Saturday, July 30, 2011

Exquisite Venetians

I found the most extraordinary Venetian glass necklace at an estate sale this week.

We've all seen this style, it's the most classic of millefiore beads.
But just look at the workmanship, the artisan who made these was a real master.

Good grief that's some amazing murrini work.
The style of the clasp dates them to the 1940s or very early 1950s.

I am heartbroken that it is too small for my big, old neck.
It's up in my 'Curious Old Things' Etsy shop if you want to see a few more snapshots.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Charming Garden

A new bracelet - Charming Garden.

I know, new jewelry?
It has been quite some time since there was any new jewelry.

The base bracelet is a really nice, satin finish, vintage brass bracelet I found at some garage sale.

All the berries, leaves, seeds and flowers are glass headpins that I wound into charms and attached to the bracelet. Making headpins is my new glass obsession.

That gorgeous opal pink glass is Cim's Rose Quartz, the red berries are Effetre special dark red with bumps of Cim's Sangre.

I submitted this piece for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge for July.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

(not my) Home Sweet Home

I have no idea who lives here - but they clearly adore their house.

We were driving around on the north side of Rochester, near the lake, and wham - there it was.
Glittering in the sunshine, a jaw-dropping display of ornament and folly, begging the question - who lives here? A group of children without adult supervision, a crazy person, a performance artist?

The only thing we know for sure is they're not vegetarians.

Imagine, with me, what the inside of the house might look like.

What would it be like to say yes to every overly decorative impulse you ever have, to give no fucks about your neighbors and passers by? I mean it screams look at me, but the road cones and signs say stay out. I am both deeply attracted and scared to death of the place.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Light Up & Melt Down

Goodbye heatwave!
It was so stinking hot here that I was unable to work at the torch for over a week.
Just imagine how great it felt yesterday to be able to get back in the groove, oh yeah.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Picking Cherries

All the makings for a new summer necklace - cherry headpins, off mandrel leaves and 'tree bark' beads.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Jelly Trio

Hand faceted nuggets - Double Helix Gaia on transparent emerald, Double Helix Aurae on transparent yellow and Double Helix Clio on transparent dark violet.

These are fun to make. Start with a nicely rounded bead and add thin trails of the iridescent, metallic glass, slowly melt in the threads (don't burn them). Next spot heat the bead and gently shape it with a flat blade, I use a stainless steel cheese knife. Finally after you have it all faceted change the flame to a reducing flame and coax the metallic glass into doing it's thing.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Venetian Seed Pods

I call this style of bead 'Venetian seed pods' for lack of a better name.

This pair has pastel uranium yellow base beads, translucent pink leaves and decorations made with hand pulled aventurine stringers.

One day I will make a whole necklace with these. For now, I make them into earrings.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

I Ain't Gonna Give You None Of My Jelly Roll

Sweet Emma


These sweet little pairs of flower beads are one of my glassy standards.

They're perfect for making summer earrings.

When I make these beads, step one is to fabricate all the individual petals. Then you carefully apply them to the base bead and gently melt them in. It's fussy and time-consuming but I love playing with layering colors and transparency. Like in this pair of transparent blue and opaque yellow flowers, where the blue glass lays over the yellow the result is a beautiful green. Oh, that darn color wheel.

If you're in the Rochester area these flowers, and loads more of my new beads, are at "Let's Bead" in East Rochester.

Thursday, July 07, 2011


I've just been enjoying making some small sets of single color beads.
Simple beads made with some of my favorite colors of glass.

Above is a graduated strand of opalino nile green spacers.
What a fussy color. Prone to snapping and soot trails but so worth the extra effort it takes to work with it.

Below is the beginnings of a strand of opalino carnelian.
I adore how the glass is never, ever the same color twice, ranging from the palest shell pink to a deep orange rose.

Cim's peacock and Cim's Halong Bay, both of them gorgeous translucent colors.

I am slowly building up my bead inventory for summer shows, but if you see anything you want just comment and I will list it on Etsy for you.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy 4th

My your 4th be filled with fireflies, fireworks, baseball and plenty of good, cold beer.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

The Remains of the Day

My evening at the lake was perfect.

The red velvet cake, that was supposed to be a blue velvet cake, was more of a green velvet cake.

Myself and fine friend Frank, baker of the delicious cake.
Please note, I am wearing my tiny tiara.

Dick crooning, my very own rock and roll version of Ben Franklin.
His band played my party on the beach.