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!**

Friday, December 31, 2010


Thank you all so very much for being a part of such a fantastic year for me.
I wish only the best for all of you as we head into 2011.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy Winter!

The snow is really coming down today and tonight. We've had over 5", which I realize is not much for those of you in the North, but for those of us south of the Mason-Dixon Line, it's a pretty decent amount. The above picture is of our house, taken around 1pm this afternoon, when about 5" of snow had fallen, with more coming down.

We had a fantastic Christmas at home with our kids. Santa was good to everyone this year! My husband really knows me well...I got a Lortone tumbler that I had wanted, and a disc cutter set, and also this:

Yes, that is a starship Enterprise NCC-1701 pizza cutter! I adore it, and I think pizza will be on the menu for dinner tomorrow night so I can use it! I'm a great big geek, I know.

My husband is home all week with us, so we are planning on lots of family time. Tomorrow is definitely for playing in the snow and for having hot cocoa. My daughter has requested to go ice skating, and I would like to go see the Victorian Christmas decorations at Maymont House. I probably should work at my office, too, at some point. The little kids both got board games, so we will likely play those, and build train layouts, and make things with Legos, and play cars and play 'kitchen', too. My oldest is at her dad's for the week, and I am sure she is having fun hanging out on her dad's horse farm. It's shaping up to be a good week, I think.

I've got some jewelry ideas brewing, and some plans to try out some more ferric chloride etching on copper. I'm working on a design for a fundraiser project for a friend's school (more on that later), and I need to order some stainless steel shot for my tumbler....lots to do.

And I'd like to spend some time this week meditating on what I want 2011 to look like for me and my art. Lots to think about, and many plans to make.

I hope all of you have had wonderful celebrations and spent peaceful time enjoying this end of the year season.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas! And with three kids, there's a LOT to love about the holiday. I'd like to share some of it with you...

I hope that all of you are enjoying a warm and wonderful holiday with your friends and family, and that you are surrounded by love, light, and the beauty of the season.

Thank you for all of your blessings, comments, love, help, and community this year and every year. You are all so very much a part of all that I do, and create, and I am grateful to each of you.

I will be back soon, or in 2011, whichever comes first!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I had a HUGE post written about things I've been thinking about and paths and directions and journeys.....

I wasn't sure I wanted to post it, so I left it alone, knowing the Blogger autosave would have saved it for me.

Well, somehow it didn't. Augh!!

I KNEW I should have put it in a Word document...grrrr.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Out My Winter Window

December 13, 2010
Richmond, Virginia
7:30 a.m.

(I'm in the middle of craziness, getting ready for Christmas....sewing preschool Christmas pageant costumes, making some of the scenery, and recovering from throwing my daughter's fifth birthday party this weekend...I'll be back soonish with jewelry-related and/or art-related stuff...I promise...)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Glass in all its forms

When I was on my odyssey of discovery at Liquidation Warehouse the other week, one of my purchases was a few crackled-glass ornament balls. I love glass in all its forms (no! really!?), and these ornaments just really spoke to me. I've wanted, for a while, a few of the blown-glass witches balls to hang in my kitchen window, but I've never found ones I liked. Since Christmas is almost upon us, I thought these would be beautiful instead.

Some of my very favorite glass colors are blue and red. These are so good-looking in the light of my window that they may just stay there through the winter.

Isn't that red just stunning? I love love love that deep ruby red. Just delicious. (and for the record, I hate the word 'nummy'...)

And the blue....at some angles it is almost cobalt, at another, it appears violet. Straight on, it's one of my current favorite shades of transparent blue Moretti glass -- dark blue tranparent.

(This is the part of this post where I wish I had something better than my little Panasonic Lumix camera to take my blog pictures with....oh Santa, I wish you could bring me a Nikon like Cindy's!)


Next year's large purchase will have to be an oxygen concentrator, to go with the torch I haven't bought yet. Of course, that is after THIS year's large purchase, a Glass Hive kiln, which I also have not finished paying for...

But I digress...

I also wanted to show you all some of the results of my studio time. My glass beadmaking Muse apparently is elsewhere today (maybe playing in the snow at Kerry's place!), but in an effort to not let myself get sucked into the negative that goes with a crappy torch session, I decided to salvage the time and make frit. I've wanted to make frit for some time now, not being able to justify buying crushed glass when there are so many awesome rods to buy. There are a couple of methods to crush and mix your own glass, but the one that seemed to make the most sense, and was the simplest to deal with, is the water-shock method.

Basically, you heat the end of a rod to glowing, flatten it into a paddle at the end of the rod, reheat the paddle til it's hot, then plunge it into a jar of water and let it shatter into tiny bits. You then strain it out of the water and spread it on a plate or something to dry out so you can use it.

I made two small batches today, one a blue-green mix that I am hoping will be sort of an underwater-looking blend:

And the second batch, which is my end-of-the-day mix of all the rods I used while beadmaking this morning:

Let's see...what's in there....CiM Sangre, dark ivory, CiM Ghee (which normally looks terrible for me), Moretti dark trans blue, Moretti electric yellow trans, some CiM Peace, and I think some dark and light topaz. Oh, and some medium brown, I think. I was practicing making chocolate hearts for Valentine's Day.

So, the frits are currently drying, and I hope to get some torch time tomorrow to play with them. If anything comes out interesting, I'll post pictures. The rest of this week will likely be taken up with birthday party prep and sewing costumes for the preschool Christmas pageant.

I think it's time for more tea.

Monday, December 6, 2010

And Another One...

So, I'm in the December issue of Bead Trends, too. Just a simple pair of earrings, but they are so nicely photographed! They're also easy to make, and I think they'd make a terrific last-minute gift!

There are several fantastic projects in this issue, including a number of excellent pieces in the Under $15 section (where you'll find my earrings!). Check out the great feature on designer Mary Jane Dodd, too. Her work never fails to inspire me.

I'm currently in the grip of holiday and birthday party preparations. My middle daughter turns five on Thursday and has her first real birthday party with friends on Saturday afternoon. Yikes! Must prep goodie bags and order the cake and make sure we have enough plates and utensils and figure out the games and prizes....and, and, and.....!!

More to come, I promise! Hope you all are enjoying the beginning of the holiday season too!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Here!

Today is December 1st, and the Winter issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry is now on the magazine racks everywhere!

I mentioned before that I was going to have an article and some work in this issue -- and I do -- but I am also accompanied by some fo the most fantastic artists I have ever seen! I mean, really, MY work in the company of people like Melissa Manley, and Barbara Lewis, and Denise Yezbak Moore and Cindy Wimmer and friends? Really? It's an honor, truly, and I am so incredibly happy to be among them.

(OMG, I am so excited, I can hardly stand it!!!)

Go pick up the magazine for yourself...it's chock-full of fantastic ideas and beautiful pieces of work.


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