8.1.2018 - ...and Why Not off mandrel?

so... we all have to start somewhere, right?? New endeavors - and just the discovery of how to do things by trial and error... have a seat and take a deep breath... because there is some serious ugly coming your way!

I had a request last week to replace a long loved pendant (by another artist) that had been dropped - and while I understand the desire to replace, I know whatever I make cannot 'replace it'.   So - I hope to introduce something that will make the broken pendant a fond memory and perhaps become the stepping stone to things wondrous.  As most of you know - I am pretty defined by the mandrel - although I'd prefer it not leave a hole.   I like the idea of off mandrel work - but the soft glass I use most often becomes rather drippy for my taste (*at least at this point of my working proficiently off mandrel*) - so - it's off to my Boro stash.

For you non-glassy people out there - Borosilicate is the generic name for the glass more commonly known as - Pyrex.  It melts at a higher temperature, is more forgiving while working,  and is annealed at a different schedule in the kiln.  PLUS... the colors can sometimes 'bloom' in the torch, OR are *hopefully* awakened by the hotter temperature cycles during the annealing process in the kiln.

These are MY (yes, I'm owning it) first tries... as we all have to start somewhere... right? Promise not to laugh??  Starting at top row left - that was the first, progressing to the right... then L to R on bottom...


my takeaway from this is... the swirling that happened at the last one on the right - bottom is something I definitely like and will keep... now - below are the next day's efforts... "the pretties"...


From my Boro journey, the discovery session also translated somewhat to my work in soft glass... and as I'm writing this - It occurs to me that along with not being wild about a mandrel hole.... I'm also not wild about the hanging loop of glass... which is likely the first thing to break... so, maybe one more session and I will endeavor to bury the hardware in the bead. for a cleaner sleeker look.  I am liking that!  Smiles, Jill


7.25.2018 - How small CAN you go??

Last week, the push was to go small on some pendants I was making - only to have others asking me to work bigger.  It's a genetic flaw - I've always worked rather small - and It takes some serious attention and effort to go larger.  I totally 'get' both sides, and will aim to fulfill everyone's wishes.

This morning, the first task of the day was to clean yesterday's kiln contents - which were mostly beads from my Jetstream sereis.  It amounted to a handful - literally - after 8 hours - only a handful.  BUT... these aren't any ordinary beads.  They're one holed pendant *actually maybe you'd call them charms*... with a small sterling bail epoxied in place.  I have many matching pair - perfect for earrings!


See, these beads are 10mm in diameter - and have three layers: silvered glass, fine silver wire, and an encasement layer.  I love all the detail they have - and I love that they're so nice and small.    

Small doesn't always equate 'less time & effort'... I remember years YEARS ago - Corina wrote about working small *yes, she is definitely someone who can pack a whole world inside a small bead!*.  She said that it often takes MORE time to make a small bead because of the delicate nature of smallness, the precision work of small components, and that while the end result is YES... small - it just takes more effort.  (Corina - obviously this isn't verbatum, apologies - but hopefully your general message does come through...?)


And to please the others - I've got some things in the kiln that should prove interesting... AKA, me working "not so small".  

7.18.2018 - Just Enough

It's summertime in Texas... and like much of the country - it's unmercifully hot.  So hot, in fact, that even the idea of wearing a necklace seems too hot.  (did I just say that?)...  I was photographing some items today - and in an unedited photo, felt that this embodied the sigh of relief I feel when I come inside to the air conditioning...   So minimalism is here again... just a hint of color - a hint of the unusual - and that's enough.  

I have a new small series coming out that is just that - a small swingy pendant that can be strung onto any light chain or cord and it's just enough. 

I've been toying with the idea of splashing some items around in the Facebook sales groups - and also - here... if I miss a week here and there - I'm trying to find my equilibrium... please bear with me.
Change is often difficult, as we ARE creatures of habit.


Thank you Louise for your wonderful insight - I agree with what you said, and am working to implement changes.    I am always open to suggestions for things you would like to see, or such - just send me an email.  Happy Wednesday - smiles, Jill

6.27.2018 - Spots and Dots & an UPDATE!

OMG... I decided that I would rally and have an update after all.... all the sets are $89, with one at $40.  They're mighty pretty.  Here's a sampling of the evidence... and there are a few more!!


Summertime sizzle has hit.  I'm taking this week off - I happily spent time at the torch this week, and made a random assortment - but not complete enough to be brought here.  SO... today - 

We admire this beauty roaming the neighborhood... have you EVER seen a kitty like this - housecat size?? She lives by my folks and is seen frequently out and about just doing her thing.
enjoy your day - smiles - Jill


6.13.2018 - Synapses....

I have more beads to add to my update page, but ran out of time tonight... I'll continue to add them - so maybe tomorrow you can come back and see the rest.  

I spent some time this weekend tromping around Driftwood and Wimberley Tx... this picture just seemed to embody the feeling of summertime - but also reminded me of a series of beads called Synapse... I'll see if I can locate an image - and see what you think.


The photo is taken as I hovered over a swimming pool... thinking I have to watch myself - and not fall in with my phone in hand!!

It's been super hot here - and summertime isn't even officially here.  Nonetheless... I torch at the beginning of each week and usually have more items than I post here... but I will endeavor to be better.  

I WILL do better.  Smiles and miles of sunshine - Jill

Well, there were other images... so, I'll continue to share.

No matter how many of these I see... they always look other-worldly!

No matter how many of these I see... they always look other-worldly!


Century Plant - AKA - Agave Americana - This monster is huge... towering above me... it sprouts from the thorny base - and looks like a huge and singular piece of asparagus...  it sprouts the top - they bloom into a fuzzy mass... then it dies in a blaze of glory.