Sunday, September 27, 2009

Planning Ahead

Believe it or not, I've already started planning my show schedule for next year. I'd love to be able to do LOTS of shows because I love meeting the customers and the other vendors. But, I don't have as much stamina as I used to so I've limited myself to one show a month within a 5 hour drive. I may make and exception or two and fly down to Florida (where it seems you can find a bead show almost every weekend) and hang out with some other lampworkers. Financially it would likely be a wash, but it could be fun! Anyway, assuming that I get into all the shows I've registered for, my current 2010 schedule is posted in the right column.

Unfortunately, I don't have any new pictures this week either because I had a bladder infection AND a kidney stone! UGH! In the meantime, enjoy some boro sets for sale on ebay by one of my inspirations: Little Crow Glass Arts.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rainy Days and Sundays...

It's a typical autumn day in Indiana. A little rainy, a little cool.. perfect for a nap. Jake took me to the JC Penny Home store after church and I finally bought some sheets that fit my bed. I'm pretty psyched! These sheets are even made by Sealy so I figured I couldn't go wrong! I also bought one of those REALLY soft blankets to match and a nice foam pillow. It was all 50% off! Wooo!

I'm very thankful to have found a church that I like, and grateful that my friend Ann has agreed to pick me up (I don't drive because I'm incredibly accident prone!) Today I met my Sunday School class. We're small, but we're covering some pretty interesting topics.

Well I don't have anything new to report on the topic of beads except that I'm getting ready for the Southwest Michigan Bead Show (October 10 in Grand Rapids, MI) and still exploring lots of colors and reactions in boro. It's a whole new learning curve, just like Moretti was, only not as many people talk about it.

It is a little expensive to switch from soft glass to boro so I have been trying to sell off as much frit (crushed glass) and other tidbits to buy glass and a more protective pair of eyewear. Colored boro throws off a much brighter light at the torch than soft glass, so I have to have eyewear almost as protective as a welder's.

Here are some samples of the boro colors I work with:

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Allow Me to Introduce You to My Friend, Mr. Smiley

As you know, it is often a risky proposition to pursue the passion of art as a profession. Sometimes, the risk pays off...

My friend Mr. Smiley, a.k.a. Brent Graber, was one of my first instructors in boro glass. Before meeting him I had read many of his helpful posts on Lampwork Etc., a very popular forum and global virtual community for lampworkers. Brent is famous for his heart pendants and nobody I know can coax the beautiful colors out of boro glass like Brent. He has even worked with Northstar Glass to create a custom glass cane called "Serendipity."

Now, it turns out that Brent needed to have hernia surgery and he needed to pay for it in advance. He received offers for donations, but lovingly declined because he was able to help himself. So, he set a goal to sell 100 "Serendipity Hearts" at $35 each (just like the one shown in the image above) in two weeks. However, due to popular demand, he has added 20 more to that goal! Congratulations, Mr. Smiley!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Tales from the Dark Side

Hello friends and welcome to all of my new friends from the Greenwood WAMM Fest. What a great time!

Generally speaking, in the US there are two kinds of glass used by lampworkers: soft glass and borosilicate. Up until last month I have used mainly soft glass. Soft glass is available in many different colors and does not require all that much torch power and oxygen ($$$) to work. However, I recently purchased a very powerful oxygen concentrator that has enabled me to move up to borosilicate glass. When a lampworker starts out in soft glass and moves into boro, it is jokingly referred to as moving to "the Dark Side."

Borosilicate glass or "boro" is also called "pyrex," just like the measuring cups in your kitchen. It requires much more heat to melt, but the colors and clarity of this type of glass can be mesmerizing! Everything about this glass is sensitive - the flame temperature, oxygen content, length of time in the flame, length of time you strike it, length of time you anneal it in the kiln, etc. But, the results are oh so worth it. Here are some of my favorite beads from my first month on the "Dark Side."

Through Sunday September 13, all Boro focals will be ON SALE for $8.00 EACH with $2 USPS shipping! That's a STEAL for this type of glass and all the work that goes into it. Here's what you do:

1. Go to this link and pick the beads you want:

2. Check the comment under each bead picture to make sure the bead is not sold or reserved by someone else. If not, put your name in the comment box for that bead.

3. Send me an email stating that you have made your selections with your PayPal ID.

4. I will bill you through PayPal.

5. Once I have received your payment I will ship your beads.