoy this spectacle of nature from a safe distance but still be close enough to feel the salty spray hit your skin with each crashing wave…

Almond Blossom leftalmond blossom right

Spring Bloom:  My first serious attempt at a traditional raised floral.   Every single colour is custom blended – from the base to the premade latticino’s used for the branches and the flowers.  The branches have a bit of sparkle as i used green adventurine in the twist, then i reduced the bead lightly at the base to give it some depth.  A lot of work but i’m pretty happy with how it turned out.

And if you think it looks familiar, you’re right.  It’s inspired by Vincent van Gogh’s 1890 painting Almond Blossom.

Tales from the torch: Dec. 24th/07

Another bunch of custom orders: requests were for oranges, reds, browns, golds… plus your first glimpse of anything “floral” from me.  They’re all around 2inches long or so.

 Red, orange, browns and golds

From left to right:

  • oval floral: (sold) this bead is my fave, I’ll have a hard time letting it go.  made with my new crunch bead press received for my b-day.  I’m realizing more and more I’m not really a “press” person – i find i only use them to start the bead and then refine the shape to suit my own tastes.  wish I’d realized that BEFORE i bought a pile of them…
  • rectangular tree: this bead was a total surprise – i layered the gold from the oval to the left over the orange from the teardrop to the right expecting a more muted orange but got this earthy brownish gold instead.  pretty cool… It has a bit of sparkle from the silver and gold leaf plus a bit of reduction around the bottom.  i left the frit partially raised so it feels great: all nice and nubbly
  • floral teardrop (sold): I like the shape and pattern on this one so much i think I’ll try it again with different colours.  Most noticeable here is how much my stringer (spaghetti sized threads of glass) control has improved – I can actually draw stems and leaves now!
  • flattened teardrop: this bead is a completely different and slightly retro direction. love it but the bottom half broke coming off the mandrel.  I’m thinking it’s either incompatibility between the glasses or else i didn’t keep it warm enough while making it.  I’m going to remake it to see which…

Random thoughts: birthdays and the joy of cool

birthday gift 

1.  Glassy gifts: Just had my birthday and my friends funded my latest glass purchase: a new bead press and some frit.  How cool is that?

2.  Late bloomer? This b-day was special for some reason – i actually felt it, when usually birthdays pass just like any other day despite the celebrations.  must be the beginning of a new stage in my life.  and that’s pretty cool.

3.  I love handmade stuff:  for my b-day the Teenager made me a beautiful new digital wallpaper image for my desktop in all my fave colours (hot orange, bright pink and deep purple).  It was created in  Photoshop and took him “foreverrrrrrrr” something to do with blending custom brushes, colours, fonts, vectors, fractals, blah, blah, blah… etc., etc.  whatever.  it’s installed both at home and at work, and looks way cool.  i love it.  especially since it comes from my kid who thinks everything should be black, white, gray or navy blue.

4.  Essence of adolescence:  On the bus ride home a couple days ago, this kid sat down in front of me done up from head to toe in what i can only assume was his definition of the latest in 13yr old, bad-ass, hip-hop cool: poofy down bomber, angled baseball cap, artfully dishevelled ‘fro, oversized layered Ts, huge jeans strategically belted mid-buttcheek with the crotch dangling somewhere at the knee and large name brand sneakers.  overall colour combo? black, dark green and white.  yo.  tiiiiiiight.

He kept shifting in his seat and adjusting the various garments using his reflection in the facing window seemingly to determine just the right degree of anti-establishment slouch.  It was all i could do to keep a straight face through these antics.  cuz you know six months ago, his mom was probably still laying out his clothes for him but now?  baby, he’s in junior high.  ccccoooool.

5.  Cool mom?  The Teenager attended his first real grownup (i.e. no gaming, pizza, sleepover or parental involvement) party last weekend.  and yes, with my permission.  He calmly asked.  then waited for me to finish hyperventilating about sending my baby off to some booze and drug filled hellhole, in some stranger’s house, with a bunch of older friends i hadn’t met, and did he really know who these people were and trust them to not be crazy? and, and… well uhhh, you get the picture.  He was fine, got home within curfew limits, admitted to everyone drinking except him (yay!) and had one word about the experience: “AWESOME”.

I’ve had a few people mention that this act officially makes me a “cool” mom.  I disagree.  i was simply being practical: First, I trust him – he’s mature, smart and responsible.  Second, at his age, i (technically) wasn’t permitted to go to these types of parties but my friends and i still attended many under the guise of the now infamous, intricately planned, arranged and parental approved “sleepover”.