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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pino Signoretto on Youtube

Glass master, Pino Signoretto's youtube video, "Octopus" is always a delight to watch.

From furnace to completion, watching this artist sculpt this creature using very few tools and a lot of talent, enthralls me.

Check it out!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Three Band-aid Night at the Torch

It was a three Band-aid night last night with a slosh of ice water and a touch of burn creme. Jeesh.

I knew I should have been focusing on my studio table instead of laughing at the jokes on Last Comic Standing. It was just one little stringer that did the damage- I grabbed it (and dropped it), but it seared me and I could barely finish my bead before hitting the kitchen for ice water and supplies.

But the cup is half full- I got to decorate my bandages, blog about it for sympathy, (I'm expecting you to tell me much worse stories than this paltry excuse for a whine) and I'm debating a new series of sculptural burned fingers beads for the glass artists who need a talisman to ward against this perennial problem.

So nothing like a little cheese with my whine...see you tomorrow. I expect to be fully healed by then. ( tell me, are margaritas medicinal?)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Manuela's Presses

Manuela Thoma's website, Bavarian Beads has been a lot of fun to check out.
She has some interesting and different presses that have me intrigued about the possibilities. For example, the Angel Wing pictured above, would look so pretty with transparent glasses, translucent and a host of various decorative touches.

My favorites tend to be found on the left side of her press homepage. Go down about 2/3 of the way and see her "New" section.

Now, what I'm pondering is that the dollar is strong right now in Europe. Will a German based purchase be a good buy for someone in the States? I'm going to have to check that one out a little more thoroughly. But meanwhile, enjoy the photos and dream a little like I am.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Finders Keepers

DeMoss Glass Art has a wonderful program that I recently read about in a thread on LampworkEtc. It's their "Finders Keepers" program.

They list on their website where they have left these organic pieces with their art embedded in it. The pieces have their website inscribed on it, to help the finder find them. What a delight that must be.

Josh Simpson has been hiding his gorgeous glass planets for quite a while too. In fact, my daughter was chosen to do one- at an archeological dig in Hell Gap, Wyoming.

And the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) has been doing something similar too. Asking beadmakers to place their beads in a small bag with their card and info telling the finder to let them know that they received it.

So let me know. Do you leave your art in places for folks to become finders keepers? Tell me about it.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Traffic Barrel Art...Stolen Joy

College student, Joseph Carnevale lifted some traffic barrels from a construction site and created this fun monster from them. Although arrested and having to perform community service for the $360 theft, apparently the construction company commented that had they known it would be so cool, they would have given them to him....ah street art. Gotta love it.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Seattle Center - Chihuly Possible Collaboration?

So have you seen in the news that the Space Needle folks are considering a Chihuly proposal for the Seattle Center? I read that they are asking the city to consider an art inspired playground and every local eight grader receives a free field trip to the Seattle Center. Wow!

I guess this is one of many proposals for the site, but the financial return includes $24 million over 20 years.

I've always been impressed with the Chihuly team's marketing skills. This seems to be another fantastic way to keep his name in the public eye and still benefit both sides. As artists, we often turn away from marketing- think it's too over the top or perhaps too much. But realistically, most artists need income to be able to make their art too. And many of us sell our work. So what do you think? Have an opinion? Here is the full article for you to read and then weigh in. I'd love to hear what you think.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remote Controlled Cooler...Just What My Hot Studio Needs

I know some of you are lucky enough to work with other folks, but for me, I fly solo all the time. And I came across this remote controlled cooler that just sounds like fun.

I'd give it a robot name like Rosie or Elroy, and probably decorate it a little Jetson-ish, but wouldn't it be fun to push a button while working at a hot torch and have a cool drink at your fingertips? There's room for 12 cans or bottles. That's a lot of diet cokes, and I know I'd be working at warp speed with that amount of caffeine in me.

If you are in the market for one of these glass studio essentials, you can find The Remote Controlled rolling Beverage Cooler, (with a lifetime guarantee) at Hammacher Schlemmer. Just $69.95 plus shipping, it's yours to command... as long as it's forward, backward, left or right.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Change, or No Change?

So you might have noticed a little change in the layout and background of my blog. It's the first day of summer and I've been re-decorating. I'm not sure whether it's right though. I like the muted colors- but I don't know whether something that looks like marshmallow puffs really speaks to creativity and glass art. What do you think? Does it matter?

The biggest change is that the blog doesn't get wider and skinnier depending on how far you open it, the way it used to. I have a big screen on my laptop and had wondered whether it bothered you a bit when reading it before.

So I need your honest opinion, please. Keep this new style, go back to the old style? What makes it easier to read?

Thanks- I know you all are the experts...and some days, we just need expert advice. Now, I've got to get back to my torch. Lots to do to get ready for my upcoming month of craziness.

Happy Summer! Wishing you sunny days and gorgeous evenings filled with night songs and lightning bugs.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Figuring Out Glass Presses

Once in a while, a new glass press can give you a bit of a fit. The glass just doesn't seem to be going in the way you think it should.

I was just having this conversation with a friend and took this photo to illustrate what I was trying to explain to her.

You see, my trick is to take a little piece of playdoh, and figure out the new press with it. I'll see how large my initial glass shape needs to be and then where I need to add more glass and how. If I might need help remembering, I'll let some of the playdoh examples dry out, and store them with the press. That way, I have a visual frame of reference, when I next go to use it.

I use playdoh for other things in the studio. We'll chat about them another time. Just thought I'd mention this use for now. Do you keep it around too? What do you use it for?

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I was reading the Society of American Mosaic Artists' website recently and saw a question they had asked award winning members...

"Why do I express myself in mosaics?" and their varied responses touched me in so many ways. Partially, because I love to hear how each artist has chosen their area and why.

Do you ever think about it for your work too? I know I get asked that question in different ways pretty often.

I'd love to hear your response. So please post it in the comments. Tell my why do you?

And as for me, it was a multitude of reasons. I had been working in watercolors and loved layering the colors and the look of sunlight streaming through them. I thought perhaps glass would be able to do that for me too. And a somewhat oblique reason was that I was rather frightened both of broken glass and flames. I knew by facing that, and having a wonderful reward for dealing with it, would help me get over it. (and yes, for you subscribers, that's why I chose to sky dive too- I am scared of heights).

But back to the artistic reasons.. please share with me your thoughts. I know that there are some wonderful feelings that are evoked when we discuss our mediums and I'd love to hear yours.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Gallery Tour Tonight!

Augusta Hyland's new show, "A Side of Ginger" opens at the Gallery at CherryLion Studio in Atlanta tonight.

You can read Augusta's blog here, and see the breadth of her work.

If you're in the area, stop by. I'm hoping to be there and at the Frabel Awards tonight as well. Fellow beadmaker- Kim Fields, will be receiving the award for Emerging Artist. Her work is exquisite. So much to do!

See you Sunday hopefully for a quick update about my class. I'll be taking Akihiro Okama's soft glass class at FlameTree and will fill you in on my progress. Well, fingers crossed on that one!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guiseppe Arcimboldo

Are you familiar with Guiseppe Arcimboldo's art? He was a painter at the end of the Renaissance, who painted for King Frederic I, of the Hapsburg Court (1562 and on). Arcimboldo was from Milan, Italy and quite famous in his day.

I love looking at his work and picking out the components that make up the portraits and wonder how this would look sculpturally? He gives new meaning to apple cheeks, doesn't he?

Look up more of his work. I think the creativity of this artist is notable. Non traditional and interesting, it makes you look deeper into his work to see what is really there.

Something most artists wish for as well....
See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Leaf, Acorn & Pine Cone Class

Oh how I like leaves....almost as much as birds. I tend to often make them off mandrel and in pendant form.

Towards the end of August, I'll be teaching a class on leaves, pinecones, and acorns for FlameTree Glass. I know folks like to start making their autumn inventory before the season, so the jewelry makers can buy them before their shows.

I decided that I wanted to include one leaf using one of the handheld presses, that FlameTree sells. Because sometimes those presses, just make the process easier. (we'll do the other styles too).

So today, when I went by the shop, Maureen handed me 3 different styles of presses. Size, bent or flat seem to be the biggest differences. So my question to you is..which one appeals the most to you? Large- flat or bent?... or small-bent? And why?

I'll be making other leaves off mandrel, and wait until you see the pinecones and the acorns...really fun. But for now ~ just the leaf questions.

See you tomorrow. Don't forget to weigh in with your opinion please.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Jellyfish Photo

Photographer Casper Johansson from Australia took this gorgeous photo of a jellyfish. There's something about them that captivates me. Their tentacles undulating as they swim through the water and their transparent bodies.

Or perhaps it was my childhood hijinks growing up on the coast. We used to collect the clear ones, (non stinging) and put them on the beach with just a light layer of sand over them so unsuspecting people would squish in them as they strolled. Ah the joys of being a kid.

Monday, June 14, 2010

$500 Prize for Glass Artists- woohoo!!!

Hey fellow glass buddies...I didn't want you to miss out on this one. Look at the rules- (nice, eh?) and the prize... $500...sweet! So get after it. I think you should enter. This is a fun challenge with a totally excellent prize. Can't wait to see your entries.

Sponsor: Mountain Glass Arts (MGA)

Prize: (1) $500 Gift Certificate to MGA



This is an Artists Choice Glass Challenge. Any theme is welcome as long as it is a glass creation that YOU created for this specific glass challenge. Soft or Hard glass welcome. All skill sets welcome. There will be one prize.

The winning entry will become the property of MGA and will need to be shipped to MGA before prize will be issued. The piece will be placed in a show case that is on display now showcasing other's work. The winning entry will also have the artists information attached to piece. The staff and owners of MGA will be picking the winner.

Deadline: is August 31st, 12pm EST ~ ALL skill sets are welcomed and encouraged to join in this challenge!

And here is the link to read more....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Glass Arts Festival Call For Artists

Here's a Call for Artists that I just saw. I thought that it sounded like a fun one for everyone to know about...

CALL FOR ARTISTS AND VENDORS: Entries are now being accepted for "Transcendence - The Magic of Glass", a JURIED CONTEMPORARY GLASS ART EXHIBITION in Sequim, WA, September 1-25, 2010. This show is part of the GLASS ART FESTIVAL and hosted by the MAC, Museum & Arts Center in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley. Entries may be shipped. Full details will accompany notification of acceptance into the exhibition.

This juried exhibition is for artists working in any area of glass art including, but not limited to, blown, cast, fused, kiln-formed, torchworked, pate de verre, stained, mosaic, or sand-carved glass. Mixed media entries are welcome.

Entry deadline is July 9. Entry fee is $20 for 1st, $5 each additional, up to a total of 5 entries. Entries may be for sale, but need not be. Awards totaling more than $1000.

For more details about the Show and the Festival, and to view/download a prospectus or a vendor packet, visit or

Friday, June 11, 2010

Edible Crayons?

The clothing and food blog, Luxirare has designed edible crayons. Made from ground up Fruity Pebbles, and other ingredients that are combined with marshmallows for that real "eat your crayons" experience.

And you thought wax tasted good.

These are not offered for sale, but it's
worth a peek, to see the pretty photos taken of the product and process.

You can check them out here.
Now I'm just waiting to an improvement on my old pre-school taste favorite, white paste. Can't wait to see a new take on that one.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Online Creative Inventiveness

If you were a fan of the game mousetrap as a kid, you might just have a ball with this game...Tinker Ball.

Click on the link here and creatively find a solution with the objects on the right, to get the ball from plank to the cup below.

I know, finding solutions to life's problems aren't as fun, but it's good mental exercise and playful at the same time. Let me know how you do. And what equipment you used to be successful.

Thanks to the Smithsonian Museum for posting this. I love that place!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Up Up and Away

See that little dot in the air? That's me and my tandem partner, Chuck.

My family chose to do a jump over Memorial Day weekend. With my daughter Sparky being home, it was time for a little family adventure. She was the only one who hadn't gone sky diving yet and was game to try.

If you haven't attempted this before, it's a kick. None of us are certified, so we go as a tandem jump, which means we are each VERY securely attached to a jump master who is in charge of us getting down safely.

We fly up in a Twin Otter and then pitch out the plane's roll up door at 14,000 feet doing somersaults as we go. I fall through the air at over 100 mph on my stomach with a bit of a back arch- think "modified Superman". Then it's a free fall until 5,000 feet and the parachute is opened.

This time, we exited the plane with a big cumulus cloud right below us. It was a very different feeling. I have always flown in airplanes and wondered what it would be like to be standing on that cotton-like fluff. Well to be honest, it's kind of cool and damp. Very refreshing on a warm day. And as we broke through the cloud, all of a sudden, I could see the bright green pastures, tree tops and other surrounding landscapes.

When Chuck opened the parachute, he let me steer and take us in circles. Pretty easy. Pull on the left if you want to go left. The corkscrews were not my favorite part...I prefer floating and chatting. When you've slowed down that much, it's easy to converse with your partner. Folks who know me well, are aware I ask a lot of questions. Chuck answered all of them.

Our mini adventure ended quickly. We landed just right and after being detached from Chuck and the chute, I headed over to meet the rest of my family members who landed shortly after me. Lots of discussion and comparing notes and then off to our favorite watering hole for our final tradition- an adult beverage called a kamikaze. What a perfect ending.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Transporting Glass

Need a way to easily transport your fragile art- like glass beads?
I found this website through the lovely and talented Andrea Guarino, who mentioned it on facebook. This is

It's foam inserts made specifically for gamers - and this stuff is for army games. But our beads tend to fit into some of these inserts really, really well. Poke around on the website and find the sizes just right for you. I had seen Jen Geldard use something similar with a hardshell case a year ago. It sure makes it easy- especially for those of us who make sculptural beads.

I might even reduce the use of my Dollar Store baby socks that I currently use for packing up my little treasures. (six socks for a dollar!) This might make it even easier.

I haven't bought one of these outfits yet. I noticed on the website that there is a shop that carries them about an hour plus from my house. I think it's worth a field trip down there with some of my beads in hand to see what works best./

If you have already invested in one of these containers. Would you let us know how you like it? Did you buy yours from another source, and if so, would you mind sharing the website? Thanks so much.

See you tomorrow!

Monday, June 7, 2010


Have you ever visited Effetre's website?

I was quite surprised to be honest. I thought perhaps it would be filled with color charts, some artisan work that is made and other things like that.

It shows a little, but not much. You can poke around the lampshades and the types of rods and a touch more. It made me feel lucky that our industry is such a sharing one. We can get color charts from other sources, tips and tricks from so many places, and so much more. Thank you my friends for your generosity that makes us such a wonderful family.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Freaking News!

If you haven't stopped by the Freaking News website, it's worth a peek.

The focus is to take current events and use Photo Shop to switch around photos that are related to stories in the news.

So, one of the ones that caught my attention was about the scientists in the Foja Mountains in Indonesia discovered the world's smallest species of kangaroos who can also climb trees.

So the contest rules were to merge (via photoshop) another animal species with the 'roo and show scientists another species yet to be discovered.

This is the "Dogaroo" one of my favorites. Visit HERE for more photos of the newer undiscovered species and click on home to get to more of their contests.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Experience with a Psychic

I have been a believer in psychic abilities for many years, but a few weeks ago, one of my friends invited me to join her in a class for psychic development here in Atlanta.

I had no idea what would be going on, but it was a rare insider's look at what was discussed and actually some of the "business" of being psychic.

To me, it was fascinating and I really enjoyed it.

The leader, Gail, was helping the students bring out their psychic abilities and also preparing them for a fair they would be putting on.

They were doing some role playing for potential scenarios that might come up and practicing how to communicate what they see, by explaining it in the best way.

It was a view from the other chair. Towards the end, I had some very quick tarot readings so the students could practice what they were learning. Both were very well done.

Would I go back? In a heartbeat. Not just for the readings, but for me, part of the fascination was seeing the training so they can be the best possible. Here is a link to their webpage. (yes, that's me in the photo getting my cards read.)

See you on Sunday- don't need a psychic to tell you that.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Italian Colors

After I went on that fantastic trip to Italy, I swore that I'd learn more Italian before I ventured there again. I thought my background in French and Spanish would carry me through. Although it helped a lot, it sure wasn't the same.

So... I found a "Little Explorers" Picture Dictionary. Nothing like teaching an artist with pictures, eh?
So join me in this venture. I mean, knowing a little more in other languages certainly never hurt anyone. And every once in a while, I'll post another set of vocabulary photos for you to peruse.

If you are dreaming about a glass trip to Murano/Venice, then download these tiny gems and keep them in a folder. You never know, they just might come in handy.


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Chunky Rounded Heart Press

My friend Melanie pointed out this press that she has recently ordered and I was quite taken with it.

It's the "Hearts'n Groove Press" from Good Glass Co. You can see that there are four hearts and that you have two different mandrel orientations, which I think is so smart. And these hearts are just the way I like mine- chubby and sweet. And you get the extra benefit of one of the sides being grooves for texturing and I also sometimes line up enamels, or fine frit for patterns.

The owner, Mag has moved to the Canary Islands from London and notice the cost is in Pounds.

I can't wait to see my friend's beads that she makes with it. I haven't tried one, but I sure am interested. I know quantities are limited and didn't want fellow heart lovers (who need them in a consistent size) to miss out on this gem.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Aliens Have Landed

My four beads that went up on The Atlantis Space Shuttle have returned to Earth.

I know that their experience in space is only what dreams are made of.

I don't know their next location, but I believe they will be displayed by Beads of Courage in a variety of locations.

I'll let you know. And you can read about some of the beads here.

And by the way, I live near Roswell GEORGIA, not the other "one".