Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Beads in the House!

Photo by Doug Baldwin
No, it's not my husband's battle cry when I spread too much of my glass art making around the kitchen. 

I've actually listed some focal beads in my Etsy shop.  Yeah, I know, Etsy is on my ishtlist right now for all they are doing to squash independent artists by promoting factory made goods on their site, but it's what I have for now.  But at some point in the future you'll entertain shopping with me on my own site, right?  I can see it will be a win-win for both of us, so let me do some checking with my site host and figure all of that out.

Meanwhile, beads.  This week I'm in a neutral, warm zone so these are all kind of related.  Kind of embarrassing how long it's been since I've offered beads in my online shop - there's been all kinds of jewelry but not so many beads, but it's not because I didn't have any.  Here's a quick peek - click on anything to check it out over on Etsy. 

I've also finally listed some of the snap charms I've been making for the Noosa-style bracelets and other findings.  I've had great fun with these, and they've been received well, so I've finally put some up, but I took the lazy approach and instead of taking individual photos of each of the 40 charms/chunks/poppers I've photographed them as a group and numbered them.  We'll see how that goes.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Tucson Recap!

I'd say I was "just back" from Tucson but it would be a lie.  I've been back for the better part of a week but out of commission with a bad cold.  Heidi and I both got it at virtually the same time, thankfully after the show was over, but before our "fun" time in Tucson and the looong drive home.  But we took some small comfort in our mutual misery, coughing and sniffling in unison for 700 miles, and I think it's safe to say that we're both pretty much over it now.

After making what appears to be our annual navigational error in Los Angeles and then barreling through the desert on a very quiet I-10 (thank you, Superbowl!) we were welcomed warmly, and it was just the start of a wonderfully comfortable visit with our hosts.  Delicious dinners (I got the recipe for this one, in my oven now), a drink, latte or shot of tequila just when you become aware you might need one, these people are natural born hosts, and we love being with them.

Almost like clockwork the javelinas (ok, just one extroverted one) showed up just outside Terry and Barnes' fence the very first morning we were there.  We love this little ritual, especially when they come with their babies.  It was our only sighting except for late one night while I was outside on the patio on the phone in the moonlight, and I spotted one tiny baby underneath a parent's silhouette near a quail feeder.  Magical.  We also spotted two coyotes one night just before dusk, and they looked very well fed.  Hopefully it's due to the lady who reportedly feeds them dog food, and not from javelina babies.

Imagine a tiny little baby javelina under the arch of this one's belly in the moonlight.
Lunch at the original El Charro downtown.  A nice reward for being done with setup.

It was a great show - the traffic the first morning was heavy and we barely had time to think.  We got lots of great feedback from customers about the show - it seems that everyone likes a show featuring handmade glass art.  It was lovely to see some of my regular Tucson customers at our new venue.  There were soft glass bead artists and boro artists and marbles and sculpture, and even though the medium was the same the diversity was striking.  Doug Harroun and his family did a wonderful job promoting and running the show, and was always asking us if we needed anything.  I hope he's taking a well deserved rest right now, because he worked his butt off.
Lori Heiden-Engle and Paul Engle.

We were happy neighbors with Lori and Paul, and I was excited to get a signed copy of Paul's new book Conciatore.  I had seen several great quotes from it on Facebook in recent months, and was thrilled to actually meet the author.  I can't wait to dig in.  And Terry came to Lori and Paul's rescue when their boxes did not arrive on time, loaning them some lights until theirs came.  Artists helping artists, as we are all one big family.

The lovely Mz. Zinser.
The best (and most hilarious) booth neighbor EVER!  Ren Farnsworth, who actually drove all the way to Tucson from Connecticut. 
The weather this year was nearly the polar opposite of some prior years, with temperatures nearing 80 and lots of sunshine.  We even got a bit of sunburn and broke a little sweat while hiking one of the gorgeous trails just West of town.  This year we even had to do a little shopping for some cooler clothing to get us through the show.

This year I signed up for Kate McKinnon and Kyle Cassidy's photo shoot event, to get some shots of my jewelry on models, and...wow.  It's kind of surreal to see your work on someone, posing as models do, and looking so INCREDIBLE.  I'm so glad I signed up for this, and will likely be doing it again in the future.  Kate outdid herself finding models for this, and the Atomic Ranch has so many cozy vignettes just waiting to be shot.  Kyle is a gifted photographer, and super easy to work with, not to mention a really nice guy.  I mean, the Dalai Lama wouldn't let just anyone take his picture, right?  
The lovely Suzette, modeling this necklace.  You will not BELIEVE some of the shots we got.
The Sonoran Glass School's annual Flameoff was a great time again this year, and well attended.  I'm happy to report that a female flameworker took the prize this year!  Congratulations Veda Bickley!  And three cheers for BBQ Rush - now that I've sampled an array of BBQ purveyors in Tucson I think these guys are my favorite.  This year they had several food trucks on site for the Flameoff so everyone could get what they liked and not have to wait long.  And let me tell you that we have reason to believe that perhaps there is a reason why lone leftover BBQ ribs and the plastic tubes that your spork comes in are EXACTLY the same size.  I won't say who stuck an unfinished pork rib in their purse for the ride home.

The show finished on Saturday, leaving us free to party with Jean Baruch and her awesome crew at the Metal Arts Village for the Beads of Courage "Bead Inspired" fundraiser.  As an honoree last year, it felt great to welcome the new crop of bead artists to the Bead Hall of Fame, and I even got to accept an award for someone who wasn't there, Carol Crye from Tennessee.  Congratulations Carol!  

It was so nice to have some down time to visit with our friends and see a little more of Tucson.  On one of our free days after the show we took advantage of the incredible weather and hiked a few miles on the Sweetwater Trail, climbing up above the homes near Marana.  The varieties of cactus were mind blowing, as was the brewery lunch we had at Barrio Brewery, and a wonderful dinner at Agustin Kitchen.  There is no shortage of good food in Tucson, that's for sure.

Both Heidi and I had the pleasure of watching Terry work in her ceramic studio while we were there.  I was struck by some common threads that our respective media share, for example, needing to find the center of things (e.g. when working with metal discs, or carving designs on semi-dried clay), getting things on center.  If you're around Tucson this weekend and would like to see some great ceramic art, my friend Terry will be in this show in Tohono Chul Park.

So that's about it.  We will be back, Tucson, and you will be sweetly in our thoughts and dreams until then. Thank you again for some great memories.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Tucson Recap in 3...2...1...

I'm back from Tucson and SOOOO want to share some of my wonderful memories from the trip and Show, but unfortunately one of the unexpected things I brought home (Heidi too), was a nasty cold.  Booooo.  I feel pretty crappy, but hopefully I'll bounce back in a couple of days and will share some highlights.  It was super fun, profitable, and we got to meet lots of great people and do tons of fun things.  I'll leave it at that for now. See you soon.

Heidi and I in one of many giggle fests, this one with Kyle Cassidy at Kate McKinnon's photo shoot.  Photo by Kyle Freaking Cassidy.  More to come from that wonderful day.  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Mad Science: Learn how to electroform organic material

I'm going to be teaching my electroforming techniques at a couple of venues this year - close to home at Kiss My Glass in Santa Cruz on May 16/17, and then in a one-day class at the ISGB Gathering in Albuquerque in July.  To register for the class in Santa Cruz contact Jackie Marr at Kiss My Glass.  Phone (831) 462-3077, or email kmgjackie@aol.com.  If you're going to The Gathering this year (and do check out the mind blowing lineup of presenters and classes at www.isgb.org), keep your eyes on the ISGB website - the conference booklets will be out in a couple of weeks and registration is very early this year, in mid-February.

In this class you will learn the fundamentals of electroforming, and will gain experience applying this knowledge to electroforming on glass and other non-organic materials.  We will then progress to electroforming on organic materials such as leaves, acorn caps, twigs and pods, etc.  While our materials are processing I'll share some of my pendant techniques using the end of the mandrel, and demonstrate bail techniques as well.

Here are some photos illustrating these techniques.

Electroformed acorn caps.

Glass acorn, electroformed (real) acorn cap.
Off-the-end-of-the-mandrel pendant with handmade bail.

Ka-Blinged acorn cap.  We will cover how to do this in the class.


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