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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tim Tate - Glass Art + Technology


Thought you might want a little eye candy to start your day. Here is one of Tim Tate's glass sculptures. You can see more at the Maurine Littleton Gallery.

Tate, the co-founder of the Washington Glass School, creates works of art in blown glass bell jars. Some of his work also includes miniature video screens which adds sounds and moving images to his cast glass sculptures and artforms.

The combination of glass and technology intrigues me. Have you seen it in other places? Where? If you have a url, please post that too.

See you tomorrow.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Art Through the Eye of a Needle


Artist Willard Wigan will be exhibiting his awesome micro-sculptures through the Atlanta Art Gallery 1/28 - 3/27. I have to say, that this stuff amazes me.

“It began when I was five years old,” says Willard. “I started making houses for ants because I thought they needed somewhere to live. Then I made them shoes and hats. It was a fantasy world I escaped to where my dyslexia didn’t hold me back and my teachers couldn’t criticize me. That’s how my career as a micro-sculptor began.”
Check out more information on this fabulous sculptor here. I can't wait to see his work in person. Each piece fits in the eye of a needle. Wow!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Looks Kind of Like A Bead



In my sculptural glass beadmaking class, one of the things we make is a decorated cupcake.

I'm always on the look out for more ideas for beads, and I have a feeling that little sock monkey in the bottom photo is going to become a bead.

Watch for it. I'll be in my studio contemplating its future!

See you tomorrow here at StudioMarcy.blogspot.com and enjoy the cupcakes. Yummmm.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Southern Flames Demo by Don Meadows


Glass Artist Don Meadows did a wonderful horse head demo for Southern Flames this past weekend. Not only was his sculptural bead well done, but he also provided horse related jokes and groan-worthy puns as part of the evening's entertainment.

Don's sculptural beads are always a delight to hold in one's hand and examine. He includes great details and they are all treasures.

I included a drawing of how he segments his horse head bead. You can see the neck and then the head made in two stages with the mandrel bisecting the bead.

As I didn't get a great photo of his samples, I did include one of a white poodle that he displayed as well. The back of the poodle's collar is home to a row of cubic zirconium pieces.

You can see more of Don and his wife's art here.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Little Green Men for Beads of Courage


I was recently asked to help out locally for a Beads of Courage special project. I guess there is a wonderful little cancer patient about 6 years old, who holds a special fascination for a classic Sci-Fi movie that has a little green guy. I was asked to make one for him and the staff who supports him during his hospital and chemo stay.

So 9 little green men who have the essence of his favorite character, but not the same, due to copyright laws, have been completed and delivered to our local Beads of Courage volunteer. If you aren't familiar with this fabulous organization, it's a 501(c)3 which supports children who have cancer or other life threatening illnesses. Their website is http://www.beadsofcourage.net.

Flameworking glass artisans provide handmade beads for special activities during the young patients' stay at the hospital. They receive beads for various events in their medical care, whether x-rays, blood transfusions, chemo or non-compartmentalized "acts of courage". We make special purple heart beads for the lucky ones who "graduate" from treatment and get to go home, as well as glass butterflies for the families who aren't as lucky who have children who don't make it. We also donate "acts of courage beads" which are art beads of all shapes and sizes.

These little Faux-das, as I call them are the special requests that once in a while pop up. I was happy to help and am hoping that the power of this old wise one will increase the little patient's chance to get through and become healthy again. Join me in my wishes. If you are a lampworker, please consider sending a few strays. If you are new to this great non-profit, please pop by their website. It is amazing seeing these children telling their medical story through their long chains of beads and how it helps in their treatment.

Wishing you health and happiness- and as always, great glass. See you tomorrow here at http://www.studiomarcy.blogspot.com

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart Giveaway- WELCOME!


This year's One World One Heart theme is Magic Carpet Ride, so who better to ride it, than giving away a handmade lampwork glass sultan bead? This little guy is less than 1.5" tall and can be turned into a focal pendant for a necklace, (if you win, just ask me- it's free), or I can send him with a cute little handmade glass stand as well.

All I need you to do is comment in my comment section. (and make it fun, okay?) My giveaway will be announced on Feb. 15th. It is open to all people- the more the merrier, but just one entry please.

OWOH can be found here. Please join, it's a great way to meet new people and discover some wonderful blogs. My thanks to Lisa who started all of this.

I'm a lampwork glass artist and teacher who lives in Atlanta, GA and blogs 6 days a week about creativity, inspiration, glass art, and other fun topics. I work with a 2000 degree torch and glass rods from all over, but especially from Murano, Italy. Whimsical colorful sculpture is my specialty, although sometimes I can be found making more traditional focal beads.

...and feel free to cruise my handmade lampwork glass bead Etsy shop, http://www.StudioMarcy.etsy.com, join my creativity, inspiration and glass blog, http://www.StudioMarcy.blogspot.com (which can just be clicked on the right side of this), and of course, friend me on facebook: Marcy Lamberson. It's all fun. I also love custom orders- pets, objects, people, or other curious items.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Hearts For Tanya




One of the nicest folks on facebook and fellow Etsy seller, Tanya Boden is needing a little help. She has an expensive surgery scheduled, because her pain is so horrendous and as so many of us artists find, not enough funds to cover it.

www.aardvarksilver.com
www.aardvarksilver.etsy.com
www.artfire.com/users/Aardvark

Her blog explains her illness/intense pain and the special deal she has going on in her shops to help increase sales. http://www.aardvarksilver.blogspot.com. Read carefully so you find the discount codes and deals.

This morning, I went shopping in her etsy store and found some great goodies. She lives in Thailand and has the totally inexpensive one price shipping rate of $3.50 for everything.

There are a lot of fellow artists who are selling items earmarked for donations to her. Some of them can be found here. And here is a link for direct donations.

See you tomorrow for more glass and creativity..http://www.studiomarcy.blogspot.com

Friday, January 22, 2010

A New Look


If you're thinking that perhaps you're starting to dress to old, like I am, here's an idea from a fun shop on Etsy.

It's a hot pink owl dress, for people who give a hoot.

I think that it probably doesn't come in my size. But I have to say, this designer has a really fun array of original pieces and I love that she is selling them on Etsy.

For more information, click here. Or here is her full shop offering.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Studio Clean Up- OMG!


There's an old movie called "What About Bob" that focused on the key words, "baby steps". So with that in mind, I started working on cleaning up my studio.

I knew my table top needed to be one of the first things and secondly, my little single drawer that my table has.

So this first photo is of what came out of my over stuffed little drawer and the lower photo shows how small that drawer actually is.

Pulling out the contents reminded me of the skits of the clowns piling out of those teeny tiny mini cars. I think I could have filled one of those cars with my 'stuff'.

Did I find treasures? Well, yes and no. I knew all of it was in there, plus extra. And it didn't let me down. There was more of what i knew was there and lots of extra packaging and miscellaneous that had to get tossed out. (which is good for the soul, by the way)

So now I can find things in that drawer. It is being kept tidier and I now can close it easily. Beforehand was a bit of a struggle. So here is one of my baby steps. And although I fight it, neat and clean sure does make life more easy.

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wanted: Do You Know Where I Can Find This Fellow?


Weeks ago I saw this guy on Etsy and now I can't find him.

I would truly love to purchase him, but can't find him anywhere.

If you know his whereabouts, I would appreciate that information. I find him dashing, and rather spicy, if you know what I mean. Or in other words, he's kinda "hot"!

And in real life, he makes me smile, every time I see his cute face.

Thanks for any help.

See you tomorrow,
Marcy

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Your Website and What It Conveys


As artists, we tend to want to convey "art" on our websites. We want to add the extras that show the public what we love.

But have you ever thought about your website from the consumers' point of view?

Personally, I think a website needs to function really well. The buyer needs to be able to find what they are looking for - both easily and quickly. The longer they have to hunt and get frustrated, the less likely they are to buy.

And if you are selling online, that must be one of your major goals.

I subscribe to some of the online marketing emails and enjoy reading their commentaries and picking up hints. Here are a few recent comments that I wanted to pass on to you. Some of them are direct quotes and others paraphrased from what I have recently read. They are very worthy of considering.

You have one chance to make an impression. Your first screen is going to tell the customer who you are. So it's important that you do it right. Fill their needs and desires. Watch that your ego doesn't supersede what information is needed on your website.

"Is your website a library or a bookstore?" Is the viewer supposed to buy or are they supposed to browse?

In your upper right-hand corner, do you have a place for leads or a cart? One tells you to buy and the other tells you to browse.

Do you have an action bar/directive (which tells the customer what to do- like order a free catalog, or sign up for a newsletter) or a navigation bar? Experts say a combination bar is best.
These action directives should be in every view that a consumer has of your site.

Do you have "click here now" buttons or do you just hope that the customer will know what to do? My understanding is that they need the extra direction.

Do you have an email sign up in the top left-hand column?

Make sure your load time of your website is fast. In fact, it is one of the top 3 reasons why someone stays on your site.
---------

I'd like to thank Amy's Qlog, which gave me this info to contemplate and that I'm now passing on to you. Hopefuly it gives you something to think about as you're updating your website or contemplating the design of a new one.

2010 is not a year to be passive. With the downturned economy, you need to show the best you can. I think a website is the ultimate in representing who you are. I'm wishing for you the very best.

See you tomorrow- Marcy



Monday, January 18, 2010

T-Shirts Into Couture


I chanced across this designer and website and had to take a second look. Designer Angela Johnson, of http://www.AngelaJohnsonDesigns.com made this fabulous black ballgown out of recycled t-shirts.

She terms it, "innovative, eco-friendly gowns made from "thrifted" t-shirts."

Personally, I think this dress rocks. It's got style, sass and I bet the cotton jersey provides a great fit too.

Explore her website. What really hit home was the use of materials in an artistic and different manner.

And of course that made me sit back and think of that as a glass artist too. How can I achieve something along the same lines? So that's my topic to contemplate for the next few days. How can I use other materials with my glass or in lieu of my glass to achieve creative results?

What do you think? Ideas?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Honey, Bee Mine


What is it about bees that we like? Perhaps it's the contrast between the black and yellow, or on my pendants, their little chubby pink cheeks.

Anyhow, I made this tiny one and wire wraped it onto a handmade sterling silver bail, made by PurpleLilyDesigns, on etsy.com.

So Beelinda is ready to be strung onto your favorite chain and worn immediately. You can find her, (if she hasn't been sold already) in my etsy shop, http://www.StudioMarcy.etsy.com

See you tomorrow!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Studio Silhouettes


I sure enjoyed this photo of my Zoozii presses all lined up in my studio window. Their silhouette looks so organized except for that single one resting on the window latch.

I think it might be symbolic, (if I were into deeper meanings), but for now, I'll just say...I ran out of room.

See you Sunday with some real glass talk.

Happy weekend,
Marcy

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Woohoo, On The Road Again


Hey, I'm on the road again. This time, I'm back in one of my favorite places, Austin, Texas at Blue Moon Glassworks with Jim and Rose Berry. Except for Rose's utter joy at whipping me at playing Scrabble each visit, I sure love coming to visit this very delightful couple.

I came down to help out as a classroom assistant and to take Michael Barley's class. Lucky me! Here is a photo of Michael teaching at Blue Moon last year.

I've taken classes from Michael before. I enjoy his laid back teaching style and personality. His beads are gorgeous too. Nice combination.

So I will continue posting on my blog. And after I return and download my photos, I'll add some posts about my trip and what I learned. (but not top secret info- as a teacher, I understand why it's fair not to share exactly what I learn in class. This is a way how they make their living after all.)

And I'll see you tomorrow as always. Live from Austin, TX...home of "Hey Cupcake" and of course, Blue Moon Glassworks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Traveling Student Equals Lots of Fun

I just spent a great three and a half days with my out of state glass student and friend, Karla.

Sadly, she has to miss my whimsical sculptural glass class at Appalachian Center for Craft this July, so she wanted to learn what she would be missing.

For me as a teacher, this is a lot of fun. Instead of the same curriculum, I can tailor a multi day private lesson to exactly what the student really wants to know. Mermaids, angels, dogs, cats, dragons and other requests were on Karla's list.

Of course no allowances were made for it being so extremely cold and actually snowing here in Atlanta. One night Karla stayed here, because the
weather just wasn't safe enough for her driving back and forth to her hotel. We had fun anyhow. It was more of an adventure. And ending the day with dinner was a lot of fun. We could relax and discuss glass and other topics.

Even though that many days of private lessons seemed like a lot, our days flew by. By the time she was leaving, I had a mental list of a bunch of things I wish we would have had more time to cover. Hopefully another time.

I'll show you more of her work another time. But here are two of her little dogs. I think they turned out beautifully. The top dog is all one piece, so Karla learned how to attach a body and a head
there. And the littler face was learning the doggy
features and details.

See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Photographing Glass Beads



I am no expert at all, but most of the time, I can take a fairly reasonable photograph of my beads.

I've decided to share my high tech set up for all of you, so you can see the expensive equipment and system that i have put into place.

Well, if you've looked at the pictures, you'll see I was teasing you. I'm about as far from that as possible.

I use two pieces of computer glossy photograph paper and a lucite bead stand with a clear rod to hold the bead.

Natural light is my favorite and I set my inexpensive Sony Cyber-shot on ISO which is a non flash set up for lower light.

I usually lighten the screen. (I have this little thingy that I click to the left or right for lighter or darker) And then hold my hand really steady or rest it on one of my shipping boxes and click away.

When I download my photos, they are all popped into PhotoShop for cropping and any additional clarity. Sometimes I make the photo a little lighter. And that's it.

So you can see my career as a rocket scientist never materialized and I will never be a professional photographer either.

Now it's time to share your photography hints. I know you have them. Please post and help all of us out. See you tomorrow right here, http://www.StudioMarcy.blogspot.com

Monday, January 11, 2010

Excitement to get you through the winter


Need a little excitement in your life...but contained? Did you delight in Little Shop of Horrors?

This might be a nice gift for you then.

These carnivorous plants are here to entertain you. find a few little icky bugs and watch 'em go. In front of your eyes, they'll fascinate and entertain you. Perhaps you might even learn something.

Some of the seeds you'll receive include Venus Fly Trap, Hooded Pitcher Plant and Cobra Lilies. And as Billy Mays used to say, "But wait, there's more!" More types of plant seeds, photo decals, swamp rocks, instructions and other good stuff. All are available right here.

And you'll also see one of my favorite websites. Yes, I'm ready to come out...I love www.thinkgeek.com . Entertaining stuff all over the place.

Let me know what you find that entertains you there.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Hearty Laughter


I just love this bead by talented glass artist Michael Dean of www.protege.etsy.com. If it hasn't been sold, you can find it here. Michael also makes lovely encased floral beads, which are also some of my often visited and sometimes bought beads.

Got any favorites on Etsy that you want to bring to folks' attention? Post the url here. and let us know about them.

See you tomorrow- same time, same place.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Teaching Beginning Jewelry Making

Recently a family friend, home from college came over to learn some basic jewelry making. (Isn't she a cutie?) I asked on my Facebook page, what would others suggest that I teach her? (btw, please friend me, if you haven't...Marcy Lamberson). The response was wonderful and although we didn't have time to do enough, it sure gave me an idea of what folks thought is important. And I can't help but agree.

We only had time for tool & supply info, wire wrapping, crimping, jump ring operation and we made some earrings, necklaces and how to make pendants.

But I'm posting some of the responses on my query. Please feel free to comment and add more of your thoughts. I found them all so valuable. My thanks to Lauren, Ilse, Patrick, Moon, Ann, Nell, Andrea, Heidi, Mona, Jessica, Susan, Debra, Cindy and Arlene for posting on that thread.

Here is what my Facebook "Think Tank" said.....

• Basic tools and where to find them...how to find tutorials online...how to measure for necklaces and bracelets so that they fit. :-)

•Don't forget about the nylon pliers, for no mar work.

•Definitely nylon pliers. After wire work I would start with cold connections, if the student wants to go to metalsmithing, or maybe chain maille. What about teaching Viking knit, now that you know how?

•I'd go copper over sterling or fine silver then...maybe working with found objects? Or upscale/recycle materials?

•Hammering and riviting and soldering fine silver would be cool! :)

•I think besides these fine suggestions, i'ed add doming and how to use the flex shaft to make a hole and polish and how to ball up the end of wire..oh and the ever important how to properly open and close a jumpring!!

•OK, saving money tips- use silver plate for headpins (you don't see most of the pin anyway) from FMG (OMG are they cheap) and join an online bulk buying group like Beads and More on Yahoo or Bulk Bead Buys (BAM is more active...). those groups allow you to buy a lot of things through wholesalers in smaller quantities.

Back the the headpins- I do recommend sterling earwires, but use the SP for earrings..... FP crystals are a lot less than Swarovskis. College girls will go wild for all the earring possibilities!!!
Creating patinas on metals.

•How to finish of necklaces with crimps and stuff so it looks professional I always feel like my necklaces are cheap looking due to the 'finishing" touches..

FP is probably Fire Polished and usually refers to crystals.

•Oh the other thing I have a a hard time with is multi strands and how to do them so they hang right and are of course finished right.. LOL
_____________________
I'm sure more of you have ideas that weren't mentioned. Please feel free to chime in and add to the list. We'd all benefit from it.

I'll see you on Sunday right here. Taking tomorrow off for a little catch up time. Bye!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snowflake Bead Inspiration


Winter is a funny time for beadmaking. Sometimes I want to convey the cold, without making the sculptural visual of it. Like snowmen, children wearing scarves or even the fun little bright mittens.

I saw this plate, (wouldn't you know, my memory failed me), I think on Pottery Barn or CB2's website and just loved it. The simple and complicated snowflakes make me feel like winter and yet are a gorgeous pattern just by themselves. It's almost more like a symbol. The cool gray background helps give it a frosty feel.

Have you found something recently that affects you similarly? How about sharing it with the rest of us. Or tell us what you think exemplifies winter in a different way? I'd love to know. Feel free to include websites- yours or others to show us too.

See you tomorrow. http://www.StudioMarcy.blogspot.com

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Guess What I'm Doing?


Guess what I'm doing today?

Look down the checklist for the fourth bullet. I'm teaching a private lesson. But this isn't just any private lesson, it's one where my student came from out of state and is staying for a few days. Oh boy, it's fun!

We started on Tuesday and will go through Friday. It's mostly about sculpture and learning how to look at photos and 3D items and translate them into glass. There are different steps and techniques to learn along the way which is what we're following, but at the end, we'll have plenty of time for specific beads that she wants to learn. I hear dragons, mermaids and angels are on that list.

So if you don't see me around quite so much, I'm having a ball working with my friend. Lots of glass, chatting and learning all going on at once.

See you tomorrow- same time, same place.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Off The Radar Inspiration Sources

Off The Radar Inspiration Source


Over the years I have found some rather atypical sources for inspiration. And as the latest email advertising arrived, I decided to share it with you.

You see, I have a "thing" for the Antique Drapery Rod Company. Yes, you read it correctly.

I like the large photos and the sculptural shapes of a lot of their items. The bee and floral rosette pictured here
are just two examples.

You can find their website here. And don't forget to check out their finials. A lot of their products are basically "bead shaped", but have a twist on them. I would love to see what you make from using them or a similar product as inspiration.

And now it's your turn. What's one of your "off the radar" type inspiration websites that you don't mind sharing?

See you tomorrow for more creativity and glass talk...right here at www.StudioMarcy.blogspot.com

Monday, January 4, 2010

A Connected Group of Artisans

I saw the post below as part of Gail Crossman Moore's blogpost and felt it is important to re-post in part. Each time I read a story about one of our fellow lampworkers, I get a stomach ache .

Even if I don't know the person directly, I know of them, or know one of their good friends. We are a connected group of artisans who look out for each other. Although we are scattered across the world, our art world is relatively small. So I'm asking you...if you can, please help in some way. If you can't, please send warm thoughts, prayers or however you do it.

The photo is a collaboration of Meesh and Stephanie Sersich's work from Meesh's website. The rest of this blogpost is a direct quote from Gail Crossman Moore's original post here.
................................................

Michele Goldstein is caring around the clock for the dying father of her children. (There is no time for their family to prepare for the end of his life. Steve's sickness was unexpected and the cancer is moving quickly through his body. His death is imminent, and it's only been three weeks since he was diagnosed.)

If you know Meesh, you know that she is the kindest of souls and is always generous and puts others first. She would never think about asking for money from others. That is why her friends are asking you to think of sending her something.

In looking at the dawning of a new 'age', a new year, I want to start it right and send a loving message of direct help to one of us who is in need. Meesh has been unable to work, has needed to cancel shows and is looking at an uncertain future for herself and her two young boys.

It is my hope that we could take some immediate heat off of her situation by laying down a little padding to her nest. Could you help?

If you can help, the most direct route would be through her Paypal account.(meesh@michelegoldstein.com) If you could forward this to anyone who might be interested in helping, please do!

We will be following this up with an interesting auction of donated items, if you would like to become a part of this please contact either me at gail@gailcrosmanmoore.com or Anne Mitchell at aemitchell6482@yahoo.com to develop a trust for her children.
---Gail Crossman Moore

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Faces Of Glass


Eileen of Dorset Hill Beads made this fun Etsy Treasury, titled Faces Of Glass.

I love seeing my glass friends, with whom I've been writing for the past few years.

Please visit it here and click on each picture- glass and peeps, and comment in the section at the bottom of the page.

This treasury will expire on Tuesday at 10:33 a.m.

Don't you love seeing the faces behind the glass? Please comment if you want more of these kinds of treasuries. I know I do!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year! Let Your Artist Out This Year.


Happy New Year my friends. I hope you had a fun celebration last night.

So have you made your New Year Resolutions? I haven't. I decided to wait a little bit to do it. I want to take time to contemplate what mine were last year, and where I am with those.

One thing I've noticed, is the increase in artists choosing to make this next year a creativity year. I have at least three friends who have mentioned that they will be working on their artistic views more than filling an online shop, teaching or doing more of the day to day selling activities. They plan to blog more often too.

I salute them. I think a lot of us tend to get caught up in the smaller- what will sell today mode, and don't take the time to really let our inner artist play, find new styles and even take time to think about what we really want to do.

So if you have plans to create more- how about sharing them with us. What are you going to do? Tell us. If you have a blog, feel free to post it too. Let's increase our creativity in 2010 and share with all.

See you Sunday with my next blog installment. As always, I'm taking Saturday off.