Thursday, March 20, 2008

New Focals

I've been trying to find ways of squeezing more hours into the day, and have stolen some torch time this week. I've been trying to train myself to make more sets (I get really bored with this, but my jewelry sometimes demands it), and also practicing many of the things that Michael Barley taught us in his class recently. I still have some of the cane we pulled in class, so the hanabi were easy. Encasing a pressed lentil was another story, and I'm not happy with the way the edges look.

Retro Dots Focal Lentil Bead (SOLD).

This bead was inspired by a great Etsy artist's fabric work, a pillow of all things, called Funky Dots - SAVE ME FROM YOUR FOLLOWERS. The shop is called "Zillows", and the artist sells some wonderful, "zany pillows with personality". Check out her shop.

I'm delighted with this new bead below, Pandora's Gift - how about you? Heart this item if you are too! I mixed several delicate pink shades of glass, some silver, some violet, and there you have it - a shimmery focal with subtle rainbow effects, and I didn't even pick up the raku (LOL!).

Pandora's Gift (SOLD).

My destash listings last week in my Etsy shop were successful, and I unloaded some findings I wasn't using, plus a wigjig I never used. Now I have to get rid of the men's Figaro chains I accidentally bought - take a look and help me out! These are at a great price, if your man is itching to get himself into some heavy chain.

Sterling Silver Figaro Chain - 1 left in my Etsy Shop

Finally, I'm putting together some teaching proposals to hopefully add some classes to my schedule this year. If you're interested, please leave me a comment. It will be in the SF Bay area.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Infamous Stringdusters come to Mountain View!

Just saw some incredible live music last night, and had to spread the word. The Infamous Stringdusters played at a local church in the SF Bay area, and I'm still grinning and humming their tunes. Late last year they made history by winning 3 International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) awards: Album of the Year (Fork in the Road, on Sugar Hill records), Song of the Year, and Emerging Artist. They split the 2007 Album of the Year award with J.D. Crowe.

The band consists of six very talented young men: Andy Hall (resonator guitar), Travis Book (stand-up bass), Chris Pandolfi (banjo), Jesse Cobb (mandolin), Jeremy Garrett (fiddle), and Andy Falco (the newest member, on guitar). They put the "sex" in sextet, these guys - not only are they each gifted musicians, but they've got charm and stage appeal oozing out of their pores.

Check out their website and myspace page, and get the heck to one of their shows!

Finally, new stuff on Etsy...check em out. I'm thinking I'm definitely a Focal Girl.

"Seaweed Salad" focal lentil bead (SOLD).

"Sand and Water" focal lentil bead (Sold).

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Michael Barley Class and More

"Sahara Sunset" (SOLD).

"Passion Rising" focal (SOLD).

I've got news, news, and more news. First of all, check out Andrew Thornton's jewelry on his "Stringing for a Cure" post supporting breast cancer research. These are gorgeous pieces featured in Stringing Magazine, and proceeds are donated to the breast cancer cause.

Recently I was incredibly lucky to take a class from Michael Barley at Arrow Springs, on ways to enhance your individual style. It was amazing! We learned how to make cane using an optic mold, how to create and pull our own unique colors, Michael's "baleen" technique, encasing, and more. Here are some of my class beads. It was two intensive days of learning, and I'm completely fired up about what I learned. He is not only a talented artist and bead maker, but a skilled teacher who gave us lots of individual feedback. Thanks, Michael!

Yesterday I went to the opening reception for the "Metals in Motion" exhibit at the Oakland Museum, where the extremely talented members of the Monterey Bay Metal Arts Guild are showing some incredible work surrounding the theme of movement. If you like art jewelry, this is a must-see - it goes through April 20. My artist friend Joyce, also a physical therapist, is showing this piece there, entitled "NECKlace", featuring seven vertebrae hand sculpted from PMC, surrounded by tons of delicious carnelian beads. The 100+ pieces in this show will knock your socks off. Go.

Joyce's friend Lisa, modeling Joyce's piece "NECKlace".

I've Got New Beads! I'm listing some new focals on Etsy this weekend - check 'em out!

"The Royal Treatment" focal bead (SOLD).

Finally, I'm ecstatic to learn that one of my favorite TV shows from last year, So You Think You Can Dance (SYTYCD), is returning to Fox on May 25 with a whole new set of contestants. Woo Hoo! Let the fun begin.

All for now - enjoy the fabulous weather (except you, Ohio - sorry).

Monday, March 3, 2008

Why I Love the Saratoga Rotary Club

I'm proud to announce that for the second year in a row, I'll be a participating artist in the Saratoga Rotary Club's annual Art (& wine!) show on Sunday, May 4th at West Valley College in Saratoga. This 51st annual juried show will feature over 175 artists working in many media, including painting, photography, jewelry, sculpture, glass, ceramics, and more.

It's a great place to shop and this year they're adding wine tasting with local wines to make it even more special. The Rotary Club keeps the booth fees and 20% of each artist's proceeds, which go to grants for local charities, as well as to international outreach which includes Rotaplast International, a group that providing cleft palate surgery and treatment for children in impoverished countries.

The Saratoga Rotary Art Show is a very well-run show, and all aspects of it from the invitations to artists, to jurying, to the events on the day of the show are executed flawlessly and cheerfully by their volunteers, and the artists feel well cared for. It's truly a pleasure to participate.

This is really enough to make any artist want to join this wonderful show, but for me, there's more. Many years ago, my father, James Lakin, belonged to the Rotary Club in Iowa where I grew up. He was an accomplished oboist and Professor of Music at the University of Iowa. I recall attending a "father-daughter" Rotary luncheon with him one time, but beyond that I don't recall much more about what he did as a part of this group.

Sadly, he died at age 54 of brain cancer before I ever imagined becoming a glass bead artist, although my artistic tendencies in general were well established by then. Supporting the Saratoga Rotary Club by being in their show makes me feel closer to him somehow, and enables me to appreciate abstractly all of the good work he must have done with them. In some way, it helps me to feel that in some way maybe I am picking up where he left off by helping this group, while also finding my way in the art world.

Thank you, Saratoga Rotary, for this opportunity.

I'm in a Treasury!

My potter friend Terry from LomaPrietaPottery put me in a Treasury! Well, she didn't put me in her Treasury, but a link to one of my bracelets on Etsy - the Outback Green bracelet. What a nice thing to do. I had fun checking out some of the other artists in the treasury, particularly Fancykstudio, whose plant and insect prints I really like.

Check it out. It has one more day left.

You should take a few minutes to visit Terry's shop on Etsy - she makes gorgeous, functional stoneware. I just love her teapots with the carved cherry blossoms, and some of her pieces are very cleverly functional (more than I can say for myself some days...).

Thanks Terry.

More soon - I have show news.


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