10.28.2015 - Crazy Mix...

I fired Adobe Photoshop - and downloaded something called Pixelmator... still learning to use that - so am using some older pictures.  This is a shot I took at the Ladybird Wildflower Center just about this time of year - a few years back... kind of cool that Nature creates its own garland! Come the holidays I always like to find some excuse to leave a strand or two of lights up... I've always liked the unexpected lighting afforded by them.   But, this year - I bought a strand of those outdoor string lights - like you see at trendy outdoor cafes. - (while I'm confessing.. I also love timers) - These cool string lights are adorning the oak tree that leans over my deck out back... and they dutifully come on at dusk and go off promptly two hours later.  I have never been so aware at the shift of daylight to dark as the days grow shorter... 

on an aside... seeing as it's cooling down - we went to an outdoor pottery festival last weekend - and while I enjoyed the pottery - I REALLY was taken by the innovative means of display... I know a great many of you that read also sell in shows - and I thought I'd share. This one below all folded out by means of piano hinges... and it all was just things that folded off of a small trailer!  Very cool.  It would also allow, depending upon depth, *for smaller items* - such as jewelry - a means to simply fold up and secure.  


There were other amazing displays - I wish I'd taken more pictures.  NOTE TO SELF... do it.  smiles - Jill

8.6.2014 - It's all about choices... (I have an idea!!)

Each morning - we paint the way our day will eventually unfold. Whether it's the care we take with our appearance, the colors we select to wear OR even the music we absorb during the course of our day. 

There are times - such as today - when I ditched the idea of wearing black and opted for a wonderful  fuchsia linen top, I feel ALIVE in color - even if it's just to put together tonight's Weekly Wednesday Update  (I never get to actually leave the house on Wednesdays!) but I choose to feel good  - I get to set the stage to encourage this emotional lift.

I listen to music or talk radio each day and recognize the influence that my audio choices have on my work.  I absorb what I listen to in my environment and often see it 'float' to the surface of my work.  Change the music and see a different style bead!!

I just joined Spotify recently - and love the endless selection of music.  It's easy to compile playlists AND share them.  I am planning to put together some playlists of music that I love to listen to while I torch,  and IF I'm not mistaken, they can be easily shared!  So - stay tuned and I'll let you know when I've got one (or more) for you!


These were made during the Presidential election - I was deep in concentration, listening to the news.  I find that this fine stringer work (on 1/2"d beads) is relaxing as well as mindless after awhile - that day I filled the kiln to capacity! 

This style of bead came about when the US  invaded Afghanistan in search of Osama Bin Laden. I was so creeped out upon realizing this - I remember quickly shutting down work for the day.


The emergence of these Urban Chic Tile sets usually indicate a sense of personal joy or mark a shift of season, or just my listening to acoustic music.  Transparent glass usually dominates my work in the Spring, as I think its weightless appearance is especially appealing after a long dreary winter.

So, whether it's intentional or not - we do wear our emotions and are influenced easily by outside forces... what do you see in your work,  can you remember if significant events appeared in some way in what you produced?


7.30.2014 - ISGB membership & the reasons...

Bear with me, as this is a convoluted means to an end...


Back in 2004, I fell in love with my new golden retriever, Sam.  He was a pup from an unknown KY backyard litter - he was awesome, then quickly he wasn't.  He ended up with two blown knees,  two expensive TPLO surgeries & eventually bone cancer - and we lost him before he was 9.



When it came to getting another golden, (enter Charlie) I bought one from a reputable breeder - what I learned there was amazing.  Debra Keen, of Brio Goldens shared her vast knowledge about the breed, & how the intent of breeders is to maintain the integrity of the line.  Breeding the best with only the best (hopefully) only helps to strengthen the line and keep hip, cancer, elbow, eyes, heart etc. issues to a minimum.

So - yes - here's my point.

Yesterday I was reading the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers)  page/forum on FB - where Libby Leuchtman was talking about the importance of supporting the ISGB.  I, for many reasons, agree.  I have been making beads for over 16 years and learned in, what was essentially, a vacuum.  How would my experience have been different if I'd had people to bounce things off?

There was one post from a woman who questioned the $65 membership fee - why it was so important to join - going on to say how she was struggling to have money for glass, let alone this additional fee.  Within minutes there was an incredible outpouring of reasons supporting membership AND many, MANY offers to send her supplies!  What an incredible outpouring of support! I was totally floored.  This is more the norm than the exception... how cool is that?

I can tell you that over the years I've gone to the forum on the official ISGB site to look up technical questions, find resources, teachers & answers.  So - much like the breeder - the goal of this professional organization is to educate and promote this craft.  To help glass artists produce art that is in the upper echelons when it comes to quality.  It's very easy for this to be an incredibly solitary sport... and it's just so much nicer to have peers to encourage a direction or answer a nagging question.    


7.25.2014 - Progression of an idea...

I have always enjoyed making raked/feathered beads and felt a distinct tug this morning in that direction.  I'd been reading about what has caused Terra 2 to be unlike the original Terra... so - set out to make a focal to see if I could get it to strike in all those wonderful ways.

I realized that I don't like the results from my experiment - as the green just has tinges of plummy/purples at the ends... but what I did like was the "fluke" design - its crispness... and although somewhat organic, the encasing makes it too dressy. IMHO

Terra 2 Fluke Focal - JillSymons.com

Next try is 'ditch' the Terra 2 - go for more drama... DH Psyche... While my results of late seem all over the place with this color - I am liking the "Kronos/Picasso blue/green OPAQUE color" I'm getting, and know if I hit it with a nice reducing flame - I can get some metallic effects.  YES!

Psyche Fluke Sm. Focal - JillSymons.com

So then we're off to the races... hmmm - how does one make a directional rake on a round cab.  I am taking the liberty of assuming that this will be set with this direction in mind.  I've raked up and down - while they do look like whale flukes, I now remember a focal I'd previously made - called Sea Grasses (yes, Louise - yours) - that had a similar look.  BUT.THIS.IS.A.CABOCHON. (so it's ok). 

This is the final result - *below* - I love it - and proceed to make two more! : )