Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Viking Knit

Last week I had the opportunity to take a viking knit class from my friend Robin Koza of Posh Elements. Given that I am not very coordinated and sometimes have difficulty tying my shoes, Robin made it very easy. I didn't prepare for the class very well, I used beads from my orphan box (slate gray and copper green do kinda go together) but I was pleased with the results. I rarely make anything in a class worth keeping much less wearing but the pace of the class was perfect for me to take my time and make something I would be proud to wear.
Robin teaches a variety of classes and I have inside information about a new business she will be launching soon so keep an eye out for more cool stuff from her!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ken Bailey - Photographer/Darkroom Wizard

"Arbor Dream" Photo by Ken Bailey
I did a last minute show this past weekend and, well, I had a lot of time to talk with the other artists and admire their work. Ken Bailey is an amazing photographer but only half of his gift is photographing images. I think is real talent is the photomontages he creates in is darkroom. Surreal is, I suppose, the term for his work and he has a lovely website gallery that I highly recommend veiwing. The images seem to draw in the viewer. As you look at his work, you can't help but picture yourself in the image or following the trails to their magical conclusion. Sometimes that conclusion is made by the viewer. I guess that is what I admire most about his work, the viewer isn't made to feel like a bystander but a part of the fairy tale.

I think another reason I admire Ken's work is because I took a black and white photography/darkroom techniques class in high school. I loved it and dreamed of being a photographer someday. Darkroom technique seems to be a dying art as more and more photos are outsourced to developing companies or manipulated with Photoshop. I know I'm guilty of the latter. Anyway, it was a dream for me and I think the passion I feel for glass was stronger and won out.

Please visit Ken's website and if you have a chance to see his work in person, please do so.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

NEW - Marquis Hollows

If you haven't guessed by now, I love hollows and transparent glass. I love the way the light catches the glass and makes the colors come alive. I have a hard time decorating them because I feel like any stringer doodlings would be almost an abomination. So, I play with shape and I am really loving this shape. Keep in mind that the beads in the above photo are the first test batch. I played with shaping with little concern about size or consistency which I focus on for sets an pairs. This shape allows even more surfaces for the light to reflect and refract making them sparkle like diamonds.

Sets will be up on Etsy this week as well as some etched weessels. Custom orders welcome as always.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

In Praise of Mom

No, don't panic, it's not Mother's Day. I owe a few words of praise and thanks to my own mom so I'm saying it now before I forget and because Hallmark just doesn't make a card to cover it all.

Without her, I wouldn't be here but I also wouldn't be "here." My mom has offered opinions and suggestions whenever I needed them and sometimes when I didn't know I did. She has been there at every show to tote and lug stuff, package up orders, and to keep watch during restroom breaks. We have had adventures in interstate driving and walked a mile together to buy C clamps. She sacrificed a skirt for the perfect fabric to make a display for me and has taken her carpentry skills to new heights to create the perfect light bar.

Recently, she has even taken up jewelry making to accent my work and, I hope to have a little fun too. She has learned to make woven bracelets which incorporate my hollow button toggles as well as my new weessels (wee vessels) and lampwork disks. She's also started branching out with beautiful leather wrap bracelets.
Giving her a little spotlight here is the least I can do to thank her for all that she does.
Thanks Mom!!!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Glass...Pretty, Pretty Glass

I’ve been making and posting hollows which has led to some custom orders which has led to more hollows but I have been doing other things as well. Some though have sold before I could post them and I am grateful for that these days. I have been kinda hogging one new item though. It’s a metal glass I came across maybe last year. Like anything new, I made some test pieces to see the potential. I quickly valued this glass as having the potential to make ugly, sludgy beads. I shelved it and forgot about it. I decided to play with it again and, I have no idea what changed but WOW. The colors on these disks and spacers cannot be more rich or amazing! There’s deep purple, steel to navy blue and a whole range of browns from caramel to coffee. The wee-ssels (tiny vessels) I made have already been abducted for a special project but the rest are going up for sale today.


Monday, September 1, 2008

Subject to Change

I've been playing with hollows and embellishing them so I added some metallic shards to an amethyst one. I love metallic glass so I added some metallic rivet-looking dots for a steampunk industrial look. I liked the effect so much that I made a matching vessel. I'm pretty pleased with how both turned out so there will probably be more in the series coming soon.
I didn't plan on any shows for the rest of the year but I've been asked to do a pre-holiday trunk show by some of my regular customers. I'm planning on the 15th of November right now and it will include all of the regular trappings of my trunk show: a variety of goodies for you and all of your gift-giving needs at every budget level from stocking stuffers to budget gift exchanges and more high end items for the most important person on your list - YOU! I will be including some new wire wrapped and gemstone jewelry as well so get your lists ready. I will be posting invitations but if you need directions, let me know.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Here and There

I have a wholesale account which varies my workload from not busy at all to working consecutive 12 hour days to fill their orders. This spike usually occurs in the Fall. There is little planning or predicting so sometimes I just seem to fall off of the face of the earth.

The trunk show at Bead Angels should not be called a show at all. There were four of us who set up inside the store and we ate, talked, laughed, and exchanged ideas for a couple of days. In addition to all of this fun, I had some really good sales. One of the hit items was the new disk beads I featured in my last blog.

Prior to this show, I spent my free-torch time playing with some basic lampwork techniques. Disks, hollows, hollow hearts, bubble beads, etc. This was a nice way to get back to basics and vary my offerings. Several of these items will be going up on Etsy this week and next.

I just received my issue of Step by Step Wire and bookmarked several really cool ideas that I think I can adapt to my vessels. I am also stocking up on jumprings (and bourbon) for another phase of chain maille vessel necks.

I don't have any shows planned for the rest of the year but I will have regular Etsy listings and will post new stuff as it hatches.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

I Wandered Off

Nice start, one post and I wandered off. I have a good excuse though, really. I am gearing up for a new show at Bead Angels in Broadripple Indiana on August 1st and 2nd. I thought I would play with some bead-type designs for a change. These "bullseye discs" as well as hollows will be among my offerings.
I do some contract wholesale work as well and that tends to gear up for me in the second half of the year so that has started to ramp up.
I have a good range of offerings up on Etsy right now and I will be continuing to add.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Hello and thanks for looking in!

I returned from Bead and Button earlier this month and promptly fell ill and had a bunch of custom orders to fill so I am only now getting this blog going which was one of the things on the list known as "Things I will do when I get back from B&B." That list starts in about March and grows to frightening proportions. This year it almost rivals the list of "Things I promised after Hell freezes over." Yep, I am a rabid list maker.

I have another list of items to try from my sketch book. Some new ideas on hollows have already met their watery end in the dunk bucket but I do have other ideas. I plan on getting some new chain maille vessels together and I will bring back new and improved sterling fancy stoppers. These will be a universal fit so the Etsy customer can choose their own. I like to keep that aspect in the process. Customer input to help make a piece that is truly the customers.