I went out to the studio today and my kiln won't turn on. I called tech support and they haven't called back yet. I have a heater going out there - perhaps that will help. :(
My family has had a rough couple of years losing dogs. My husband and I have lost four of our sweet babies recently. We like big dogs (Great Danes and Boxers) and they don't live long lives so that's the burden we bear.
I've always wanted to have a gem made from my dog's ashes but they are pricey. Then I saw that some lampworkers were working the ashes into their glass beads and they were beautiful! They look kind of like a cosmic swirl. And, of course, they could cover up the ashes with opaque color if the client was uncomfortable with seeing them.
I decided it was finally time to try this for myself. A few nights ago I took the ashes from my boxer, Molly, out to the shop with me and let me tell you, the beads came out better than I could have hoped. I want to play with some other techniques, but even the first four I made are going to be worn and are beautiful. I even made one for my other boxer, Wylie, who was her buddy in the last stages of her life.
I will be offering this service to my clients soon. I need to work out some logistics - make some samples, take some photos, put together collection kits, etc. This is a very personal project for me and I am glad I can finally move forward with it. More to come...
I have been so very busy! I have photos to take and post from the two commissions I received from the SCA group. I will tell you more about the commission pieces when i can post photos.
I've been busily making SCA related merchandise for the event I will be merchanting at in November. I made it into the studio today to finish up a few beads for some projects. I've been crocheting and beading and digging out all kinds of medieval type things. I will have a full set of bagpipes for sale at my table and some renaissance gown patterns that have never been used.
It has been fun thinking outside the box for this show but it has also meant I have had to completely make over my inventory. But I intend to make these kinds of shows often so it won't be a problem after this.
In the meantime, I am perfecting my dragon eye beads, and my beaded amulet bags, and the beaded goblet cloths. If I have a good show maybe I will treat myself to some pretty new feast ware.
...vessels! I have some soaking down in the studio. I'm so excited! I've got the bug. Now I have to find tiny corks (and I have to pray that the vessels will come off the mandrels!).
As I mentioned in my last post, I visited Delphi Glass on Saturday for some demonstrations and a little shopping. The demonstrations were excellent. Val and Tim are patient teachers and took all kinds of questions. It was worth the drive and I would recommend checking out a class there.
I stayed in Howell, Michigan and right next door in Brighton, Michigan I found a bead shop called Brighton Beads and More. Check out their website. They carry all kinds of beads, findings, glass, gemstones, Swarovski crystals, Kumihimo kits, precious metal clay, books, tools, and much more. I took some time and shopped and brought home some fun stuff. The staff was very friendly and spent all the time I needed directing me to things I asked for, as well as showing me some things I hadn't thought of.
They also offer lots of classes. I was given a tour of the workshop and shown samples of the class projects. There are some fun class offerings like Zentangle Glass, Silversmithing, Torch Enameling, Viking Knit, Wire Wrapping, and many more. Class information and visiting artists are listed on their website.
Stop by if you happen to be in the area. They are located in Brighton, Michigan at 9850 E. Grand River Ave. Check the website for hours. Please tell them I sent you and that I said hello!
I've been working in the shop, but not on the torch. I decided it was time to start making finished pieces out of some of these beads I've been making.
Check out the new selection of cell phone fobs listed for sale, my new fish necklace, and my new Lucie Collection.
Next week I will travel to Lansing, Michigan to Delphi Glass for their Lampwork Lollapalooza. There will be demonstrations, a visit and demonstration by Glass Artist Tim Drier, a raffle of the demonstration pieces at the end of the event, and the best part - a SALE! This event is free and there is no registration so if you might be in the area, consider stopping in.
I designed this bracelet for my dearest friend who lost her darling dog a few days ago. This was a labor of love and I enjoyed every moment of it. It features a Japanese Kumihimo braid, goldtone clasp, and lampwork beads.
Rest in peace Lucie.
This is Lucie. Lucie is not for sale because she is cracked and I had to glue her back together. But I do intend to make lots of "siblings" for sale.
She is made entirely of glass. Her head and body are lampwork beads, her arms and legs are Czech glass seed beads.
I have kind of dedicated her to my dearest friend. She lost her dog (Lucie) a few days ago. She will be the store mascot.
If you are interested in one of Lucie's siblings, watch the listings. As soon as they are "born" they will be listed for sale.
I'm off to buy glass today. I love being able to purchase it locally. The fact that I can handle the glass and see the true colors of what I am buying is important. While it is true that they don't carry ALL of the Moretti colors, I buy all I can from them and what I cannot get I order online.
Locally, I typically shop at Fire Nation. They have a glass blowing shop in the back, a nice gallery in the front, and a separate space with supplies. The suppliers I tend to use online include Sundance Glass, Delphi Glass, and Frantz Art Glass. There are many MANY others but I haven't had the chance to order from them yet.
That's just for the raw glass and things like enamels, frit, tools, etc. Then there's all the jewelry making supplies. That's a blog post for another time.
So off I go to the "candy store", because that's what it is - eye candy!
I found a beautiful blog today. http://jelvehdesigns.blogspot.com/
It is beautifully written and has loads of lovely photos of her work. She teaches flameworking and also hosts visiting artists. She also does giveaways so head on over and read her blog from top to bottom!
Another great bead related blog I found today is http://www.beadersblog.com/2011/09/bead-soup-blog-party-reveal-andreas.html
Her blog is nice and clean looking, offers free tutorials and giveaways, and hosts bead soup parties. Bead soup parties are great fun.
And one more blog today is http://www.ceejaycreations.com/default.html Her blog is easy to navigate and her work is wonderful. Don't forget to read about the artist. Her bio is very interesting.
Do what you love, love what you do.