5.23.2018 - Pretty Posing

So this week, while I'm almost cured of making only earrings - it's more about pretty posing bead pictures & my extended stay in rich opaque colored glass - is there ever a happy medium?  Update tonight at 9pm Eastern time...these are a few of the candidates ; ) Jill



5.2.2018 - hmmm.... happily

Lampwork is a state of mind....


                                                                                                .....most definitely, yes.....


I've always wanted to make it less associated with "craft", to more aligned with "fine art".
I think a lot of this characterization can be color based - as there are popping colors, and also those that just exist quietly but add sophistication.  I'm always in the process of adding colors to what I consider a rather neutral club of colors.

Ginger, Cocoa, Latte, Ivory, Sediment, ...Black (of course)... and most recently my heart throb colors - Ochre and Pistachio (I know this seems a stretch, but when you think of it - it pairs beautifully with grey, black, navy, brown etc).


The building blocks of elegant design starts with color, form, then embellishment - and an intrinsic sense of knowing when to stop.  Sigh...sometimes, for me, it's a steep learning curve - if it turns out to be a good thing, I add more - often finding the fine line between 'just enough' and 'too much' is learned through a process of overstepping - maybe it's more learning the process of awareness of this "limitation line"? 

The Pod shaped earring of late has been a process of evolution.  I'd be silly to say that I have gotten it out of my system, but this shape addiction just lingers on - presenting itself in many forms - each one just a slight modification of those prior.  

I found a new color to play with this week... the Lauscha cocoa... and it just sung... so much so that I gave those beads an elongated tip to emphasize the elegance of simplicity and LESS being TRULY more.  I am smugly satisfied.   


Over the years I've been aware of the importance of simple design, it's reflected in the clothing designers I admire, and MORESO, of late than ever before, in the work that come from my torch.  I have to eagerly wonder what's next.  Funny - usually by this time of the year I'm knee deep in transparent glass and bright light... but I have just wanted to continue to be engrossed with earring pairs of rich color & beautiful design.  happily, Jill

4.25.2018 - Evolution of an Idea....

I've been smitten by the shape goddess.... again.

I started out working in transparent glass - but realize that they make for dressier earrings... and with summer on the horizon (oh, if you sneeze, you miss springtime here in TX)... yes. so....
I started looking at the opaque colors -  They say so much on their own... and with a small wrap of silver - get a little dressier...


With an OCD wrap of 28ga fine silver - that's tacked down in the torch, they become sleek and elegant.... plus the streaky glass color adds visual interest... but the shape remains constant.  So - we have shape, color, and elegance...


...then I migrated back over to - how 'bout scrollwork to make them fun?  leave the kitten-whisker stringers slightly raised to add visual interest... adding just enough - but not too much... to skirt visual fatigue....


... then living in Austin Texas = LONGHORN country - let's make the color relevant!!


... and add a pendant option... I'm in heaven. : )  smiles - Jill


4.18.2018 - So much... S.T.U.F.F

The flowers in the garden are blooming, they're gorgeous, - but - I wanted to talk about something else.  I've set up a camera at my torch... and am filming through a filter - so you can actually see the detail...  I have to (ahem) clean up my worksurface though - as last time I posted, - seemed everyone commented on the surface clutter - rather than the item being created. 

But this came as a result of a person writing to me - regarding my tile beads - saying that she was sure I was actually slicing them with a wet saw and then drilling the mandrel hole.  Really??   I only hope that I maybe missed the tone, and that was a joke??  Anyway - it was suggested that maybe I show some of these goodies being made to quell the doubt. hmmm?

So - that being said - I'm willing to take suggestions as to what you'd like to see - maybe I'll actually make a tutorial... any comments welcome.  When I sat down the other day - I filmed some quick trials of things that I thought pretty basic... disks, pulling stringer, making a round bead... etc.  While they're simple - they're building blocks - and the basics for any beadmaker.  I had revisited a set of beads I'd made probably 18 years ago - and realized that skills certainly DO improve with practice... and time - and while I DO work faster than most - I aim for perfection.  Does perfection make them look machine made?? hmmm???

oh, by the way - I have cleaned up the worksurface, and it no longer looks crazy like the image above.  That's not saying it won't get that way again - just that occasionally I can actually see the metal sheet underneath! SMH...  smiles, Jill

OK, I can't resist... 
the flowers.  OMG - they started out white - then went pink streaked, then gorgeous pink.  I'm floored!!


4.4.2018 - Who DOESN'T love a Tiny House??

So - with front row seats for the final four - we headed out east... that is, east Austin - to a broadcast in an ampitheater in an innovative community.  What's so cool about this community? Well - each of these tiny homes is now home to someone who had been living on the street.  There is a long waiting list - and there are many things that they have to do to qualify to live here... but it was awesome.

There were community gathering spots, community kitchens - our climate here allows for many of these to be open air... so there is an implied invitation to join as 'family'.  The game was shown on a big screen in the ampitheater, there were community gardens and all in all it was such a nice idea.  NO, it wasn't just an idea - it has happened.  Below is a link that shows it much better than I could - and has more information.

Community First Village


Log sided square foot community gardens.

Open air community kitchens