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Rainbows of Earrings

November 25, 2012


I finished 8.5 dozen earrings in time for the Soroptimist Extravaganza Sale!  Sold quite a few!  I love wearing bright, lightweight, colorful earrings & get loads of compliments when I do!  You can too!!  I’ll have more time to add these to my  Zibbet Shop  in January, but if you’d like a pair or two before then just send me a note & tell me which ones you’d like.

If you need something to do in Portland OR, Dec 7 & 8, come see all my new earrings!  Hope to see you at the Multnomah Arts Center, in the Gym!  Until then, I have hundreds more to finish up and add to these collections!!

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One of my favorite stores, Artisan’s Jewelery and Gallery asked me for green earrings.  Anyone else might have made a dozen pair, but I wanted to explore as many design options as possible.

I pulled out all my Bullseye green sheet glass and only eliminated a couple of shades because they were so close in tone.  Next, I cut each green into two lengths:  a long dangle and a short dangle.  Normally I would make a wider variety of lengths, but I was exploring color combinations, not lengths.

I cut out six pair of each length from each color, taking a few days to get them all cut, cleaned and placed on my work bench.  I had a wonderful selection of opaque and translucent greens to play with.

Next I chose design options by auditioning different dichro patterns and colors on top of each sheet of green.

For my own entertainment I also cut lengths of patterned and textured dichroic glass to make earrings that I know will sell quickly.

In addition to squares of patterned and colorful dichroic glass I used frit balls, decals, and sliced cane for adornment.  When I had enough earrings to fill a kiln I fired them and continued making more.  I ended up with about twelve dozen pair.  A gross of green glass earrings!  Plus some dichroic and a couple of strays I picked up along the way.

 

I finished all the earrings in batches of one or two dozen, starting with those I liked best for Artisan’s (and friends who came up to purchase), cleaning up any rough edges and checking for quality control.

I then glued on findings to attach the earring wires.  I use E6000 and let it cure 48 hours, then clean off the excess glue with a razor blade.  Not a fun task, but as I tell students – the back should look as nice as the front.

The final step is choosing which colorful niobium ear wires go with each pair of earrings.  Or in some cases sterling silver.  I rarely use 14k anymore due to the cost, but I keep it on hand for those folks who prefer quality gold.

As soon as the last set of green earrings were finished, I pulled out all my other colors of sheet glass and cut earring lengths!  I’m excited to make earrings in all the shades of yellow, orange, purple, blue and red (in that order) that I have.  Also more dichroic earrings because I’m so drawn to shiny sparkle patterns and I have a new sheet to try!

Fall show season will be here soon, and I need to place all these finished earrings into my online shops; but for now I’m squeezing in every bit of garden time I can with my cameras and flowers while the sun is shining.  You can see my garden at An Artist’s Garden.

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Quiet After the Sale

April 16, 2012

My studio sale is over and I’m basking in the quiet.  In the midst of slowly packing up all the artwork displayed throughout my house, I reflect on how much fun it was.   Not wanting to be left out of any fun, my dog Treasure was our official greeter.

Old friends and new stopped  by & almost everyone who came through took some of my glittery glasswork home with them.  Friday was a bit slow, but I wasn’t completely ready by 10 am. so I was okay with that.  Plus it gave me another chance to play with my new Lytro camera! https://pictures.lytro.com/SteiderStudios/pictures/96179

 

One of the highlights for everyone who tried them were the Petite-Vanilla-Scones…a recipe from the The Pioneer Woman given to me by my dear friend Chris at Everyday Heartbeats.  “Very moist”…”Delicious”…”I’ll have another” were the words most frequently heard.  Truly, they were quite wonderful & even though I’m not often in the kitchen, I’ll bake them again!

Many bracelets went home with fun, creative women that I loved having here.  And a few were purchased by very generous men as gifts for their wives!

I love seeing all my work out and displayed.  It gives me an opportunity to take stock without having to dig through boxes.

One of the many highlights for me was a hug from an interesting woman after our conversation about art and creativity.  My head swells with this, but she said I was inspiring!

Treasure was exhausted after three days of greeting so many new people.

At the end of the day, it was a great show!  If you missed it, you can see a sampling of my work at The Columbia Gorge Hotel in conjunction with Hood River’s Blossom Festival next weekend.  It will be set up in the large banquet room near the restaurant.  “Art of the Gorge” will take place Saturday, April 21st from 1pm until 5pm with a reception from 5pm to 7pm.  On Sunday the show will be open from 9am until 2pm.

I’ll be gone a couple of hours on Sunday afternoon to sit on a panel discussion about blogging at ‘Artist 2 Artist’, a professional development opportunity for artists sponsored by Columbia Arts.  If you’re an artist, it’s a great opportunity to grow your business, network with other artists and learn in a cooperative educational setting.

Square to the Tenth Power

November 23, 2011

The last month has been devoted to a new series of bracelets.  I can’t tell you how many squares of glass I’ve cut, but I photographed my process to show you.  By the way, you can purchase my bracelets-‘Adornment-for-Your-Wrist’ online via this link.

I like the rhythmic sound of my glass cutter zipping a long score line down a fresh sheet of colorful Bullseye glass.  One inch at a time.  Zip, zip, zip, the motion, the sound, the rhythmic scoring and snapping off each strip of glass is Zen like.

Those strips become squares and are built into fun, beautiful bracelets.  I keep a sketch pad on my workbench to document all the new ideas that flow into my head as I methodically score and break.  After all the glass is cut I slice a million strips of fiber paper.  Yes, a million.

I confess I don’t enjoy the process of ‘building the guts’ of my bracelets, cutting tiny strips of fiber paper to hold channels open and placing them precisely on the blanks.  If I have good (loud) music playing in the background I get them all built in spite of the tedium.

The design work is divine.  I love the design part….whether I’ve preplanned with sketches or just start moving bits of scrap glass around into pleasing shapes styles colors etc.  And who can’t resist a little dichro!

I made ladybug murrini for the bracelets going to the Yard, Garden and Patio Show in February.  Then I bought some of Andy Nichols’ cane but it was too large to go through my tile nippers.  The arrow points to my own murrini, the perfect size.  When I whined on my Facebook Page, Cynthia Morgan recommended a big nipper from HD, using a hammer to close the jaws.  Thanks Cynthia, that did the trick!

In the midst of my mess, an old friend asks “where’s the cobalt?”…so I stop my process & go back to cutting squares.  Of course, I can’t just make one.  By now, you know that about me!

Fresh from the kiln, forty two bracelets, after a second firing for textured, three-dimensional designs are now ready to clean up and string.

A tedious and dreary job, cleaning the spent fiber paper out of the channels.  Even worse is cold-working all the spurs left behind in most of the channels.

Once they’re cleaned and dried, all my beautiful new bracelets are lined up and ready to string.

To make it interesting, I clean up about a dozen at a time, choosing my favorites at the moment.

Have you been counting?  Between 7 and 8 dozen fresh new bracelets will be ever so slowly added to my online shops.

Three dozen bracelets remain in various stages of completion.  Some are waiting for more design components to be added & re-fired; some need to be cleaned and cold-worked; and some just need to be strung.

Edit:  Photo above and below added post publication for documentation purposes.  One last batch waiting for additional design elements may not be finished until after the holidays.

Some earlier work with squares, this bargello bowl, was donated to The Dalles Art Center for their annual auction earlier this month and I was thrilled the gallery director won the high bid.

The early part of December I’ll have a trunk show at J D Smith Jewelers in The Dalles.  We haven’t firmed the date yet, so if you’d like to join us let me know so I can send you a note!

Wishing you all a peaceful Thanksgiving filled with love, family and great food!

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Fortuitous Day – 11-11-11

November 11, 2011

11.11.11.  Full Moon.  Veteran’s Day.  Fabulous Sunrise.  Any one of these could be the reason my heart is bursting with gratitude, creativity and joy.  It’s a powerful feeling.

This photo of the full moon setting on this special day was taken about 5am.  For some reason I clamored out of bed early and managed to see it through half-open eyes.  Three minutes later I was fully awake and using my point & shoot to capture it.

I want to share it with you.  As well as the ensuing sunrise.  Clouds rolling in from Portland over the Columbia River greeted me as light slowly took over darkness.

One last shot to share, the moonrise last night.  My neighbor’s deck light was on and the light from the moon over this lit stand of conifers was mesmerizing.  To make it more magical, the coyotes were howling from all directions.

I’ve worked for almost a month now on some new bracelets.  Many dozens of new bracelets.  Colorful, lively, FUN, new bracelets.  I’ve documented my progress, and will update you soon on these cool new bracelets.  Until then, have a phenomenal and fortuitous day, my friends.

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March Musings

March 4, 2011

I am happy to announce my colorful art glass jewelry is now available for purchase at J D Smith Jewelers in The Dalles Oregon.  The owner, Jason and I have been talking about working together since last summer.  Our schedules finally aligned to make it happen and I couldn’t be more thrilled!

Jason has been in the jewelry business much longer than you might think judging by his youthful appearance and ‘with it’ attitude.  He has an artist’s eye and it shows when you walk into his fabulous store.  If you’re in the Pacific Northwest make a point of stopping in.

The last few weeks you know I’ve been preparing for the Glass Craft and Bead Expo.  I finally have all the student glass cut up and packed, and everything I ordered has been arriving daily.  I am sorry for our UPS driver who has to trudge down my very long driveway through the snow.  Everything must be shipped next week, so it will be me carrying it all back up.  I’d love to find a few more students for my Beautiful Butterflies class, so if you know anyone who might be interested, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d share this post.  The emphasis will be pattern making, imagery replication and working with powdered glass.

My handmade wall pocket vases are displayed at Good News Gardening in Hood River through the end of this month.  I decided to install wall pockets alone instead of including butterflies and ladybugs due to the hanging system.  Screw eyes are anchored at the top of the wall and spaced in such a way that my little critters would be lonely so far apart from each other.  I do need to go back and fill the vases with flowers, but if you have a chance to try the lunch menu at The Garden Cafe I promise you’ll enjoy it!

‘Cat’s Meow’

I finally returned to my ‘Raining Cats and Dogs’ series for The Dalles Art Center’s show “Raining Cats and Dogs and Frogs”, running through March.  Perfect, don’t you think?  Of course I pulled this 15″ finished platter (photo was taken before slumping) out of the kiln the day before due date!  Three sweet little 6″ plates were also fused but not cold-worked or slumped yet.  More work for after the Expo.  I hope to have them ready for Oregon Glass Guild’s “Glass Gallery” at the end of April.

One last note:  Lately I’ve had a lot of mica sales in my ArtFire shop, so I’ve moved the mica tutorial that I’ve been slowly polishing from the ‘backburner’ to the ‘get it done sooner’ page.  It’s almost finished, I just need better photos…which I’ll take after I clear all the ‘Expo’ paraphernalia out of my studio.

See you inLas Vegas?

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Three quarters of the way into January, this year is starting off even faster than last year.  I began the new year with a new tool.  Hello to my new custom flat lap built by John Groth of Waterjet Designs.  Loaded it into my Honda Pilot at John’s shop, then unloaded it into the snowy winter weather and slid it down the hill on top of a cardboard sled.  250 pounds of steel, motor and tire with brushes to help keep water splashing at a minimum and pipe insulation for an armrest.  No mishaps along the way and we managed to get it in the building standing upright with little damage to body or soul.  Bank account damage yes, but that was to be expected.

The discs just arrived from His Glassworks so I’m ready to roll.  Well …. almost.

The building is formerly a potting shed, soon to be my coldworking room.  It is about 10 feet away from my studio annex where my kilns are kept busy year round in a covered patio.  The trench is dug to bring electricity to my ‘coldworking room’ (I’ll have to get used to saying that!) and I can hook up water via a hose and water heater for now.  This summer I’ll have to insulate the building so I can use it year round.

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In other news my work was included in a blog article today along with Raphael SchnepfEllen AbbottMarcy Lamberson, and Alexandra Farnham.  Written by Linda Hedrick who writes about a range of topics at Cerebral Boinkfest, (as she states: A blog about the arts, books, flora and fauna, vittles, and whatever comes to mind), I especially enjoy her articles on historical women.  “The Art of Studio Glass” is a synopsis of studio glass today and I was thrilled to be included.  I added a copy (with Linda’s permission) to my own blog under “Publicity-is-Always-Good“.

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I’ve also been adding links to my glass shop via my blog pages under Glass Hearts Available Here.  And building up inventory in my little glass shop.  Of course what’s in the shop doesn’t begin to show you how much inventory I’ve built up.  So, each week, a bit more gets photographed, listed, and described in a way that will hopefully entice you to purchase.  Sparkle and shimmer seem to be my adjectives of choice as I’ve used them so often lately.  How else can I describe my sparkly, shimmery earrings and bracelets?

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And lastly, I’m keeping busy with a couple of small corporate gift type jobs.  Interesting projects, I’ll post more about them as they evolve.  One is exploratory, for which I’m competing with other glass artists and will submit my ideas to the corporation soon.

Another is an exciting opportunity that I’ve been working on for over a year and instigated by an old friend from childhood.  He’s not ready to go public yet, so I can’t tell you any more about it … for now.

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2011.  I hope it’s successful, profitable, adventurous and most of all fun for everyone.

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