Saturday, December 5, 2009

so where did November go?

I just realized that I have not posted on my blog for over a month. I'm beginning to feel it is hard keeping up with facebook, blogs, website updates, life in general. It hardly leaves time to make beads.Last night I did a trunk show at the 1 Stop Bead Shop in Dublin, OH. It was a special event for the store with instructor demos and a few artists selling their wares. It was the first time I had been in Lisa's shop since she moved it to a larger location. And it is a spectacular place. They were also doing a photo with all of her staff and I grabbed my iphone. It was a great night - met some new people and had a blast!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Historic Bear's Mill Greenville OH

Bear's Mill was built in 1849 in Greenville, OH
It's been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1977
I's a real place and is still used to grind cormeal, whole wheat and rye flour
It's an inspirational place and is host to a store on it's first floor where each month artists are invited to show their work. And I was asked to be one of those artist's for the month on November.

So if you live near Greenville OH come take a look at the beautiful mill ...................
and my beads and jewelry.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hollow Beads

In between shows, vacation, and a back problem, I have tried to sit down and make some beads. At the ISGB Gathering this year I was smitten with some beautiful hollow beads by Jeri Sheese. So I have been creating some in my desert colors. I learned to make hollow beads years ago from Pam Dugger. And recently I purchased a "puffy mandrel" from Jeri Warhaftig. I like both ways of making hollows, but I probably use Pam's technique more than the mandrel. But I would definitely recommend the mandrel if you are just learning hollow beads. I have also been playing with some of Double Helix's specialty glass. And these hollows are decorated with that. When worked in a reducing flame the silver settles on the surface of the glass and a beautiful sheen is created. Just made an all hollow bead necklace.

It's in my etsy shop.

Monday, August 3, 2009

NEW - Desert Orb Beads with Electroforming

I love these beads. And they were a hit at Bead and Button too. Lots of layers of colors with sparkling dichroic glass in the center. The bead is made on a large mandrel to get a nice big hole. Then the bead is electroformed. Copper is deposited on the glass. In this instance the hole is lined with copper and then the copper forms its own "bead caps".
I like to use them as pendants, but here is a finished bracelet I just made. Three strands of woven seed beads and the desert orb bead is used like a button for the closure.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Marketing Materials

I have been applying to several venues that require that I put my images on a CD. Lately I have been creating CD labels with pictures of my artwork and all of my contact information. Things I used to write with a sharpie pen. Anyway, I think it looks very professional and is quite easy to do in Word. I buy the Avery clear acetate labels and print them out on my hp inkjet printer. Speaking of printers I just purchased a new all in one wireless printer and absolutely love it. The ink is so improved now it is "almost" permanent and looks better than some laser printers that I have used.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Desert Bloom Bead a la technique by Michael Barley

This is a desert bloom bead made using some of the techniques learned in my class with Michael Barley - although I am really not happy with the bloom. But I did apply what I learned at the Michael Barley class. The base colors are ivory and medium amber. I applied the silver leaf to the amber and dotted it with rubino. The ivory fumes just a little from the silver. Then the mistake - I made a bloom with one of those highly silvered glass. And it sorta sank into the ivory. Well there's always next time. But I love the effect of the rubino and silver.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Michael Barley's Class at Bead & Button

The last class I took at the Bead & Button Show was with Michael Barley. What a wonderful teacher! And such a nice guy!

The bead on the left is Michael's bead and the one on the right is my attempt. This is a great technique using rubino glass. I haven't quite nailed it, but am off to try it again. This time on a "desert bloom" bead.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Day 2 Class at Bead and Button

Worry Ring taught by Donna Penoyer
I like to take classes at Bead and Button for professional development. I'm constantly looking for ways to improve my skills and to become a better artist; and I love to take classes. You not only learn from the teacher, but you meet and learn from a variety of other students. In these hard economic times it's sometimes hard to justify the money to travel for a class, but I think it's important to add professional development to your todo list. If you can't afford to attend a class there are loads of books and magazine articles to challenge you in a new skill.
I have been working in metal clay now for awhile and rings always gave me fits. Donna showed us a wonderful way to create a seam in a ring that virtually disappears yet is a strong join. Now I just need to make time in my studio to put this into practice and create some of my own designs.
Luckily I have this worry ring to fiddle with while I sit and ponder my next design.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Glass Bead Totem

This glass totem pole has been a work in progress since our trip to Alaska several years ago. Our expedition ended in Sitka, Alaska where we got to tour the Sitka National Park and saw some wonderful carved totem poles. So I was inspired to create a miniature totem with my glass beads.

You can see this piece in person until mid August at the Dayton Visual Arts Center in Dayton, OH. It is part if the center's All Member Show

Monday, June 15, 2009

Vote for My Bead!

Earlier this year I entered a contest run by the Annealer Magazine And WOW!, my bead made it to the top 10 finalists. From today until the end of the month the magazine is allowing YOU to vote for your favorite. So go take a look and vote for my bead (if you like it).
Click the link to the magazine, click VOTE on their website, click category A - beads, and my bead is Entry 2.
Desert Shadows, a lampworked bead embellished with metal clay and a bezel set amethyst

Slow Food

I think I have been on a diet for most of my life or at least it seems that way. But lately I realize that diets really don't work. Several years ago I read the popular non diet book by Mireille Guiliano, French Woman Don't Get Fat and I really changed the way I started to cook for my family. I'm lucky to have a wonderful grocery store here in Dayton, Dorothy Lane Market, that has a great selection of organic fruits and vegetables; so that made it easy. Last night I watched 60 minutes and was enlightened to see that there is a whole movement out there called 'Slow Food". They ran a segment on Alice Waters who I have always admired. Very interesting. Makes you want to go eat something healthy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 1 at Bead and Button - Copper Etching Class

My first day at Bead and Button was spent with Janice Berkebile learning how to etch copper. My plates turned out fantastic. Janice is a wonderful teacher and her approach to adding the images to the copper was unique. We ended up with collages of images on the metal. Janice uses the etched copper for bead caps and beads for her finished jewelry, so she cuts the pieces up. My intent was to etch copper sheets as texture plates for my metal clay work. And these will be wonderful. But I might have to use some of them for jewelry components too, plus each plate turned out to be a piece of art all by itself. Umm.... might have to frame a few.
The process of etching the copper with Ferric Chloride is messy and the chemical takes special handling. At the Bead and Button show, we heard about Sherry Haab's new etching machine. the E3, that will etch copper, brass and silver and uses chemicals thatt are less harsh to the environment. So had to have one. I plan to etch some copper both ways and will keep you posted how it goes. Of course, I need to order some supplies before I can begin.
More on Bead and Button tomorrow.......

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The current issue of Glassline Magazine was waiting for me when I returned from the Bead and Button Show. And it contains the Step by Step article I wrote for them a few months back. Yipee! 2 articles published this year.

This step by step tells you how to make one of my metal clay and glass "caged beads". I will be putting this tutorial on my website for a nominal fee to cover reproduction costs. Or you can go out and buy the magazine. Here's the link to Glassline for subscription information.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Convergence Show

This is the necklace created by Heidi Kummli incorporating my lampworked beads. It was juried into the Convergence Show which was co-sponsored by Bead and Button and the ISGB. The show was exhibited first at the Ohio Glass Museum in Lancaster, OH. Then it traveled to Milwaukee, WI for the Bead and Button Show. That's where I saw it for the first time. And wow! What an incredible piece.

Now that Bead and Button is over the show travels to Miami, FL where most of the pieces will be auctioned to raise funds for the CREF. It was really amazing to see all of the entries displayed so nicely at the Bead and Button Show. Amazing amount of talent. The ISGB has a catalog of all of the entries and I imagine you can contact them to buy one if you want.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New Techniques

I know I have to make lots of bead inventory for the Bead and Button Show coming up this June, but I am also trying to set aside some time each week to try out some new things. It's the only way to grow and come up with new ideas and expand my creative juices.

If you know me you know I make lampworked beads, but also like to use them in jewelry too. So I like to try lots of jewelry techniques. I also work with precious metal clays. And I am trying to teach myself some basic silver smithing techniques.

So I decided to make a project that appeared in the September 2007 Art Jewelry Magazine. My plan is to adapt it for my glass beads. But for now I followed it precisely. I learned a new cane technique with polymer clay. I made 3 bezels and attached them to sterling backs which I had to saw out. And I soldered the 3 pieces to a wire (not easy), and soldered on a pin finding. Whew!
But I'm happy with the results. And I definitely learned a lot. It's not perfect. But I already have plans for number 2 and know what I need to do a little differently to work smarter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Silver Cored Beads

I'm making silver cored beads to fit on those popular European charm bracelets... Troll, Pandora, Biagi etc. I have been buying silver tubing and doing the coring myself. But that takes time and yes I break some beads.

Metal Clay Findings just announced a new product .. the fine silver bead core. It allows you to make your own metal clay or lampworked glass bead directly on the core, and it fits all those bracelets. So I had to try it! I made up 8 beads pretty quickly. Here is a picture of some beads made on the core and the blank core before I put glass on it. Pretty neat. Of course you have to be careful not to melt the core in the flame. Ask me how I know this!!!

Here is a better picture of the beads.
but as all things in life there is a trade off. I have to clean out the bead release from the silver core and I can't use my regular diamond file to do that as I would scratch the silver. Ummmmm. I tried tumbling, and the mixed shot liked to wedge itself in the hole. Isn't it amazing how it can get in that hole but does not want to come out. So I need to find some kind of brush to use.

So I have to decide... core my own, or order more findings......

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Desert Bloom Necklace

The inspiration..................
the flower is called a Mexican prickly poppy and it captivated my attention during a trip to Tucson. Here's the necklace it inspired

As usual once one piece is done it triggers new ideas and ways for improvement. Any comments?

Third Firing Worked

Ok, repaired a second time and refired for the third time.. alone. The patina changed again. I really love the light green on the left. The area of the repair turned a reddish color. Overall for a first project I'm pretty happy.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Bronze Bangle Bracelet

Remember those 4 pieces from my last post? Well I riveted them together with spacers and wire wrapped some pearl and crystal dangles and voila! a bangle bracelet. Glad I have a small hand. But this was a good experiement. Definitely see some possibilities.

Bronze Clay Bangle revisited

The Repair - so I rolled and cut a shape of bronze clay 6 cards thick again to fit into the gap created from the first firing. Not so easy to get the fresh clay to adhere to the fired clay. Used a little spit (wash your hands first) and it stuck. (thank you Hadar) Dried it, sanded it , carved it.

Also made 4 other pieces... will talk about those in a later post.

Put all 5 pieces in the carbon for firing. The bracelet went in the bottom layer and the 4 pieces in a second layer on top. Used the same firing schedule.

Interesting to note that the patina on the refired piece deepened and there is lots of purple on the back. (no picture, sorry). The other 4 pieces have a patina similar to the bangle after the first firing. ?/? wonder if more firings will increase the patina??

The repair is not quite successful. There was some pulling away at one of the attached seams. Maybe I should have filed it more. Anyway the plan is to add more clay and fill in the little gaps and fire it again.... Stay tuned.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Bronze Clay

I took a bronze clay class with Celie Fago last September. Vermont was great, even though I was hoping for more color change in the trees, and the class was superb. I had great expectations to rush home and make many bronze pieces. But, that never happened.

Saturday I finally got the urge to experiment and dug out the left over bronze clay from the refrigerator. I was happy to see that the clay looked and felt good. It hadn't oxidized and was well hydrated. I decided I wanted to make something that I would carve. I remembered seeing a bangle bracelet made by Barbara Simon so I set out to make one of my own. I made the bracelet 6 cards thick and left it to dry overnight. Sunday morning I carved petroglyphs and squiggles into the bracelet. I really got into the carving. It was fun. I decided to fire the piece during the day as this was my first bronze clay firing and I wanted to monitor it. The big decision was should I follow the firing routine given to me by Celie; or should I use the new firing schedule that I have read about on Hadar's website. I decided to go with the schedule from Celie for thick pieces that I got when I took her class. I ramped the kiln at 250 degrees per hour to a temp of 1531. I chose this slightly lower temp (instead of 1550) because I am pretty sure my kiln is firing a little hot. I used the coal based activated carbon and fired just the one piece in the large stainless steel container with the lid on. The container was placed on kiln posts. The schedule took just over 9 hours so I waited until this morning to pluck out the piece.

Bummer, it split right at one of the deeper carving lines. Today I am going to try to repair it. And I am going to follow the same firing schedule. The bracelet has fully scintered though, so I am happy with that. So stay tuned. I'll post the repair when it's done. Oh yeah, some cool colors too... nothing too vibrant though.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I just tube set a stone

I have been wanting to teach myself to tube set a stone for a long time now. Never seem to have the right tubing to go with the stone or visa versa. During the Tucson shows a year ago I actually took a Rio Grande class on stone setting. A great class by the way. It was a 3 day class, and by the time we got to tube setting, I was so sick with the flu I don't remember anything.

Today I was going through some old issues of Art Jewelry Magazine .... I'm cleaning my studio and putting away the hundreds of magazines on the floor is a high priority. Of course it's nice to take a break and thumb through them too so I am guessing that is why my studio never gets clean. Anyway, in the July 2008 issue, Noel Yovovich, who made the awesome bracelet on the cover, has a one page article on a super quick way to tube set a stone. This time I actually had the correct size tubing for my 3mm amethyst and literaly in 10 minutes my stone was set. I didn't kill my hand pushing the metal over the stone either. And it looks good - not perfect - but good. I have learned that you should file the cut edge of the tube before setting the stone. Next time I will wear my magnifiers so I can actually see those tiny imperfections.

I was anxious to try this new technique to set the stone so now I have this piece of tubing with a stone set in it, and I am wondering what to do with it. I'll figure that out later; right now I am just rejoicing that I can do it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fabulous textile woodcuts

These were one of my first finds in Tucson - fabric wood cuts. In Asia these woodcuts are used for printing on fabrics and paper, but as soon as I saw them I thought what great texture they would be for PMC. Can't wait to try them. I'll post pictures as soon as I make something

Tucson Gem and Jewelry Shows 2009

I wanted to post every day while I was at the gem and jewelry shows, but there was never enough time in the day. This is a sunset photo from my front porch. My husband and I own a home in Tucson where we plan to retire one day. I gather all of my bead inspiration when I visit there.

The shows this year were down both in attendance and vendors. I shared a booth at the Whole Bead Show and even though my sales were down slightly I was happy. I would have gone out there to shop anyway. The best part of the trip is to share some time and inspiration with some very dear "beady" friends. We met years ago at one conference or another, and we try to get together once or twice a year. Mickey named us the "Bodacious Bead Buddies". Well, we had a blast.

I'm sorting out all of my purchases. Stayed tuned for some pictures of great finds

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Valentine

My husband never forgets Valentine's Day. I even got the flowers a few days early as I was heading out to the Philadelphia buyer's Market Show and wasn't due home until late afternoon on Valentine's Day. But as you can see they still look great - and so does my hubby of 34 years. And I am mighty pleased with them. The color - lilac - is awesome. Never saw roses quite this color before. It's really MY color!

On the other hand the Buyer's Market needs a new name this year as I'm not sure a lot of buying was happening. The registered atendees were way down. But to be fair there was some buying going on and I'm sure there are many happy vendors.

I was juried into the ISGB - International Society of Glass Beadmakers - booth. There were 12 of us exhibiting. The work looked awesome. The booth was great. But the traffic was way down according to one artist who was there last year too; and sales suffered. It's sometimes hard for new artists to weather times like this. You always wonder "was it just my stuff they didn't like?" But a friend and I were talking this morning and we decided this is the year to build up your inventory, try new techniques, and hang in there.

When I was in Philadelphia I stayed at the Marriott as it was close to the convention center. This sign in one of their jewelry stores sums it up.... I was tempted to buy something at those prices, but they were closed...............

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Happpy New Year 2009

Wow, I'm a little late getting started with blogging routinely for 2009. - one of my resolutions. But I have been super busy. I got juried into the Buyer's Market Show (aka the Rosen show)through the ISGB and have been working like mad to get my samples made and sent. The deadline was January 15th.

I decided that I wanted a consistent body of work; and this line of jewelry needed to include my lampworked beads. Lately I have been making a lot of hollow beads. Some of them turned out a little wonky, but the shape reminded me of the organic shapes of baroque Tahitian pearls (which I love!). So I decided to base my line on this shape. I also decided that the beads should be etched because I love the softness to the touch that etching creates. So here is the result...

Designing a cohesive line of jewelry earmarked for wholesale sales with several price points was also challenging. Also I had to keep in mind that if this line actually generated sales I would have to be making the pieces routinely. So after weeks of development... here is the result

I'm fairly happy with the result, but have already noted pieces that need tweeking. Now I have to begin designing the 2010 line...

Let me know what you think...................