Friday, July 29, 2011

Learning process

I have been knee deep in orders and murrini this month so I haven't had a lot of time to play at the torch lately.  I visited my friend Alex yesterday, though, and what a refreshing break that was!  It was great to sit and chat with a friend all day long.  No making beads, no packing or shipping, just visiting.  Well, she's a beadmaker too so we did talk about beadmaking.  She shared her technique with me for making the most gorgeous beads.  I couldn't wait to try it...
Hers are way better but I was pretty pleased with my first attempt.  Before you get too impressed with mine - go check out her gorgeous beads at eBay and in her Etsy store.

The other bit of learning I did a couple nights ago when I was reading through the latest issue of Soda Lime Times which is all about frit.  I was reading, in particular, an article by Val Cox entitled, "Why your frit beads may suck." or something like that.  How did she know?  LOL.  She is an expert on frit, that's how.  I would say that I instantly improved my frit beads after reading that article.  I mixed up some frit and tried out Val's suggestions.

That's what I like about glass.  The more years you work with it, the more you realize there is still so much to learn.  It is simultaneously humbling and encouraging.  I'm feeling pretty lucky to have such a fun profession and such talented friends to share ideas with.  Very lucky, indeed.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Artists Statements and Signature Beads

Oh you guys and your high-falutin' ways.  LOL!  I have never been a big fan of artist statements.  They are frequently written in the third person, as if some random admirer was doing a short biography of the artist when, most of the time, they are actually written by the artist about themselves.  Creepy.  There.  I've said it.  It's creepy.  And pretentious.  And don't get me started on people who proclaim a certain style of bead their "Signature bead".  Honestly, I don't know how people do this with a straight face.  You're either known for making a certain kind of bead or you're not.  Proclamations don't really make it so.  I've heard people say it at bead shows and I've seen it A LOT on websites. 

Why do I care?  Honestly, I don't really.  Other artists can do what they like and I am happy for them to do so.  I just have an opinion and I thought I would share it since I don't really have anything else to write about in my blog today.  Well, my back aches today and I am hopelessly addicted to deep, rich coffee but how many times can I write about that?  Not many.  I'd bore myself and you.

I think I would like us all to take ourselves just a little less seriously, especially when it comes to beads.  I've seen people rip each other apart in the name of territory, which is funny when you think about the fact that this is BEAD territory.  I've seen people claim to be the originator of designs that were most obviously not recently discovered.  But, because they made more than 5 of them, they've decided they now own the style and you'd better not step on their turf or there will be hell to pay.  I will never, in my life, understand this behavior.  I understand lots of people make their living selling their artwork and therefore it's their livelihood they are trying to protect but, really, their energy is wasted on trying to take a protectionist stance.  Use the energy to make and sell more beads.  One of my favorite phrases is, "Keep your eyes on your own paper."

And those are my thoughts for today...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Stole this announcement from Donna's blog (

There's a new beadmakers magazine on the market. It's an online publication and you can get check out a free issue. I have read the first issue, holy cow, this is an awesome publication. Diane Woodall has been writing her local ISGB chapters newsletter, and is now she's turned her writing skill to be benefit the entire community.
Soda Lime Times
I've put up some new beads on  Here's a little peek:

Friday, July 22, 2011


I have to say that StrikingColor glass just might be my favorite glass ever.  It can produce a rainbow of shades with very little effort.  I just love using it for making murrini.  It's just yummy.  We have some StrikingColor murrini available - just in case you don't want to make it yourself.  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Something New

Ok, Kim has been avoiding the whole bead selling business for a long time.  She has a website and Etsy store but doesn't have time to keep it up and, really, it's not where she wants to focus her time.  Sooooo, guess what?!  I'm going to handle the selling part for her.  YAY!  I think it would be a shame for her beads to not be out in the hands of jewelry designers and bead enthusiasts since they are such gorgeous beads.  Her bead styles are, frankly, a jewelry designer's dream.  Tasteful, lovely combinations of colors and lots of detail in perfectly formed little works of art.

Here are a few pictures to whet your whistle:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Secrets Revealed

Ok, this seems like a good enough place to bare my soul....

Remember those Mavis Beacon typing programs? I do. I spent a lot of the 90's at Fry's Electronics, feeding my inner nerd. Anyway, the software had a picture of a woman on the box. I remember she looked friendly and helpful and could probably improve my typing but I had many reports to run and learned to speed 10-key instead and my free time was spent with a tiny blond haired girl in hopes of keeping her off the pole. Mission accomplished, there, by the way.

Flash forward a decade or so. I'm sitting in my living room with now pink and black haired teenager and husband and a Rosetta Stone commercial comes on. I say something I wish I could take back a hundred times.

"I always liked Rosetta. She looked so friendly and helpful."

I was not aware of Rosetta's ancient Egyptian ancestory, apparently. Bring on the laughter from the peanut gallery. Lots of it.

More than a decade later...I still get gibes and pokes whenever we go by a Rosetta Stone kiosk in the mall or one of those commercials comes on the TV. FML.

Since we're only as sick as our secrets...there's mine. I'm an idiot.

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's hot.

Yep, it's been pretty darn hot this week.  Bleh.  I find myself trying to keep busy inside, doing this and that, while my heart is really out at the torch.  I have managed to squeak out a little torch time here and there but, for the most part, it was make a bead, take a break, pull some murrini, take a break, and so on and so forth.  Lots of breaks and not a huge amount of production happening.  Such is life.  I am going to Kim's next week (where she lives is even hotter than here) so I will have to buckle down and just suck it up and put on my big girl panties and so on and so forth. 

Summer, you've had your fun, now run along and send Autumn in, thankyouverymuch.

I have some beads I need to list...I guess I could do that while the A/C is working its little heart out.

These two photos really illustrate my inner struggle.  On the one hand, I love putting faces on stuff.  Those are my favorite beads to take out of the kiln.  They're fun and bright and make me happy.  On the other hand, silver glass makes me swoon.  I look at those boring amber and putty colored rods of glass and they just dare me to make something amazing with them.  It's always a surprise and usually a good one when I pull those beads out of the kiln. 

So, every time I go out to the torch, I have to decide whether I'm going to listen to the child or the grown up.  :)