Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Berry Nice, Indeed

I am still working on those five paintings. One is done and delivered but progress on the remaining four canvasses is slow. They're sitting neglected on their easels while I churn out jewelry for an event this Friday night. More on that later.

I am crushing on this one, as in, I am so in love with it that I am going to marry it.

Aren't the photographs gorgeous?
Miss Margaret is home for a month and it certainly is nice to have a professional photographer in the house.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Magnolia Buds

I am completely obsessed with glass headpins.
First making them at the torch and then using them as elements in jewelry.

The page in my bead sketchbook where I pasted a magazine clipping of magnolias that became the inspiration for this big set of headpins. Without reservation, I can say that archival gluesticks changed my life.

All of the headpins were made on blackened steel wire that I got at the hardware store.

A bracelet? I think so.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Here's an Idea

I hammered the end of a piece of 20g copper wire flat and twisted it into a spiral.
Then, at the torch, I captured the spiral in the center of a blob of glass to make a headpin.

It's really wonky because the extra bit of metal inside the glass conducted the heat like crazy and made the wire too hot to hold on to. I had to get that miserable, finger burning, sucker in the kiln FAST.  I should have just dropped it on my work table and  saved my tender digits, but no, I wanted it and had to practically throw it into my kiln.

Next time, either a longer piece of wire or some sort of finger protection will be used.

I love how the spiral is magnified by the glass. So, so many possibilities here.

Friday, August 26, 2011


To Maine and back.

These family snapshots were taken at York Beach near Kittery.

I gave my husband the task of finding a heart shaped rock. It kept him busy long enough for me to spend about a half and hour staring aimlessly at the waves. Looking and listening to the ocean is like a drug.

p.s. He found about a half a dozen incredible ones.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Charming Lilies

What a frazzled week I have had - far too much time spent running in tiny circles and squawking. Not nearly enough time spent with the flame.

My last blog pictures were of a painting I just finished, an oil of lilies of the valley.
After drawing them all week I just had to try making them in glass.

These are wee milk glass white blossoms made on brass headpins that have been wound into charms.

Perfect for earrings or as dangles on a necklace.

I made two of them into earrings for myself and these four are up in my Etsy Belvedere shop.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Lilies of the Valley

I finished a painting this week
I's always a great feeling when you say to yourself (or to the dogs if they're listening) "done."

The poodles are my constant studio companions.
If they weren't colorblind they would probably be excellent art critics.

Lilies of the Valley
oil on canvas - 24' x 30'

Saturday, August 13, 2011

What's the Story Morning Glory?

I have spent the last week, or so, painting like a mad woman. There are five new painting which are coming along very nicely. My big, old house smells like oil paints, my fingers are stained and I feel very content.

Below is a photograph of morning glories that's the 'model' for a 24" x 24" painting.

Each morning I very diligently I have snapped a photo, of the previous day's progress, to show the painting as it has 'grown.'

At this point (above) the shapes have been drawn in with colored pencil and then areas of base colors (under-painting) have been blocked in.

A few days later most of the blocking is done. Since this is an oil painting things need to dry before the next layer is added. This takes time, so I usually work on several painting at a time. Right now there are five going.

Now we're really starting to see the painting come together. A few details are in, layers of translucent color are being built up, mistakes are being fixed and the fun is really getting started.

It's about halfway at this point. If you would like to peak in at the rest of the painting there is a public album up on my facebook page - the link is here.

Yes, of course, when I make glass this week there will be morning glory bud headpins.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Honey Berry Seaweed

At the end of the torch session I always try to make a big heart with the short rods, leftover frit bits and other scraps of glass that are on my bench. Waste not, want not, and all that.

I gravity shape them, which is fun. Watching all that molten glass flow and droop.
Let us not forget that this is all about playing with fire...

This one (above) was made the day I made all those strawberry headpins.

It really is a nice way not to have a lot of glassy leftovers.

Monday, August 08, 2011


I have a single bead press that I almost never use.
It's a 'Kalera Long & Lean" from Zoozi's. A souvenir from last summer's "Gathering."

It's a sad sort of tool, hanging out on the table next to my work area, never getting any hot glass action.

I have started experimenting with it - and came up with this design.
After pressing the bead I spot heated the edges and ruffled them with my tweezers.

There it is, on the left, collecting dust. I imagine that every time I reach for some frit it's little heart skips a beat. Then realizes I am not coming for it, sigh. Sad little press maybe your day has finally come.

Maybe I should get a "Spree" shaped press to keep it company?

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Cherry Tree

Um, so, what am I working on?
A cherry necklace.

It's being put together with cherry head pins, dozens of  off-mandrel leaves and 'tree bark' glass links. The bark beads were made on mandrels that are used to make Pandora sized beads.

Below is a working sketch. As you can see, I ended up doubling up the leaves to give it a fuller look.
That makes six leaves on every link. Hello? That's a lot of leaves. I am sick to death of making them.

Here's the first headpin hammered into a link, with a little extra pounding for texture.

Viola! The first link with all the bits in place.

I think it's going to be lovely.

Road Trip

Everyone from Record Archive piled in the party bus yesterday afternoon and went to Art Park to see the free ZZ Top show.  This is what it looks like when 30,000 to 40,000 people sing along to "Sharp Dressed Man."

P.S. you cannot even begin to see the size of the crowd in this photo. It spread all the way to the left, and the right, around those trees, behind the stage and way up above and beyond me.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

New Paintings

I've got the itch to paint again.

I spent the morning pouring over my photo files.

Looking for potential paintings.

Thinking about what sort of colors I am in the mood to work with.

Maybe what I really want to paint is popsicles, I am addicted to coconut popsicles this summer, the older I get the weirder I get. I mean really it's not seemly for a 50-something year old woman to be bonkers for frozen treats.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Sunday at the Studio

Perfect temperatures, nice light, no pressures - it was a great morning for making glass.
Even the trains outside my windows showed up in their Sunday best.

I had a mission. See all that green transparent glass below?

I needed to make about 64 small, off-mandrel leaves with holes.
Don't think of it as boring - making them one after another was very meditative.

It's a lousy photo, but I had to be quick about snapping it. There are all those stinkin' leaves on the right.
I'm very excited about the necklace they're for - more on that soon.

Do you know what it says under that dumpster?
Dumpster here.