Monday, December 31, 2007
Sunday, December 30, 2007
I can't get enough of these silvered metallic glasses. Years ago when I worked with tiny seed beads, all of the Iris colors like Iris Blue, Brown, Green, Purple and the metallics like Gunmetal, Silver and Gold were my favorites. My tastes haven't changed, I still love this look. I even changed my avatar today to a picture of some of my favorite beads from this past year - disc beads made from Nyx glass.
Friday, December 28, 2007
Here are some test beads I've done with a few of the glasses. My aim wasn't to make great beads, just test out the colors.
Here's a bead made with Khaos glass:
These are made with H123-b. I like the color on the un-encased middle one. The outer two are encased with clear:
This is my all-time favorite of the test batches I've tried, K-102. I will definitely be making more beads with this glass:
More photos to come as soon as I can get back to the torch. I can't wait to try my old Terra, I've missed that glass so much!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Sometimes I make a set of beads that I'm not ready to sell because I love them so much. This is one of those sets! I'm going to hang on to them for a little while! The photo shows a close-up of some of the beads, but there are actually about 20 in this set. Each one is a little different from the next.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The base glasses are, from left to right:
Vetrofond Moss Agate, Opal Yellow, CiM Thai Orchid, Medium Topaz, Vetrofond Green Ochre, Dark Topaz, ASK104 Caramel Apple, CiM Hades.
There seems to be an endless variety of colors and styles to be gleaned from Psyche, depending on the base glass used. You can see the sets I made with the Moss Agate and Dark Topaz in my last post.
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Noticing last week that my Psyche stash was getting dangerously low, I called to place an order with my glass supplier Frantz Art Glass. I found out that Double Helix has suspended making more Psyche for the time being while they work on producing more of their much-anticipated new batch of Terra glass. In other words, Frantz was out of Psyche with no word of when it might be in stock again. Sheer panic overtook me, and I proceeded to scour the web for anyone who still had some Psyche for sale. I found some at ABR Imagery, and now I have an entire pound of Psyche with which to continue my late-night experiments! (....maniacal laughter....)
In a recent post, I showed you pictures of my "Earth Gems" sets which were made with Psyche on a base of Canyon de Chelly glass by Creation is Messy (CIM). This week I've completed several new sets with other base glasses. These are going up in my Etsy shop:
More Psyche photos coming soon. Thanks for checking in and have a wonderful day!
Friday, December 14, 2007
The first two are organic sets with large 3.5mm holes:
Silver Cinnamon, silver foil and Silver Plum "rivets"
Ivory with silver dots:
Click on any of the images to visit my Etsy shop!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Clicking on the images will take you to my Etsy shop.
The weather continues to be cold, snowy and rainy, but the snow is really beautiful on the red rocks, especially when the sun comes out. Here's a photo from Airport Mesa, at the vortex:
Have a lovely day, and stay warm!
Sunday, December 9, 2007
My 12-year-old daughter ran around in the falling snow yesterday - and got soaking wet, like kids are supposed to do - and she made this cute snowman. I took this picture around mid-day today, so he had already melted a lot. He's kind of sad looking now, but I had to document this rare snow art opportunity with a photo!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
The brown base color on these sets is "Canyon de Chelly" from CIM glass. Over the past few days I've been experimenting with different base colors, and each one produces a totally different reaction with Psyche. I haven't photographed them yet, but when I do I'll post the photos here.
Friday, November 23, 2007
"Calliope" is made with the new CiM color "Thai Orchid" and an odd-lot "Dusty Rose" coral. The word "calliope" has been running through my head for the past few weeks, and I found out that Calliope is one of the 9 Muses and daughters of Zeus. She is the muse of poets. A calliope is also a steam organ, like the kind found at carnivals and on old-fashioned merry-go-rounds. (I'm sure all the music is digital now!) I'll have to look up why the muse and the steam organ have the same name. I wonder what the connection is?
I'm enjoying being back up on eBay. If you'd like to visit the auctions, click on the pictures.
Torch time, woo-hoo! See ya!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Across the evening sky, all the birds are leavingI love to write in my blog as often as possible, every day if I can, but the past few weeks have flown by. I've had family visiting, I've been sick, I've gone out of town, all kinds of distractions to take me away from blogging! But I'm back, at least for today!
But how can they know it's time for them to go?
Before the winter fire, I will still be dreaming
I have no thought of time
For who knows where the time goes?
Who knows where the time goes?
I have a favorite bead of late, made with Terranova glass. I've been wearing this one on a Bead Hitching Post pendant for the past week - I think it's a keeper! It's a landscape, with the Terranova at the top making the starry night sky. In addition to Terranova the bead has Vetrofond Odd Olive, Effetre, ASK Caramel Apple and Raku.
I love this new Terranova glass and I've gone and bought more of it already. I'm still practicing with Luna, too. Having a harder time getting a lot of color from Luna. This next bead has a Luna base with pure Terranova and Terranova/Luna stringers on top. The picture is a little low-res, but you get the general idea of what the bead looks like. I'm getting a lot of red and purple colors from these glasses.
I guess you could look at the Luna bead and say it does have good color, but I'm hoping to get more in the blue-green range and not just the orange. If it weren't for the addition of Terranova stringer on top, the bead would be mostly yellow/orange.
Monday, November 12, 2007
I've made a huge set that has been my obsession over the past week, and I've listed it on ebay. It's been forever since I've posted an auction! Here is a photo of the set. Click on the picture to see the auction!
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I now have only two 3-inch pieces of Terra left on my bench! I tried ordering more last month but was sad to hear that Double Helix had discontinued making it. Instead they've come out with two new silvered glasses, "Terranova" and "Luna." I ordered a 1/4 pound of each to try them out.
So far I'm finding them tricky to strike, but then Terra was really difficult in the beginning too. Since I've practiced so much with Terra, I now have a little bit better idea how to strike color with these new glasses but it's still going to take practice. Here are my very first experimental beads, first the Luna:
And the Terranova:
The large button focal is Terranova and Luna swirled together and encased. The white speckles on the beads are silver deposits that are part of the color of this glass. ...okay and probably some dust too :)
I've made some more beads with Terranova since these photos were taken. I can understand now that I had not been getting the glass hot enough in these practice beads, and so the range of color is not as broad as it could be. The glass didn't reach a good striking temperature, mostly because I'm used to working cool. Still, the translucent honey-amber color of the Luna is nice, and you can see more color in the Terranova beads when you look at them in the sunlight.
The color is not bad for a start, but the beads I made yesterday with Terranova really blow these practice beads out of the water. I'll show photos of them in a future post.
My main inspiration to keep practicing with Terranova and Luna is that Double Helix has offered to make the old Terra again if we can make these new glasses "sing."
Back to the torch!
Have a great day everyone!
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Generally I get frustrated making jewelry because it's so tedious, even though I used to make a lot of it. I really like making the beads now, and leaving the jewelry designing to the pros.
Still, when I make a bead or set of beads, I have to think ahead and become a jewelry designer for a moment. I try to visualize how my bead set could be used in a piece of jewelry. I try and think what jewelry designers need: eye-catching colors, unique designs, beads with good holes and beads that are weighted correctly. Still, I never know what creative ideas that a jewelry designer might come up with, and so I make beads that I love and hope they work for someone else, too!
Now I'm off on a tangent... I loved having the opportunity to make a small-scale piece of jewelry with these cell phone charms, and I realize how fun it can be to design jewelry with my beads even if they have a 'wonky' shape. The Kronos disc beads in the photo are lop-sided with an off-center hole, but they look great in a charm like this.
(I will be writing more on wonky/fugly beads in an upcoming post!)
I have a few charms up in my Etsy shop if you'd like to take a look.
Enjoy your day!
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
More disks.... these ones are a new style I'm attempting, the thin textured disk. It is more challenging than the chunky disks I have been making. I love the look of these, like old weathered copper. They are made with Double Helix's "Nyx" glass:
And, the sacred scarab. There are many interesting stories about scarabs. Winged scarabs, also called "heart scarabs" were worn on the chest of Egyptian mummies to protect their journey to the afterlife. The god Kephri was said to take the likeness of a scarab as he pushed the solar disk across the sky. A scarab amulet provides the wearer with healing and protection. Here is my metallic scarab bead made from Double Helix's "Psyche" glass:
Both of these are posted in my Etsy shop today.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
My latest favorite sets are these two groups of etched disks. I've posted them in my Etsy shop:
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
I also ordered some silvered glass by Double Helix - Nyx, and their new glass, Psyche. I haven't even tried the Nyx yet because Psyche has stopped me in my tracks! This glass has a beautiful peacock-hued, oil-slick metallic shine to it. When I take some photos of my new Psyche beads I'll post them here.
Here's a bead I've just posted in my Etsy shop, made with some Vetrofond odd-lot colors and silvered Hades glass by CIM. The way the colors and the silver reacted with each other made patterns that reminded me of a Mandelbrot fractal:
Back to the torch... Have a great day everyone!
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I've also made the cutest pumpkin and ghost beads for Halloween, but I don't have a photo of those yet. Next post!
Here are some of the latest offerings in my Etst shop, come on by and check them out!
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Making disk beads is a lot of fun but very challenging. The glass wants to spread out on the mandrel as it's being heated and the thin disk shape tends to become fatter. There are a couple of techniques I'm using to keep them thin. One is using a low flame so as not to overheat the bead and cause it to collapse. I also use the flat surface of my marver along the sides of the bead to keep it in an upright shape. Sometimes I use my mini-mashers and go all around the bead flattening it out. It's usually a combination of all of these things that makes the shape work. I'm still practicing and at times it's very frustrating. When it works out though, I love the results.
Here's another disk bead set, also in my Etsy shop. These are made with a base of Green Ochre and raku frit:
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Hope you had a good weekend!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
In current news, I have a few new sets up on Etsy. Thank you so very much to my faithful customers, who are making it difficult for me to keep my shop stocked!
Here is my favorite set for the day. It is similar to the olive green set in my last post, but this set is made with Ivory:
Have a wonderful day everyone!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Yesterday I was busy beadmaking. I have some beautiful new sets now to clean up and photograph that I'll be putting up for sale on my website and in my Etsy shop.
It strikes me as funny sometimes that beadmaking is what I do, yet with all the photography and computer work, etc etc, the actual making of the beads takes up only a small portion of the total time and energy spent on the business.
It's all fun, though. I absolutely love what I do!