Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays

Someone (or four) is getting a bead pen for Christmas this year. Could it be you?

I'm signing off now to spend time with family until after Christmas, but would just like to say how grateful I feel for the love and support of my family and friends, and for many blessings that came my way this year. I hope that you and your families are safe, warm, and happy this holiday season, and that 2009 brings much good news to those who truly need some right now.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Bead Named Coy

I made a bead in my "Beacon" series recently (heretoforth to be named "Coy") that is playing games with me. She was created with two different types of hand pulled cane, some reactive silver glass, some silver, you know the story.

She and her sisters captivated me in their complex and elusive beauty. But elusive and shy they were, particularly in front of the camera, and with my still developing macro photography skills. Each photo bore two distinctive, obnoxious orbs of reflection, a sad result of my direct lighting during the picture session. I have been meaning to rig up a solution to this problem for some time, but haven't done it yet.

Working with the photos I have at this point, I decided to see what I might be able to grab in the way of a macro image in between the demon orbs, cropped from the high resolution bead image. As soon as I grabbed the macro image and the two shiny headlights were cast from the screen, I fell in love with this flirtatious piece of glass. My God, the detail, the color!

I think I'm in love. From a distance, the bead was somewhat dark and unassuming. But under the lights, she blossomed and revealed her true inner beauty. A world within worlds, a secret bead garden.

You never know what you might find when you crop your photos - it could be a pleasant surprise.

I think I'll call her Tease!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Wonderful Class With Andrea

My first "moth wing" bead, made in Andrea's class.

I just wanted to share what a wonderful time I had in a bead making class this weekend at Arrow Springs with the talented and friendly Andrea Guarino. Wow. She was warm, profuse with information and helpful feedback, and my head is swimming with everything she taught us. We used glass powders, learned how to fume and make her fabulous "moth wing" bead, her off mandrel heart, the stargazer bead, the galaxy bead, salmon egg bead, and many more.

All in all, it was a mind-expanding, incredibly glassy weekend, and my neurons are a-buzzing with excitement. Can you believe the blues, lavenders and greens in the ivory? Holy crap!

Thanks, Andrea for a very memorable experience. It was a total pleasure meeting you, and I hope I get to take a class with you again sometime.

And thanks to Craig and Donna and the team at Arrow Springs for tending to our every need, as usual. It's always fun coming to your place, even if I did have to carry my wallet home on a stretcher.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Art in the Cellars

Greetings, Bead Lovers!

It's showtime again! I'll be at Bargetto Winery's Art in the Cellars event this weekend in Soquel, December 6 & 7 with loose beads (a first at this show), CD copies of my Big Fancy Bead Tutorial, and some exciting new work featuring metal and glass. If you're anywhere near the San Francisco Bay Area, it's definitely worth the drive to check out this festive show.

This year I'll have a DIY Bead Bar where you can select your very own glass bead, a cord or chain, and I'll make it into a custom pendant for you while you visit all the other fabulous artists at the show. The show goes from 11am - 5pm both days, and I'll be there with bells on, and some tasty treats.

Here's some sneak peaks at my latest work.

ImageI'll be showing this piece by my metalsmith friend Cyndie Smith at Bargetto this weekend. It showcases Cyndie's fluid mixed metal work, and features one of my lampwork focal beads. She does some amazing organic pieces and I'm a proud owner of two of them.

I'm honored that she has chosen to use my beads in so many of her creations, and excited about the collaborations we're going to do in the future. For starters, we're working on an over the top piece for a competition next year. Stay tuned for more on this in late January.

Check out Cyndie's shop on Etsy!


My new Travelers' series of bracelets and earrings, in green. Until it was canceled, I was totally hooked on FX's "The Riches" (with Eddie Izzard and Minnie Driver). These earrings remind me of something that Dahlia would wear - feminine, sexy, a little quirky, and rich with visual interest.

Abundant with sterling chain, Bali beads, Swarovski crystals, my own squeezed lampwork beads, and turquoise gemstone beads.

I have a coordinating Traveler's bracelet for this with a handmade fine silver Da Vinci chain, lampwork beads, gemstones, and a handmade fine silver clasp.

ImageHere is one of my new Traveler's bracelets, this one in warm corals and pinks. It features tons of my own lampwork beads, gemstones, Swarovski crystals, and freshwater pearls. My own handmade fine silver (adjustable) clasp completes the piece.

If it makes it through the weekend show, look for it in my Etsy shop.

ImageMy new Primitive Directions series features fine silver metal work and earthy, almost tribal feeling beads.

I've got variations on this earring style, plus necklaces with the same hammered fine silver metal components and African themed lampwork beads.

Come see them this weekend, or look for them soon in my Etsy shop.

And finally, for you Bead Artists...

ImageIf you've always wanted to know how to make a Big Fancy Bead like this one, check out my brand new PDF tutorial. In this 11 page tutorial with 26 great photos I show:

How to make perfectly puckered large lentils using a press.
How to know when you have enough glass on the press.
How to make a raku twistie.
How to make a silvered ivory stringer loaded with silver.
How to apply a raku twistie to a BFB and make it pop with color.
How to decorate your BFB.

I'll be bringing CD copies of this tutorial to my show at Bargetto this weekend.

If you'd like to see more tutorials, please cast your vote to the right on what kind you'd like to see next.

I'll have all of this and then some at the show this weekend, so come on out! If you can't make it, keep an eye on my Etsy shop for my new work plus some end of the year special events.




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