Welcome to A Hot Piece of Glass!

WELCOME to my colorful corner of the world! I write here about the things I make, in glass, fiber, metals, and whatever else I can find to play with!

**And if you want to read more about me, check out Adventures In Living!, my personal blog, or The ScooterMom, where I write about my adventures on two wheels! If you're interested in medieval, ancient and Renaissance glass, check out my history blog, The Medieval Glassworker!**

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A quick update before I lose my mind!

Thanks, everyone, for all the fantastic comment-love about my birthday necklace! I really appreciate everyone who took the time to check out the latest crazy idea I had. :) I love the necklace, and I have worn it a few times, taken it to a demo I did last weekend, and have found a spot near my work area (in the house, not in the garage!) that I can hang it, so I can see it all the time. And turning 40 wasn't so bad, either. I had a terrific birthday celebration that my amazing husband put together that was attended by a huge number of family and friends. And I think I am doing pretty good for forty, so there!

This Saturday begins the summer farmer's market season around here, and I am getting my stuff together to be at the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church market. I'll be there from 8am to noon, at least two Saturdays a month until November. In May, I'll be there May 1 and 8 and 22.

I've got so many great ideas for things this year, and I am desperately trying to get my act together so I can be prepared and ready. I'll be offering custom copper mother's and grandmother's bracelets, stamped with kids' and grandkids' names. I've got a line of flower pendants called Bloomz (that I don't have a finished photo of yet!), some more Viking knit bracelets with my Bubble beads, like I showed here, and my usual assortment of charms, pendants and other goodies.

Oh, wait, I just found a picture of my Bloomz beads, not yet made into pendants, but here ya go:
I love this design. Pretty and simple.

I hope if any of you are local to Richmond, Virginia and are available this Saturday, that you come on out to the market! It's a fantastic place with a nice variety of vendors -- and of course I'll be there too! But now....gotta get back to work to get ready!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A birthday

Ok, so I turned forty yesterday.....yep, I was born on the original Earth Day, back in 1970. It's a distinction I have always enjoyed, honestly. I've never had a birthday that I can remember that wasn't sunny and gorgeous, which is perfect for getting into the spirit of celebrating the planet AND a birthday. Yesterday was no different. :)

I think I had mentioned a while back about creating a necklace for myself that would be somewhat commemorative of my milestone birthday. As with most projects, I didn't get it done *exactly* on time, but it is finished now, and I love it.

Here is "The Road Less Traveled":

It's a difficult necklace to photograph, because it's long (about 21"). I wanted something that was busy and full of my favorite things....and I wanted to include beads that represented some of the best or most life-altering things that have happened in the last forty years. The overall necklace shape is a Y, or rosary shape, which for me, says much more about devotion and faith than anything else I came up with.

There is a closer look at the pendant portion:
The pendant itself is polymer clay. In making it, I thought of my favorite poem, Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled", from which I usually take a quote to sum up some of my approach to my life:

Two roads diverged in the wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference.

The beads above the heart pendant represent, from left to right, my middle daughter Wren (she loves pink), my oldest daughter Kira (she loves the beach), my husband Travis (his 'colors' are black, white and green), and my son, Noah (he just loves).

I made the white dove bead at the top to signify the peace in family life -- having a family, knowing your family is complete, having everyone safe and together.

On one side of the necklace, I hung beads that represent achievement of one of my most important things...education:

Here, the blue and white bead is for my undergraduate degree (SUNY-Geneseo!) and the purple and white, for my high school (Go Southwest Eagles!).
It's not a great picture, but the purple and yellow bead is for my graduate degree (James Madison University).

On the other side of the necklace, are the beads representing other life choices, some that worked out and some that...didn't:
My favorites have to be the BIG hollow beads....there are four of them, one for each decade. In the rosary, there are larger beads interspersed at intervals with the smaller beads. these are called 'decade' beads, and while they don't necessarily represent actual decades in years, the larger beads serve that purpose here. In all my favorite colors, of course. :)

I used hammered copper rings and copper links as the metals in this piece, because the copper is warm and takes on a beautiful patina all by itself as the piece is worn. Circles for the cyclical nature of life, and randomly-wrapped copper links because of the messiness and unpredictability of life.

I didn't get the piece done in time to wear it yesterday, and that's okay. I'm planning to wear it some today and maybe this weekend. I'm just happy I finished it, and was able to put it together the way I want. Even if I don't wear it that much, I have it as a labor of love and to remind me of all the good things in my life.

Happy birthday to me. :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Today, I took my little kids to preschool, came home, put on my mp3 player and cranked it up LOUD.

I love to listen to music while I make beads. I totally get lost in what I'm doing, and sometimes, I think I even make better color choices and better designs.

This is the result of today's loud music and torch session:

These are hollow beads:

And these are huge, honkin' big cone-shaped beads, a result of experimenting with opaque and transparent blues...

I just love all the juicy color in these beads! Guess I should listen to music more often when I work, huh? :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thinking pink! (I'm in love with Bullseye Glass!)

I am not necessarily a PINK person. I grew up with pink, had a pink room pretty much my entire childhood, and then just grew out of my pink. As a rule, I tend not wear or look good in pastels. Too wimpy for me, not enough color strength. So I abandoned pink in favor of black (ha! so hip!), blues and reds. As I got older, I realized it wasn't so much pink itself that was the problem, but the pastel shades I had always had on or around me. So I moved to more saturated versions of pink and lo and behold, there is fuchsia! And Cranberry Pink! And bubblegum pink, and violet-pink!


As a glassworker, I have been desperately trying to make beads that go with some of my favorite hot pink wire, but I could never get the right shade. Until now!

It was suggested I try Bullseye glass rods, which is a different type of glass than I am currently using -- a bit harder, and stiffer to work in the flame. I ordered a single rod of each of several colors to try them out...and here is the result of last night's first try with the pinks and orange and green:
LOOK AT THAT! Those beautiful, transparent, DEEP colors! No crud on the beads from the torch flame, no greying out of the color or burning of the glass itself. Woo!

And they all go perfectly with the pink and purple wire I bought a while back. Look out, world, I am gonna be making some pink jewelry this season!

I mean, seriously, LOOK at that color!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Today is a better day. Actually it was better last night, particularly after I did a session on the exercise bike with my mp3 player cranked up really loud. It's amazing what throwing your weight around for a while will do for your head. :)

So, today I am working on a wire pendant of the Celtic tree of life. I'll post a picture if it comes out looking anything like a tree.

Also in the works today is some Viking knit. I loves me some Viking knit -- not just for the decorative properties, or for the incredible design opportunity it offers, but because I love love LOVE having a small handcraft that I can tuck in my purse and carry around with me. Long car rides (when I am NOT driving!), waiting to pick up a child, hanging out at the park while the kids play...all of these situations are perfect for a small handcraft. Sometimes I lucet-braid, but if I am going to be at all sticky, sweaty, or in danger of little-kid fingers, I don't work with fibers. Nope, wire is perfect, and colored wire is even MORE perfect!

Most people apparently work their Viking knit over an Allen key, but frankly, I don't understand how that works, and I don't really get why you would do that. I think a dowel is just fine, and MY particular dowel is even better (of course). It was made for me by a friend who is also a jeweler. You'll probably recognize it as a former wooden spoon! The best part is the built-in drawplate at the end of it!
See? Isn't that cool? I love working on this, and since I have had and used it over the last two years or so, the wood has gotten nicely smoothed and well-worn. Perfect.

Anyway, my oldest daughter is enrolled in a spring break art program at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and I have to get her there today and tomorrow, so off I go!

But before I go....tell me....Do you carry any handcrafts with you when you're out and about?......

Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Creative Pep Talk

So, the world of art jewelry is not all beautiful beads, flowing wire designs, and gorgeous components. At least not MY art jewelry world. Sometimes I end up with weird stuff, or total junk, or wire marred, bent, broken and mangled beyond rescue. Sometimes I *think* I have a fantastic design no one else has ever seen, and then....then the internet ruins my Nirvana when I find the idea --that I have lovingly mused over, dreamed about, and sketched for three days-- was already done by someone else.

Today is this day.

I think I am in an artistic bad mood.

Nothing I am touching today is becoming something beautiful, and worse, I am beginning to think there are no real original ideas left in this world. well, I know that's not really true, because if it were, how would we as a human race continue to innovate as we do?

I think now is an opportune time for a re-reading of The Incomplete Manifesto. Of particular significance today are points 11, 17, 23, 26, and especially 35.

Much to think about....mindset to realign....maybe some mindless activity is in order this afternoon.

I'll close with a picture of the latest item to appear in my shop. This is 'Beachside', a Viking knit bracelet with my own lampwork beads. Available in the shop right now!

Monday, April 5, 2010


I love earrings. I hate making earring pair beads, because I have such a hard time sometimes getting two beads the same! However, once in a while, the glasswork gods shine down upon me and I actually manage two beads in the same size and same decoration. Then I get to make my earrings!
Dark Dots -- sterling silver earwires, lampwork beads by me!

Dangly Dots -- sterling silver wirework and earwires, red and white lampwork dot beads by me!

The Blues -- sterling silver wire, blue and green lampwork dot beads by me!

They should all be in my Etsy shop in a few minutes!

Friday, April 2, 2010

New post on Watch Me Create!

Hey all....there is a new post of mine over on Watch Me Create. Go check it out. This time, I am talking about a great idea that has me totally stuck. I hate it when that happens, don't you?

In other news.......more good news! Another publisher is interested in my work! Woo! It has been a really Good Friday around here!

For those of you who celebrate, Happy Easter....and for everyone, no matter who you are, Happy Spring!


Related Posts with Thumbnails