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!**

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Nights at the Museum

Hi guys! I'm back.

I know it's Bead Table Wednesday, so quickly, here is a shot of my ever-crowded bead table (jewelry table, wire table, sewing table, mixed media table....):

What? Doesn't everyone sew and work metal and make jewelry on their ironing board??

The bathroom remodel this summer has rendered the garage workbench a little inaccessible for the moment, and I haven't had time to clean it off as yet, so that is why some of my metals stuff is in front of my (poor neglected) sewing machine.

But BTW is not what this post is about....no.

Most of you know that I was accepted into the training program to become a docent at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It is a prestigious and comprehensive training program that lasts a whole year, and includes art history lectures, gallery exercises, training in basic museum education, and programs on the collections and holdings in the museum. It's a volunteer position, and I am undergoing this extensive training willingly, and without financial compensation. The rewards are much greater than that for me.

So far, we are three weeks into the training, and have completed lectures on ancient art and the ancient art collection in the museum. To say that I am happy is an understatement.

The first week, we were allowed into a gallery with our instructor and a security guard after the museum was closed. It was quiet and cool, and the halls were lit and the marble gleamed and outside it was dusk. It's an amazing experience to be so quietly surrounded by works of art created by countless hands and minds from across the centuries -- and millennia. All those people and all that creating....people we can identify and have images of, and people we only know as "the Virginia painter" or "R", or people we have no idea about at all, whose identities are lost in the passage of time. I was overwhelmed by the existence of these people and what they have left behind, by the magnitude of what we do creatively as humans, and by the seeming enormity of the task before me.

But now I see why it is that this appeals to me. Oh, it always has, the history and the concept of a museum, and the reading and learning. But for the first time in....years?....I sincerely feel that this is what I'm meant to be doing.

On some levels, it's intensely frightening.

On another level, it fills me with a joy I can't describe, and that has spilled over into the rest of my life in these last few weeks. Even in the midst of the chaos of three children starting school, husband in college, and work and family life activities. 'Go placidly amidst the noise and haste' has never been so applicable to my days.

I have a couple of years to spend working at the museum in this capacity, but my mind has already started to wander to "what's next?" as I find myself idly surfing the course listings for Virginia Commonwealth University's Art History department.

We'll see; I have plenty to do and to think about before I go get all fired up about any further schooling for myself. But for now, I'm happy to be doing what I'm doing, and looking forward to the future eagerly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Still Hoppin'!

Wow! What an amazing Bead Soup party this time! So many beautiful works, so very many blogs to visit! I'm still working my way through all of the blogs on the list, and I have a feeling it's going to take a few more days at least. Wow, you guys are seriously talented!!

And thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of you who left such lovely comments on my work! Knowing how many blogs there are to visit, it really means a lot that you would stop and offer kind words about my necklace. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

To any of you who are newly subscribed to this blog -- welcome! Now that the kids have started back to school, and September's whirlwind is settling down, I hope to have more content posted here, as well as on my other blogs, The Medieval Glassworker, and The ScooterMom!

Enough housekeeping and business...how about some news and pictures?

So....here is what I've been up to lately....aside from cooking up the Bead Soup!

I helped a friend who needed a funny baby gift...and made a baby bottle into a ketchup bottle:

It was pretty simple, but I was impressed with myself when it came out actually sorta looking like the real thing!

It's not designed to be functional, just purely a joke between friends.

The school-year schedule is in full swing around here with activities just about every night for someone in this house -- tae kwon do, Girl Scouts, my husband has two night classes....it's crazy, but we're handling it. Oh, and my night of training at the museum. Now THAT is something I am really in love with. That's a whole separate post of it's own, though. More later.

Remember these vintage suitcases I bought last spring?

I thought they'd be great for a tabletop show display -- and they are -- but there is so much neutral in my display that nothing really stood out. So, I painted them!

A couple coats of spray paint and they were much better. I'll have some good photos of my display after this weekend. I've changed it quite a bit, and I'm really pleased with the way it has turned out. One of the very best things about using working suitcases as display props? Storage! Those things are FULL of all the little props I use on my tables. It makes for fast and easy setup at shows, too, which is fabulous, since I am always alone at shows for setup.

Hmm...what else?

I've been so busy, but haven't had a chance to photograph anything really interesting...guess this means I need to be running off to get started on prep for my busy weekend. I'm not going to ArtBliss this year (boohoo!), instead I am helping out with a local SCA event, and then on Sunday is Arts Around The Lake at the University of Richmond. I doubt the arts will actually be around the lake this year, since it's supposed to be rainy, but I am hopeful. Come out to see me and a bunch of other fine artists and artisans, if you're local to Richmond, VA!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Ta - DAAAA!!!!

As my contribution to the Bead Soup Blog Party 2011, I give you...

Washed Ashore

While I admit to being a class-A procrastinator sometimes, this particular project sparked ideas immediately upon receiving the bead soup. For a few weeks, I toyed around with a variety of ideas, auditioning countless methods for achieving the end product I had in mind. Finally, FINALLY, late on Wednesday evening, the week of the Hop, I came to grips with exactly how I was going to execute this design.

It was a challenge. I never use fiber in my designs hardly anymore. But I knew I wanted a look of something tossed up on the shore of a beach after a storm (fitting, given the recent hurricane here). I think I achieved it.

So, after you have enjoyed my post, please go and visit my partner, Elizabeth Woodford, and see the beautiful necklace and earrings she created with the soup I sent her!

And then, after you've done that, start making your way around the Hop and check out ALL the fabulous work! There are over 300 participants, so it will not be a quick hop, but you will enjoy it. Here is the list, on hostess Lori Anderson's page.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Bead Soup is simmering...

I *just* finished my Bead Soup piece, and I am SO. excited. to show it to you! (nothing like waiting til the last minute, huh?)

However, I haven't photographed it yet, and I am going to be out all morning at a local farm market.


Come back here after about 2pm EST to see the piece I made. :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Countdown beginning....

Watch this space!

On Saturday, September 17, I will reveal the piece(s) I have made for the Bead Soup Blog Party!

And as a reminder, here is the 'soup' I am working with....pretty darn tasty!

And I canNOT wait to see what my partner, Elizabeth Woodford, comes up with!!

Saturday, September 3, 2011



A company called Riggs-Distler was assigned to work in my neighborhood on Thursday afternoon. The really nice work crew walked around and reset transformers and inspected lines for an hour or so, while the kids played in the sprinkler on the front lawn (because the generator was occupying the backyard).

I ventured forth to inquire of these gentlemen what we might expect in terms of restoration, and one of the guys said, "Oh there's nothing broken here. Just a couple of limbs on lines. Should take four or five hours, max."

I refused to get my hopes up too high, because we'd been having them raised and dashed over and over again. We had to go and find some dinner and take Wren to her kindergarten orientation, so really, it was best to just proceed as though nothing was going to change.

A run through Sonic for their fab hotdogs (and a cherry limeade for me!), and then we were off to meet Wren's teacher and see her classroom. We left the school just at dark, and drove anxiously down our street.....are there lights on? Is that a generator? Our neighborhood has a funky arrangement of electricity and just because certain houses are dark doesn't mean ours will be. But the mile-long cruise down our street yielded.....darkness.


We fired up the generator and started to get the little kids ready for bed, resigned to another hot night of sleeping, and more fun and games with the breaker panel.

Then my husband noticed a streetlight on at the corner. We have our generator jacked into the house power, so the main switch was off. He ran downstairs and flipped off the generator and turned on the main....and there was LIGHT!!

We let the little kids watch cartoons until 10pm, while we waited for the hot water heater to do its job. Hooray for electricity and modern conveniences!!

(this means that I can now return to art-related posts! And I will show you what I made in the dark, while wearing my husband's LED headlamp!)


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