5.10.2017 - Filling In...

I've noticed that there are sales coming from the pages that surround the Weekly Update Page... so this week, I've pulled more from my bead stash and filled some of those pages with inventory!

As an aside, I am still playing with that photo app called Prisma... I love what it does with my beads!  My goal is to make beads that look like these!  Just kidding, these ARE my beads! (just 'Prismafied')  I just turned on the torch/kiln and plan to be at it again tonight.... do check in next week for some majorly pretty pretties!!
Thanks for looking! smiles, Jill

5.3.2017 - The Nature of Nature

This weekend we spent a lot of time in the garden as well as in nurseries.  It was such fun!  Of course the String of Pearls looks more like a "pot of peas"... but I do SO like these!!

Remember to check out the update tonight!!

first day - so tightly closed, and then triumphiantly open and glorious!

Loved the playful planters for these two...  and a succulent that looks as if it were stacked leather saddles (below)

I always love good shadows.

I always love good shadows.

and radial regularity... oh, if my dot placement skills were as spot on!

and radial regularity... oh, if my dot placement skills were as spot on!

4.26.2017 - Long Longer - LONGEST

It feels so nice when long held limitations are lifted.  

For years I've been making beads that are ONLY SO long.  Because I have been cleaning beads the same way for two decades!  I have a diamond reamer that I use with water and a Dremel rotary tool.  It has always worked, and I never thought I needed any other way.

Last week I went to Blue Moon Glassworks' Fireflies night *(where the local glass artists meet once monthly to share)*... Libby Leuchtman was doing a demo and had some beads that were maybe 4"L.  How do you clean that???

I ended up buying a packet of silicon carbide grit... and with the help of a mandrel dipped into water and then grit - I learned just how to conquer the long beads.  Repeatedly using the grit eventually coaxes the bead release from the holes + it doesn't remove glass... it doesn't taper the holes - just takes the bead release.  SO NICE.

I was inspired this week to work in transparents - not giving a second thought to length of the hole (that I'd need to clean out...) and went to town.  I made way more than what's shown on my page... but that's always the case!  many smiles - Jill

JillSymons.com Lampwork

JillSymons.com Lampwork

4.19.2017 - It's ALL about the Earrings....

If I could choose - I would love to be known as the ergonomic earring designer.  You know... one who considers what's comfortable... colorful and unique.  : )

Granted, I have a few limiting factors.  1.  I like that my earrings fit into either of two little plastic boxes I have... they seem to accommodate 1/2"dia rounds and others with reasonably similar dimensions.  I think (just my humble opinion) that earlobes get to be exhausted if they're called upon to support anything that is much larger than a 1/2" diameter volume of glass.  Granted this can be shaped otherwise - but - 3/4"d I just can't do.  So - with that as a parameter - I create.

I love rounds... and often will make a matching pair on the same mandrel - mirroring dot placement so that even with random dot placement - they match (is that OCD?).    I love balance, symmetery... and ease of wear (reads "comfort").  If it pinches or binds - you won't find me in it.

Last week my mother came over wearing a pair of black/white dotted earrings and I was so pleased with the design and how nice she looked in them.  Inspiring me to make dotted beads.  For those of you who know my work, you know that is NOT the norm... but it was this week.  

Years ago, I was told that I needed to make all my findings, as that would allow me never to be at the mercy of a supplier - AND would give my work a distinctive look.  Over time I have tried a few different style earwires - but seem to always come back to the round.  People tell me that they stay in easily and they don't lose earrings! (Yay!!)

This week, I also revisited the lovely long & slender tapered cones.  They are exactly matched in length and diameter top and bottom... the proportion of these was chosen among my existing beads as being the most pleasing to the eye - and easiest for most of us to wear.  I like it when the reflection that shows down the barrel of the bead is unbroken and straight... indicating a beautifully reflective surface and sleek design element.  Crisp lines, straight edges IMHO speak volumes!  What are some of your favorite earring shapes and lengths?  I'm always interested.... smiles, Jill

4.12.2017 - It's Raining... POURING

Into every life a little rain must fall... I admit it, it is pouring! I've been really stubborn this week especially so...  because I hate to give up.

You know those lovely silver wired beads I've been making?  The ones that have the silver wire that's encased and still in wire form?  Being like I am, I have - of course - tried it in most of the opaque colors I have on hand it's been great FUN.  Some colors are heavenly, some are just meh....  so, we avoid those that don't work, and revel in those that do.

Then I got a special request... to make them in Gerber Daisy Pink... that's one of the elusive colors we all covet... I got down to business.

I tried all the pinks I had in Lauscha, nothing creamy enough... nothing pinky enough... tried all the Moretti ones I had.  Nope.  Even tried three enamel powders I had but nope - skip the enamels - they messed with the silver... ugh.  Then I switched gears and tried some Bullseye pinks *had to dust them off", because I rarely work with Bullseye.  Bingo.  I mean BINGO.  I made about 20, and upon opening the kiln the next day, noticed that about 20 of them cracked in half.  I scrounged around and found a clear that I thought might be the key -  and made eight more...  they survived and are still beautiful!!

I made a special trip to Blue Moon Glassworks to visit Rose and buy some clear to encase that was actually known to be Bullseye (same COE) - and I researched a special annealing schedule for the Paragon for a long slow cool down and got down to business on Monday... hot from the torch into the hot kiln... 

The pink is a Bullseye glass: This is an American glass company that is well known in the fusing world. It is a soda-lime glass and the rods are 4 to 5 mm in diameter. The coefficient of expansion is 90. The annealing temperature is 940 degrees and the strain point is 820 degrees. The rods come in opaque, opalescent and transparent as well as frit and stringers. This glass has a slightly stiffer working condition than Effetre.  I would like to adjust my annealing schedule a bit - anyone out there work with Bullseye on a regular basis?  I have a space for a Bullseye annealing program on the Paragon... want to get it right this time...


Does anyone have any luscious opaque pinks they can point me to?  I'm surely open to ideas...
 : ) Jill

3.29.2017 - Hello Color, hello Mother Nature!!

Is it any wonder that the perfection we see in nature is such an inspiration in art? Symmetry, balance, color, repetition... it just leaves me (almost) speechless!  Surprisingly, we were hit with a freeze here this 'winter' that killed many of my favorite plants, so - no pretties yet from my garden... but I am in the act of replanting.  Below are some of my favorites from this past year though.  AND on another note - remember - the update is tonight in just a little under an hour... smiles, Jill