Friday, February 27, 2009

February Art Bead Scene - The Kiss

February's Art Bead Scene Contest was inspired by The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. I can't believe that they have picked two of my favorite paintings in two months for inspiration. I love Klimt as an artist... there are so many layers and interesting details in his work. His dots and shapes add so much texture and interest. Check out the painting on the contest site.

The Kiss was painted between 1907 - 1908 in what is known as Klimt's "Golden Phase" during which time he utilized a lot of gold leafing in his work. For me, it was the luminous golden tones that make this painting so warm and passionate.

Because of the details of this painting, there were many ways to go artistically. One of my LEST Team members, Marcy of Studio Marcy, did a literal interpretation. It was amazing.

After several false starts, trying to pick up frits and such to play off of Klimt's dots and lines in this piece, I sat at the torch very frustrated. As I sat there visualizing the painting in my head, all the gold in the painting was what kept coming to mind. And I realized the beads I was making were way too complicated...that I could simply encase some 23K gold foil with crystal. As luck would have it, a new metallic glass arrived and I couldn't resist adding some surface decoration.

I like the way the focal and simple spacers came out - although one painter friend declared them a tad too "happy" for Klimt! LOL!

With all that gold, I couldn't fall back on my silver stash for the finished jewelry piece. I priced real gold, checked the old pocket book and opted for gold plated instead!

I wire wrapped the beads with jet 2x Swarovskis and wire wrapped a few more at the back connecting that to a thinner wire with numerous 3mm jet 2x bicones, wrapped into an oval. For the clasp on the other side, I looped some 16 guage gold plated wire and hammered it for texture.

The necklace is 25 " from end to end but hangs more like a 20" due to the layout of the beads.

This piece was made exclusively for sale on

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I've been one ecstatic beadmaker this week!

I sold bunches of beads to students and then on Monday, sold one of my all time favorite beads - this cupcake:

And if that weren't enough, my LEST beads team has named me their featured artist. I feel truly honored!

You can read the interview here
. And while you're there, check out the other fabulous lampwork artists that make up the Lest Beads team!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Strange Dreams

Where DOES the time go??? Anyway...I was chatting about strange dreams in my last bead post. I wanted to tell you all a bit about this strange guy:

He was the result of a dream too. I've always been fascinated with octopi. And the thought of making an octopus bead was intriguing on one hand but seemed wasteful on the other. Wasteful??? Yes! Many lampworkers will make a gorgeous bead for the octopus to sit on but I get so annoyed at how much of that fabulous bead gets covered by the tentacles.

I knew if I were to make an octopus on a bead, the base bead would just HAVE to be simpler. And then a heart popped into my of my favorite shapes that can lent itself to both simple and complicated techniques.

So there you have it: a simple red heart, add some tentacles of my favorite rich gray glass and then fill in the details of the critter. I think he's rather cute and one of the few beads that came out just how I dreamed of him!

Hanging on to Love is available on my website.

I have some news and "should" be posting a bit more this week...

Thursday, February 12, 2009

One Heart; One World Winners!


The Holly's Folly Prize goes to BrendaLea of The Purple Lady's Art and Life. She makes all kinds of stuff and is a nice lady from what I read.

The Creekhiker prize goes to Willa of Zoltanszabo. Willa is a watercolor and fabric artist!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Fish Tales

I promised a post about the new directions I'm taking and thought I would chat a bit more about inspiration.

There are literally times I dream in beads... they are strange dreams indeed!

Recently I awoke after having the most intense dream about hearts and fish. (I told you they were strange!) I'm a Pisces - sign of the fish. Would you believe I found this little tidbit of advice on my favorite Astrology site: Your answers to your most pressing creative (and other) questions will arrive in visual forms, as if in a storyboard, a dream, or as a little movie?

After this dream, pondering it all, it occurred to me that fish are really undefined hearts. So I sat down at the torch to make it a bit more of a solid definition. This is actually the second, more clearly defined vision and is currently on Etsy. I really love how she came out. And that she looks like both a fish and a heart depending on how she's worn.

This was my first attempt and will most likely appear on Holly's Folly in the coming days. Being my first attempt at recreating my dream... I stuck to red... Red heart, red fish. I used opaque and transparent red on her body and fins with a touch of rubino on her lips.

And, like version #2, she can be worn as both a heart and fish depending on the mood of the jewelry artist.

The most hilarious part to me are her lips... she looks like she's not sure she wants to give you a kiss or not. I love how something like that can set the tone of the piece.

And finally, this guys is on Holly's Folly... He's the result of another dream. But I'll save that strange fish tale for another day.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Inspiration and New Directions

If you are looking for the One World, One Heart contest thread, click HERE. There is another drawing for a different bead on Creekhiker.

Iris Lariat by Holly's Folly 3

It's been no great secret that I've had the blahs for months! Coming out of it has been hard. But I realized I love making beads and since my sales are in a slump nonexistent, I've decided to shift directions.

While I fully expect to keep listing beads on HollysFolly and my Etsy, I've decided to make the beads I want, not the ones I hope and pray will sell. For me, that means entering more contests and just getting my work out there.

I was really excited when I read that the Art Bead Scene would be using paintings as the inspiration for their monthly jewelery competitions. I've always been inspired by paintings and and art in general. I was a painter for quite a while when recuperating from foot surgery.

January's painting was Van Gogh's Irises - one of my favorite paintings and one of my favorite flowers to make on the torch. Here are the two beads (of three I made) used in my necklace (photo above).

I knew I wanted to rework an old lariat I made ages ago when I first started buying lampwork beads. It was made of a thick, multi-looped sterling and was just over four feet long! The beads I envisioned were diamond shaped...but I wasn't sure of the orientation. So I made three: one with a horizontal layout and two that were more vertical but of varying scale. I decided one of each worked best and ended up not using the smaller vertical bead at all. (Look for it shortly on the Folly website. )

Each bead was shaped into a large and thick diamond... I knew I needed some weight to the beads and made them much thicker than I normally would have. Once shaped, the bead was coated with blue / teal dichroic glass which was carefully melted flat. Prior to starting, I pulled various hand mixed canes in my chosen lavender / purple / blue color palette and a few yellow stringers for stamens. I also pulled leaf cane using my favorite muted green - I'm not a fan of Emerald. All the beads were decorated on both sides.

I cleaned up that old chain... that took some major work and, special thanks go to Lynne Bowland at Islandgirl, who reminded me that tumbling silver was awesome for cleaning it up. Still I pickled and scrubbed and dipped and that old chain was a dull gray at best. So I went into the art studio and dug through all my PMC teaching boxes, found my tumbler and 30 mintues later had a sparkling silver chain! If you do any kind of silver work... get a tumbler! (Lynne, BTW, was named one of the designers of the week in the ABS competition. Lynne is a fellow LEST team member and I'm so proud of her! Her necklace rocks! Another Lest team member, Jennifer Cameron a/k/a Glass Addictions, won the drawing for the monthly prize at ABS! Congrats Jennifer!!)

After the chain was clean, I wire wrapped my beads with Swarovski crystals (8mm), Bali silver and finished off each end of the lariat with Turkish tassels.

It's really hard to photograph such a long necklace! The top photo, the chain is wrapped around my neck and tied .

Iris Lariat by Holly's Folly 1

My next post will be about other new directions I've decided to take, but I'll give you a little clue here:

Heart fish
This cute girl is on Etsy .