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Snow, Lampwork Beads...and the Great Bead Thief, Mouse

Saturday, January 31, 2009
We finally got dug out. It snowed over a foot in our area...yippy. The drive way and walks have been cleared of the white stuff. The below is a semi-covered area on the back of the house. I have had enough...I no longer miss the 4 seasons. I can go back to our regular scheduled weather now. More like the weather I snow, lots of sunshine, and nothing under 40 degrees. Just who did I piss off...this is the 6th largest snow fall in Indiana history. Why me?

I have to admit that these ice icicles are kewl. They are all over the place. The sun is shinning though this one. In person, it looks like a squid. Now on the other hand...we have dug out from the the ice has begun. All the walk ways are solid ice currently....then it melts again by late afternoon...then it's ice in the evening. I'm sure you all know the's like the Snow Queen having hot flashes.

Well, I just gave up and made beads. Here's a sample of barrels. This is an OK pic but they are kewler than kewl in the hand. I have a huge amount of troubles when I try to work with greens in jewelry. So they have several different hues without being overpowering. On top of that, they turned out exactly the way I wanted them. Yeah, surprises are great but sometimes, I like things to go according to plan. Some of the below will be up on Etsy next week or so but some of them...I think I'll keep. They are totally fab as accents in bracelets...make great tassels...or combo pendants. They aren't very large, mongo beads either. Some of the strands will be 12mm X 14mm and other will be 10mm X 13mm. It's the shape that works so well within jewelry designs.
This I was trying to make the bed...I was invaded. I just got the duvet on and poof...the furballs were staking out claim. As you see, Mouse got the sunny spot. Nox and Sugie are cuddling...more for warmth than anything else. It's not like they are really buddies or anything.

Now we come to the MOUSE. I had a huge pile of lampwork beads, stone, and metal beads on my design bench. The pile was there a couple days ago. The morning, all the lampwork seems to be missing. The pile I have on the breakfast bar seems to be getting smaller and smaller. I make some decent size focals so I know they can't be easy for the furball thief to run off with them. She doesn't go outside and I've turned the house upside down to fine them. The only things that she steals is lampwork and earrings.

In person, she's a lovely cat...very talkie to me. She has been with us for almost 2 years and still doesn't like Bob. It's not that she afraid of him...she just lays her ears back and give him that 'try it, just try it...come on, just try to pet me and see what happens' looks. She not actively stalking him but she is overly friendly either. She was a feral rescue (Texas) and I've taken a lot of time with her...I'd say she's been abused and has previously been starved. Now, as you can see in the pic, she's healthy and plump. A bit plumper that I'd like but I think that she will slim down in the summer. Her fur has several layers to it and makes her look much larger than she is.
OK...I've got packages to get taken care of and back to the torch today. I'm going to try to get out of my addition. Me and ice really aren't compatible yet. Hopefully, I will get some pictures uploaded on Etsy. Both Etsy and my internet provider have been rather slow lately. I get to the point that it's just taking way too much time and do something else. Patience isn't one of my strong suits.
Stay warm!

Thank You Joella!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009
If you get a chance, stop in at Joella Miller's (from Always Wired Bead Lady) blog!

Thank you Joella!!!!! You go girl!


More Lampwork

Life here is cold and's just beginning to SNOW again. I am so done with winter. I had forgotten just how much I miss sunshine. Oh well...I guess that's why I'm working on more colorful beads lately. I put up the silvered glass to play with enamels and color for a while.

The above is barrels...yeah, I think you could of figured that one out. Anyway...the enamels give the beads a watery, almost a wet blend favor. Lots of color but they aren't over whelming. The below is one of my favorite sets that I've made in a long time. I really don't have a reason for it either, I just like them.
The below is part of my on going so called 'mini' series called Color Gizmos.

Yesterday, I had all the intentions of working on a couple new organic designs. Well, it didn't turn out that way. I went back making more Color Gizmos. It's a color thang. Today...I'm not even going to try to fool myself...I'm playing with color today.
Have a happy, creative day!

Here's a couple lampwork sets

Monday, January 26, 2009
I took a bit of time away from silvered glass to play with some enamels. Again, I had a bit of trouble with the pictures. Enamels are almost as hard to photograph as silvered glass. In hand, they are eye photos, they look fuzzy to me.

Anyway, I like the colors...the enamels created a bluish-teal that I can't get in rod form. Enamels are a treat to play with.

Today, I've got a shipment of silvered glass coming in. So it's torch time today. I know ya'all aren't seen a lot of the silvered glass...well, that's because I can't get a good pics of them and I'm keeping most of the beads. I'm just like that sometimes. :-) No really, I've got a trunk show in show season is just around the corner. Plus I'm not taking anymore customs for a while either...mostly because I've got too many irons in the fire right now. Hopefully, it will calm down after May.
OK...time to get my day rolling!
Have a happy, creative day!

Silvered Glass Lampwork Sets...Yeah, It's Still Cold Here!

Sunday, January 25, 2009
Yeah, I'm still freezing my backside off so I haven't been at the torch as much as I would like. I do have a handfull of sets to add to my Etsy shop. I'm on the torch today so it will be later this evening or tomorrow before I get them loaded.

The above is a rather kewl set...the pictures are OK...the silvered glass has a sheen all it's own.
The above set is Triton. The below is a mix of several different types of silvered glasses on dark ivory. Again...all three sets look much better in hand.

Well I've been all over my local area, Hendricks county, looking for studio space. I really couldn't decide on a retail space so that I could have my studio there plus do a gallery...or just a studio space. It didn't make any difference....I couldn't find any spaces in the local area. The idea of having my studio in a strip mall depressed I really didn't want to pay big bucks for the duck work for my ventilation system. So I extended my area.
What I did find is a new artist hub coming up in Martinsville, Indiana of all places. It's called Art Sanctuary. Martinsville has changed a LOT since I last visited it. It has several art galleries...a java spot and even a tea shop. I was hoping for something closer but I do like the concept of having my studio in an old church. It's kinda kewl. What I do like about it more is the networking with other artists. It's a bit farther than I wanted to's 45 min but it's worth the drive to have the room. It has two walls of winders, great lighting, and SPACE. I went with a little less than 600 sq feet. That will do me. There even a room divider so that I can have a clean space and a dirty space. They will be working on my studio pretty hopefully, once the weather breaks, I will start the moving in process.
I also think that this will be a good move for me. When I work, I work. When I'm off, I'm off. The other thing is that I really miss being around other artists, so a hub is good for me. There will be 20 or so studios in the building plus the option of another building opening up spaces as well. The other thing is...I really had to think about the gallery concept. I really don't like being 'pestered' when I work. That 'pestered' concept made me re-think about opening up another gallery. I really don't have the personality to do so....more so, there's so many different things I want to work on, I also don't have the interest any longer. Maybe in a couple more years I'll change my mind but not right now.
Ok...back to the torch for me...Stay warm!

A Day in History...Bye, Bye Bush!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Today is an important day in history!

Mr. President, May the force be with you dude!!!!

Many of you know that I'm not a Bush fan...but even for me...the below might be a bit much. I guess the truth kinda hurts.

Have a happy creative day!

New Lampwork Focals...Photo Experiments

Sunday, January 18, 2009
I took a break from the silvered glasses to play with brights. Yeah, I do that a lot when it snow or we have grey skies around here. Anyway, I also decided to play with photography a bit. One of the main reasons you don't see a lot of my focals on Etsy is because I can't figure out how to do the photography well. It's a time thang. Now that I've gotten into the creation of focals, I rather enjoy making them.

I've also found that I like creating my own murrini as well. Yeah, it takes time but I then get to chose the type and color of glass I want. I also get the enjoyment of making something different. The below is my favorite bead...but I really didn't get as good as picture as I would of liked. It looks much better in hand than on the screen. Actually, most beads and jewelry do. It's a large bead...47mm hole to hole. That's almost 2 inches.
The below focal is one of my favorites in regards to a decent photo. It's big bead....measures 51mm hole to hole, 18mm wide in the middle, and 8mm thick. I didn't want the weight to be so heavy so I kept the thickness slight. The weight is close to an XL nugget but with much more canvas.

The below bead is rather kewl.

One of the reasons why I like these beads is that with a mix of seed beads and pressed glass, one can have a lovely pieces of fun art jewelry. I still enjoy beadweaving so I need to get crackin' on some ropes and multi-stranded necklaces. Something I do when it's too cold to make beads. :-)
Ok...I'm off, got lots to do today.
Have a happy, creative day!

Lookie What the Kiln Fairy Did!....Lampwork Focals, River Vespers...Double Helix.

Friday, January 16, 2009
I normally don't show ya folks focals unless they are experiments or in sets or in jewelry...but these are lovely. So I decided to share. The group picture is so-so...I'm still having huge amounts of issues with taking pics of silvered glass. The below has most of Double Helix reduction (silvered) glasses within the beads. I even got some bronze out of a couple. I used a lot of Nyx, Gaia, Kronos, Kronos2, Trition, a bit Luna, and some very old Oly Rain. Even most of the bases are silvered glass of one type or another.
I also handpulled and cut my own murrini in the silvered glasses to get the starbursts. I don't mind making simple murrini but the more complex ones...well, I really need to get the hotter torch out. Again...not enough room in the studio. Plus I really don't enjoy making the real complex canes, so I'm really also not very good at it either.

All of them have a metallic sheen to them that the camera lens just doesn't pick up. So I doubt that I will be using any of these focal in jewelry pieces that I need jury slides or digitals of.

Some of you know that I also do a lot of beadweaving. The reason I don't do a lot of it anymore is because I'm normally at the torch...but I do enjoy it. I'm getting ready for show season and wanted some focals that strong enough pieces to stand alone as pendants on either chain maille or beadwoven necklaces. That's what I've been working on currently. (BTW, the below bead has a bit of bronze that I was talking about. )

These two (above and below) are the only ones that I got decent pictures of. On my screen, these are what the beads pretty much look like in the hand...but smaller and shinier. :-)

This is a mini series called, "River Vespers". I wanted the hues to be the darker water colors. More realistic of what you see while viewing a decent sized river. Not the candy colors that I see portrayed (beads) most of the time. The hues also needed to have multi-metallic favor to them when it's still light but the sun is beginning to set, like at vesper. I also wanted these colors because the iris and matte metallic seedbeads work up so well in ropes. I may use a few of these with pearls too...pearls and silvered glass complement each other VERY well. (man-o-man, I've got pearls and this gives me a reason to use them)
I'm going to work on making a couple more today and then it's time to move on to another project I've got.
. lots to do today!!! BTW, it's still cold as hell here...and I've got ICE. I mean I've got lots of ice. I still haven't figured out how to get out my front door. Geez, I thought about going out the back...but the deck is scarier than the front porch.
Have a happy, creative day!

Silvered Glass Lampwork Focals

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Somebody wrote and asked me to pop up a couple focals...the ones I've been working on with the silvered glasses. they are....

The above is a close up of the first's lovely glass to work with and make the most beautiful beads. BUT it is a PITA to photograph. You don't see the metallic and luster sheens. I have to admit, I prefer silvered glass not encased. Well, at least not encased by yours truly. I think that's one of the reasons why you don't see these beads. Plus I normally keep them for myself. :-)

Now we come to some of my favorites. Both on handmixed base colors.

Sooner or later, I will give up stashing them for myself. :-) There comes a time, just how many focals do I need? That time may come soon if I keep on making them at the pace I currently am.

Ok...I've got some errands to do...if I decide to brave out the snow. I am sooooo done with winter. Time to move on to spring.
Have a happy, creative day!

Raku Lampwork....Mouse...local a bit of silvered glass update

Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Here's some raku beads for your viewing pleasure. This is the 104's a bit harder for me to get the colors with this raku but I was please with the results. They will make up into some lovely jewelry...that's why I like raku, it's the organic favor that goes well with natural stone.
I got some pictures for ya...I finished them last week but just found them on my desk. I don't want to do a show and tell on what my desk looks like...but I'm not real organized right now. Mouse, the feral cat from Texas, went hunting on my desk. The last couple of days, around 3am or so, I'm awaken by odd noises in the house. Mostly coming from the office. I get up, search around the house, and nothing. Until the next morning...I see the office. OMGs, it now looks like a small hurricane went though the paperstacks...the beads are all over the place...the printer has even been moved around. Plus she's a little theif...I've found a couple of hidey holes of hers. Her favorite is earrings and smaller lampwork focals. She even has certain color perfances...blues and anything encased. I guess those must bounce better. So I've got to get her more toys...maybe that will help.

These raku sets were fine, just buried under paper and scotch tape wad. (Yeah, she likes tape too) Actually, it's kinda hard for a cat to hurt lampwork. There's not much they can do except hide the beads...most cats won't eat them. They aren't like dogs...geez, I've seen dogs eat rocks if food is dropped on them. Anyway, she didn't carry these beads off. Mostly likely, they were not in her color schemes. :-)

Now my issues with silvered glass...
I was on the torch yesterday for about 10 hours...I have nothing to show you for my efforts. Yeah, I do have some pretty beads...they are all encasements...which makes the colors pop but it hides the silvery sheen. It's the sheen that I like from silvered glass.
Plus...I'm not getting sets. That was the whole reason why I've been spending days on this experiment. I can get lovely focals but I can't get the color of the glass to behave well enough for me (if encased) to keep to the standard of my sets. I can't get the colors to merge into the patterns that I want...nor get the beads (for a set) to look more than OK together. That's just not good enough. So, I'm going to make focals and non-encased sets today. Maybe if I work the glass long enough, I figure out how to unlock the secrets. :-)
I've had a couple people ask me why I don't sell a lot of focals on Etsy. Well it's a time thang. By the time I take all the pictures and set up the listing, it's really not worth it. The sad thing is that I make some beautiful's just that I can't sell them for the time I have invested in them. So I either need to set focals in lots of three (or so)...or get quicker with the listings. Or do focals with a small set of accents. Got any ideas??? I also need the focals so sometimes it's hard for me to part with them. I thought about doing pendants instead. What do ya think?
I've decided to do the Danville Farmers Market this year. Yeah, I know if you are from a lot of places in the US, like the are saying WHAT????? A Farmers Market...oh Moon, you have got to be kidding. Nope, I'm not. :-) The thing is that if you are from places like Austin or Ogden City (Utah) markets and outdoor art markets go hand in hand. I've been to some in Washington...Colorado...Arizona.
So I thought, why not in Danville, Indiana? I'm willing to invest every Saturday from 7:30am to Noon from May to September to find out. If there's a enough interest, I'm willing to set up an Artist Market. Time will tell.
One of the main reasons why I'm doing this is to educate the locals. I say 'lampwork'...or 'flamework', I get 'uh?'. I say 'artist', they look at me with glazed lizard eyes...or give me a 'oh' look. So instead of wishing for change, I've decided to make a change happen.
See the thing is that the arts have a direct and tangible linkage to the local economy. I think that most governmental folks understand that...but the local citizens? Nah, I don't think so. Most folks that I've chatted with around here have no idea of the causal linkage between art and it's moola influence. :-) The thing is that if the locals can understand that the arts are crucial to attracting an educated/talented workforce...that the brain drain that is happening could lessen.
That whole concept of 'buy local' has a huge impact...that property values go up...that it makes the area much more attractive to an incoming business. That makes transplants like me want to stay. That makes students who go off to college want to come back. Most don't around here. Yes, it's a connect the dot sort of thinking.
Arts role in the local economy is significant. The rule of thumb is that for every $1 spent on the arts, $3-5 is spent in elsewhere in the community. That's in restaurants...the local businesses/shop...even the services like hair or tanning salons.
Well...that's enough chit-chat for me...
I'm off to the torch today.

Gizmos...more lampwork

Monday, January 12, 2009
I had the greatest intentions of spending time on the torch yesterday...alas, I had things to get done. Today, I am. I have a goal of figuring out how to make kewl bead sets with silvered glass. I have this idea...yeah, I know, men and mice...but I know what I want the beads to look like but I'm not sure how to do it yet. I'll figure it just might take me a while.

Here's the last of the Gizmos...for a while. It's a series that started out as a mini series and has grown. I love making this's like glass crack. I can't seem to stop.

The above...the base glass is the kewlest of kewl. It's an odd shade of bluish mint. It's more of an opal...and it melts like warm butter, a joy to work with in the flame. It's almost the color of green hemimorphite

The below...the base is an odd lot apricot coral. It's melts ok but looks GREAT with violet. I can picture these with some lapis.

The below is a fav of mine. I guess it's reminds me of my comfort outfit...faded jeans and a chocolate turtleneck.
Here's a necklace that I finally got done...and photographed. (Yeah, I'm finally getting back to making jewelry. I have a huge stash of lampwork that I've got to get cracking on...mostly earrings. One can NEVER have too many earrings during show season.)

As I said's silver glass day on the torch...but I might take some time to play with a couple color combos. I've got a nice big pile of blue and green kyanite, Russian charoite, kambaba jasper, ocean jasper, citrine, and carnelian sitting on my bench right now. Oh yeah, I almost forgot that quartz druzy strand. So it's time that I made some beady dudes to match. I finally found some soft glass to match citrine, natural not heat treated. It's due in this week.'t time to get my packages packed and to the PO...then it's TORCH TIME!!!!
Have a happy, creative day!

Lampwork Experiments

Sunday, January 11, 2009
I've been kinda busy on the experiments. Mostly with silvered glass and reactive bases. I know that there's a masterpiece waiting to be made but I'm not sure it's going to be me. What I'm working on is the beginnings of a new series. It will take a while until I GET it but I will. As I said before, I don't always put my experiments on display for the world. This time I did...these turned out OK, most don't.

There is a lot of experimentation with lampwork or with any artistic medium. There has to be. For me, I need to know what my raw materials will do...what the limitations are...what color works...where to put the glass in the long to garage the beads and at what temperate. Some of the silvered glasses will have a color burnout if garaged too long at 960 so those are garaged at 940 degrees. Some will lose their luster or not gain luster/sheen or color if not garaged long enough. I tell ya what, with the glass prices at $80-120.oo a pound (with Terra going at $10 a rod) I really try to figure it out quickly. Sometimes I do...sometimes I don't but that's the way it goes.

BTW, the sheen on these beady dudes is the pictures aren't as good as they should be.

The above is a mix of Terra (yes, I still have some in my stash), Gaia, Nyx, and Psyche. The base is Lauscha Buckhorn.

The below is the same twistie mix on a base of CIM Celadon. It's an odd base for silvered glass...or so I thought. I like the results. The silver within the glass changed the color of the base. It's a deeper, richer hue.
Now here's the issue with silvered glasses...earring pairs. I rarely have issues with pairs....I do will silvered glass. These pairs aren't really matched...go enough for a bracelet or a necklace but not earrings. This is also the issue when making sets. Silvered glasses and fuming is much the same when it comes to sets. It really hard to bet a set that has the same color scheme and each bead being unique, plus look good with each other. That's the reason why I normally keep most of my fumed sets. :-) The issue is the same for silvered glass sets unless I only use one silvered glass like Gaia. Double Helix Gaia has a very short reduction strike...a couple of passes in the reduction flame and poof, it's ready. The issues take place with I use more than one and then use clear accents to pop up the colors. The clear will enhance the color but it will also tone down the silvery sheen that I like so much.

The below is also a CIM's one of the older uniques of Celadon. The Terra reacts nicely with it.

I've got to run to the airport...get some errands done...then I might get some torch time this evening. I'm hoping to get most of my experimentation done in the next couple of that I can get back to work making sets. I don't know...there part of me that would really rather must make focals. What do you think? Which would you rather use in jewelry designs...focals or sets in silvered glass? Or do you not like the results of the silvered glass? If you get a chance, drop me an email.
OK...I'm off...gotta get busy.
Have a happy, creative day!
~Moon lampwork...creative concepts

Wednesday, January 07, 2009
My recent experiments at the torch haven't come out the best in the world, a few have. So you don't get to see those beads that didn't. Have you ever thought of how many beads that are made and nobody ever sees? It's a lot. Every time I get new glass in...I play with. I see what it will mix with, feel out how it moves, and even make a few tester beads.

Now the experiments that did turn out...yeppers....they are cool. Lots of color with lots of enamels and surface drama. I am going to keep working on them until I figure out how to get good, consistent sets. (then you will get some pics) I'm mixing enamels...if I was making focals, it wouldn't be a big deal. But making sets, I want to make sure that all the colors that I'm using are the same though out the set.

The below is an experiment that I will focus on later...window beads. I loved how this one turned out...but I don't think I've fully developed the concept yet. With the colors of turquoise and black, I liked the KISS concept. Some of the others...well, they are much more fluffy.

I've also been toying with the lap idea. We have a lot of stone cutting equipment...ya know like grinders, saws, polishers...that kind of stuff. I've seen a lot of work that is being made by lampworkers using this type of equipment. I've seen lovely work coming from lap folks too. Glass and stone really aren't THAT different is many ways. The issue is the cost of time that goes into these beads. Then that is added to the price of the bead. Where is that I would enjoy the making...I'm not sure that I would like the selling of these beads. :-) OH well, that's a call that I will make later. Right now, until I move the studios...I am stay with the KISS method for a while. I've already got too many irons in the fire.

Ok...what do you think of these? I must be one of the few people that really like encasements. Believe it or not...sometimes it can be a simple process. That's once I figure out what colors and glasses work with each other. Again, you don't see all the test beads nor the melt downs. :-)

I've had a couple folks ask me why I make so many different types of beads...why don't I have a signature type of bead? Well if I only made signature beads, I'd get bored. I also would get tired of making jewelry from the same types of beads. I think it comes down to that I'm a metalsmith at heart and jewelry designer that happens to create lampwork. There will come a time that I will walk away from lampworking and move to something else. I've even had thoughts of going back to pottery. I've even entertained thoughts of going back to beadweaving.

Back to beads and lampworking...I do get on Color Gizmos or encasements or any type of series. That jag will last for a while, then I move on. Right now, in between's encasements.

I've got a lot of stuff to get done. Today it's uploading sets on Etsy...answering emails (the spam monster is visiting again) the house. Geez, I love my cats but hate the catbox. Oh well, I can't have everything.

Have a happy, creative day!

Bring Back the lots of new lampwork beads

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
It's been rather ickky here...lots of grey skies and cold. (is ickky a 'real' word?) So I've been making beads to cheer me up. Lots of brights...lots of colors that I normally don't play with...lots of new color combos. A girl gotta do what she can in times of grey skies and teeth chattering my Kiln Fairy and I had a little chat. She makes sure that I have FUN beads and I don't bitch so much about the weather. :-) Seems like a good deal to me.

The above and below are gifts from the Kiln Fairy....the pinks and plums are lovely. I haven't played with these hues for a long time. The nuggets are larger than my normal because they have a lot of large surface decoration. One of the plums is an opal...not fully a solid but not fully a transparent. The pics don't really show's lovely eyeball to bead.

I do think of the giant spring bunny when I saw these beads.
The below has a new shape...eggs.

Now for 'Bring Back the Sun' beads...lots of shapes...lots of color...a lot of beads overall.

Each set has at least one matched pair for earrings...except the nuggets. Again, these nuggets are larger than my norm. They can be used for bracelets but they can also be used for some funky focals or tassels. If you had any seed beads or some czech pressed glass flowers/leaves hanging around...poof, fun could be created.

Here's a mixed set...these are some of my favorites. I guess I like wire and lampwork...just like coffee and cream.

Here's another nugget set. Oh BTW, the orange is a really old special. I found it when I was digging around in my stash. You wouldn't believe some of the glass that I found in that stash. My Gods, you'd think I was some sort of glass pack rat or something. Well, come to think about it, I guess I am. :-)

I've gotten most of the photography next on the agenda is encasements. To me, they are some of the hardest to get good shots of. The clear distorts the bead colors sometimes. Anyway....I got on an encasement jag. I've got about 40 or so sets to get done.
Well stay warm and safe!
Same bat time, same bat place,

Why I still Love Lampwork...after all these years

Monday, January 05, 2009
You don't hear from me for weeks and then...poof...I'm back several days in a row. ;-) There are days that I feel like blogging and then there are days that I don't. Then there are days that I forget my password. Well's some eye candy for ya.

Yeah, I know you heard my sad story before...I've said previously that I'm getting weary of making beads. I am but then I find a new glass that I'm intrigued by or open the kiln to find sets like below. I keep on coming back to lampwork because of the COLOR. This color scheme just does's in neutrals that will mix well with wire, stone, beadweaving, you name it. I did a total of 4 sets in these hues. I'm keeping at least one set for me to work with.

Ok...back to cleaning beads! I've got a kiln full and so now the ecky work begins.
Have a happy, creative day!