Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Giddy


Javelinas coming for their morning visit.
Soon my partner in crime Heidi and I will be hitting the road for Tucson, to experience what is at the same time an exhiliarating, boring, stimulating, demanding, exhausting week+ of adventures.  I get to see lots of my glassy, beady peeps and their incredible works of art, hang with dear friends who used to live here in the mountains with us but now live in Tucson, and spend 830 miles getting reacquainted with one of my bestest friends ever.  We both dread the drive but with each of us taking turns, and chatting the day away it seems to go by quickly.  But once we get there?  Heaven.  I love the desert! And Terry says that the javelinas have been asking about us, and they have a new baby to introduce to us.  I can't wait.

You never know what you might see on the drive to Tucson.

Wind turbines near Palm Springs. 
I wanted to show you some of the work I'll be bringing with me to this new show.  It's always a challenge to know what to bring - jewelry?  Focal beads?  Sets?  As usual I checked my sales records from last year and I at least have a starting plan, but you never know.  And there's always the Last Minute Innovation Factor.  It never fails that within a week or two of this major five day show I am lured away by the "what if I try THIS" ideas, and this year is no exception.  It's something that happens every. single. time. before a big show and I need to work harder to resist the call.  Or not.  Sometimes the discoveries are worth it!

Here are some of the jewelry pieces I'll have in Tucson.

I'm having loads of fun with this disc shape, and making the bails as well.


What would the show be without these awesome ACORNS?  New, with oak leaf bling.
Lots of big holed, capped and cored beads.
I'll share some of the loose beads coming next.  Have yourself an awesome day!

Monday, January 26, 2015

A break in the show prep with a bit of bacon, some wine, and a dude with a bow

Bacon is cooking in the Lakinsmith household once again, and I'm here with you and a lovely glass of wine in my Beads of Courage wine glass, taking a break from my studio.  The fire is crackling in the living room and my man will soon be home.

The bacon is for this dish from my favorite source, Epicurious - Lamb shoulder with polenta and beans.  We actually made it a few days ago and I'm re-making one of the components since it was gone before the polenta and the lamb.  I've been shyly flirting with polenta for a while now, and embraced it headily with this dish - it's creamy polenta, and I'm in love.  The roughly cut corn gets simmered in the oven with chicken broth, cream, shallots and thyme, and it couldn't be easier.  The maker of this recipe was brilliant.  The way that part of the leeks get used in a piquant twist to the savory beans is what makes it.  In case you're wondering, no, I'm not a huge fan of the lamb as food, but we were gifted a bit of it by a family member who lovingly raised it on his ranch and it's there in our freezer.  Yeah, I know, not exactly a stanchion of morals one way or the other on this issue, but it is what it is.  But this recipe, wow.  It's some pretty awesome comfort food.

Speaking of sustainable eating, have you heard of Donnie Vincent?  I recently stumbled on one of his videos on Facebook and am intrigued.  Donnie is an adventurer, wilderness bow hunter, gear expert, and maker of extraordinary films, and what drew me in is his love for nature and telling the story of the modern meat gatherer.  The film work and settings in his pieces are breathtaking (as is the haunting cello score), and I just had to get one of his movies for my husband for Christmas.  In addition to sharing these remote, perfect spots with us Donnie is trying to get us all to think about where our food comes from, like one of my other heros, Michael Pollan.  We all need to do more of that. 

"Don't confuse me with being anything else other than proud. Proud to be a hunter. It's time we stop apologizing for how we get our protein. This is who we are. Unless you’re a small time rancher, small time farmer, a hunter or fishermen... you really have no idea where your food comes from. Most people don’t even think about it. Well, we think about it. ” - Donnie Vincent.
I had my own epiphany of sorts on this topic a couple of years back when I was lamenting how much of our freezer space was taken up by fish, wild ducks, and other assorted game, and at the same time scratching my head over how a grown man could take up so much of his free time plotting ways to harvest food from the wild.  And then it struck me.  Here I am, making a point of shopping various "whole" food stores, buying organic protein, when right in front of me was a man doing a remarkable job of feeding his family with the same goal in mind.  He takes what we can eat, from wild and (hopefully) healthy sources, minimizing the impact on the planet.  He only hunts birds, but we are lucky to be able to trade fish for red meat from our friends who do hunt the larger game.  Now when I open the freezer I feel a deep sense of gratitude.

Here is the little Vimeo piece that piqued my curiosity about this guy.


Who We Are from Sicmanta on Vimeo.

Isn't it engaging?  Anyway, those are my deep thoughts for tonight.  I'm back in the studio after dinner for some more show prep. May the force be with us all!


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Beads of Courage: The role of glass beads as Arts-in-Medicine


Today I'm taking a little break from promoting the new Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival , and I wanted to share some bead pictures of my own, but they are not beads I'll be selling at the show.


Recently I've been spending a portion of my torching time making specially matched beads for a cause near and dear to my heart.  Beads of Courage is an arts-in-medicine program that helps seriously ill children own and share their stories of strength and courage.  There are over 30,000 children participating in the international Beads of Courage program.  Through the groundbreaking work of nurse and founder Dr. Jean Baruch, this non-profit foundation has been helping children tell their stories since 2003, about the same time as I discovered glass bead making.  In the 11 years since it began, the program has grown to include over 60 hospitals not just in the United States, but abroad as well.  Jean's vision, love and energy are helping thousands of children and their families to cope with the challenges that chronic, serious illnesses bring.

These matched pairs are part of the Carry A Bead program, and will be carried by athletes, celebrities, and others who embark on amazing adventures, who will give one of the beads to a child with an inspirational note. 
These glass beads are going to help children who are facing life-threatening illnesses, and that makes my heart sing. 

Please visit the Beads of Courage website  to learn more about their amazing work, and ways that you can help them in their mission.

If you're in Tucson for the gem and bead shows and want to attend a great party and support their cause, come to Bead Inspired, and enjoy a wonderful, heartwarming evening with Jean Baruch and the Beads of Courage folks at the Metal Arts Village.  I can't wait to see who is inducted into the Bead Hall of Fame this year.


Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival: Jared DeLong


The incredible glass sculpture of Jared DeLong.  I can't tell you how excited I am to be able to see some of his work in person for the first time.
In the days leading up to the shows in Tucson I am sharing some images of work by the participating artists in the new all glass Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival at the Quality Inn Suites from Feb 3-7.  Jared DeLong will be there showing his mind blowing work.

This new show is conveniently located just off I-10 near the Tucson Expo Center. This map will help you get your bearings.


I will be there with some of my newest glass beads and jewelry, in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door. 

Lampwork and bronze bracelet by Patty Lakinsmith.
 Please check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:


Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks


Friday, January 23, 2015

Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival: Barbara Svetlick

Today I would like to share some work from another artist participating in the all new Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival - Barbara Svetlick.  Barb is a multi-talented artist who is also a prolific and accomplished writer.
Glass flowers by Barbara Svetlick.  Her newest work features sculpted glass flowers on burled wood bases.
This new all glass show at the Quality Inn & Suites from Feb 3-7. It's just off I-10 near the Tucson Expo Center.

Mandala Pendant by Patty Lakinsmith. 
The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival is a brand new, all glass show at the Quality Inn and Suites, and goes from Tuesday, Feb 3 through Saturday, Feb 7, and I'll be there in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door.  Check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:


Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival: Margaret Zinser

Margaret Zinser's amazing enameled glass butterflies. 
As I'm toiling away in my studio getting ready for the show, I thought I would share some images of work by the participating artists in the new all glass show at the Quality Inn & Suites from Feb 3-7.  Exhibitor lists are great (when they are up to date), but the actual eye candy?  Wow.  Margaret Zinser is one of the many incredible glass artists sharing their work at the brand new Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival in February.  Not only does she create these amazing butterflies, but incredible maze marbles and carved wood jewelry as well.  Get there early to see her full collection.

This new show is conveniently just off I-10 near the Tucson Expo Center at the Quality Inn & Suites. Note that it starts on Tuesday, Feb. 3.


I'll be showing my own work in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door. 

Honeycomb Necklace by Patty Lakinsmith.
 Check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:



Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

An All New, All Glass Show in Tucson: Akihiro Okama to exhibit

Did you know that there's a new show in Tucson this year?  I'm excited to be a part of of the very first Tucson Glass Art and Bead Festival from February 3-7 at the Quality Inn & Suites in Tucson.  Between now and then I'll be featuring the work of some of the incredible artists at this new show, along with showing some of the new work I'll be bringing.

Stunning glass by Japanese artist Akihiro Okama, who will be showing at the Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival in February.
The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival will have nothing but amazing glass creations from some of the best glass makers on the planet.  Yes, planet.  The Japanese glass art alone will blow. Your. Mind.  I will offer both beads and finished jewelry at this show.  It's at the Quality Inn and Suites, and goes from Tuesday, Feb 3 through Saturday, Feb 7, and I'll be there in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door.  Check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:



Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival: JC Herrell exhibiting

 
In the days leading up to the shows in Tucson I am sharing some images of work by the participating artists in the new all glass show at the Quality Inn & Suites from Feb 3-7.  I will be there with my own flameworked beads and jewelry, and yes, there will be acorns!

Copper and glass acorns by Patty Lakinsmith, available in my Etsy shop or in person at the Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival.
This new show is conveniently located just off I-10 near the Tucson Expo Center, and they have their own shuttle bus route that goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

The amazing JC Herrell will be showing her colorful, precise work at this new show, and I can't wait to see it in person again. 


A new bead from JC Herrell's "Graphic Biologicals" series.
The show goes from Tuesday, Feb 3 through Saturday, Feb 7, and I'll be there in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door.  Check the show website for more info. 

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:



Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks

Monday, January 19, 2015

More artists at the Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival: Bronwen Heilman



In the days leading up to the shows in Tucson I am sharing some images of work by the participating artists in the new all glass show at the Quality Inn & Suites from Feb 3-7. It's just off I-10 near the Tucson Expo Center.


Bronwen Heilman will be exhibiting her work at the Tucson Glass Art and Bead Festival .  Her new boro shot glasses are amazing!
Borosilicate shot glasses from Bronwen Heilman.
The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival is a brand new, all glass show at the Quality Inn and Suites, and goes from Tuesday, Feb 3 through Saturday, Feb 7, and I'll be there in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door.  Check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:



Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Fixing a grey background on your Blogger Header image

I recently updated my blog's header image to a crisp, minimalist banner on a white background, the same one I use for my Etsy shop.  I used the same .JPG file for each, but the one in my blogger header appeared to have a grey background while the one for my Etsy shop was white as I liked it. 

After searching the Blogger forums I found the solution, and it's easy.  Just open your image in whatever editor you use (I used Photoshop Elements), and save your .JPG as a .PNG file instead.  Your crisp white background will appear just as you want it.

Tucson Glass Art and Bead Festival: Lewis Wilson to exhibit

Lewis Wilson, "Eagle Dancer", Plains design. 
Did you know that there's a new show in Tucson this year, and it's all glass?  I'm excited to be a part of of the very first Tucson Glass Art and Bead Festival from February 3-7 at the Quality Inn & Suites in Tucson.  Between now and then I'll be featuring the work of some of the incredible artists at this new show.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival is also the sponsor of the Sonoran Glass School 2015 Flameoff, on Friday, February 6 at 7pm.  It's an exciting, fun evening where you can watch glass art being made.

At the Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival, where you'll find nothing but amazing glass creations from some of the best glass makers on the planet.  I will be bringing both beads and finished jewelry at this show.  It's at the Quality Inn and Suites, and goes from Tuesday, Feb 3 through Saturday, Feb 7, and I'll be there in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door.  As with lots of the shows in Tucson, many artists will be showing their work from the suites as well.  Check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:



Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tucson Gem Shows in February - Are you In?



Have you experienced the exhilaration of visiting Tucson during February yet?  Are you planning a trip to the gem show and wondering how you'll survive?   It's more than an escape to the desert sun (in fact it can be quite cold there sometimes), and if you're at all a fan of beads, gemstones, pearls, jewelry, jewelry making supplies, meteorites (yes), or people watching, you should check it out because you won't find a greater assemblage of vendors anywhere else.  The Tucson Show Guide will tell you where and when every single show is, and will help you plan your time.  If you're not sure what to bring or how to schedule your time, check out this great survival guide so you don't melt into a puddle of overwhelm on your first day there.  Or maybe this guide

There are classes and workshops too, and you could learn some new designs and techniques from the best instructors and makers in the business, the ones you see in the magazines all the time.  My friend Terry Henry is offering a sweet wire wrapped floral lampwork necklace class and here is the class info.  The amazing Susan Lenart Kazmer is teaching at To Bead True Blue, as is Lisa Pavelka, Christi Friesen,  and Anne Mitchell.  JC Herrell is teaching her incredible stringer control techniques at the Sonoran Glass Academy on Feb 9.  Kate McKinnon is launching a new book on Contemporary Geometric Beadwork and also having a photo shoot with the one and only Kyle Cassidy.  And if you'd like to learn some tips and tricks about how to photograph your own artwork, Doug Baldwin is teaching at the Tucson Bead Show as well and still has some seats left.

Some refer to it as the Tucson Gem Show, but in reality there are independent shows at nearly every hotel, and every parking lot, with pop up tents in vacant lots and a wide range of offerings.  They go for weeks, and some planning is required to ensure that you are there when the shows offering your favorite items (e.g. tools, beads, minerals) are in swing.  Some make a point of being there on the first day that a show opens, to ensure that they have the best choice from vendors.  I can certainly tell you that Day 1 of my shows there has been the biggest by far, so if there's an Absolute Must Have on your list you should plan to hit that show on the day it opens.

This year I am not exhibiting at the Best Bead Show (contrary to what their outdated website says) - I'm doing a brand new all glass art and bead show called the Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival, where you'll find nothing but amazing glass creations from some of the best glass makers on the planet.  The Japanese glass art alone will blow. Your. Mind.  I will offer both beads and finished jewelry at this show.  It's at the Quality Inn and Suites, and goes from Tuesday, Feb 3 through Saturday, Feb 7, and I'll be there in the Palo Verde Room (the "ballroom") at table B-6, just inside the front door.  Check the show website for more info.  The Tucson Glass Art & Bead Festival also has their own shuttle bus route and it goes between the Quality Inn (where this new show is), Kino Sports Complex (where the Best Bead Show is), J.O.G.S. Tucson, and the Tucson airport, and it goes several times an hour.  Here is the link to the show guide containing all of the shuttle bus info.

Please come and visit me at my new show!  Here is the exhibitor list:



Patty Lakinsmith
Lori Engle / Heiden & Engle
Monty Clark & Carol Fonda-Clark / Dichroic Inc.
Jeff Rogers / Rogers Art Glass
Darryl Emmett / Blast Shield Tools
Donna Felkner / CG Beads
Doug Harroun / Greymatter Glass
Donna Conklin / Prima Donna Beads
JeriLyn Alderman / Firechilde Glass Studio
JC Herrell
Margaret Zinser / MZ Glass & Bijoux Bee
Jo Hoffacker / Dogmaw Glass
Jeff Rutherford
Ren Farnsworth
Susan P. Hanson
Jared DeLong
Akihiro Okama
Ryo Ono
Mika Nishiyama
Takahiro Muto
Masao Sakai
Kazushi Onodera
(+ about 20 amazing Japanese artists work who cannot attend in person!)
Lewis Wilson / Crystal Myths
Barbara Svetlick
Bronwen Heilman
Marcia Kmack/Cavecreek Glassworks

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Borocurious: A soft glass artist's week-long journey into the "dark side"


Borosilicate.  Pyrex.  Boro.  Hard glass.  All words to describe glass used for extremely durable and often functional items.  Glass that works.  Sculptural glass.  Glass that takes a big torch to melt.  Glass that is not for the faint of heart.  I am just back from a week-long immersive class in this glass with Rashan Jones from High Desert Flameworks in Albuquerque, and my mind is blown.

High Desert Flameworks.  Near Old Town in Albuquerque.

Some of Rashan Jones' exquisite glass.
When I heard my friends Joy Munshower and Kim Edwards mention that they had convinced Rashan to share his knowledge in a private class designed for experienced flameworkers, I knew it was something I had to do.  Bead ladies who work in soft glass sometimes call boro the "dark side", but who's to say whether one or the other is best?  Truth be told, I'm pretty sure that artists in both mediums are in awe of the skills the other side has, and this class was a chance to see how well our existing soft glass skills transferred over.  Rashan is well known and beloved to the flameworking community, and was already a friend and colleage in the bead show trade as well as the International Society of Glass Beadmakers.  I knew he would put together an informative, fun class and he well exceeded my expectations.

Rashan explaining the intricacies of working with borosilicate tubing.
For an entire week we learned how to manipulate not only boro rod, but also boro tubing an inch in diameter with walls 4mm thick.  We learned how forgiving the glass is of thermal changes (something our own soft glass is not), and also learned where it is finicky.  He demonstrated how to fuse smaller tube collars onto larger diameter tube to ultimately create wine and shot glasses, and we learned humility.  He showed us how to make implosions and compressions to create realistic looking flowers under glass lenses, and we learned to imagine an inside-out world.   We were exposed to new colors, and shapes, and techniques for coaxing this durable glass into what we wanted to make, and our visions were broadened.

Justin and Ashleigh were also great instructors!

And Rashan thought of everything.  He invited some of his boro specialist colleagues (Justin Case and Ashleigh Davies) to give demos.  He ensured each of us got what we needed from the class.  He arranged for catered lunches by Conchita's Creations (OMG, YUMMsville).  He offered to connect us with suppliers, and he shared his family, home and food with us. And he knew exactly when encouragement and praise were needed, and when to stand back and let us try to swim.


What did we make?  Well, I had no preconceived notions of desired end products and was happy to execute each homework assignment for the lessons they contained.  I now have a couple of shot glasses only a maker could love, several wine glasses with implosions for stems, a vortex marble, several pipes (which will happily go into a drawer somewhere until I find someone who might have a need for them more than me), and a couple of pendants.  Oh yes, and a very full heart and stimulated brain.  And interestingly, even though many soft glass bead ladies make beads from boro, not a single bead was made this entire week.  Imagine.  And I was perfectly fine with that.

I don't yet know where this new knowledge will take me, but I rarely do when I delve into a parallel universe for inspiration, so hang on.  I'll figure it out eventually.  Meanwhile, if you're a soft glass beadmaker and at all borocurious, I highly recommend you speak with Mr. Jones.  He's been expecting you.



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