Monday, March 31, 2008

Back From the Tour

Parlez Vous?
Life history and background is beginning to show up in the work, with the french images and words, and sometimes in the photos and descriptions. Spent early childhood time living in France, started grade school there. Apparently, like the language, the images and impressions are still there somewhere.

Don't request a translation of any french novels, but ordering a cup of coffee can most likely be handled. Made a trip years ago to Quebec, reminded very much of Paris.
The travel bug must be biting, now that it's early spring. (am resisting the obvious reference to April in ... you know)

On the left is a vintage image from a travel poster for the Cote D'Azur, the Azure Coast of France.

On the right the small charm says something in french about the fifth anniversary of a party for the Arts Continuum- in french; and it's so small you can't really read it in the etched glass, but it also says "Belle Pont de Neuf," beautiful bridge nine or something like that, on the tiny glass box on the right. Seeing a pattern here ... informing the creativity and the imagination. Interesting!

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Had a good time today, creating this piece from etched glass for the tiny box, the wire hangers and all the parts, all handmade. Had in mind the kind of souvenier someone might bring home from a trip to Paris, after searching the flea markets, that vintage feeling.

The reverse side is nice, the rose bead encased in a silver setting is reversible and the tiny box is enclosed on all four sides. Hangs from a decorated chain with a darkened silvertone toggle.

Didn't know at the start what this would turn out to be, but it is a new favorite.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Not One, But Two

After thinking and pondering, decided to activate the second Etsy shop. What, you say? Why would a time challenged sleep deprived person add another project to the list? Some of the items being created are loose charms that may not become a complete jewelry piece, but someone might enjoy using them in their work. There are a lot of beads, findings and other things in the stash that might outlive the jewelry maker, and could be put to use by someone else with more time. And there are other things, like hand-dyed yarn, fabric and other non-jewelry items that can be listed at the de-stash. If the dyer can part with them, anyway.

Anyway, the de-stash shop is activated and will be loaded up with beads, components, charms, fused glass cabochons and other useful things, very soon.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Linking to the Past

Have had some 'waiting room' time lately. Working on a replica of an old style of chain with crystals and pearls. Don't know the actual name of the style, popular in the 1920's and even up to the 1950's.

Seem to remember pieces like it belonging to family members, costume finery. Sometimes only fragments.

This piece is now four inches long, a mixture of small, medium and oblong pearls combined with crystals on dark metal for the links.

The pink dichroic glass cabochon next to it is a possibility for combining with the triple-link chain, maybe for a bracelet.

Lots of fiddly bits to this style of chain, good for occupying hands and mind during downtime and waiting time.

Have a tool used for these mobile projects. The old name for them is 'rosary pliers' because they have all the actions needed for making rosary style chain. Some call them '3 in 1 pliers' - either way, they have a cutter, round nose pliers and an area of flat nose pliers combined in one tool. Very handy for carrying around, only need one tool instead of two or three.

Will get this length of chain finished and combined with a two-to-one linkage piece and a clasp. Might keep this one and make another for the Etsy shop.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Three Kingly Gems

All three cabochons after shaping, beveling and a fire polish. Very pleased with the results.

These three, or at least the crown and golden beowolf, are planned for jewelry making. Might post the blue-green latin gem to Etsy, haven't decided.

Have just the right charm to go with the crown gem, have to decide about the setting and the bail. Want to make something outstanding. And find time to fire a few more, maybe later today.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Gifties and Swifties

Got the red faceted glass piece with
'L-O-V-E' stamped into it put together in a sassy necklace, with red glass, crystal and ceramic beads on each side.

Added some red pressed glass flower beads onto hand balled headpins and dangled from the sides of the beveled red centerpiece.

Okay, love this one. Little silver flower shaped beads on the chain. And a bright red pressed glass tulip dangle on the toggle.

Must have spring on the mind, have L-O-V-E of flowers coming up all over.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Usual Grind

Got the three pieces shaped, beveled and fire polished. Carrying them around in a pocket, thinking about what they want to become. Turned out great, want to make some memorable things with them.
Also want to cut and make up a small reliquary treasure box charm. Need to etch some more glass for that, have the image in mind.

Got two spring and bird-related ideas today driving, can't wait to get the time to try them out.

The blue-green colors on the beveled crown turned out great, and the line quality is good. Still learning about using the enamels, the order of application and the amounts for color saturation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Saving Daylight

Souvenier Francais
Carte Postale - or post card in french - are the words fired into this little pendant with the Eiffel Tower attached. The glass is deeply beveled on the front, turned out great. Amazing what can be made from a clear piece of glass. Going to post on Etsy. Difficult to photograph so that the bevels show, as they are quite slanted at 45 degree angle.

Have the 3 new pieces out of the kiln after 2 firings, one tack fuse for the enamel design and one full fuse for the cap on top. Need to shape, bevel and fire polish. Hope to use these three beveled gems myself, instead of posting as loose cabochons on Etsy.

Have some ideas involving chain, crystals and metal findings to try out with them.

Monday, March 10, 2008


It's official, got the copy of the Spring 2008 Belle Armoire Jewelry magazine from the publisher in the mail.

The article is 5 pages, so exciting. All of the pieces sent for consideration were used, except for two that were held back for the Summer 2008 issue, along with the four sent later. First time being published, and the photography is outstanding!

Check it out, the whole issue is wonderful, the publisher is going to a quarterly publishing schedule and the articles are great. Celebrate with me! Chocolate kisses and mint candies couldn't be sweeter than this.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Tiny True Love Charm

Got the tiny setting with 'to my true love' encased in it uploaded to Etsy. The charm is reversible, looks a little like a locket on the back. Found a tiny key just the right size to hang from the charm.

Getting some traffic, which is good. The tiny birdhouse especially.

So cute, and very unique.

Also got some good feedback, thanks! Means a lot. The encouragement helps keep things going.
Got three small enameled pieces started, with the tack fuse done. Need to encase in the clear glass and do a full fuse. Getting the hang of creating the design with the enamel. Still takes several tries but the results are worth it.

Also put findings and a chain for the 'carte postale' blue shard piece. Added a french charm and heart toggle. Very neat, have to photograph. Vive Paris!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bird Glass Houses

Tiny little birdhouse, made of thin etched glass put together with silver solder. The wires are vines wrapping around it. It sits on a table or hangs on a chain.

The thin glass is etched with designs from an antique woodcut. It's difficult to cut the thin glass without cracking it accidently. Have done that a few times, had to cut another piece.

The glass has to be carefully cut and ground so the pieces match up completely, edge to edge. Silver metal foil wrapped edges, soldered with silver solder. Darkened the metal with patina to make it more antique looking.

The little house is 1 1/2 inch tall and 1/2 inch square.
Went to the Glasshopper Fused Glass store today, got some more fusing supplies and a piece of coral glass.

Going to wire wrap some beads for a necklace. Clear beads with copper caps. Vintage looking, using darkened wire for the wrap. Also darkened a silver chain with small oval loops.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Wedged Blue Two

Beveling the dichroic fused cabochons gives a beautiful glow. Maybe the light strikes differently, maybe it's just the angles.

These two are blue, orange with a touch of green.

Have two more to grind and polish, they have red and silver dots. Will be interesting.

Liking these results a lot, worth the work. Will list these on Etsy as loose cabochons, but the next set polished will be to make something from.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Springing Winter Again

Tiny Boxes
The studio is cold again, glad the windows were opened when the temperature was 78 degrees, to air things out, since everything is closed up tight again today.

Learned a new way to make boxes, fun and quick. The collage boxes take a while to assemble. If there was a die-cut way to get them cut out it would speed things up, but this way works. Tiny little boxes for earrings, larger boxes for necklaces. And even fun to make, portable.

Hope someone notices the Venus Rising pieces of faceted glass before the temptation to use them is too overpowering. Will focus on making something with the blue shard pieces now that their edges are faceted also.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Four From One Venus

Gleaming Gems

The long glass piece in the earlier post, Venus Rising, has been turned into a set of gems. Can't believe how they turned out. The one long piece was cut into four, shaped and beveled. Then all four were fire polished.

The bevels turned out great, love what it did for the edges in reducing the bulk and making the pieces faceted like gems.

See the light bouncing off the bevels on the edges? Complex and deep bevels, but the backing of the cabochons is opaque, a pinkish color glass. Could be a necklace, earrings and a bracelet. Or could be a multi-part necklace with chain and faceted gemstones.

Can't decide whether to use them to make something myself, or post them as loose gems and see what someone else decides to make from them.

Need to use this same technique to make more like it. Very vintage, interesting and definitely one of a kind.

Could be wire wrapped like a gemstone, or set into a bevel setting. Or used with precious metal clay to make a setting for them. Thinking about possibilities creates desire to start in on them!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Venus Rising

Today is March 1 - got the issue of Belle Armoire with the article on the Faux Vintage Treasures! Wonderful, very pleased. Great photos, and the article is five pages. Celebrate with me!!! Check it out.
Still working on the glass and enamels. This piece is enameled and fused, using several colors and underpainting. Tack fused first, then a second time, and fully fused. It's large right now, 1 1/2 inches wide by 3 1/2 inches tall. Plan to cut it into three pieces, top - middle - bottom.

Will shape the edges, then want to use the grinding disk to put bevels on the four sides. Haven't done that before, so the two extra smaller pieces are a place to start before using the central piece.

After beveling, back in the kiln for a fire polish. Hope it turns out as imagined.

Also made these three blue shard pieces. This is the amythest enamel, coming out like periwinkle blue. Nice, but different than planned. Not pink or purple, but washed denim blue. Still kind of cool.

Will grind the edges smooth and fire polish, probably when the other one goes in. Have been moving away from the red-coral-maroon colors toward the green-blue colors, not on purpose. Just happens.

Like these three pieces, learned a lot about using the enamels. Have some faceted blue crystals, want to use with one of these on wire wrapped chain. Beauties!