6.5.2019 - Many Changes...

Boy oh Boy.

It’s the boy…. remember back years ago - how the little blond kiddo with my didymium safety glasses on was in deep concentration threading beads onto string? He’s the one who only knew that Mom had to work every Wednesday… this was my “work”. Well - he went and graduated from college - where did the time go? He is, today, en route to his first real job. He is a civil engineer. Odd and yet satisfying sense of motherly closure here - one that makes the corners of my mouth slowly turn up…

Thanks for all the birthday wishes - I don’t feel any older - but somehow that number just keeps creeping up.

So - as most often when I have things mulling around in my brain - I’ve been in repeat mode. I”ve been making this style bead this week - made a few necklaces, and have six sets to offer up. I’m thinking of applying to an art show - of course the application deadline is breathing hot on my heels… so. Smiles, Jill

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5.29.2019 - The Many Faces Of A Magical Ingredient...

Glass, all by itself, is pretty wonderful. A medium that transforms from hard to molten and then back to hard again after I’ve changed its shape. Available in transparent, translucent, and opaque… So we take advantage of all that - and it leaves us wanting more…

Often I refer to SIS or silvered ivory stringer - another form of silver use in lampwork… where a silver coated piece of ivory glass that’s been drawn thin - into stringers - is used to actually write designs onto a hot bead… the silver obediently migrates to the middle of the line and forms that dark line… LOVE THAT.

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Then a company like Double Helix Glassworks adds silver to the glass… and our horizons explode. Now - with a simple change to the actual chemistry of the flame - we can achieve luster… Below is a pendant that has the purest form - a few variations of use - straight from the flame with an oil slick of colors (in a good way) that gives it a timeworn feel. A stark contrast against the ivory that’s been fumed by the bleed-off of silver from the glass as it melts in… giving the surface a nicely aged and crackled appearance.

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Then - again - a very thin silver wire is held under a layer of clear encasing glass - and upon much direct heat - eventually melts and forms silver droplets under the top layer of clear… giving sparkle and a playful quality to the finished piece. Love the fact that maintaining the silver is carefree - as it never needs polishing - but adds depth and another design element to my work.

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Then in its purest form - is the wrap… layer upon layer, upon layer that has been gently fused to the bead surface add a certain richness to work that little else can. Quite nice. I find though that I like to antique it

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Then the Jetstream beads - that have a double silver whammy… silvered glass, and silver wire - encased in clear to amplify and protect. Often quite hard to achieve because the clear is so thin and yet the silver wire underneath has not balled up. Beads here measure 1/2”D

I cannot think of another element that adds so much diversity to my work - and yet - I’m sure there are many other applications I will discover tomorrow, next month, or maybe ten years from now. Smiles - Jill

4.24.2019 - Earring Morph...

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What I love about creativity is that occasionally the clouds part and you get a peek on how you work. What I’m saying is that after 21 years of beadmaking, occasionally I stumble on a design and forget that I’ve made it before… but once you have an “inventory” of bead shapes in your coffer… it’s a matter then of combining shapes to create pleasing pieces.

The lollypop of color has been in my catalog of ideas for years… but now that I’ve conquered the hole… it’s really all about the color. The glass has always been my push… allowing the colors to sing. So - then absent of surface decoration - you’re left simply with shape. The matchstick shape joined the catalog of ideas a few years back - but only this year have I combined the shapes in different ways.

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I don’t often work in opaques once we’ve headed into Spring - but these did happen this week… The rounds are 3/8”D and are a base bead wrapped in decorative glass - then encased. Of course, the solid form of the black makes precision of lines and angles imperative - because anything off of perfect shows. Love these little beauties!

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For years I struggled with how to use the flat beads I so love making… this is my solution and I am very pleased. I feel movement and shape is so important - and these elements show up in most of my work. Happily. smiles, Jill

4.17.2019 - Creation In Progress

I had planned to have an update tonight - but still have so many things in the works… won’t be ready on time.
So - next week, be on the lookout, there should be quite a bit of goodness here.

Hmmmm. it seems that over the years my beads are happiest when paired with compatible other bead shapes - not so much applied designs… lending an overall contemporary feel to much of what I produce.

Are there limitations? This is a gorgeous glass toggle… shouldn’t the clasp be as pretty as the necklace?

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New shapes are intoxicating… this shape is an exercise in crazy, as glass wants to be round… these are NOT round. For this earring to work, the Matchstick beads need to be angular, balanced, and similarly scaled. The earring assembly remains daunting. Does all this stop me from wanting to make these in every color combination I can come up with? Not at all… because what I find is that every time I make a pair - I discover shortcuts or techniques that make them hang better… or go together more easily…

and yes, I’m still exploring the bead without the hole… and its many applications.

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…or the hinged pendant allowing movement, a visual variety of compatible shapes, and a nice merging of colors, texture and design elements. Big bonus is it creates a larger scale finished piece - when otherwise I am not so inclined to make bigger pieces.

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See you next week - for a very nice update!! Smiles - Jill