Friday, June 27, 2008

Beads of the season, eh? This set is currently on Etsy, in fact - it's been featured in a Treasury...
this is like a little gallery - where the 'curator' selects 12 items from the vast seas of Etsy to showcase. This will be featured here until Monday at some time... I love this style and am thrilled they're getting some exposure!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I was talking about reactive colors the other day... how wonderful they are. But, then there's heavily silvered glass - my favorite is R4 glass - by playing with the oxygen/propane levels of the flame, you can coax a huge range of colors from this glass. The bead shown above is called "Neptune" it just seemed like a good strong name for a bead that has such a presence. Pretty darn dramatic.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I know this is out of season... but. I had such fun when I first learned how to make buttons, guess what time of year it was? This red is from Germany, it's Lauscha and it's the most wonderful lipstick opaque red. The problem with most reds is that the longer they're worked, the darker they get - so there are streaks. Not with this wonderful red...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Part of being a lampworker is that undying desire to 'find new glass', not just new colors - but what they're calling reactive colors. That is, when one color is put onto or up against another color - some sort of chemical reaction takes place - and there is some drastic change in state.

This focal bead is one such example. For one of the glasses to achieve it's calling in life - it has to have an oxygen rich flame, whereas the other needs a propane rich flame. Since there is no pleasing both because of their close proximity... one 'suffers'. The original idea was to try to please both, but in the end, the effect was rather dramatic and pleasing.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This bracelet is one I call 'portfolio' simply because it holds some of my very favorite style beads - ones I'm proud to say represent my favorite style beads. It lives with Margaret in Chicago, when I gave it to her, she seemed awestruck - and I like that reaction.

Wirework here is pretty simple, each bead is wired with loops on each end, and then hooked together with our hammered silver rings. They are work hardened, so no soldering is needed and they make up a very nice, sparkly - and sturdy bracelet. (can you tell I'm proud of them?)

Friday, June 20, 2008

Glorious transparent hollow beads - light as fairy wings... just simply very pretty.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Another beauty - this one with Czech Denim glass - Hilltribe silver, LOTHR's Hammered Rings
my lampwork and bronze pearls, again strung on silk and knotted between everything. The bracelet seamlessly joins the necklace with the hammered silver rings or they can be worn as separates, see if you can tell where the necklace stops and the bracelet begins...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I don't usually make jewelry of this nature, but - I had a brief period where I made some very lovely pieces. Where I introduced a little lampwork, but because they were held in check - they didn't overpower the piece. Too bad, a few of these were stolen while on vacation... aside from the obvious loss, I guess I have to feel 'honored' that someone though they were nice enough to steal... yeah... that's gotta be it.
This set is strung on silk cord, knotted in between each pearl, and silver bead... there are even little raspberry colored seed beads threaded through the center of the hollow bead. Just click to enlarge and see the detail. One of the nicest 'features' is the ability to merge the bracelet with the necklace to make a longer, more drapey necklace. The custom link & closure fit together so nicely that the joint becomes 'seamless'... quite a nice effect.
I have always preached how the light sets the colors free in this wonderful transparent glass... do you see what I mean? Also - I've been playing around with the light - not making it easy for an escape from the bead - bouncing it around... creating reflecting surfaces and visual texture. There is nothing quite like transparent glass. Although I use a few different sources, my favorite transparents are still from Germany - Lauscha Glass to be specific.

My reasons are two-fold, one - something about the formulation allows this glass to be heated at a higher temperature - making a 'gather' so much more quickly than the boil-prone Italian glass. I must not be the most patient lampworker out there - and I appreciate this aspect. Two - when I discovered Lauscha, we were living in Germany... when it came time to come back Stateside, I was in a quandry as to how I would get this glass - as it had been imported years ago - but wasn't available on a consistent basis... with a little encouraging, and a Father's Day gift of the domain name we were off and running. My favorite glass was available from my very own glassdaddy!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I call these toggles, not because they can fasten things - I just like the way the rings rattle back and forth as they're locked onto the glass spindle.
It's an amazing process - by which the rings are made one day - annealed, then put back in a cold kiln to bring up to temperature. Then a base bead is made with only one end, and while it's still hot enough not to shock and crack - yet, cool enough not to have the rings stick to the hot glass, you retrieve the rings from the hot kiln, slide them onto the base bead and QUICKLY add that second end to the base bead... locking the rings onto the bead. Quickly, it's back into the kiln to anneal... then you say a prayer, in hopes that you did it right (and fast enough) and nothing cracks between then and the time when you pull everything out of the kiln after cooldown. Then and only then, you take a deep breath.

THAT is why they bring the $$ they do. Plus, aren't they just beautiful??

Monday, June 16, 2008

In honor of my very first day on Etsy, I thought I'd gear up a site that is solely in honor of the glory of glass! Glass beads especially... Above is a superstar in my book, with a glorious core of the heavily silvered R4 glass, that has been encased and dotted with copper cutout flowers - then encased again.

This adventure I've been on with this glass has lasted a few years and I'm amazed at what is still possible, as well as what comes out of the kiln!

Although the set shown below has been sold, I am posting this picture because I was so taken by the power of the glass. I continue to have a fixation regarding how the light is transmitted through the rich transparent glass - and seemingly releasing jolts of color. In this - I especially love the richness of the greens & purples.