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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bearly Here

I am still here... oh, I know it's seemed like AWOL, but I've been traveling.  Just returned from Asheville, NC, one of my favorite towns.  Hot Times in the Mountains at Touch of Glass hosts about 30 flame workers  - and it is always a pleasure seeing my friends and making new ones.

This is one of my bears.  I've been slowly populating my StudioMarcy Etsy Shop with them.  I have some on sale right now. 

I am headed out of town soon to another favorite town, Austin TX.  This time to take a class.  Usually I go there to teach at Blue Moon Glassworks.  I love teaching, but really enjoy taking classes too.  

Both Asheville and Austin have a vibe that resonates with me.  They have a lot of art, and it's interesting.  Not always traditional, usually a touch of funky or sometimes even quirky.  I like that.  Especially when I see art with a bit of humor mixed in too.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Sunset on St. John

We're back from our special vacation on St. John- both of us celebrating one of those birthdays that ends in a "0" plus a big anniversary too.  So this year, it was time to splurge.  We don't normally take much time off, unless it relates to family or ties into work, so this was a big deal for us.  And boy, was it worth it!

We snorkeled every day.  I was hoping to see some cool fish, but we were lucky and swam with sea turtles, stingrays, jelly fish, and lots of gorgeous fish.  Every day after snorkeling, I'd go back to my guide to see what it was that I had seen.

And of course, no Lamberson vacation occurs without a little bit of adventure.  The first day, we hadn't checked our guides thoroughly and snorkeled too far.  It was really hard fighting some of the undertow, but we made it back.  Unfortunately, between the slippery rocks and the strong tow, I did accidentally step on a spiny urchin.  Yikes! my foot still isn't back to normal.  We also had to climb up a small cliff after that swim to get back where we needed to be.  Lol, we were lucky to find an area with exposed tree roots to use as hand and foot holds.  I was pretty tired after that one.

But the rest of our adventures were a lot more tame after that.  The sea turtles were fascinating to watch.  I would spend long periods of time watching them eat and surface.  They swim so gracefully.  I look forward to making them in glass.
This is the view from our room.  Can you imagine that about 30 steps our your door brings you to this each morning?

These three were all on our hotel property too.  There is a herd of white donkeys who are the resident lawn mowers (and fertilizers) and a few cool iguanas are known around there too.  This seagull was quite persistent in hoping for a handout.  (as much of a softie as I am, I didn't feed it.  Seems that would make it even peskier for the next person)
And this was a view from a different beach.  We went to the British Virgin Islands for a day trip and visited 4 islands.  One of them, Virgin Gorda has a large network of rock caves, called The Baths, which we explored.  It was easy to imagine pirates from hundreds of years ago storing their loot in them.

We also stopped at Jost Van Dyke island home of the Soggy Dollar Bar.  I guess there is a Kenny Chesney song that makes that area famous, and there is a drink they invented called the Painkiller, that is made throughout the islands.  It is called Soggy Dollar, because there is no dock, and you anchor your boat and swim in to shore to the bar.  We swam, we had a libation, and it was a gorgeous day.

So vacation is over, inspiration is filed in my mind, along with a lot of wonderful memories.  Now back to the torch.  If you are on Facebook, I will be starting a trunk show tonight for about 48 hours on Glass Open Market.  Please join me if you have time.

Monday, August 10, 2015

It Was The Cheesiest Day...

My niece was visiting  this past week and we decided to hit the North Georgia mountains.  We started with Montaluce Winery, which we really enjoyed.  Took the tour, tasted the wine and had a lovely lunch on the upper balcony overlooking some of their vineyards.

I am not sure whether the wine was speaking to us, but we were so close to Cleveland, GA, home of the Cabbage Patch Doll, we took a little detour to have some more fun.  As two adults, we laughed a lot and we got some funny photos. (yeah, not showing them here...

And then, there was still a little time left, so we drove north another 15 minutes to Helen, GA.  Helen modeled itself after their idea of an alpine village.  The buildings remind me of my beloved little music boxes as a child, but much cheesier.  The whole town looks similar to the photo below.  More laughs, a little exploring and then the drive back to the city.  What a delightful and memorable day with my niece.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bear Fetishes, But Not The Kinky Kind

After visiting New Mexico last month, I have been even more entranced by the Zuni people's fetishes.  The small hand carved animals that hold spiritual beliefs. The bears have multiple properties, but one of them is protection and I like that.

Being inspired, I have continued on with making them.  Sometimes they are colors layered, once in a while they have a common Native American design like the heart line and now as you can see in the middle photo, they might have a landscape or another glass technique within their body.  It's like having a nice little canvas to paint upon with molten glass.

I've added other animals and birds to my list of fetishes, as well as more techniques.  I think I'm going to continue in this direction for awhile and see where I go.  Ideas of a 2 day class or even a full week have formed as well. I love how a culture, a location and an art form come together in one item.  More exploration to be continued.....

Monday, July 6, 2015

Finding the Right Camera Angle

Finding the right camera angle on sculptural beads sometimes is easy and sometimes, not so easy.  Here is one of my "Bird in Hand" beads.  The hole goes vertically through the middle.

Sometimes, it's just what is the part that should be the focal part of the bead.  Is it the hand, the bird, or the combination.  The hand is the harder part to make, and the bird is the colorful focus.  So I want both.  The technical detail needs to be showcased for adding value. For a beadmaker,  that's the hand. Keeping the fingers extending and and all a bit different, takes experience and technique.  The bird is far easier to make, but adds charm for the viewer and wearer.  Being blue, it could be interpreted as a bluebird of happiness.

So for me, I prefer the bottom photo.  The bird looks cute and chubby.  The hand shows enough for the viewer to see that there are individual fingers cradling the bird.  Which view do you prefer and why?

Monday, June 29, 2015

More Whales...Still Intrigued

Here is one of my latest whales as a custom order.  It is on a stand for the photo, but it was made specifically for a bead embroidery necklace project.  If you aren't familiar with that craft form, the artist attaches a focal bead (this gray whale) whose fins are pretty flat on each side. It will lay flat on a sturdy base material.  The artist usually embroiders with tiny seed beads around it and creates patterns and designs with other materials as well.  So it makes a necklace.  - saying like a super duper extraordinary "bib".  That doesn't give it the importance and artistry it deserves. I'm just not sure how to describe it otherwise.  Hopefully my customer will show me when she's completed it.  I know they can take a long time.

I am in awe of anyone who works with seed beads.  They make my eyes cross and fingers twitch.  They are so tiny and for me, very hard to use.  

I am trying to post once a week, but I have some busy stuff coming up- so if I miss a few, I will be back.  Meanwhile, I'll leave you with another bead photo...I have plenty of those!  And don't forget my business page on FB.  StudioMarcy.  Come find me there and see more photos, more often...  Peace, love and owls to you.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Experimenting with Color via GlassTribal Whale & Stand

There are so many things that intrigue me.  Always on top of the list is color.  I've been making traditional whales and was looking at images and thinking about how color influences what we typically think.  So I picked up two complimentary colors and made a whale using a more tribal or tattoo type simple design.  It was fun experimenting with a different style.

Then I wanted to make a glass stand for it using the yellow and turquoise theme (layered turquoise transparent over the yellow for the green look.) and formed one side that was mostly deep turquoise and the other side primarily yellow, to see whether my assumption that I'd prefer the blue side with the contrast, over the yellow side.  My answer is "yes", but I like the yellow side more than I thought.  Surprised me a bit.

So now I'm asking your opinion.  Do you have a preference? Yellow or blue side? If you were picking two colors that aren't typical whale colors, what would you choose?