Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cyber Monday Lampwork Sale


BOGO25: Use this sales code when purchasing two items. Buy one at the regular price and the lesser priced item will be 25% off.

BOGO50: Use this sales code when purchasing THREE items. Buy one at the regular price and the next lesser priced item will be 25% off and save 50% on the least priced item.

Come check it out and help me make room for new beadies on the site!

Kim Field's Class at the Mandrel

I've been dying to write about my mid-November class with Kim Fields for ages but had some really hectic and large classes of my own to teach and then, I got really sick!

I really enjoy taking classes and learning from a well-known artist. I enjoy their different philosophies on color and design even pet peeves in lampwork. I really enjoyed Kim's technique for leaf cane which creates more leaves that look similar and not identical on the same bead.

The Mandrel owner Donna Conklin and Kim Fields sharing a laugh at lunch.

Another technique Kim shared is her technique for making her petals and leaves look more natural. At first, I found it a bit tedious but can see the results. Kim's work is just gorgeous and that skill is all part of it.

She told us it was just frustration... real leaves don't look like they have a ball at the end. And she worked and worked trying to figure it out. It was in a Loren Stump class where Kim was watching him work on an eyeball that she realized the same method would for leaves and flowers.

That is the real fun of taking classes: learning some new technique that applies to something in your own work.

Kim Fields demoing for the class.

Another wonderful thing about taking classes from a pro is the wonderful trays of beads they bring. It's a great opportunity to see lots of expert quality beads up close.
I adored these large focals. They fit in the palm of my hand!

The bead I most lusted over were these little pine covered beads. They remind me of the pine tree canyons I grew up in.

Kim is renown for her birds but it was these two part penguin beads that took my breath away.

The only bad part of the whole weekend was the fires that were actually burning up by my house. The winds blew the smoke all the way down to Redondo Beach. The first day, right after lunch, it looked like it was getting dark but it was really the smoke. I wrote about that on Creekhiker (Nov 19 08 post) a few weeks back... the pictures are pretty eerie!

Ming with her mom.

One of the best parts of the weekend was Ming! She's Donna's little Shar pei puppy and she's so sweet! She visited us several times a day and always made me smile!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fire in the Hole!

When a friend taught her first lampwork class, she asked me to proof her handout. She had something in there I thought was hilarious. It was about wearing a low cut shirt while lampworking.

She says, "A piece of hot glass may pop off when the rod is introduced to the flame. If you're wearing a low cut shirt, you know right where it's going to land, don't you? In your bra!"

I thought that was the funniest thing. Glass tends to fly away from me. And while I once stuck the hot end of a rod under my bare arm (two burns for the price one!), I've never really had hot glass fly down my shirt.

Until yesterday...

I was with that same friend. She had asked me to show her how to make an ornament. A little piece of my clear rod flecked off the side and flew right into my bra. Had I been home, my instinct would have been to strip. But with my friend and her son in the studio, not an option.

I got it out quickly and have no significant burn but boy, have I learned a lesson!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

New Auction

All is kinda quiet on the bead front as I've been working on custom orders. My focals section of my website was getting a little heavy so I moved a favorite bead over to ebay for auction.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Koi Joy Part 2

I had mentioned my customer wanted the fish to hang so they looked like they were swimming, top down view. I thought it was a fantastic idea. But, great idea and execution are two very different things.

I found working with the mandrel going through the side of the fish much more difficult and it added a good ten minutes to my working time. And in lampwork, time = money.

My first attempt, I started a bit too far down the mandrel to get the tail to look exactly as I wanted. It still came out nice and that is the one my customer bought.

The second one, I started near the end of the mandrel and did get a nice bend in the tail.

But the longer working time on both made the frit stretch a bit more than I would have liked.

All in all, I really do like this look but I'm uncertain if the higher price tag will find a market in this economy.

The orange one is available on and all Halloween beads are 10% off.