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!**

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Frank and Jane Go To The Gallery

Remember Frank and Jane? They got to go to Art Works for a gallery show last night!

Last night I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Fourth Friday gallery opening reception at Art Works gallery. My friend Carolyn, who is a muralist and polymer clay artist, has a studio in the gallery and she invited me to set up a small display in her studio for the opening last night.

Not having done a show of any kind in months, I was really looking for an opportunity to revamp my display and try out a few new things I had in mind. My work has been evolving steadily since I started selling it about three years ago. I think it's really getting to a place where I feel like it is truly an expression of my skill and talent and vision, instead of an attempt to co-opt someone else's 'thing' and make it my own. Granted, there's really nothing completely new under the sun, but I really think most of my recent work has had more of a stamp of ME on it than anything else.

I'm defining my media, for one thing.

I adore copper. Truly I do, almost as much as glass, as a medium, and I have also discovered I love manipulating metal. Well, duh! What with all the pounding and shaping and mangling of sheets of copper and brass....one would hope I love it!

Etching has also become a new thing for me, and I am finding ways to use that process to bring out my own vision in the work I make.

So....copper, glass, etching, metalsmithing...yep. Now I just needed to find a beautiful and enticing way to display it all.

Remember those vintage suitcases I bought at an estate sale a while back? Got those. Also a mannequin hand, Frank and Jane, some basic necklace stands, a pillow I made for my couch, and some wooden cigar boxes. Much finagling and fiddling later, here is what I had:

In the background is one of Carolyn's murals, on the back wall of her studio. She's fantastic, and last night showed me once again how crucial it is for me to have like-minded artist friends that I can hang out with. It was fun to be in the studio with her, drinking some champagne (one glass each -- we're lightweights -- but the cream puffs? We put a hurtin' on those) and talking about pretty much everything under the sun.

Oh, there's Jane. She was hiding behind a lamp, and pointing out the hollow-bead necklace, 'Roman Holiday'. Carolyn's dad is a blacksmith, and he made that gorgeous lamp, by the way.

The picture quality is not the best, because I had to use the flash or else they were too dark. Sorry about that. I did love hanging my bangle and cuff bracelets off the edge of the train case, though, and standing the earring cards up in the cigar box was MUCH nicer than using my usual oak earring rack. All in all, I really like the direction i am taking with display stuff, so hopefully by the time my next 'real' show rolls around, I will have something really nice all worked up.

I have to confess: I made about five bucks last night, but the greater riches were gained in spending a couple of hours with a friend. Thanks, Carolyn!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Shop update and other bits...

Hi guys....just a really quick note to let you all know that I am busily updating my shop with earrings, AND the pieces I made for the Fairy Tale blog hop. Finally.

(The Faerie Queen earrings are already gone....to a really good home....thanks, Katie!)

Here's the link to the shop, or check it out on the left sidebar.

Thanks so much for all your wonderful comments about my recent work! It means so much to me to know you are reading and taking the few minutes to leave a comment! I'm still working my way around the rest of the blogs, but so far, everything I've seen has really been gorgeous!

An update on the hammered copper bowl (from Memorial Day weekend) is coming soon...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Fairy Tale Blog Hop!!

I know, I know....I'm late to the party. *hides*

I received such an amazing stash from my partner, Tara Plote, of Newbie Beader, and I was able to make three pieces with the beads she sent. ALL of the beads were 'challenge' beads for me, as I don't really "do" shiny or sparkly or precious. *grin*

I was stumped for a long time as to what I should make....I kept thinking silver was the only metal I could use, because the beads were so light in color and more dainty than what I typically use. Also, I am completely out of silver (what with it being so costly), but then it hit me! I can use my old favorite copper and make some gorgeous things with an unexpected bead and metal combination. So, here is what I made...

For The Faerie Queen

Night Garden

A Midsummer Night's Dream

I feel like I made some successful pieces, and I really like the way they came out for several reasons: One, since I NEVER use any kind of faceted, sparkly bead, much less one with an aurora borealis coating, I was pleased with how easily I could integrate them with my 'signature' metal, copper. I'd never really considered the more dainty, sparkly look with earthy copper. Another thing I like is my use of fiber in the Midsummer bracelet. I have not really used ribbons in any of my work, much for the same reasons as I didn't use "sparkly". But I really like the eclectic look of that bangle and how the beads and charms mingle with the ribbons and the forged copper bangle.

You'll have to check out Tara's page for what she made with the beads I sent her....but she has broken a finger on her dominant hand, so it may be a few more days before she can get her creations done. I hope you enjoy the rest of the hop, though. See below for links!

Lori Anderson, Pretty Things

Rebecca Anderson, Song Beads

Courtney Breul, Beads By Breul

Loretta Carstensen, Designs by Loretta

Evelyn Hall, Dragon Lady Evelyn

Sandy Richardson, Sandy's Coloring Box

Dana James, Dana's Jewelry Design

Tara Plote, Newbie Beader (My partner!)

Christine Brandel, A Hot Piece of Glass (You are here!)

Lisa Sittniewski, Alterity Art

Joanna Matuszczyk, Filcowe

Jenni Connolly, Jenni Bead

Geneva Collins, Torque Story

Elisabeth Auld, Beads For Busy Gals

Sally Russick, Wireworked

Mary McGraw, MK's Creative Musings

Norma Turvey, Moonlit Fantaseas

Erin Prais-Hintz, Treasures Found

Stephanie Haussler, Pixybug Designs

Shai Williams, Shaia's Ramblings

Johanna Rhodes, Fire Phoenix Creations

Sandi Lee James, Do Be Do Bead Do

Sweet Addy Designs

Valerie Norton, Hot Fused Glass

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Teacher's Gifts 2011

Every year, I've always tried to make nice and thoughtful gifts for my childrens' teachers. Having worked in school systems, I know what teachers are usually given, and what they really do and don't appreciate. Since I've always been crafty, I've made a variety of things over the years. Since I learned glassworking and metalworking, the last few years have been jewelry gifts.

Jewelry has always been a very personal thing in terms of style for people, so I don't get too trendy or 'out there' when making pieces for people I know, but don't know well on a personal level. And I've always tried to choose themes that have meaning beyond the whole pencils-crayons-an-apple-for-the-teacher thing.

This year, I focused on the proverb, "Mighty oaks from little acorns grow." For the ladies who teach my little kids preschool, I made a series of simple copper necklaces featuring either a hollow glass acorn, or a polymer clay acorn, both of which I made myself.

For my oldest child, who is in middle school and has many teachers each day, I'm still working on gifts for those teachers. Her English teacher is male, so a necklace is Right Out. I'm thinking bookmark and gift card instead.

Of course, now that I am laid up in bed after having several outpatient surgeries on Wednesday, NOW I'm getting all these great ideas. Right when I have no energy to do them. Thankfully, Kira has a couple more weeks of school so I have a bit of time to get things done.

I really like the way these necklaces came out, and I'm thinking of offering them as glass or polymer clay pendants in my shop. It's a bit late for teacher gifts for this year, but not for this coming Christmas and for next year.

I think I'll list those earrings I wrote about recently, now that I have time on my hands and no ability to really do anything too involved.

What do you do (or have you done) for teacher gifts for your kids and their teachers?


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