2.21.2018 - Honk, honk... I'm back... I hope you missed me. : )


.. SO sorry I missed you last week - I was on the tail end of returning from my visit to meet my new... granddaughter!
Can you believe it - I'm a granny? OMG... still toying around with names as that certainly won't do!!  But she's a doll - and I'm thrilled.  World, meet Merritt.  Isn't she lovely?  Word on the street from grateful parents was that she slept a full 8 hours last night!!  woot woot!!
She was a tiny little distraction - as have been other things... : )  BUT - I did manage to get my torching in this week, and am very pleased with the results.

I am honored to say that there will be an interview coming out in ISGB's online publication as the Spotlight Artist.  How cool is that?? OF COURSE I will provide a link for you when it's available.

AND - the news just continues...doesn't it?  I will endeavor to add a place on my website to allow you access to buy Lauscha glass.  Many of you may know that my father, Frank, AKA Glassdaddy, sold German Lauscha glass rods for a decade or more... and he closed up shop a little over a year ago. I could tell you that I got tired of rolling around in the endless supply of glass - but it honestly is more than I will ever use.  SO - what I'll do is try to add a few colors every so often for your perusal.  Maybe sometimes you see me using a color that you want - and it'll be there!  


This leaf had dropped off my plant in the middle of a hot summer - and when I spotted it was in survival mode... repopulating. 


I am hand-shaping these pendants - and rarely get two that are alike... doesn't this remind you of the succulent leaf from summer?  It's made on a mandrel - so there's a hole, but in my never ending quest to delete the hole... I've succeeded by reducing it by half (well 50% in length)!  There's one hole at the top - into which I've epoxied a sterling silver bail... problem solved and the sleek profile-preserved! YAY


I have taken the tapering earrings to a different level of elegance... hmmm.
Admittedly, lampwork can get 'crafty'... I've always leaned towards trying to make it elegant.  Sometimes that means less.  Less glass, less decoration, less "stuff"... you know... Less is ALWAYS more.


The effort to create elegance means rich saturated colors and an understated flash of silver.  Remember... my mantra about truth in materials? If it looks like silver - it's REAL silver.  Hence - why I don't work in gold... at least not yet. : )  I remember a feel I got in Santa Fe... I felt the style of color/nailheads was perfectly suited there.... So.  New colors, shapes and nailheads.


The silver work comes and goes... I have made a wonderful series of post earring findings - as shown below... and am bringing them out here and there... what do you think?  The earring profile is simple - and gives me a little leeway on going a tiny bit crazy on the findings! miles of smiles, Jill


2.7.2018 - Tenacious.


I've been on a mission for quite awhile to eliminate the bead hole.  I guess that wouldn't make them beads anymore... but, in certain circumstances - it seems a distraction.  When the glass is used solely for form - it IS a distraction. (for me.) 
Last week I made a series of crosses - most had only a top hole - into which I placed (epoxied) a well fashioned, very sleek sterling bail assembly.  This week, I am pleased to say that I was inspired by this very cool picture on Instagram...  I made this montage - but her name is Lyn Slater or  iconaccidental on Instagram... what a PISTOL.  I love the haircut her sense of self - and that she can carry off those earrings!!

So - while LOVING the look, I felt that they need to be adapted for those of us (me) who couldn't quite carry those earrings off! I'm sure you can, I just can't! ; )  I couldn't help but call these particular earrings Chanel.  Seeing as they mimic the styling of a patent tip to pumps that are lovingly called "Chanel Cap Toe".  Yes - there is a hole - it stops a bit above the transparent segment of the earring structure.  I thought about directly epoxying the earwire into the hole - but decided that the swing afforded by this finding would be more fun.  PLUS... for years these earwires were deemed to be so wonderful.  


I had thought about etching just the transparent tip... but that may be coming in the next version I make... I played with these seemingly hole'less earring pairs in the way I approach most of my endeavors. IN.ALL.MY.FAVORITE.COLORS... eyeroll.   I have several pair in the works... parchment & gray, but these were most finished. SOOOOO.... what do you think?  smiles, Jill


1.24.2018 - Evolution... the process.


As it usually happens - things start out one way and evolve into other things.  Last week I had declared that the disk as the center of my proverbial universe... and that everything evolved from there.  This week, I still agree, and will carry that a bit further adding the flame assisted slump to the bead evolution.

I had decided that while three petals was alluring - five was a bit ambitious.  Four it ended up being.  But to get all four to slump to desired angle was a bit tricky.  Practice makes (more) perfect... so.


I find this picture especially alluring.  I think it's because I don't often work with striking glass (Certain colors of glass that change from one color to another once heated, then cooled a bit and then brought back into the flame to strike to that different color).   Yellow, Orange, and Red transparents are typically what I'm referring to.  I found it fun to strike the centers of the two end beads to more of an orange, and leave the edges yellow... (the original rod color was yellow... and it was to strike to orange)...


They actually started out as a version of a Snowdrop flower... but - sometimes such definition doesn't translate well to glass... and so it became a "reasonable representation with an artistic license to modify"....
; )

As is typical of my MO, I try it in a myriad of different colors - then start to look at opaques... wondering what if...  then head to silvered glass... OMG... I made so many.  THEN wonder how else it could be utilized... maybe as a bead cap? hmmm.  I think the set could be pretty stunning.  I strung it this way to show how they could back up to each other - but also toye

I strung it this way to show how they could back up to each other - but also toyed with the idea of taking the pairs and stringing them close to the pendant in a column of nesting petal beads - being careful to separate them by a few small seed beads so they wouldn't hit each other.  Do you think I got it out of my system? I hope so.  Smiles, Jill


1.17.2018 - Tall-ish Thin-ish Disk-ish


I've often said that my favorite tool is the micro-mashing tweezer.... that so much can be achieved pinching small malleable drops of molten glass.... So therefore the thinness of glass makes for light's ability to flow through it, and for the color to be more visible.


So then one would assume that my favorite shapes are the tall thin ones...YES.  Tiles, disks, slumped caps, cut flowers, splats, Freefall... only today did I realize how many shapes are derived from the ability to make a tall thin disk.  Mind you - this tall disk, with all the tugging and maneuvering in the flame is holding onto the mandrel only by a footprint of glass that's the width of the disk.  Maybe 1.5mm.  So - it's a gentle process, after all some of the disks are 30mm in diameter.

I've cut these into flowers, slumped them into Freefall beads, glass bead caps, tortured them into submission to make them square... and most often flame polished each side to 'allow' light and easier access.

Oh, I forgot - take two of these, and span the distance with glass - and that's a hollow bead.  While I write this, it makes me think this is probably the most important building block of beadmaking... and I never quite thought of it that way before.  

I wonder what else is possible? 

12.20.2017 - Thinking... and RE-Thinking.

First of all - Happy Birthday Glassdaddy Frank! He proudly turns 82 today, and misses your many chatty emails & being your Lauscha supplier.


I spend about 15 hours, minimum, at the torch every week.  My hands move as my mind directs them... but there's a lot of time just spent thinking.  How to rework things, how to perfect the small things, how to build the big things, get rid of the holes, improve wearability, introduce light/sparkle, and really to push the limits of what we think is actually possible.

The only drawback to this time is that it's solo - meaning no sounding board.  Last week I had some time with a friend from college, and she mentioned one significant issue she has with most earrings that dangle from wires.   She felt that they emphasized the pierced ear hole - and how (often times) over the years - it has changed shape.  I reworked some of the findings this week for just this case - then tested them with my droplet beads.  Even though I've not worn post earrings in decades...  this particular design works quite nicely.  The findings magically give us the pierced ears of a 20yr old!  Sharing ideas is a good thing, improving design is a good thing, and perfection should always be a goal, not an option.


I've just re-joined ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) as this is the next closest thing to NOT working in a vacuum.   I look forward to more connection with other artists and a renewed view of the big picture of what others are doing... I am always interested - although often I'm marching to my own bead*(LOL - beat).   smiles - and December sunshine, Jill