Thursday, April 30, 2009

How My Garden Grows

The finishing touches are complete on this piece and it is ready to head to Coyote Creek. I feel like this has been one of those break through pieces for me. I experimented and it has shown me new aspects about what I can create. It has given me more ideas for enhancing this type of construction. I'm ready to try out these ideas on another piece. However, I won't be able to start on the new ideas til Sunday because I am still packing things up, completing the inventory lists, etc. All good stuff!

I also wanted to share one of the edge views. There is just so much going on in the piece and I love the look and feel.

It looks like a bit of an abstract, fantasy garden, so I've called this one "How My Garden Grows"

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rainbow Moon

I just LOVE this new crinklized glass by CBS!

This pendant will be heading to Coyote Creek. I kept the wrap simple so the beauty of the glass would be framed.

The pattern is called balloons, but it reminded me of a Rainbow Moon...hence the title.

Wishcasting Wednesdays

I'm a bit new to this. I found Jaime's blog last week and she has established Wishcasting Wednesdays where we can collectively wish for great outcomes. The power of positive thinking, or in this case, positive wishes.

I have to admit that initially I thought this might be a bit silly, but then I was reminded of my childhood...wishing on know, the fun stuff kids do. So I thought, why not?

Today's is "What do you wish to read?"

Earlier this week I posted one of the books that I am currently reading, "The Creative License" by Danny Gregory. I'm still delving into that book and made some of my first sketches at its direction. Fun stuff.

Another book I'm reading is "The Widening Stream, the Seven Stages of Creativity" by David Ulrich. This one is a much more serious read, but just as thought provoking for me. My thanks to Tracey Clarke for listing this one on her reading list.

So my wish is to finish reading both of these books within the next 30 days and realize increased creative sparks as a result.

Now, make your wish............

Lemonade Awards, Number 3 & 4

I cannot tell you how great I think ALL of you are. I've been honored with a third and fourth Lemonade Award. Linda Steider, an extremely talented glass artist, gave me my third Lemonade Award a couple weeks ago and I have been remiss is posting this. And my fourth Lemonade Award has been given to me by Celeste Bergin, a gifted painter.

First I have to share with you some things about both of these wonderful ladies:
Linda has 20 years experience as a fiber artist and was introduced to kilnformed glass in 1996. I just 'met' Linda through this wonderful world of cyberspace a couple of months ago and she is a great person. I'm so impressed with her work that I'm enrolled in a class she will be teaching, Powderology, this July when she heads to D & L Art Glass in Denver. Check out Linda's work as she is a talented glassist!
Celeste is another artist that I greatly admire, not only for her skill as a painter, but for her graciousness. She has regular exhibits and I find her work to be rich and moving. You can see more of her art at her website.

Thank you both for this award! I am deeply touched and honored.

Whew, that was a long acceptance speach! Now on to the explanation of a Lemonade Award. It is awarded to bloggers that show a positive attitude and gratitude.

Here are the rules for the award:
1.Put the logo on your blog or post
2.Nominate at least 10 blogs that show great Gratitude and/or Attitude.
3.Be sure to list and link your nominees within your post.
4.Let them know they have received this award by leaving a comment on their blog.
5.Nominate your favorites and link to your post.

I would love to re-nominate those blogs that I have previously given the award to, however, I also want to spread this joy around so here are my choices for the award:
Sue Furrow, Diary of a Madd Weekly Painter
Beverly Ash Gilbert, Eye For Color
Christine Mercer-Vernon, CMV Fine Art
Fine Mess Pottery
Sheila, From Forensic to Fine Art
Shay Stone
Elizabeth Seaver
Jaime, Starshyne Productions
Laura Trevey
Rachelle, Magpie Girl
Susan Hong-Sammons

I hope you will visit these blogs. They are talented, giving individuals.

Make it a wonderful day of creativity! That is my wish for all of us!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Copper Spells

I decided to experiment with copper wire, as I thought it would be a nice accent for some of my turquoise/coppery glass pieces. I was able to find square copper wire at Brandy Wine Jewelry Supply, so here is a set of earrings that will be headed to Coyote Creek this Saturday. I used the copper wire on a couple of pendants too.

I think it creates the nice warm effect I was going for. Right now I don't enjoy wire wrapping with copper as much as I do the Argentium silver's a feel thing for me. I think I'll continue to use it as the glass dictates and hopefully I'll become more comfortable with the sensation I get using copper wire.

I call this pair, "Copper Spells".

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Creative License

I just started reading this book, "The Creative License" by Danny Gregory. It's hard to make time to read, but I do and this is one of several books I am currently reading. It's fun, inventive, and most of all...helpful for my creative process. I enjoy the way the author makes me laugh and think, yes, that's right!

One of my favorite quotes from the book is: "In the end, you see, you can't really suppress your creative urge. As Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park, Nature Will Find a Way." How true is this!

There are lots of great visuals in this book, plus the text is rather unconventional, which I think is part of what helps keep my interest and enjoy the read even more. I would recommend this book if you are looking for something fun to stimulate your creative thought process.

I had a great weekend of creativity. I'm getting my inventory ready for the delivery to Coyote Creek this coming Saturday. I imagine I'll be busy most of this week completing paper work, packing things up, etc. I plan on posting pictures of some of my new jewelry pieces over the next couple of days.

Here's wishing all of you a great week of creativity. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Florals Anyone?

After my morning workout, I had an opportunity to create another Etsy Treasury, that I have called "Florals Anyone?" I chose various depictions of flowers by artists who use different mediums. I'm happy that I could include some of the bloggers I follow like Kristin Smith, Sue Furrow, and Laura Revey.

Since spring has yet to visit me at 7500' feet in elevation here in Colorado, I thought the least I could do was embrace it by enjoying the works of those talented Etsy artists.

Make it a weekend of great creativity....that is my plan. :D

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another Blog Giveaway

Fellow blogger Kristin, posted about another blog giveaway at Murano's Silver Blog that I just couldn't resist entering and sharing the information here. The item pictured is one of three you can choose from for this giveaway. Nic's work is really, really good. Hope you will check it out and consider entering the giveaway too!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crazy Good Artists

Check this out! Cynthia Morgan is an extremely talented woman. She is a webbist, a glassist, and a writer. I follow her blog and admire her glass work a great deal. Yep, she is an inspiration.

Within the last week, she started a new website called Crazy Good Artists. She felt it would be a good place to 'bookmark' some of her favorite artists. I love the idea and if you check it just might find me in the mix there!

One of the great things about this site, and there are many great things about it, is that you can submit yourself for consideration or other artists whose work you admire! I highly recommend it and I hope you will visit the site and look around...even add yourself. :)

Happy creating all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hues of Nature - Complete

Hues of Nature is finished! I just love how it turned out. Dan made sure to photograph it so the light comes through the transparent glass in the piece and I think that effect is really cool.

It took a while and I definitely feel it was worth the work and the wait.

It will be one of my pieces that will be available at Coyote Creek Art in a couple of weeks.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Yesterday we went to the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and listened to the incredible music of Mozart, then and now renditions. Pianist Jeffery Biegel was brilliant...I didn't know fingers could move that fast and create such wonderful music! Wow. I took piano lessons as a child and just love the piano, but I don't have that gift. Jeffery Biegel has a GIFT!

The music is timeless. I could not help but imagine how people, who heard Mozart for the first time...I mean during his time when he was alive and writing these masterpieces....what did those audiences think and feel as they heard these concerts? I was swept away. Soothed. In awe. Captured in the moment. Talk about food for your soul!

And I am also happy to report that my mother-in-law's driveway was plowed out in time so we could pick her up....although we got stuck going up the driveway the first time. At least we all got to enjoy the timeless music and truly experienced a mystical afternoon of great music.

I'm inspired.

Silent Auction Report

You may recall at the beginning of March, I posted about an auction that was raising money for one of the local elementary schools for their teaching of the arts. I'm happy to report that the piece I donated, "A little bit of twilight" sold and the lady who bought it wore it for the rest of the evening. My friend Heather, who approached me about this, said the woman was very happy with the necklace and was smiling ...showing it off. That kind of feedback really warms my heart.

Heather said that the auction didn't do as well as everyone had hoped, but they did raise some money and that's a good thing. The economy and limited advertising budgets more than likely contributed to the results. I am happy that I was able to contribute in some small way.

Make it a great week of creativity.

K S Jewellery Designs Give Away

A friend, fellow blogger, and jewelry designer, Kristin Smith is doing a blog giveaway this month. The drawing will be next Monday, April 27th. Pictured here is the spiral pendant that Kristin created that will be given away in the drawing. I think it is quite lovely.

I can personally attest to the quality and craftsmanship of Kristin's work...I have a couple of her earrings. So, I'm entering for her drawing and hope that you will check out her blog about this drawing and maybe even her Etsy store.

Happy creating all!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Wraps Heading to Coyote Creek

It's amazing what you can accomplish when you are snow bound. Here are a few of the pieces that will be heading to Coyote Creek Arts in a couple of weeks. I'm working on getting as many earrings done as I can as they take the longest time to do right now. I finally have a design that works well for the small round globes. And now I have documented the process so I can refer back to it. Nice to have those repeatable patterns. The basics are there, I just add variations with crystals, bead, plain, or swirls. There are a few of the crinklized ones in this group. The set in the upper left is some of the new dichroic I purchased a few weeks ago. Lovely colors.

Dan is using the snow blower as I write this, digging us out. We have plans to go the the Colorado Springs Philharmonic "Old & New"...Mozart, this afternoon, taking Dan's mom as our birthday gift to her. The only problem is, she needs the plow guy to open her driveway...a mere 1/4 mile in length...up hill too. We don't have a way to get her out, so hopefully, all this will come together so we can pick her up.

Happy creating all!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Crinklized Dichroic Results

These are just a few of the crinklized results from last night's firing. Aren't they gorgeous? This batch turned out really nice with more of the crinkles than my first batch. I took them up a little higher in temperature to get more of that texture and I'm happy that did the trick. And I am just lovin' the patterns too. Lots of possibilities. I did make some earrings in this batch too.

Now I have even more wire wrapping work to do. It should be a great weekend of creativity while snowed in! To quote a lyric from Monty Python, "Always look on the bright side of life!" :D

Thursday, April 16, 2009

In the kiln......

This is my batch of crinklized pendants and earrings that I just put in the kiln, which is firing up to temperature as I write this. I'm very anxious to see how the patterns turn out. I kept things pretty simple so the shape of the pendants and earrings wouldn't detract from the look of the glass post firing. I'll post a picture of the firing results tomorrow, once everything has cooled. And I will try to show some of the pattern details too. These should be really unique.

We are under another winter storm warning, which will be in effect until noon on Saturday. I figure we are house bound until Saturday. We had thunder-snow earlier, sleek, rain, snow, hail. It's been an interesting weather day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Sneak Preview....

On Monday, my glass supplier, D & L Art Glass, sent an email that they had just received 4" x 4" selections of patterned crinklized dichroic glass from CBS Dichroic. I thought this was the perfect opportunity for me to see how some of the patterns would look. So I jumped and this is my sample set. I also got a mixed pack that has smaller samples and more patterns.

Tonight I started to prepare pendants and earrings for a firing. I almost have a full kiln shelf and I hope that tomorrow I can finish it up and fire the kiln up. I'm really excited about these selections. The patterns are great, from puzzle to pixie stix to balloons and more.

Wanted to share this sneak preview of coming attractions. Happy creating all!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I thought it would be fun to show a view of me working with Jade, polishing the edge of Meteor Showers. Dan obliged me, taking this photo. I cropped it to show a better look at me dressed in a vinyl apron with rubber gloves. I'm more comfortable staying dry during the process, although I must admit that Jade doesn't really throw that much water as we're working. What this picture shows is I'm holding Meteor Showers, letting it rest on the grinding/polishing disc. Water is fed up through a hole in the center of the disc to keep things cool. Otherwise, thermal shock in the glass could occur due to heat build up and it could/would break. I rotate the piece and go back and forth from the center of the disc to the outside edge as I work my way around the edge. A video of the process would show this much better and I haven't worked out those details...I'll have to ask Dan to shoot a small video at some point so I can post it.

This photo shows how the edge looks after two of the different grinding stages as I'm smoothing out the scratches. I've revealed a few of the trapped air bubbles, but I've been told that's part of the unique hand made process.

As of yesterday, I finished 4 phases of the grinding (largest grit disc to smallest grit) and started to work on the final polish last night. In the final polish I use cerium oxide slurry, that I put on the buffing disc, to create the shiney edge.

It will take a few days to get that nice optical polished edged. I'm sure as I get better at it, the process will go faster. Once that is done, then I can do the final firing to slump each of the four pieces I've been working on, in their respective molds.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Results!

Thankfully, it was one of those wonderful surprise moments when I was able to open the kiln and see the results from yesterday's experiment. Not exactly as I envisioned it, but that's good as it gives me something to work on. The firing schedule I used was actually for a tack fuse, but this came pretty close to a full fuse, so I will have to experiment some more.

And now I need to work on the edge a little as there are some sharp points that must be addressed. Over all, I like the outcome and think it's a fun piece. I don't have any idea what I'm going to name this....I will figure something out.

Wanted to share a close up of the edge. Some of the glass globs are still visible, but I'd like them to be more pronounced so I will back off on the heat some the next time I try this and see what result that produces.

May each of you have a week of creative delights!

Coppery Delights - Another Etsy Treasury

Last night I was able to create another Etsy Treasury...this one is filled with Coppery Delights! I was able to include fellow blogger, Sandy Cahill Johnson's piece..."I'm All Mixed Up".

I'm thinking about using copper for my wire wrapping, in addition to Argentium Silver and Gold Filled wire. Time to place an order with Rio Grande!

Still waiting for the kiln to cool so I can take a look at my tack fuse experiment. Hope to be able to post results later today.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

And Now for Something Completely Different

As the title reflects, I think....I'm a huge Monty Python fan. Fits my sense of humor. And this piece is an experiment for me, so this fits...that it is something completely different.

I follow Cynthia Morgan's blog and I'm a huge fan of her work. A few weeks ago she posted something she was doing to use up scraps of glass. I really liked the concept and wanted to try it. Now my version is different, of course, and it actually evolved into something different than what I originally started out with. Cynthia's blog and website are in a transition phase right now, otherwise I'd post a link to the portion of her blog that inspired me to create this.

Right now I have not figured out why I am so enamored with strip construction, but I am. So that's part of the appeal of trying this. Another is I have never attempted anything like it and I just love exploring new ways of creating things in glass.

This is another opportunity to show the work in progress too. Part of the process is to use an existing mold and place glass strips in it to take on the shape. This will not be a full fuse, but a tack fuse. Part of the difference is that in a tack fuse, the glass does smooth somewhat and adheres together, but doesn't fully fuse together in that liquefied state that happens during full fusing temperatures.

I chose a mold that I really like, but in the past, it has proven problematic for me trying to slump a fused platen into it. However, I thought it would be very cool for the tack fuse approach, so that was my choice.

What I originally wanted to do was some lemons on a branch. As you can tell, this didn't come close! I had found a photo that I liked for its composition of lemons. When I tried to create my interpretation of this in strip glass construction, I realized that it wasn't the right concept for the bowl I had. I figured that was ok because I liked the yellow and my palette was going to be some of my favorite Bullseye streakies with marzipan and french vanilla. So why not change it up a bit more and just see how all this tack fusing stuff actually works before I invest too much time trying to figure out the whole lemon thing in glass strip construction.

Here is how I started. I put the bottom strips in place...that was the easy part. And I really didn't have a definite pattern in mind, I just went with the colors I had and put things together as I felt looked right.

As I got going with this, I wondered how the sides would 'hook up'? And then I thought, well, just go for it, there really isn't a right or wrong way for this. With each piece, it just looked right to me.

Then I thought it would be good to finish each side. Let the top be somewhat jagged. And that gave me the idea to finish the top edges with frit combination colors. I was going to take it further toward the edge of the mold, but once I got the sides done, that just didn't make any sense to me.

As you can see, it had quite an irregular edge when all the sides where done. And that just added confirmation to me to 'cap' the edges with matching frit.

When I was at this point, I was still contemplating extending the edges from the frit border. However, once I finished with the frit, it just looked finished to me.

And I had to share a photo of the edge detail once the frit was in place. I think it looks pretty cool and I'm very anxious to see how this looks once its tack fused.

As a footnote, I have also been doing coldworking with Jade (or as Dan likes to call her....Swamp Thing! you know, she's green and needs a lot of water!).

Coldworking is time consuming. I have two grinding stages done on 4 pieces now. They will require two more grinding stages with different grits and then the final polishing stage. My plan is to do some more grinding tonight, but I think I may run out of energy and do a little wire wrapping when I'm too tired to use the machine...oops, I mean Jade, or is she Swamp Thing? :)

Happy Creating all. And yes, Happy Easter!

The Basset Specialty!

Yesterday, Dan and I went to Northglenn Colorado for The Timberline Basset Hound Club's Specialty. Always a fun time for us basset lovers. We got to see a lot of of friends who own, love, and breed bassets.

This is one of my favorite pictures of the day. Our friend, Doug Taylor, with his champion, Cannonball. They were waiting their turn and Doug enjoys showing how bassets can sit up! It helps that he has a liver treat.

I'll be posting an album of other photos Dan took on my facebook page, so feel free to check it out.

Oh yes, and we were thoroughly inspected by our three when we got home. :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tree Buds

I really enjoy creating glass combinations and seeing what shape the inclusions take during the fusing process.  The pendant looks like there is a branch with some tree buds, hence the name.  The earrings match in terms of color, although they don't have any 'buds'.  

I experimented some with the wire wrap on the earrings and I like the way the glass centers are framed.   I also added some spirals to this, and that was before my friend Sandy of SCJ Jewelry Design explained the Beauty of Spirals in her blog!  Thanks to Sandy I have some insight as to why we find spirals so  attractive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Work - Turquoise Delight Earrings

Over the weekend I was able to complete a number of wire wraps. Tonight I started to photograph some of them and this is a new pair of earrings I called Turquoise Delight. I am really fond of the design and plan on incorporating it in more of my earrings.

One of my 'dilemmas' wire wrapping glass, especially for earrings, is that I do not have a hole to run the wire through as a secure point as I would if I was using beads.  I have experimented with creating that channel through the glass, but so far I haven't been pleased with the results.  At this point in time, I will stick with fusing solid shapes, without any channels.

I used a combination of Wasser, Bullseye, and Coatings by Sandburg glasses for these.  The main glass creates a wonderful inclusion of the dichroic center and I find it makes a very rich looking piece.

Now, I'm the first to admit that I like a challenge and with this design and a couple of others I plan on previewing, I believe I have found a wonderful way to secure a glass cabochon in place for earrings. I hope you enjoy this latest creation.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's Alive!

Let me introduce you to "Jade", my new ASW Table Top Machine. She is set up and working now.... and I literally did think "It's Alive!", as if I was Dr Frankenstein bringing this tool to 'life'. It was quite the process and involved more trips to Home Depot than I would have ever thought!

Since I had to set this up in my studio and when we built out house I didn't think I needed a direct water line to the studio (that was wrong), I needed to use a water circulating system to operate the machine. This is a photo of what that circulating system looks like. That involves using a pond pump, flower pot, a rather large rubber trash can, series of tubes and connectors. Initially I was following the directions supplied by the manufacturer. Unfortunately, they didn't contain specs on the type of pump to purchase, so I bought one that was too small. Course, now I can use that to create a bubbling vase out in my flower garden come June as right now the flower garden is covered in about 2' of snow (but that's another story).

Then there was the challenge of connecting the intake and outtake lines, getting the proper connections. Fortunately, the folks as ASW are very nice and helpful. I called and was given the actually make and model of the pond pump to use, which simplified the connection problem and the water output problem. The nice gentlemen at ASW thought all of this should be put out on their website for folks like me and was going to talk to the inventor of this system to have them put it out there. That would be great!

Unfortunately, using this type of system means that I will have to empty the water by hand. Course, even if I had a direct hook up to a water line, I would still have to empty the 'waste' water into a bucket like I've shown here because you can't dump this water down your drain as it would eventually clog with glass particle residue. I can use this water on my plants and things outside, no problem.

I picked Jade up on Monday of this past week and have been putting things in place for her use and Friday afternoon I finally got it up and running! Yesterday I started work on the 4 pieces that were waiting for the coldworking process. Oh my goodness, what a difference this machine has made in my ability to quickly (key word quickly) get down to the finishing process.

She came with a set of 6 finished discs, varying diamond grits (another key word here, diamond!). The discs are pictured here. They have magnetic backings so they fit securely on the disc that rotates. Let me tell you, it is quite the job getting these discs off the platen....I'm sure I'll figure out the technique, but right now it's a challenge. So I worked on "Hues of Nature", "Meteor Showers", "Eclipse of the Black Moon", and "Growing Love". I only got the first grinding phase done and now I need to empty the water and start fresh as I move to the next grit level.

With a circulating system like this, because I'm grinding off the most glass in this first phase, the water has LOTS of ground glass particles. Now most will sink to the bottom of the main bucket, but there still are plenty floating in the water that is being circulated back up to the grinding disc. And those tiny glass particles are ok for this phase of work, but I need to clear them out as I move on in the finishing process so they won't scratch what I'm working on for the next phase.

I find it hard to believe that I took my first coldworking class at D & L last May and I was seriously intimidated by this type of a machine. Then I took Kent Lauer's class in September and Patty Gray's in November. By then I knew that I couldn't do the work I wanted without one of these beauties. So Jade has quickly taken her place in my arsenal of tools and I am in awe of what she can provide to help me with my glass work.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Ain't nothin' but a hound dog.....

One of my favorite things in the whole world is a basset hound. And we have three of them! They are such characters, wonderful companions, and all around clowns. This morning I was able to create this Etsy Treasury, that I called "Ain't nothin' but a hound dog....". Some lovely works by more talented Etsians. I hope you will check this one out because there is at least one of the selections that will make you smile.

Friday, April 3, 2009

One of my Pendants is in a Treasury

One of my pendants is part of this treasury entitled, Oh My Sunshine.

I just received word from Nicole Mc Evilly, Copeland's Photography Studio, that she selected my piece called "You Are My Sunshine". My pendant is the one in the top row, upper right corner.

I'm so touched. It's a lovely treasury and I hope you will check it out along with Nicole's Etsy store too....she takes some great photographs!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

Exciting News!

Last month, I received an invitation to submit my work for review by a new gallery, Coyote Creek Studio Arts Foundation, opening in South Park, Colorado. Yes, there is a South Park! It is a little mountain community that is very popular.

I just received word that I have been accepted as one of their member artists! I am so excited about this opportunity! Their opening will be May 9th and I will be there as part of the Meet the Artists event from 1 - 4 PM that day. Hey... if any of you are in the area, stop by and say Hi! I would love to meet you in person.

I will post more details as I know them. For now, I'm quite elated knowing I'm in the company of some other wonderfully talented Colorado artists in this new gallery.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Setting up the new machine

On Monday, we went up to Denver and picked up my new machine....okay, it was slightly used in a class, but it is essentially new. Yesterday I stopped at Home Depot to get connection tubes and a small fountain pump to set up the water circulation system. Right now I don't have a place to put it next to a fresh water supply, so I have to set up this circulation system and I'm good with that. Today my workmate arrived (talk about timing!) and I assembled that tonight. First I had to move my pc that was in the studio...not using the windows machine as much these days as my mac is set up in the office. Assembled the workmate, which the machine is sitting on right now. Next I need to get the intake and output hoses in place, which will have to happen tomorrow night.

So it has been a process and progress has been made. My studio work is delayed, but I should be back up and running by this weekend. Nice to have the new equipment and I have a number of pieces just waiting for their turn at this finishing process. Pictures coming soon!