Friday, January 25, 2013

Photo shoot for my new work

Getting ready for the photo shoot for my new glass jewelry.

Pictures have been taken thanks to Bernadette.  Now I need to finish the write-ups for Etsy and I'll be ready to post.  Unfortunately....this part takes me a LONG time!  Inch by inch.............

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What's New

I couldn't wait to take great photo's of what I have been doing. phone camera is going to have to do for now!

My latest passion - Lampworking

Italian glass rods are used to make each bead.  I heat the glass until molten using a gas/oxygen torch and carefully wrap it around a mandrel to form the bead.  This has really been a learning process but I am so loving it.  After I have formed and decorated the bead to my satisfaction (that can take quite a while!) -  I carefully place the bead in my kiln to begin the annealing process.  (This is a high temperature soak to relieve all the possible stress inside the glass bead and prevent it's cracking.)  When annealed the bead is cleaned and ready to be used.

I am working on getting some photo's for my Etsy Store but this will give you an idea of what I have been doing to keep out of trouble!

Forty eight  one of a kind glass beads with black seed beads as separators on memory wire - make up this unique bracelet

I have also been making a variety of simple pendants that can be put on leather or silk cord.

I especially love the earrings!  My new designs will have handmade ear wires too.

I am having so much fun......I keep thinking it must be illegal!  Subscribe to my blog or visit my Etsy store  for updates.

I would love to hear your comments!

Can Spring be far away?

Unfortunately I caught that horrible cold thing going around so my progress on this blog has been slow.  Then this weekend I got yet another variety of the crud.......I am sick and tired of being sick.

When I moved from Minneapolis my neighbor's son, Hitch gave me a bulb from one of his Mother's  (Violet Lyman) plants that I had admired.  I have this plant in my studio. It blooms twice a year -  in the spring and in the winter.   Each year it gets a little bigger.   Everytime it blooms - it brings back great memories of a wonderful family and wonderful times.  This is the first time the blooms have been so profuse...maybe time to repot and divide!
Enjoy the taste of Spring....I sure am........

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


It has been a long time since I updated my blog.  The first day of the new year sounded like a perfect place to start AGAIN!

It was a long hot, dry summer.  I worked a little in my studio but decided to take the summer "off" and learn something new.  I have been making one of a kind jewelry and was looking for a new technique that would enhance the final piece.  I took some lampworking (glass bead making) workshops and immediately fell in love.  I began researching and planning how to revise my studio to make room for my new passion.

First I had to put everything in my studio on wheels so I can reconfigure my studio depending on what I am working on.  I now have three kilns (two for ceramics - one digital for glass) - and all moveable!
The more I learned - the more I realized what I didn't know!  I slowly began getting the equipment that I would need - my torch - and then there is that assortment of new tools that would be required.  I have found a few clay tools that I can use for my glass bead making - but not many.
It was so much fun finding everything I needed (I had a hard time with what I needed and what I wanted...there is so much!) - I watched sales - searched on Craigslist - joined several online lampworking groups.  I read morning, noon and night - watched videos.  Just when I had almost everything I needed to get started - I discovered I was missing something - the most important part - the ventilation system.  Dang.......I wasn't counting on that expense!  I found Pam Brisse from The Blue Between.  She has put photos of her new art studio (it was fabulous) and when I saw the vent system she had designed and installed - I knew I wanted to do the same thing.  I made a few modifications and with the help of my great neighbor Al - it all came together.  I had to order and wait for the oxygen concentrator, the inline fan and the outside vent cover that kept arriving smashed.  Several MONTHS later - I had it all.   I had my oxygen and my propane, my torch, my vent system, my glass, my tools, and a lighter!........I just needed courage to try it!  Deb my instructor came and helped me (I just wanted to make sure - I didn't blow up myself or my house)
I was terrified the first time I used it but with practice - the fear has turned into pure joy.

In this picture the washtub hood is ready to try.

It did not pass the incense test so I had to  figure out how to create a tunnel for the air.
I found a welding curtain - added sheet metal screws to the tub and  now the fumes go straight up and outside.

Here it is almost completed

I soon discovered that some type of glass rod storage was necessary.  So I made several containers
that hold my glass rods and stringers.  So far they are handy and working well.  I put them up on shelves by my torch area.

Next week I will finish photographing and post some of my beads and show how I am using them with my ceramic, fiber and copper beads.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

2012 Art Bead Earring Swap

These are the earrings I made for the 2012 Art Bead Earring Swap

I made these for Cheryl.  The ceramic hoops that have been stamped using my hand carved mold.
The middle beads have a crackle glaze sandwiched between two silver spacers and black beads.
They of course have sterling silver ear wires.  I hope she likes them!

 These are the earrings I made for Stephanie.  She said she liked bold colors!
They are ceramic loops that have  been pressed with my hand carved stamp.
The inside beads are one yellow bead and tiny clay bead caps at the top and bottom of the  bead.

Tragedy struck.  One of the earrings fell out of her ear and shattered.  :(
I promised Stephanie that I will start making her a new pair on Saturday (My Son and Bekkah are visiting me from Alaska and they will be leaving on Friday.

Here are the other Art Bead Earring Swap participants

Diana Ptaszynski
Patti Vanderbloemen

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Part Two - 2012 Art Bead Earring Swap Reveal

Cheryl's earrings had a far way to go to get here.  Cheryl is from Canada!  Hear earrings are glass beads that are a beautiful shade of blue with brown and copper swirls.  At the bottom are small crystal coordinating beads.  They are going to look fantastic with a linen outfit I have - they are just the right colors.

Cheryl also sent a surprise with my earrings.  A glass Angry Bird Bead.  Unfortunately it won't be around long - when my granddaughter sees it....bye bye angry bird!  She is going to love it! (He didn't exactly fit into the picture but part of him can be seen at the top of the picture)

I wish you lived closer - I would be waiting on your door step to learn how to make glass beads!

Thank you so much Cheryl - they are beautiful!

Here are the other Art Bead Earring Swap participants

Diana Ptaszynski
Patti Vanderbloemen

Drum Roll.........2012 Art Bead Earring Swap Reveal!

I was so lucky to have as partners Cheryl Brown (Dragonfly Designs in Grande Prairie, Alberta) and Stephanie Haussler (Pixybug Designs, Lawrence, Nebraska).

I have already lost this post once trying to put multiple pictures on one posting.  I will do them ONE at a time.

I waited to open my earrings until they both arrived.  That was yesterday.  It was like Christmas!   I all of my earrings!

The first pair of earrings that arrived were from Stephanie.  They are beautiful!  (I still want to hear the story behind the bees)  I don't know if I am correct in my interpretation but the top bead is marbleized (like a mini earth).  You didn't know it but turquoise is one of my most favorite colors!  In the middle is a bee and finally the flat bead at the bottom looks like it has a jar carved on it - no double to hold all that honey from the bee!

Thank you so much Stephanie!

Here are the other Art Bead Earring Swap participants

Diana Ptaszynski
Patti Vanderbloemen