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Friday, July 31, 2009

Cleo Dunsmore - Presented at The Gathering

Cleo Dunsmore not only makes outstanding glass fish, but has a way of speaking that you know immediately, she's an artist.

I was lucky enough to meet her prior to her presentation at the Gathering and see her beads in advance. All I can say is if you pick one up, you want one...or more.

These trout and other fine finned friends are beautifully rendered in glass. The details are true to the creature, and yet, they look and feel like a 3" treasure that you get to hold in your hand.

Cleo and I chatted and she told me a little about her life. I mean, how many people do you know who actually own an art car? (I'm a big fan of those!) Her passion for what she does shows in her conversations. But you need to check out her website as well. Because I must say, her goddess and totem beads seem to be very true to who she is as well. She has a multi faceted personality and each type of bead reflects a different part of it.

So if you didn't know Cleo, you should. Not only is her glass beautiful, but so is her spirit. She is warm, interesting and looks for the good in all. I was so glad to have met her at the Gathering this year and hope to see her in future years.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

I Didn't Know Pigs Smile

I was going to write about the Gathering, but I came across this photo from National Geographic's web site and it just made me smile.

I have not seen pigs look so happy before, but obviously they love harmonica music. Who knew?

I'll be back tomorrow with Gathering chat, but this photo compelled me to share it. You know there will be a bead or a glass sculpture connected with it some day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Gathering Class

This is a photo of my sculptural bead class at the Gathering. I know, I should have taken some snapshots of their wonderful work, but the students are more important.

left to right: Barbara, me (Marcy Lamberson), Alison- sitting, Cathy, Max, Rachelle and Lee.

What a fun group of students they were too. We made all kinds of beads to learn sculpture- seashells, puppies, cupcakes, birds, self portraits and more. What made me the happiest was seeing them interpret an item (3-D & 2-D) that I didn't demonstrate and get it so spot on. It meant that they could look at almost any photo or object and figure out how to make it in glass. I have to say their little Vikings were wonderful too.

I'd like to thank FlameTree Glass for donating the glass for our class. Lisa St. Martin and Larry Brickman ran the class area with efficiency, professionalism, such a great attitude and helpfulness. Thanks to them too. But most of all, thanks to my students. I really liked all of you and enjoyed teaching you my passion for sculpting glass. I hope you'll send me photos of your work as you try new subjects.

Tomorrow, more about the Gathering. Perhaps a little about the presentations.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Still Unpacking

I'll be back tomorrow ready to blog, here on I just need one day off to catch up and later today- reopen my etsy shop. See you tomorrow with some photos and lots of commentary from the ISGB Gathering and teaching there.
Later gator-

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Munsell Hue Test

Have you seen this? It's the Munsell Hue Test to gauge how well you can differentiate color.

Each line's first and last block are fixed and you drag and drop the color blocks into place. It tests your color vision.

You can find the full size test here.

I'm looking forward to hearing how you do.

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Blog Award & Blue Mouse

A big thank you to Nomad Crafts for choosing me to receive the One Lovely Blog Award. I am honored and look forward to passing on this award to the following blogs who all are very deserving.

But first, let me chat a tiny bit about the mouse in the photo.

Perhaps you notice his different appearance? He is glass, but he has been covered in transparent enamels from Thompson. After he was annealed, I acid etched him for about 20 minutes.

Those transparent enamels are a lot of fun to use. (Opaque ones are a blast too!) When covering a sculptural item, remember that the enamels tend to amass in the crevasses and plan your choices accordingly.

Now, without further ado, here are my five blogs who have won my One Lovely Blog Award.

In keeping with the tradition of the One Lovely Blog Award, here are the Rules of Blog Award Acceptance:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.

2. Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

And the blog awards go to


Hope you're having a great weekend. See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Gourmet Looking Fast Food

"Yeah, it's still bad for you - but see how good it can look!"

I have found my new saving grace for when I'm at the torch too long and have procrastinated on making dinner.

Okay, so it's not my usual healthy fare, but I think this is one of the funniest sites I've seen in a long time.

It's where the writers take fast food and deconstruct it and make it into fancy looking meals.

This one is The Colonel's Chicken Corn Chowder.

  • 1 KFC Original Recipe two-piece Breast & Wing Meal, with biscuit and additional sides:
  • 1 corn on the cob
  • 1 order of potato wedges
  • 1 order of cole slaw
  • 1 large beverage of your choice
  • 1 bottle of Aquafina water*
  • organic chives (for garnish and a touch of irony)
You can find the recipe here. And don't forget to check out their archives. The Spicy Chicken Sushi from Popeye's Chicken cracks me up.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fire Divas

Are you familiar with the Fire Divas? You can find the list on the Fire Divas' blog and also become a fan on our Facebook page. The list of all the talented glass beadmakers can be found on the blog. Give us a few clicks and check out the members. It's fun to see how varied all of our work is and of course, you can't find a nicer bunch.

I'm hoping to meet up with a few members while I'm at the Gathering. It's fun being friends online, but even better in person.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


This laser cut Aspen wood piece by wood sculptor George W. Hart intrigues me. It's made from 30 identical pieces fit together to make an 11" sculpture.

Of course I think it would make a fabulous bead and am trying to figure out how to make it.

Its name was taken from Lewis Carroll's poem, The Jaberwocky.

You can find more views of it and in different mediums here, as well as a link to the template.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

While I'm Teaching At The Gathering...

Greetings from my beadmaking class at the Miami Gathering...

I thought I'd give you some of the same advice that I am giving my sculptural glass students today...

Graphite smooths, Brass moves.

I use my brass Stump Shaper to move my glass around. The brass grabs it and helps it go where it needs to be. If I just want to gently marver something, my graphite tools work perfectly well. And in my case, it's generally my torch mounted marver that is a part of my daily torching routine.

I'll see you tomorrow. Hasta la vista, baby.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Naturally Comfortable

I saw these two chairs by Fernando and Humberto Compana whose website doesn't really tell me a lot, but it's very artistic.

So I'll leave you to enjoy the panda and alligator chairs.

Perhaps this is a new use for all those beanie babies that are still floating around?

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heading to Miami

My vacationing buddy sent me this photo. For me, good friends are so very important.

And now it's my turn to fly south and write her name in the sand. I'm headed today to Miami to the Gathering, which is the annual international conference for beadmakers and other fun people.

I'll be teaching a sculptural glass class to some of the attendees as well as catching up with dear friends, making new ones and as always, being amazed at what beautiful art comes from each person's talented hands and heart. Sometimes I just stare in amazement at what people do. And I know that this year will be the same.

I'll still publish my blog daily. So for now, hasta la vista baby- I'm headed for mojito-ville!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Yum, It Smells Delicious

Fellow Etsy Seller, The Garden Bath from Charleston, SC, has some of the yummiest smelling lotions and potions.

I recently purchased a sample size of this limited summer edition Coconut Lime and another favorite, Pink Lemonade. I was smitten and went back for larger sizes.

I'm afraid that there are a few things I'm hooked on, and yummy smelling stuff is one of them. For me, this is the vacation to the beach that I won't have this summer, but can dream about while wearing it.

She has lots of other scents, if you aren't into the same ones I am. I recently smelled her White Tea scent that will be another future purchase.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Glass Weekend at Wheaton

I wish I lived closer to south Jersey. I received this email about Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center's GlassWeekend- today, July 18th & 19th. It's billed as an International Symposium and Exhibition of Contemporary Glass and it sure looks like a great time.

It will have guest artists Kari Russell-Pool and Marc Petrovic and Sybille Peretti and Stephen Paul Day. There will be Glass Studio demonstrations too. And all this for Adults $10, Seniors $9 and Students $7. Wow! There is an additional $6 charge per person to visit the Galleries in the Event Center as well. Talk about a bargain.

If you'd like more information, click here.

And if you attend, please drop me an email and tell me all about it. It sounds fantastic!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Interweave's Sale Ends Today

Today is the last day to save at Interweave's "Hurt Book & Overstock Sale". Looks like some great prices on a variety of books that could interest many of us. I chose two here, that look fun to me. The first one, Color Color I wouldn't buy for stitching, but for bead colors and patterns. The cover photo looks like stacked dots with perhaps a cute murrini in the center to me.

The second one hearkens back to my childhood, perhaps. I used to love to braid fibers, my long hair or anything that I could- (even bread dough). Perhaps it's time to try that again as a way to incorporate some of my lampwork beads and form some funky necklaces.

So just a quick heads up to you. Hope you find a book at the right price and that is just what you wanted for your own personal Christmas in July.

See you tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

From Purse to Bead?

I like looking all over for inspiration. I recently saw this handbag, and I swear, it looks like a bead with a handle to me.

So I thought I'd go over my thought process and how I would approach changing this purse into a bead.

I'd start with a chubby barrel shape in Moretti's dark gray. Next I'd add a swipe of dark ivory for the face and chest, not worrying too much on shape, because I will be adding wings.

I'd add the face next starting with the eyes working from the outside of them towards the center stacking dots and melting them in.

Next, I'd add the eyebrows after warming up the eye area and pushing it into the diagonal shape, then dotting on the beak & chin.

The wings with the original dark gray could be added next and I'd probably use the sharp end of my stump shaper to form the texture. There's probably a tail on the back side, which is an important feature for any bird- probably 2-3 swooshes of glass for that. I'd also add texture to the front body section with a piece of round brass tube or something like that.

Finally, I'd add some large dots for ears and pull them into shape. A final adjustment on the features and bada bing, I'm done.

Now that I've provided a blueprint for you- let's see some owls out there. Different colors, shapes and faces will all be enjoyed. Here's a little lampwork bead that I made before I saw this handbag.

See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grape-licious Glass from Etsy Glass Artists

I belong to a group called Etsy Glass Artists. We're a diverse street team with members who work in various areas of glass. Fellow member, Rhonda Willis made this Etsy Treasury featuring some of our members.

It does make me think of those grape popsicles that I used to love in summer.

You can find our group in different places on the web.
Our main website is which includes a blog, and there's also Etsy's profile.

Today is the last day of the Christmas in July sale. Check out the participating members here.

And of course, our group is tweeting too. Follow Etsy Glass on Twitter.

Whew, there's even more, but I'll save it for another day. Sometimes it's just fun to look at the pretty glass items and dream about all of the ones I'd love to own.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

My Favorite Tools

I thought I'd show you some of my favorite tools that I use in today's StudioMarcy blog post. I think we all have some trusty stand bys and it always interests me what appeals to different people.

And of course I'm wondering which tools do you use all the time? Please post and let us know.

Left to Right:
A.Pliers- these are kind of an all around type tool- for mashing, pulling and poking
B. Ruffling Pliers for wire wrapping-called concave. Ah, great for animal ears, tutus, flower petals and other small curvy stuff. (Thanks to Jen Geldard for introducing me to them.)
C. tweezer mashers or equivalent are helpful. Why work with the larger ones, when these will do? Their small size can angle in to mash small areas too.
D. slotted paddle- this is hard to find, but I love mine. I can level animal legs in one movement.
E. Stump Shaper- probably my favorite tool of all. It does so much and I use all sides and angles on it.
F. Razor blade - thin creases for sculptures
G. imprinter or equivalent- small presses that add texture or design to my beads

Not pictured- barbecue mashers, "poke small holes" tools like the Whimsicalities brand, glass or kitchen shears and my trusty torch mounted marver that I use all the time.

I don't use all of these tools every time I torch. Feel free to check out my lampwork beads in my Etsy shop and see whether you can figure out where I used them. I don't always use them, but a lot of times, there's that extra little bit that uses one or more of them.

So let us know what tools you love. Who knows, it might become someone else's new favorite too.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Portraits from Africa

A while back I found a lovely slide show with these artistic African portraits on the internet. Unfortunately, I can't find the name of the photographer and the details of these beautiful people who were the subjects.

I saved the photos, because they spoke to me as an artist. I know that someday, I would like to do a series of glass beads that are based on these photos and the others from this series that I have stored.

These are in my "inspiration" file. I keep a folder on my computer's desktop filled with photos, drawings and other sources that speak to me in different ways. It could be colors, the shapes, nature, faces or so many other aspects of things I've found while poking around the internet.

I haven't figured out yet, how best to express the various natural textures combined with these serene faces and do it the justice it deserves, but I'll keep mulling it over until I take time to try it.

Until then, I'll keep leafing through my inspiration file- picking out a photo or two that will be the day's new bead to attempt. I have quite an eclectic mix, so there's a source for every mood and whim.

Hope you have some place to keep your tidbits of what speaks to you. And watch for a short series based on these photos sometime in the future.

See you tomorrow...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Torch Collection

I'll be writing more about my week's class at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee this past week, but I wanted to share a quick snapshot of one of our instructor's torch collection.

Fred Birkhill was kind enough to bring some of his torches to the Center to show us and I snapped a quick shot of them. Unfortunately, I don't remember their names or manufacturers. So if you know, please help identify them. Fred also offered to hook them up for us to try, but we had so much we were already doing, we didn't take him up on his generous offer.

But seeing these tools of our trade made me realize that I could use more experience on other torches. I think I'll be checking out all kinds at the Gathering this year. I've been so careful sticking with my smaller ones, because that's all I feel I need. Perhaps it was my two teachers, but now I wonder if I'm missing out by not being more knowledgeable about what's on the market and their features. I'm not envious, (I think), but I definitely could be better informed. I'll let you know after I try out the others later this month.

See you tomorrow.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

An Object of My Affection

I suppose I've wanted an aqua colored Vespa for quite a few years now. I'm not sure, in a city of 5 million, exactly where I would drive it, as the traffic can be ridiculous here. But still, I've always thought that was just what I wanted.

Until I found this little beauty made by Italian artist Carlos Alberto. Apparently his use of old world techniques and amazing attention to detail to construct it makes it one of my current objects of affection. *sigh* It is an outstanding functional piece of art, in my mind.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fire Beckons

Fire beckons.
Sounds almost poetic, doesn't it? Well, if you haven't seen these gorgeous firepits made out of recycled steel, you might be missing out.

As a glass worker, you know how we work with flames all the time. Yes, I used to be scared of fire before learning how to make my lampwork beads, but you get over it after you've been burned a few times and realized that you'll be okay.

So of course, this fire pit has been beckoning to me. We already have a small outdoor fire bowl which is seldom used, but the combination of the design, plus flames plus the photo with the water is very enticing to me. It looks like a place I want to visit.

I found it in John T Unger's etsy shop. He is a full time artist using primarily recycled materials. Pretty cool. Here is an entire section with his artistic fire bowls.

I wanted to show you that I don't just live, breathe and think glass- I have a few flames on my mind too. And besides, I'm a pretty good outdoor cook who thinks those enticing swirly flames would be perfect rests for marshmallows, skewers and other flame cooked delicacy implements.

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Companion Beads... Why Not?

I had a custom order for the mermaid pictured below. I really loved the requested red and white polka dot bikini top and the red barrette, instead of my typical wreath for her hair. She was supposed to be a little more "vintage" looking than traditional.

But as the customer and I were exchanging emails, it sounded like a seashell might be kind of fun to go along with the mermaid. Similar genre, but compatible.

Which made me often do we ask our customers whether they need something else to go with their purchase?

I know some jewelry makers find their spacer beads from different sellers than where they get their focals.

I'm just wondering whether increasing our "customer service" whether we can connect better with our customers and provide them that little bit extra.

I know, not every artist enjoys custom orders. And perhaps this extra service might feel more like it. But I guess one of the things I like the most about my repeat customers, is that many become friends and I get to know them. To me, that's a major perk of selling my beads.

And I thought I'd just throw the idea out there to all of you. If you're in the market to increase your sales, perhaps this is one of the ways. And it might make your customers really happy.

It's kind of like when you're at a restaurant and pretty full. But the waiter tells you about this super fantastic chocolate fudge dessert and you think it's the perfect way to end your evening with your friends. You didn't plan on getting it, but it's oh, so satisfying.

So how about offering dessert, or at least a small side dish to your customers next time and see if it fills a wish for your customer and also helps you at the same time?
See you tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Teachers Seminar at The Gathering, Signed Up?

If you are attending this year's Gathering - the International Society of Glass Beadmakers' (ISGB) annual conference, I'm thinking that you might want to know a little more about the two teachers' seminars that are being offered.

You see, there is a stellar trio of instructors, who make up the panel this year. The esteemed group is made up of Heather Trimlett, Kristina Logan and Leah Fairbanks. I don't know about you, but I think this is an awesome line up. I've taken classes from two out of the three members and they were wonderful. I'm looking forward to hearing what they have to say, as I know they are smart cookies.

Two sessions are offered. The first one is for new instructors or folks who are considering it. I'm thinking that it could be a great refresher course too. And the second one is for experienced teachers and will get into even more topics. They are one after the other, so folks can attend both, if they wish.

You can find the Gathering booklet online here, which gives you time, date and price for the sessions.

I hope to see you there. I'll be assisting the lovely and delightful Katy Abbott, VP of Education for the ISGB at both seminars. If I haven't met you, or seem like I'm in my perpetual daze, please stop by and introduce yourself to me. I'd really love it.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Guard Your Memories

You know, you get your inspiration in funny places.

Recently, I was leafing through a fashion magazine and saw an advertisement of a British Guard with a model trying to make him smile.

It reminded me of a wonderful trip I took and spent a little time remembering it. Well, it must have stayed on my mind, because a little bit later the red, ivory, black, pink and goldstone all were chosen for my next bead.

I know that his simplified uniform is not the original, but I bet, because of his hat and the colors, that most people recognize this cute little bead's inspiration. When making sculptural beads, your "canvas" is so small, that you have to boil down to the essentials to get your artistic point of view across.

Do you have some happy memories that would make a fun focal bead? Feel free to contact me and let's chat. I love making custom orders and it's so much fun to have a token of what's special to you. I make sculptural beads for large hole bracelets like Pandoras too.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Choose The Look You Love

Living in Atlanta, GA is synonymous with Land of Coca-Cola, so I tend to pay attention to what's going on with this brand. Moving to the South, I learned that down here, any soft drink is called a "Coke", whatever flavor or brand it actually is.

So I was intrigued when I read about Coke's multi-year experiment with can design in Northern Ireland.

Their advertising agency wrote, "simplicity is the heart of a great can design that can should louder than its competitors in the cooler cabinet."

As a beadmaker, those words stuck in my head. How do they relate to our industry? (the cans do look a little like beads, don't they?) The agency also said that the consumers each had their favorite designs and would not only have a great deal of loyalty to their preferred designs, but also actively seek them out.

Perhaps that's just the human way of it. I certainly have singled out which ones I would choose. And after reading the articles, I know which two were the most popular. So let's see if our readers agree with the consumers. Choose the two looks you love. Traditional Stars, Hawaiian, Dots, Zebra, Checks or Paisley? And my other question is, if you work with design, do these choices reflect any of your work? I'll give you a clue to one of my faves. Look here.

See you tomorrow!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Paper Dress

You know that I'm always looking for new ways to use existing things- whether it's tools, an everyday item, or something not related to the use that I've found. It's my own twist on the Reduce, Reuse & Recycle way of living.

I'm particularly impressed with this gorgeous paper dress made by Jolis Paons out of telephone book paper.

Yes, you read this correctly.

She pleated, sewed and glued everything by hand for her creative processes class. Isn't it a lovely visual reminder not just to throw away the book, but to use it creatively instead ?

Saturday, July 4, 2009

You Don't Need To Be An Einstein To Know...

You don't need to be a genius to figure out, I'm taking a day off from writing my Studio Marcy glass blog today.

Happy 4th of July to my American readers, and wishing everyone a sunny and gorgeous Saturday. Hope you are spending the day with family and friends.

ps Please become a fan of my Studio Marcy facebook page. And if you aren't on facebook, join up. It's a lot of fun, friends and lots of photos. Just lovely.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 3, 2009

LoriandKim's Murrini

Have you seen LoriandKim on Etsy?
It's the brainchild of Lori Peterson and good friend Kimberly Lynn who get together to make beads periodically. (really cool ones at that!)

Now, they're making murrini and have gone into business on Etsy. I found out about it last night and bought some. What a great idea.

They are all 104 COE and come in six different color paths. Lots include some sparkle in them . This one is Ocean Treasures, but the one I bought is Glamour Girl in pinks and peaches.

I can't wait to try them and will let you know. But I anticipate only a lot of fun with some of the different patterns and colors.

If you haven't used murrini before, this is how I do it.

I spot heat the place on the bead where the murrini is going to go. That means I change my flame to be pointed so it doesn't melt other parts of the bead.

I pick up my murrini chip with my tweezers and flash it in the flame a few times. Kind of like when you're introducing your rod to the heat.

I place the end of the warm (not melted) murrini onto the heated area of the glass and gently push it partially in. Then I heat it just a little and gently tap it in a little more. (I use my brass Stump Shaper, but a lot of tools would work just fine)

I keep going until it is where I want it. Careful not to heat up the murrini too much and to aim my heat on the edge of the receiving bead as well. Whether you case over it or not, that's your choice. Your murrini will probably spread a little too. As you're tapping it, remember to do it squarely on the top, so it doesn't distort the chip.

That's it! Hope you get a chance to stop by LoriandKim's etsy shop and check them out. I can't wait to see what else they offer and am so excited for some really nice fellow glass beadmakers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A Mermaids Harvest ~ Seashells For Your Hair

When Lisa, of A Mermaid's Harvest on Etsy bought this shell from me, I had no idea how she was going to be using it. About a week ago, she contacted me for more seashells and explained about her hair sticks.

I think they look so pretty this way and would look gorgeous in someone's hair.

Lisa told me how excited she is about hammering and twisting metal. I could relate, because I feel the same passion about glass.

Our combined efforts make a great collaboration. I love the peachy pink variegation of my lampwork bead with Lisa's copper hair stick too.

If you're a glass beadmaker, that's Effetre's Carnelian Opalino that I used for the shell.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Social Designer ~ Goods for the Greater Good

There are just 5 more days to enter the "Think Color" contest and design a tote bag for Social Designer. The winner receives $2000, and the design will be made and sold on Social Designer to benefit Global Green USA.

The competition description is HERE.

Social Designer is a website that "curates and creates smart products that tune into the greater good."

They have design competitions and then offer the winning designs for sale on their website. The funds go to the good causes that they identify. How very cool is that? And all of you artistic types have an opportunity to flex your creative muscles and possible win some dollars while helping others.

I really like this concept. To find cool T's and tote bags for sale, visit the site: And no, I didn't enter (wish I had more time, because this will be fun), but there will be more contests too. If you enter, please let us know because voting starts July 8th and ends July 15th. I know we all would love to support our friends in their endeavors.

See you tomorrow. It's a glass day- and fun.