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Lampwork Photography...Plus GOOD news and BAD news

Monday, December 28, 2009

GOOD News:

My friend’s, Cindy Wimmer from Sweet Bead Studio, Concerto Necklace design has been picked as a 2009’s Editor’s Favorite by Step-by-Step Wire.  BTW...her Etsy shop is here.

Now some folks will ask if that’s a big deal…yep, it is. There are a huge number of designers out there…there are a huge number of tutorials out there. So being chosen with in the top tier is a very big deal. It couldn’t happen to a better person either. Cindy is very talented…her work makes lampwork sing. It showcases the beads and the wirework is visually interesting as well. Which makes each jewelry piece into wearable art.

BTW, it kinda feeds my ego too…she used my beads for the necklace.

I spent the entire day working on photography, and the verdict is: I need a photography class. Now here’s more bad news…I can’t get into a class until mid-spring. Now you ask why this is such a big deal…well, beads are easier for me to take pics of than jewelry. I have had many requests that I start selling jewelry online. It’s easier for my long term customers to buy online than at the studio or at shows. Plus I’m not going to be doing that many shows next year. I really need to concentrate on working on all the new glass that is out there.

Now for more bad news…my kiln (Paragon Bluebird) is NOT behaving. I think something is wrong with relay. I have to pack it up and sent it in to be fixed. So I have to dig my spare kiln, the Chili Pepper, out and get it going. I really don’t like the Chili Pepper as well as the Bluebird. So people swear by the Chili Pepper but it’s more of a backup kiln or what I transport for demos.

I'm off to the studio!
Have a happy, creative day!

Lampwork Bead Photography....the bain of my existance

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My day will be spent working on photography.  The above are two different views of the same bead strand.  When somebody is buying lampwork beads (or any other item) the colors of the beads need to be true.  The problem is that different types of glass show up on the screen differently.  Different screens are balanced (or not balanced) so the color are off.  

Anyway, I'm working on about 40 bead sets today, some of which will go up on Etsy soon. 

Later Gators!

Play with Beady Photography....Back on Etsy...More Lampwork

Saturday, December 26, 2009
Christmas day was quite for Bob and I...we decided just to take the day off and see a move.  We saw Avatar in's a GREAT movie.  The 3D effects were a big much for me in some spots...if you have issues with heights, close your eyes. :-)

Then I spent the day working on photography and cleaning up my Etsy shop....I know, work, work, work.  But I've been wanting to get my Etsy shop fuller and get some focal photography done.  It seems I never have the time.  It actually makes it easier if I spend a couple hours getting it taken care of.  That means today, I can have some experimental torch time before I have to get my last custom done. 

Here's the new pictures...I like how they came out.  I'm learning Elements 8.  Yep, I finally upgraded.

Ok....time to start my day...and get to the studio. 

Later Gators!

MMJ Lampwork-Sigh Dots- Focal Set (13) Outdoors View

Thursday, December 24, 2009

like dots…I think dots go with everything. They can be called retro…or modern…or contemporary or just plain fun. Much depends on your viewpoint. This set is more muted than in your face sorta hues.

The base glass is an odd lot that I fell in love with but… isn’t available any longer.

That's the eye candy for today. I'm back up on Etsy BUT it's going to take me a while to get everything up loaded. I have a desk that is piled high with bead sets at home. I have another desk in the studio that is piled high with sets that need to be cleaned and get strung for pics. I have another area in the studio that is piled high with bead sets that I need to bring home to photograph.

So you will be seeing lots of beads from with in the next couple of weeks.

On top of all of that...I'm done with the holiday season...except one custom. That's it...I'm back being a beadmaker for a while. I've got lots of new glass to explore!!!!

Have a happy and safe holiday season! May the beady force be with you!!!!!

New Lampwork Set...silvered glass and it's perils

Monday, December 21, 2009

What I've discovered is that my style of bead sets does not lead well to silvered glasses.  Having a kiln full of focals doesn't do it for me.  The problem is that I like making sets...I like using sets in jewelry designs.  So I'm on a mission the next couple of weeks.  I'm going to figure out how to merge my glassy style for sets or change my style.  The way I figure it is that my style can change way before I can change what silvered glass does.  Lampworkers, just as any other medium, is sometimes limited by their raw materials...but in this case, I think it's the lampworker that is limiting herself. :-) 

Hope everyone is staying warm and dry!  Me, I'm deciding if I want to drive to the studio or not. 

Later Gators!

Indianapolis Star Interview...and more of an art focus

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Several weeks ago, I got call out of the blue.  The Indianapolis Star wanted to do an interview and photo shoot in my studio.  Yeah, it's kinda kewl on a personal ego thang. What is really kewl is that Indianapolis, the most sport focus city I know of, is taking more of an interest in the arts.  If you are interested, the interview, click here.   Also what I thought was kinda interesting is that lampwork was a focus.  Normally it's silversmithing or stringing that gets the attention. 

End of the ego razzle dazzle.  I'm in the middle of ramping up to go back on Etsy.  I think I've got about 40 bead sets sitting on my desk right now that I've got to get the photography started.  So I'll have more eye candy for ya soon. 

I've been on the torch just about non-stop lately...playing with everything from lots of silvered glass to brights. 

Later Gators!

New Lampwork by

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Here's what I've been working on. This is more of a drive by post.  It's cold out side and I want to sit in front of the fire place...drink something hot...and just veg.

Have a great day and stay warm!

Fav Lampwork Focal Set...Drive by Post

Friday, December 04, 2009

MMJ Lampwork-Focal Set, originally uploaded by Moon Stumpp.

This is one of my favorite sets that I've made so far this year. The colors aren't my normal brights or silvered glasses...BUT...the muted tones just flowed for me.

Now...I've got to get real busy...lots to do and not enough time to get it all done.

Have a great weekend!

Lots of Lampwork's a raku party

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Yeah, there’s a bunch of them there beads…they are rather small for my barrels, with an average size of 11mm by 10mm. I got started on a roll and didn’t stop. I’m a bit raku-ed out though. Today, I’ve decided to go back to brights. I woke up to rainy-cold weather…and everyone knows by now just how I feel about rain and cold.

On a side note…don’t forget First Friday at the Murphy. If you do happen by, please stop in and visit.

I watched an AP news video this morning over java…’Woman Claims to See Virgin Mary in Her Pancake’. There are just some videos that I can ‘t not see. It’s kinda like watching a train accident …you really don’t want to watch but your eyes are drawn to it never the less. I do not doubt that there might be some sort of divinity presence in the world but in pancakes??? That’s not what got me…it’s that AP thought this Virgin Mary pancake was news worthy. Must be a slow day in the world.

Later Gators!

New Lampwork Focals and Bead Sets...COLOR!!!!!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The focals look much better in hand than in the photos...I'm still playing with the camera.  Photography is the bain of my existance.  I'm hoping to get a photography class in pretty soon. 

The below is my favorite of the three...I'm pondering doing a focal series.  I normally don't make huge amounts of focal and keep most of them for my own designs...but...I'm finding that I really enjoy making them.  I am more of a set flamer than a focal flamer. :-)   Over the winter, I plan to do more beadweaving and these just scream seed beads.  So what do ya think?

I'm going to take a very, very short break from brights and do some muted beads today.  Well, that's the plan.  We'll see how it goes. 

Currently I don't have much more to do to get ready for First Friday so I thought I'm work on the torch today....then make a run to Blooming Dragon to drop off some inventory. 
Blooming Dragon Emporium, 5:00 - 9:00 pm on Dec 4 is having a Holiday art and gift show featuring various artists.  Irvington is have a huge Celebrate Christmas Open discounts from the local merchants, along with holiday food, music, carriage rides, pictures with Santa and fun throughout the evening. Bob and I were featured artists there last year...we had a great time.  Alas...our jewelry will be there, but we won't...unless we can clone ourselves. :-) 

Here's the address:
Blooming Dragon Emporium

5620 E. Washington Street
(317) 356-4400

This year, we are at the Murphy Art 204A.  The Murphy will be having a number of things happening.  This Friday will be hoppin' all over Indianapolis.  If you get out and about this Friday...stop by and say Hi!

Gotta get my day rolling....lots to do!

Later Gators!

Lampwork Necklaces

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I've been working on smaller pieces of art jewelry.  Where I love creating the larger necklaces, not everyone feel comfort wearing them and there are some clothing that beg for smaller pieces.

On a different note...I have decided that I miss sunshine. I figure I only have 3 more months until Spring shows up.  Next weekend, since we have had a bit of a frost, the sunroom will be filled with wood.  I'm thinking about spending a lot of time in front of the I did last year. :-)

Have a happy, creative day!

Good Studio lampwork

Monday, November 30, 2009
My day was different…the photoshoot was interesting…my torch time was productive…but the studio was an island of quite in a mass of activity. The building has new owners. So much like new home owners, there is a flurry of repairs, cleaning, etc. I walked down to the women’s restroom and found three men standing around discussing how to repair a broken window. All is good, it will be wonderful to have a bathroom that doesn’t make me feel like I’m camping.

I've been working on larger sets.  I'm finding that a good number of my customers want sets. 

Later Gators!

My Day at the desk hit critical mass

Sunday, November 29, 2009
This morning I went into the desk was boobie trapped by the Kiln Fairy and the Studio Elves. (Studio Elves can be mean little buggers) Beads and shit kept falling sliding off onto the floor...stuff was missing and I couldn't find anything. Ya know...if you believe all this...I've got some ocean front property, right here in Indiana, for sale.

It came to a point of critical mass…plus I’ve got the Indianapolis Star coming to the studio tomorrow to take pics. Between the two, I had to do something. Plus it’s a bit embarrassing when I can even find my pliers.  There comes a point when looking for tools takes more time than creating a piece of's time to clean.



Wear Women Create Magazine scares me. I mean, I look at that mag and wonder who cleans all those studios. Here I am in the studio…I normally dress in all cotton; today it’s an old grey sweatshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes….I have my Aura 92 safety glass (with the magnifiers that make me look like an alien bug) on. I normally wear a denim apron and headphones. With all the headgear, my hair stands up in red tufts.  The artists in the pictures are normally dressed…kinda cute. Me, it’ like I’m working in a factory.

There’s the dirty area that I do the jewelry cleaning, bead cleaning, and silversmith. A pickle pot, a propane tank, drill press, or a grinder would look out of place in those studios. Then there’s the torcher chamber…yeah, on open flame works there as well.

No fu-fu rugs for me…I’m on concrete. I’m in the part of the building that used to be the old theater so I do have a really kewl ceiling. Even the parts of what I do that could go into one of those studios, where I make the jewelry, looks like a small third world country marched though it. (that was BEFORE I picked up a bit)

Then there’s my frig. Well,  you would expect chilled fruit inside with some sort of fu-fu serving tray on top. Me, I’ve the got coffee pot on top, chilled Corona inside, and a bumper sticker on the front.  Doesn't that just say it all. :-) 

Later Gators!

My Season...New Lampwork on Etsy...Lampwork Bracelet

Friday, November 27, 2009
Well…the time has come, I’m wrapping up my jewelry making season soon. I’ve got a handful of shows/commitments/customs and an Open Studio, First Friday…that’s it for this year. Then I back on the torch, working on new designs. I’ve been playing with a lot of silvered glass, mostly focals…also bright colors have just recently taken center stage for me. Where as I greatly enjoy working with silvered glass…I need the pick me up of bright and colorful, it’s a weather, grey skies sort of issue…which it seems will plague the Indiana skies until spring. Mmmm…I wonder if I need to order some more lime green and pink rods????

I do enjoy creating jewelry but the creation all starts with me making the beads first. I’m beginning to think, that I’m more of a beadmaker that I thought. Maybe that’s because it’s GLASS

The above bracelet was created with etched nuggets. The beads have an organic velvet feel to them. They aren’t out of focus, I was playing with Photoshop again. The bracelet is smooth to the touch and is a comfortable piece.  I'm still working on designs that are less fu-fu, wearable for everyday, and that showcase the lampwork beads. 

The below is a set I just listed on Etsy. Yep, I'm back on Etsy and hopefully will be for the next couple of months.

Now on the yippy skippy front…I think the ventilation issue might be solved. It was a damper circumventing the air flow, we think. I will find out today. It’s a major torch day.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  At our house, Bob cooked and read most of the day.  Me, I took almost a 5 hour nap.  Geez, I will be so glad when Dec 15th rolls around...that means, I'm on vacation mode. Which lasts a day or two.  Why Dec 15th you ask...every year I set a date that I draw the line to when I stop creating jewelry for the Christmas rush.  I will finish up all customs by then....I will be done will all shows...I will start working on the SPRING line.  That's the plan (for now).  

My plans is a lot like life..."Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."   -John Lennon

Later Gators!

More Lampwork...still playing with Photoshop...a new problem

Tuesday, November 24, 2009
I’m still playing with Photoshop Elements 8…it’s not that much different than version 6 but enough that I really have to work with it some more.

I’ve got something else I’ve got to work on too. I’m still having issues with my ventilation system at the studio. I’ve got a 10 inch diameter run that connects to an 8 inch hole then connects to a 6 inch cap. We had a hole drilled though 18 inches of brick. I’m going to work on the air flow again today. I think what is happening is that we don’t have enough fresh air coming in or I’ve got the air flow pattern off some how. I’ve never had this problem before but I’ve always had windows before too. So…it’s back to the drawing board. It doesn’t happen all the time…so it also might be that I’m getting wind whipping around of the corner of the building; that slams the outgoing exhaust. Yeah, I’ve got the studio door open…I’ve got fans coming in from three different directions…yeah, I’ve adjusted the hood position…I’ve even added inline fans. This is a total PITA.  Why me?

I’ve asked to be added to the list for a window studio. I think that might help. I also going to have to make a trip to the roof to see if the outside flap is working or not. That might be it, I doubt it though but it’s worth checking again. I think it has more to do with the position/outside location. If that’s it…damn, there’s only so many holes I can make in somebody else building. :-)  I guess it wouldn't be so bad but the wall is 18 inches layers of brick...and make a HUGE mess.  I'm still finding brick dust from the first hole. 

I have been on the torch a little bit...I decided to work on the Color Gizmo series.  At least that perks me up.

Later Gators!

Napping on the job...bead pictures...Chit Chat on Fountain Square and the Arts

Monday, November 23, 2009
Yesterday…I had the greatest intentions of going into the studio. I got in the car…then poof, I was at the grocery. After that, I started looking around the house…well, it was Domestic Goddess day. I lasted for a couple of hours while Bob did laundry. Then I moved upstairs. The bed seemed lonely, so I took a nap. When I woke up…I was a bit disoriented. I was having dreams of being at the torch…this is kinda freaky…and thought my studio looked a lot like my bedroom. I did take some time to play with Photoshop Elements and some camera settings.

Currently I have piles of beads at the studio. I really need to get back on Etsy, I just haven't had the time to get them photographed and up loaded.  I'm just about done with my 'season' and will start getting all that done soon. 

Oh yeah...I got a mini blub in the Indianapolis Star yesterday.  There was a Indy Star feature regarding Fountain Square. Ya know, most cities have a major artzy district.  Indianapolis, for it's size, really doesn't except for Fountain Square.  FS is just really coming in to it's own....the potential is there.  Yeah, I've had a bunch of folks tell me that Broadripple and/or Mass Ave is the artzy area.  Same with Irvington...don't get me wrong, I love Irvington but it's not a meca of artist's historical and a very friendly neighborhood, it has an 'art' center but not studio spaces.   Broadripple's time is sold out to bars and chow spots. It’s almost the same with Mass Ave...yeah there’s a few folks still there but most artists I know can’t afford it. 
That’s the cycle…it’s called the Bohemian Principle. A community that has diverse population and cheap rent, will be invaded by a bunch of artist/creative types….give it a few years or a decade (or two), then poof…it can rejuvenate a community. It drives up the real estate values. Studio space equals economic development.  That's what starts the ball rolling.

Not only just the local neighborhood but it helps the entire city as a whole.  Yeah, Indianapolis has sports, I mean it's got SPORTS ; it's even home to Super Bowl 2012 but it needs balance. Tourists like to visit other parts of the city as well, not just Lucas Oil Stadium.  Go Team Culture...interesting article in the Washingtion Post on this topic.  Oh yeah, it has art attractions's also got a large number of art organizations...but it doesn't have much of a focus on individual artists.   For interesting reading, take a peep at LINC's Artist User Data Guide.

Now take this with a grain of salt...we have only been back from Austin, Texas for a little more than a year.  I might be looking though jaded eyes.  I see Austin as a creative city...I still kinda wonder about Indianapolis.   What I'm seeing is that the art community in Indianapolis is still very fragmented...every one going off to do their thang.  Which is great but that was happening before we moved to Texas.  We move back and it's the same thing.  It really didn't grow and mature, just the names changed.  There really isn't one strong, well organized, individual artist focused organization.  Or maybe...the bread crumbs on the black and white checker brick road hasn't lead me to my final destination yet.

It's hard for me to bitch about an issue when I don't have the time to figure out how to fix it. Time is the key.  After being gone for a while, I'm more focused on change but it takes a huge amount of time and effort to make those changes.  Anyway, that's a whole different tanget.

Now...well, it up the the locals to support the Fountain Square area and...on the other hand, it's also up to the artists too.  Anyway, Fountain Square and the Murphy Art Center has gotten a HUGE amount of press the last couple of months...Nuvo...Urban Times...IBJ...of course there's the Indianapolis Star, Indianapolis Monthy, and several smaller all the online bloggers. :-) 

So if you get the chance...December's First Friday at the Murphy should be a blast with iMOCA and the new owers,  of the Murphy being around.

I'm off my chatty mode.

Ok...time to get my day started...hi, ho...hi, ho...hi, ho...

Later Gators,

Studio Pictures in the Murphy Art Center, Fountain Square

Sunday, November 22, 2009
Yesterday, Indianapolis had sunshine...a miracle of I took a few pictures. 

OK…real deal...after several  emails…I decided to share a few pics. For various and sundry reasons, I fail to see the interest, but hey, I’m here to serve…and maybe add a bit of humor to some folks’ lives.   The below is the back of the Murph...if you are interested in the history. Take a click.

The below is the St. Patrick.s Catholic Church's bat belfry next door...beautiful building that overlooks Fountain Square.  A piece of trival here...Fountain Square was home to the first Irish settlers in Indianapolis in the 1850’s and has been dubbed 'Irish Hill'.

The is the main hall of the Murph. No, this hall will never make Better Homes and Garden but you have to admit, it’s got personality. 

Mmmm....the stairwell that leads to my studio....go up the stairs and hang a right...yep, that's me in 204a.

Here's a pic of my lampwork setup in my studio. 

The previous artist had a friend that painted her and I decided that I wanted to keep her. :-)  She's on the wall in the studio, over looking everything.  We painted and did some destruction of a loft that wasn’t useable for us before we moved in.

That's the end of the tour.  If you ever want to stop by...give me a call or stop in at First Friday.  December 4th will be a big one.

I'm off to work...hi, ho...hi, ho...hi, see what the kiln fairy left for me.

Later Gators,

Silvered Glass Lampwork Focals...waiting for SUNSHINE...a Moon Moment

Saturday, November 21, 2009
My adventures in silvered glass land has me missing bright color. Actually, it might have to do with the grey skies and no windows in the studio. So the lack of sunshine is beginning influence my artistic endeavors. Silvered glass has an organic favor to it. I’m missing the ‘damn, I need sunglasses’ beads. So TODAY, I’m playing with neon green…but once I get a fix of sunshine, I’m back to silvered glass again.   The only thing is that these focals are a PITA to photograph. 

I’m in the middle of listening to the Stephanie Plum saga by Janet Evanovich…waiting for Jim Butcher’s First Lord’s Fury.  So that's another influence for me.  I've been laughing so hard while on the torch that I've had to toss some beads.  I got laughing so hard one time that one of my studio floor mates (I think, it could of been some dude passing by) stuck his head in my door and asked if I was choking.  How embarrassing.  It's what I call a 'Moon Moment.'  Oh well, it's not like studio is located in the most of the hoppin' of hubs.  Hey, we're talking the Murphy Art Center (the Murph)  here...the land of semi-condemned bathrooms, hermit artists, and parking lot from hell...but it's home. :-)    One of my customers/friends told me the she'd rather stop at a truck stop on the way home instead of using 'that' bathroom.  Another one of my clients told me that she thought she heard 'Twlight Zone' theme song when she flushed the toilet.   Me...if feel like I'm peeing at a bad campground bathroom. :-)  I guess it's one of those things you just get used to.  

Ok...I'm off to the studio...time to play with brights!!!

Later Gators!

Front and Side...Lampwork Bead Runway.

Friday, November 20, 2009

I'm still stuck on silvered hasn't gone a way.  The above is a new design...raised decoration on the sides.  I've done some of these in the past, made jewelry from them.  I went to look in my inventory and couldn't find any.  They have sold in the last couple of weeks.

Anyway, The below glass is what I had sitting on my desk. I got caught up in the moment and now, I can’t remember what I used on each bead.

Garaged and annealed at 940
Base: CIM Plum, CIM Ghee, CIM Unique Kyrptonite, Cosmic Storm Odd, Rainbow Red, and Dark Ivory
Silvered Glass: Precision 104 Van Gogh, Precision Rembrant Opaque Odd, stormed Precision 104 Shasha’s Silver, Double Helix Gaia, Double Helix Terranova 2.1…plus a blue rod of something
Accents: Clear and Fine Silver

Measures: 38mm hole to hole, 22mm wide, and 9.5mm thick.

Later Gators!

MMJ Lampwork-Experimental Lampwork Focals

Thursday, November 19, 2009
I'm still working on silvered glass focals.  Yep, still organic...still shiny...lots of shiny...lots of visual drama.

If you want the glass recipes...check out my Flickr.  I figure if I wrote them out once, that's enough.  I will be keeping the list of the glass that I used for each bead.

So....what do ya think?

I will be making accent bead strands to go with the focals...but it's gonna be in a couple of weeks.

Later Gators!