2.06.2019 - Topographical Beads?

Wouldn’t it be fun to wear beads that represented the area of the country you live in?

I’ve been playing around with an idea and ended up here… this too will evolve - but wanted to give you a heads up… and see what you thought!?

Topographical Beads by JillSymons.com

Topographical Beads by JillSymons.com

1.30.2019 - 1/12th of the year gone ALREADY?

I blink and lose a month. While the rest of the nation is in what seems to be a deep freeze, Texas is holding its own… granted it’s not sweltering here (today)… it has been chillier than the norm.

Makes one glad to have a torch or two to cozy up to. Big cheesy grin. I had a small bump on the creative front this week - happily so. Now, to see what else I can make with it.


Come see the update tonight - lots of interesting new items!! smiles, Jill


I bought these shards online - and am still trying to figure out what they will do… but - So far - am loving the look!!

1.16.2019 - Bead and Life Musings... ?


If I didn’t love what I do so much… I’d be in big trouble. But after a few decades you figure things out… just how much time it takes to do certain things… or how many degrees you need to rotate an item in PhotoShop to make it sit nicely on the website page… it all becomes rather automatic.

Creativity, though, flows at its own rate. I am in that stage now where I’m waiting to see where my muse leads me next… and it can get a bit frustrating. I try new things at the torch, only to find the next day - as I’m emptying the kiln that it didn’t turn out as I had hoped. What I CAN tell you though is that I have often said I’m glad my friends are friends with my friends… and it goes for beads as well. All of them are made with glass I have on hand - and denim blue today matches denim blue from last month…

I am always able to round out a page with what I have here on hand… and often I find inspiration as I rifle through the sets. I have come to realize that I make way more finished pieces than I make bead sets these days. How do you feel about that - anyone really missing the sets?? Like a car out of alignment - I veer into the earring making lane all too often… and am quite content to cruise there. Nudge me if you need to!


While I’ve got the bead time all figured out, I do often wonder as to where personal the time goes.

This little cupcake turns one tomorrow… I am so grateful for the internet and the way I can get instant updates with the press of a button… I feel like I’ve watched her learn to walk, figure out food, try to whistle… and just enjoy the awesomeness of the world around her - thanks to the iPhone & her parents! Please let the world slow down a little bit though - as this year just zoomed by… and I’d like to relish things small and innocent just a while longer.
smiles & Happy Birthday wishes - Jill

1.2.2019 - Eyes of Babes...

Mom & Merritt (scrutinizing her necklace)…

Mom & Merritt (scrutinizing her necklace)…

These are her parents - Matt & Morgan - credit always where credit is due!!

These are her parents - Matt & Morgan - credit always where credit is due!!

This holiday season took us to far off places… all via Glassdaddy’s new electric vehicle. Can you imagine driving half way across the country and back for under $70? Funny though - how you drive with the idea that you don’t deplete the battery beyond 30% and don’t charge more than 80%… all the while managing to hit charging stations that will do the work quickly… it was truly an endeavor. I did find myself looking longingly at the real gas stations a time or two!!

At the end of the trek - we found ourselves at the home of my granddaughter, Merritt… such a pistol at not even one year old! She is walking, talking and has a cute sense of humor. We celebrated her conquering small feats, and enjoyed the wonder at which she approached most everything. It makes one re-examine how we can let things become mundane…

What I’m loving about this picture is that while she was interacting with my mother - her gaze was distracted by the clear glass of the balls on her necklace. Imagine that if I can grab and hold the attention of this little one, I must be doings something right. I’m lucky in that my mother, Tula, is one of my biggest fans and I know I can always make her one of my creations and it will get worn!

The idea of glass and its beauty is celebrated - IMHO - by the removal of the bead hole… I know, you’re tired of hearing this… but it’s so true! Glass becomes the center of attention and reflection. I had taken about 2 weeks off from torching - and can attest to the truth from an old friend - as she used to say - she gets ‘TWITCHY” if she goes too long without torching - I’m definitely feeling it! I designed pieces in my mind on the drive and can’t wait to put it down in glass.

So - Christmas with an almost one year old. So very SWEET. It was truly the year of the box/paper… and Christmas was magical once more. I hope you found the magic as well! smiles, Jill

12.12.2018 - The Last Few Months

Last week, I approached an Austin Gallery - Artworks on West 6th Street - about putting some of my work in their gallery - they chose a nice variety and I’m very pleased - as it looks amazing in their showroom! Stop by and see it if you’re in the area - maybe after you’ve scooped up my work - you’ll snag some art for your walls!!



Over the past year - I’ve been working up to this - and also - to a level of work that doesn’t scream craft. It’s all about a more deliberate pace - slower and more careful… to get there. The earrings shown above have a mirror finish on the black - top hole will acomodate the loop turnbed sideways - while the bottom better fits it - rotated 90 degrees… the Jetstream dangle bead has only one hole… so when you wear the earrings - you don’t have to see the ‘hardware’ at the bottom of the bead. These blue beads are just so awesome… the silvered glass is singing beautifully underneath the silver wire that’s wrapped around it… then I’ve carefully laid a layer of clear on top of the wire/silvered glass. This holds the wire onto the bead (eliminates the need for polishing the bead) and protects the silvered glass’ finish.

Very pretty. I’m thrilled.


11.14.2018 - New Way of Thinking.

So - I had a longtime customer, Barbara Muth, (turned friend - as luckily many of them do!) come visit me on Thursday. We were looking through beads of course and she remarked that she would wear what I considered a pendant as an earring… NAH??? really??? I popped an ear wire on and boom - she put it on and it LOOKED FABULOUS!

So - this week, I made it my work to make more!! If one pair is good, then more is “more better”.

She asked me to make her a pair in this color combo… and I have to admit that they’re pretty stunning!!!


then those led to these above…. and these below…


So if bigger is better - keep posted. Maybe I’ll have my stuff together by next week!! Smiles, Jill

10.24.2018 - Rain, Boro, Rain, Rain, Rain....

Hi… I’ve been working on gently graduated sets of boro beads - nicely straight sided and smooth mirrored finish surfaces… I feel these are necessary components for a smooth contemporary feel… and I feel this is very possible for lampwork that looks like this. I’m typically not a boro gal… but every now and then I get the bug - and this week I had it.

I’ve held a set back and will assemble another bracelet this evening… and post a picture here for you to see… but I’m in a good place. One big difference working with boro (excuse me, “ONE OF the big differences”… ) is my usual inability to accurately predict the final color - as many of these colors actually change while they’re in the kiln. (That’s not so with the soft glass)… but I find that the more I work with it, the more I get to know what the colors, or combination of colors will do - and I find that very nice. : )

There is now a long list of favorites that I plan to order more of, as sometimes burning that last little nub of glass in your most favorite color, of the moment, can really be hard on the fingers!

In the 20+ years I’ve been making beads, I’ve taught as well… I happily will report to you that there seem to be two kinds of students. 1. The impatient one who insists on applying glass that’s not hot enough to the mandrel - then ends up cracking the release and is upset. 2. The one who’s so full of wonder & joy, and who is also patient to a fault. These are the easy ones - as I also have found this week that patience is a virtue… and Borosilicate melts slowly… I enjoyed the evolution of color and the trial of shaping such a stiff glass.

The payoff was that I’m happily going to do it again soon… smiles - Jill


10.17.2018 - Tall, thin, .... Texan Disk Necklace - (Update here tonight at 9pm EST)

Tall, thin, and Texan. I love disks - I feel like that’s my mantra at my support group… I just wish there were more ways to show these beauties off!! I’m working on it. I have these strong feelings about certain things glass related - (as my quest to remove the hole, or at least the visibility of it) and it dominates my creativity.

Last week I had the new version of the disk necklace… which lovingly lets the light to transmit through the glass and ‘allow’ the color. But until theres a nicer way to use these pretties with their broad plane of color facing forward… I’ll always be pursuing options.

Many of the prettiest color are so color dense - that unless they’re stretched very thin, or veiled over a lighter color - they get lost in the dark.

For years, I’ve played with a small footprint of glass and building tall, thin beads… below is a video I made that shows the process… enjoy.
smiles, Jill