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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pismo Glass..Exquisite Artists & Offerings

Top photo:  Small Frog Bowl by Charles Miner 

Lower photo: Green/Ivory/Brown Bird Bead w/Turquoise Dots by Terri Caspary Schmidt

Do you have some favorite websites where you go just to drool?  One of mine is Pismo Glass in Colorado.

When I lived in Colorado, (pre Glass Beadmaking and obsession), I was aware of it.  And now I regret that I hadn't visited at least one of their four locations.

The website has a variety of categories, including separate ones for Glass and Beads.  The quality and variety is superb.

Stop by to visit and learn.  Study what the artists have done and I'm sure you'll discover some glass artists who are new to you.

And if you have enough spare bucks, buy a piece and support our art form.

I own one of Terri's beads and love looking at it.  She demonstrated a few years ago at the ISGB Gathering.  It gives me cause to wonder which of our group will be next represented there.

Have a happy weekend.  See you tomorrow.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Traveling with Glass Rods

It seems like there are times when we need to carry our glass rods somewhere.  Whether it's to a class, a friend's house, or maybe even to demo.

I wanted to show you what I use.  I requested this to be made on Etsy.com.  I saw knitting needle organizers and thought that would make a great way to carry my rods, protect them and partially cushion them too.

So I contacted one of the shop owners and asked whether she could make me one.  She showed me which fabrics she had in stock.  We designed it so it has two pockets .  You might not be able to see the taller pocket in the back.  They are varying size so I can sort my glass.  (this photo was taken at the end of class, so no ROY G BIV for me right now)  I also asked her to make it taller than usual, so my rods could fit in as well as there's a fabric flap that flips over the top to hold them in.  I wanted it to be washable, and a solid color on the inside, so I could see the rods better too.
And finally, I wanted it long enough to carry a good amount of glass.  Nothing too short.  This one carried more than enough for my four day class that I just taught with lots of spare, "just in case" glass.

If I could change one thing, it would be cool to have a clear plastic front pocket in at least part of it.  I could then see if I have stashed very short rods.  

I also have one for my mandrels. I keep my spares in one of these roll ups too.  That fabric is washable, VERY sturdy and double sewn.  
Do you have a good way to carry your glass around?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Effetre Dark Pink...My Half Pound of Destiny.


Have you seen this batch of Effetre (Moretti) Dark Pink?  The colors make me want to scoop it up and just run it through my hands.

My friend Sylvie tried some and called to tell me I "need" it.  Then she called to tell me that she was going by Flametree Glass and would select some for me, if I wanted it.  I succumbed to glass lust and said okay.  I could tell it was my destiny.

Needless to say, a small pile of it is mine.  It's like a cross between pink and EDP 254- but in my opinion, it's not evil.  I haven't seen the same devitrifying as the other glass.  I've seen a little in some instances, but work it farther out in your flame and hit it solidly with heat before you put your kiln.  

I've already tried encasing it in both Ink Blue and CIM's Crocus which not only takes away any devitrification concerns, but is also quite yummy. I'm going to be using this a lot, as I'm working on my "Spring" beads.  It gets me in the mood for flowers and warm weather. 

This basket of glass is some of Flametree's inventory.  I wanted you to see the lusciousness of the variegated shades. For me, it will be fun experimenting and using the different colors within my half pound of glass.  It's like getting more for your money, because of the assorted colors.  Be aware it is pricey, but it sure is gorgeous too.

By the way, sorry about the black line in the photo.  That's my error and someday, (fingers crossed), I'll be proficient with a camera.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mini Tutorial ~ Marcy's Quick & Easy Bead Stands

Are you a beadmaker or bead lover who could use a little stand to display your beads? By any chance, have you bent a mandrel and don't want to throw it out, because it seems wasteful, but don't know for the life of you, what to do with it?

Well folks, here you go...
Marcy's Quick & Easy Beadstand - modeled by Jack the bunny. (I couldn't get Vanna White to do the honors.)

Here's what you need:

1 glass rod (any color you like)
1 approximately 1/2" cut piece of bent mandrel that needs to feel useful.
1 pair of mashers to flatten your bead
1 marver
1 pair of pliers or other gripping tool

Directions To Make Marcy's Beadstand
1. Choose your color glass and roll a barrel shape onto your mandrel.

2. Marver it into shape.
(make it a little longer and wider than you think you need, so there's a large enough stable place for your bead to sit.)

3. Flatten it with your mashers

4. While keeping your stand warm, pick up the little piece of mandrel, and heat just the end in the flame. Spot heat the location where you want to place it on your bead.

5. Poke the steel piece into the glass being sure not to place it exactly in the middle where your mandrel is. It will go a little behind that, so it can go down deeply into the glass.

6. While keeping your stand warm all over, spot heat the area again where it went in, so the glass flows to the connection point.

7. With your pliers, make any minor adjustments to be sure your mandrel piece is standing up straight. Look at it from the front and the side and adjust it.

8. Anneal same as any other bead.

I use these for photography, selling at shows and home display. They're quick and easy. If you want to get fancy, how about making the bead on one of your bead presses, (make sure that it's flat on both sides) and it will look really professional too.

Hope you enjoy this mini tutorial. It's a great way to feel like you're doing your part to reduce, re-use and recycle, as well as have something great to show for it too.

If you don't feel like trying them, my etsy shop has these bead stands for sale starting today.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Fat Tuesday ~ It's Mardi Gras and Time to Party!


Happy Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras to you. It's the last day to let your hair down, dance and just over do it.

I'm afraid that Phoebe here has been going over the top for a while now and is still debating what to give up for Lent. Oily fish, chocolate, and males are all on her list of potential items.

I have cautioned Phoebe to not indulge in too many drinks tonight and by all means, put some more clothes on. I have heard that some gals will do crazy things just for beads.

Being a bead already, I am hopeful that Phoebe will keep her top on and just let the good times roll.

For you fashionistas out there, Phoebe is wearing an Italian "string-er" bikini and Italian glass shoes too.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Glass Storage Systems

Okay, I'm the first one to admit, that I am not the most organized person in this world. I work hard to try to be, but it sure doesn't come easily. I am very right brained.

One of the ways that helps me is to have a glass storage rack, so that my colors are easily accessible and in view from my work table and torch.

So within a large metal framed rolling storage cart, my husband helped build my class storage system. He cut rain water downspouts to the right size, so that the ends of my glass peeps out. I didn't want the rods totally covered, because I want to be able to grab them quickly, if I run out of something that isn't already on my bench. (ha, ha, wait til you see some of those photos)

I like that they are square-ish instead of round. They stack together easily and with the space in between them, I can fit more types of glass or overflow of the same colors. It was designed years ago, before ASK, Vetrofond's bountiful odd lots, CIM and other 104 glass colors mushroomed to expand our palettes. Out of view is my rack of Bullseye, and my bag of boro and my 96 COE that lives in a dresser drawer and....if you work with glass, you know the drill. Seldom enough room for everything that you'd like and different COE's need to stay separate. (For my non glass artist friends, I'll interpret that language. Different types of glass heat and cool, (expand and contract) at different rates. If you don't have the same kind (COE- co-efficiency of expansion) together and mix them, they cool differently and cause your glass art to crack which is a real bummer.

If you look on the far left side of the photo, you can see my AF-99 versatile fire brick kiln which opens on top as well as has a bead door. I bought it from Arrow Springs about 9 years ago and it's worked just great. They have so many options now, that I'd probably choose something with more bells and whistles. I did wear out the front pad on my digital controller (too much digits pushing it, I guess) and bought a new one about 3 months ago, with great customer service.

And if you're one of my students from my last two classes who has popped in, hang on, I'll be blogging about class in the next few days. I had such a wonderful time with all of you and was delighted to see how well you learned, because your beads were marvelous!

See you all tomorrow with more glass.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Going Green

  My daughter has left "the ice" and is in greener pastures...literally.

With her job in Antarctica over, my daughter has left the volcanic rock and ice shelf and is now enjoying an extended camping and climbing tour around New Zealand and Australia.

Hope you've enjoyed the tidbits about Antarctica.  I know for me, it's been an education about a very different life style.

She has said that she's happy to see sunsets again.  The 24 hour sunlight was a very different environment.  And although we haven't chatted with her since she landed in the next continent, we know that she's filling her senses with people, pets, vegetation and probably lots of fresh veggies and spicy food.  Kiwis watch out.  If you see a banjo toting young woman who enjoys wearing purple and red together, you might just have spotted her.

 Thanks for the mini vacation while I'm teaching. We're back to glass topics tomorrow.  See you then.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Still Blog Slacking

I'm still teaching class in Atlanta and having a great time. My class was a delight.  It was so much fun watching the gang be so successful.  And concentrate!  Wow, it got really quiet in there.  But I couldn't have asked for a nicer group.  Today my next set of students arrive and I also demo for the Southern Flames' monthly meeting.  I want to show everyone how to make butterflies for our local Beads of Courage Program.

One of the beads that we make in the sculptural class is a simple self portrait bead.  And I also show my students how to make easy bead stands.  So when I was recording the earlier message from a few days ago, I found this box and the whole thing reminded me of a talking self portrait bead on a bead stand.  I guess I cracked myself up, because I wasn't able to record the message about it.  Here are a few seconds of what I would define as me cracking myself up.

So I'm blog slacking for a few more days and will be back on Monday to fill you in on my Atlanta Sculptural Glass Classes and Southern Flames demo.  See you then!  

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Glass Bead Interpretation of Klimt's "The Kiss"

Gustav Klimt painted "The Kiss" circa 1907. It's a gorgeous piece with the two lovers entwined in each others arms on a bronze background in the flower meadow.

Art Bead Scene, ( a very cool blog and hang out place), has a February Challenge to interpret this painting using a handmade art bead and then incorporate it in jewelry.

Loving this picture so much, made me want to try my hand and seeing what a bead would look like if I tried it.

Knowing I wanted to make it partially sculptural, I knew I had to edit out parts of it, or the detail would overtake the rest of the bead. I was sad to leave out the flower escarpment, but I knew that the main focus of the art piece was what I needed to show.

I used black and white to designate the man's section of the blanket or robe in the picture and a little blue and red to signify the woman's area of it.


Their arms and legs are in relief on top of the base bead to add the sculptural element to my bead.

Making the jewelry was the hardest for me. I wasn't sure what to do. If I strung it in primarily black, white and yellow, I thought it might seem a little too harsh, so I drew the brown out of the woman's hair to add a softer, more earthy feel to this ode to love. I used brown pearls, coconut and brass beads, along with a little copper too.

I'm still debating whether to offer it in my Etsy shop as a necklace or just the three lampwork beads that I made. I'm going to noodle on it and feel free to comment and help me make my decision.

Meanwhile, pop over to your torches and join me in this February Challenge. It's fun to stretch yourself in new ways. And this painting makes my heart sing and hope it affects yours the same way.

•••••••••••••••••
...and just in case you were wondering, we had a fabulous day in class here in Atlanta, GA. My students rocked the whimsical bead world and I can't wait to see all their beads coming out of the kiln. Today is day 2 for this class and then two more days with 8 new students.

Catch you later,
Marcy

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Teaching Glass, Woohoo! Here's the Blog Scoop...

Just wanted to give you a heads up that I'll be back to blogging on Monday. If you want the fascinating details, click to play. (If I sound really quiet and reserved in it. My son was sleeping in the next room.) Please note, I am saving my extrovert hula hoop tap dancing routine while singing karaoke for another video.

Later gator,
Marcy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Etsy Treasuries...Inspiration, Creativity & Fun

If I am at looking for a new bead idea, sometimes I play my "Etsy Treasury Game". Have you played it?

First I go to the Home Page of the Etsy Treasuries. I pick a page and scroll for a treasury. Then, without reading the titles, I click on one.

I have to choose something from that specific treasury to inspire my next beads.

I can't make it just like what it is. That's too close to copying, but I can find a color, theme, style or an element and use the general idea of it.

Because each treasury only lasts a few days at the most, I have an ever changing source of inspiration.

Here is one that my friend Lis Kidder made. My little strawberry is in it. And do you know about the "secret" other treasury on Etsy? We have Treasury West. It's not advertised, because it is the Etsy test treasury, when they are working on changes and it can disappear. (Not magically). But here is the url for it in case you want to check it out.

When you're just peeking through them, please don't forget to click on the images and comment. It means a lot to all of us who have items in them.

Try making one yourself. It's lots of fun. You don't have to be a seller on Etsy to do it, but you do need to be registered. And of course, if you do make one, I'd be ever so thankful for you to include something from my Studio Marcy Etsy shop.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Made By Hand. By Me UWIB

One of my beads, Jake the Super Hero, is being featured in this
Unique Women In Business (UWIB) Spotlight. My thanks to Rachel of Etsy's Bookwormz (really cool bookmarks) for including me. Come see the rest of the page here and explore a bit.

This spotlight features fellow members of UWIB, which is a group I recently joined.
I have found all kinds of marketing information and good products from my fellow members.

I like the way it's run. You have to be referred. And you need to buy something from that person who referred you. After that, one of the requirements is that you buy something from one of the members each month. So far I have bought a beautiful journal and some delicious smelling lotion. Although there are very inexpensive items available too.

Most of the members are artists or artisans, but there are some who represent commercial companies too. I like this aspect. It helps keep the group diversified. The same company can not be represented by more than one person, so it stays unique.

I have not had any sales yet from the group, but I'm hoping that I can meet more of the jewelry makers and other artisans and that they'll choose some of my work one of these months. In the meantime, I'll just soak up the marketing tips and see where it takes me.

If you would like to know more, feel free to email me. I'd be happy to refer you. StudioMarcy (at) gmail.com.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tools, Glorious Glass Artist Tools


I don't use a lot of tools, yet I have collected quite a few. There are certain times that one of these babies would make my job easier. Or perhaps I've taken a class and at the time, been totally convinced that I will be using that tool again in the future.

Sometimes I design a bead, just so I can use a specific tool. It's like my own personal tool challenge. What would be a "Marcy" bead, if I used this one? Do you do that too?

And not being the most organized, (ha, that's an understatement), I keep a lot of my tools on my work table. The top photo shows that I stash them in a wide flower vase (vertical storage helps!) and in coffee cups.

My lower photo shows the tools that I have been using recently. The bottom one is one of the Leonardo Imprinters that I mentioned yesterday. Wanted to show you what they look like.

As you can see, my Stump Shaper has gotten quite a work out. I forget, and sometimes it migrates into my flame. The razor wiggles too much, but I still use it. I just need some fine lines sometimes.

The slotted paddle is similar to what Amy at Zoozi sells now. If you're doing sculptural beads that need to stand by themselves, I highly recommend it. It gives you an even surface, which is so helpful. I just checked and they are currently out of stock, but you could maybe make your own with a graphite marver and carving the slot.

These aren't all of my current favorites. I have others that just didn't make it into the photo.
What's in your tool box?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

There's A Bug Going Around


Have you ever heard someone say they "must have caught a bug"? Or "there are a lot of bugs going around"?
I thought I'd show you what one of them looks like.

This is Clarice the Flu bug. It wasn't hard for me to figure it out. She has wings and she flies. She even has on her coordinating travel hat with the stripe around it. Usually, she is the type who flies in and stays for a day or two and then leaves. This time, she wants a permanent home. She won't be a Flu Bug anymore, but a Flown Bug, and I'm sure non contagious at that point.

Clarice has a spiral design on her tummy. The spiral imprinter is from Karen Leonardo. She has 10 different designs which I think are 13mm. I enjoy using them and look forward to buying more. She's having a special for people who are entering her Glass Challenge through TAM.

And if those greens look a little different to you, they're some of the CIM glass colors. These look so lovely with the periwinkle. Like this Flu Bug is just a fun addition to your collection of lampwork glass beads by me, Marcy Lamberson of Studio Marcy.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Who Loves Ya Baby

Happy Valentines Day

Selling on Etsy and curious to know a little more information about who loves your shop and indvidual items?
Maybe you'd even like to track what time of day they are adding hearts to your favorite offerings?

And for people who love to snoop, you can even check out how many hearts your competitors have and whether the person "hearting" the item has an Etsy shop or not. Wow, that's a lot of info.

Pop on over to Craft Cult's website for their Heartomatic. It's easy to just type in the shop's name or their etsy number. Voila, instant stats.

Now how do we use this information? I would perhaps look to see whether any of this coincided with when I list my items, or perhaps if I was on Front Page in a Treasury. The Front Page is a seller's dream with so many more views of our items. Or perhaps you have a competitor who sells something similar to what you offer? You can compare their hearts to yours. (And either feel great, or perhaps ramp up your advertising and promotion.)

If you want to be a Sherlock the old fashioned way, just stop by my shop and click on individual beads. And if you're feeling generous, send me a Valentines Day present by hearting a few of my glass characters. Give me a little sugar baby and share the love.

http://www.StudioMarcy.etsy.com

Friday, February 13, 2009

Artist Self Promotion in This Economy


Most of us artists are pretty happy hanging out by ourselves for a good part of the day and doing our artwork. I mean, that's what we enjoy the most, right?

Well, right. But we aren't going to sell anything unless we put ourselves forward, let the public see a little who we are and what we do. Our glass art doesn't just sell itself, even though we would dearly love it.

But face it, the economic cosmos are swirling and right now, we're getting just the debris. High end retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstroms reported double digit drops in December. I've read that shoppers are changing their buying style from high end looking good, to feeling good. In the retail world, less bling and more classic styles are moving along.

While I'm no economic marvel or even Ben Stein, I think this could bode well for our industry in the long run. If people are buying more classic clothes, then won't them want more original art jewelry at a reasonable price to make themselves stand out?

So how do they find us? It certainly won't be sitting behind our torches in our studios. We need to put ourselves out there and promote ourselves. Have you signed up for Twitter.com, Facebook or even Classmates.com? Do you have a solid online presence? What do people find when they google your name or your business name? Most importantly, can they find you...easily?

And how are you advertising your glass art beads? Are you on Flickr.com? Do you have a blog? Post on public forums and just as importantly, have a local presence? Are you advertising in places where people who would want to buy your work might be?

Tell us what you're doing to put yourself and your art "out there". You don't need to give away business secrets, but a few hints and tips would be nice. Let's hear them.

And by the way, this is my current Facebook profile photo. It makes me laugh and apparently it amuses others too. If you look closely, that's my black handbag on my head and I took the photo with my Mac computer's camera. Who knows, maybe I can start a trend with recycled handbag hats?

See you tomorrow. I've won the Marie Antoinette Blog Award from Sterling Sue and will blog about it. But first, I need to bake a cake so we can celebrate appropriately.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Big Day for Lucky Winners...One World One Heart Giveaway

And the winner of this year's One World, One Heart Giveaway is........ (drumroll please).......Bella Modiste.

She was chosen fairly by the "FaceBook" method. Let me describe this uber unscientific, yet very fair method...
1. Sign into facebook
2. Ask your friends for a number between the range needed, but don't tell them why
3. Take the first number and use it.

It works for me. And beadmaker extraordinaire, Nancy Tobey was the first to answer.

So congratulations to Naomi, who also has Etsy shop, "She Sews by the Seashore", and I'll be contacting you.

By the way, if you're on Facebook and want to friend me, just let me know that you're one of my blog readers. I'm there under my name, Marcy Lamberson. And if you'd like to follow me on Twitter.com, I'm there under StudioMarcy. (I forgot that italics can be so much fun!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Meet Lucite Green ~ Margie Deeb's Choice for Spring's Color of 2009

Margie Deeb, Author of the Color Report for Bead Artists and color expert has written in her "Margie's Muse" about Lucite Green this month. In her opinion, she would love for it to be Spring's color of 2009.

And personally, I would have to agree with her. Not only do I love the color, but also she used my lampwork fish necklace to illustrate it. (Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing it. It's not on my website)

Margie's latest publication, The Spring Summer 2009 Color Report for Bead Artists, shows Panetone's (the world reknowned authority on color) 10 chosen colors for the season. Margie takes these industry colors and shows you how to use them in different palettes, combinations and percentages. What a difference it makes!

Margie includes lots of beaded jewelry and pieces to show the reader how the combinations and amounts of each color look in actual pieces that were made by her readers. I don't know about you, but that sure helps me a lot.

And here's one more tip. Margie has year's of color information available for FREE in pdf form on her website through her Margie's Muse and she also does podcasts. Just go here to download the pdf's. You'll learn so much. I took a day long class from Margie and learned so much about the choices I was making unconsciously, and how to improve and add variety to what my natural taste is. I'm a big fan.

And if you're interested in which glass I used to achieve this Lucite Green color, it was Check Glass's 53122 Mint Green which is COE 102. I love this color. It says fresh and happy to me. I pair it with aqua for a beachy look.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sketch First?



















Do you ever sketch out what you're going to make in advance?  Sometimes I do, and most of the time, I don't.

But if I'm in a Dr.'s waiting room and reading something that gives me ideas, I tend to draw out what I'm considering.  Here are two examples.  I was at a friend's house and we were leafing through magazines.  Obviously, they were not Martha Stewart or Better Homes & Gardens, but they did give me a few ideas for faces.  

I'm not good at drawing.  I think you can tell that right away.  But I can get the "essence" of what I want to convey down on paper.  

The sketch on the left was of a Tiki type face.  It was a wooden sculpture and I really liked the wide mouth with teeth and the smiling eyes.  I am thinking about trying a glass tiki carving that has a body attached too.  We'll see.

The other one has a look that is very appealing to me.  Eye glasses are always a challenge, so that was one thing I like, and of course the chubby cheeks are something that often occurs in my beads.  The mustache and goatee can turn this fellow into a Colonel Sanders holding a chicken, an Oktoberfest beer drinker in leiderhosen with a beer mug in each hand or even a mad scientist with crazy liquids spilling out of test tubes.

Now all I need is a little spare time in which to try them.....

Monday, February 9, 2009

What Big Eyes You Have

I enjoy making little owl beads in bright colors and even sometimes wearing clothes or accessories.

Meet Sven, the uber cool owl.

This time I wanted to change it up a little bit and instead of wearing a necklace, hat or peace symbol, this one has particularly large eyes. Which makes me think this owl has had too much coffee. He looks a little stressed out. I've felt that way plenty of times.

I used commercial murrini for these, because there they were, sitting in my murrini container just staring at me.
(Of course you can easily make them too.)

These give you a good view of how they are made. You can see the center core color which is a dark transparent green, like deep grass green and then opaque white, medium grass green
transparent, opaque white again and then light grass green transparent. The darker core going to a lighter outside color makes the center visually recede.

When I apply murrini, I spot heat the area where the murrini is going and I gently warm the murrini so it doesn't crack when placed on the warm glass. I use my tweezers to place it where I want it to go. At that point it is sticking out a lot. Gently heat the base bead around the edges and again carefully push it a little farther in. If you heat directly onto the murrini and make it too warm, the design will distort. And it seems like the opaque white spreads really easily if too warm. So slightly heat and press over and over until it's in place.

Because the rectangular murrini shape gives him a bit of a 60's mod feel, his eyes definitely have the starring role. I wanted to keep the rest of the bead simple, so it would not distract from them. The back side has his little tail that I make in the shape of a heart.

This bead is less than an inch tall. And if you enjoy a pun or two, I was on quite a roll, when I wrote the description. Click and enjoy. And then go use up some of your old murrini in a bead and send me a photo. And remember, stepping outside of the coloring lines in how you use them makes your beads interesting and unique. I'd love to see what you create.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Fusing Glass in the Microwave


Yesterday, I took a microwave fusing class from Sylvanye "Sam" Roh, who is quite an artist in her own right. I had bought one of these micro kilns on a whim and totally messed up when I tried it. Even to slightly mar the inside of the kiln by melting glass against it. Doh!

So when I saw the ad for Sam's class, I decided to chance it, and I am so glad I did. It was a blast. Sam
is a delightful and enthusiastic teacher who wants to
share her knowledge. Those are my favorite kind.

I have never been comfortable cutting glass, so Sam showed me her system and I felt good about it. She explained about her firing schedule for microwaves and what to do, (which is where I messed up before) And she gave us all kinds of hints, tips and tricks. So not only did I learn a quick and fun little thing to do, but I found someone who is as passionate about teaching well as I am.

So here's my take on microwave fusing. First of all, I wouldn't use the same microwave as the one that you use for cooking food. We discussed it and Sam is concerned about kiln paper particles getting into food.

I think this is really fun, if it's just a once in a while type thing to do for an afternoon. With the microkiln that Sam sells, you can fit up to seven 1" pendants. But I would recommend buying it from someone who really knows how to use them and gives out the full necessary information with the kiln including the safety information. Sam suggests wearing a mask. And be warned, the new kilns have an odor for the first few firings. And although Sam says the glass is annealed at the end of the cycle, if you follow her directions, I'm still a little concerned. I plan to batch anneal my creations after they're done.

So now I'm in business. I'm going to have fun dinking around with this and messing with little designs. I'm still sticking to lampwork, but at least I know how to use this funny little invention and have made a new friend.

Saturday, February 7, 2009


Here's an update about my daughter down in Antarctica. Sparky has been traveling around a bit.

This first photo is a picture of her at the real South Pole. (Kind of funny looking striped pole, isn't it?)
There's a new visitors' center building there, but I wonder how many people make it to visit. She arrived on an airplane that had skis where the wheels normally are located.










Thls photo is where the ocean meets the ice.
It's still daylight 24/7 . She says she misses having lots of fresh produce, being around pets and children and of course she misses regular vegetation. She's my outdoor kid who loves it all.

I'm really happy that she had this wonderful opportunity to experience Antarctica, but I know she's really going to enjoy the next step of her adventure as she hikes and climbs her way around New Zealand and part of Australia after she leaves this job.

I always have a problem with photos in these blogs and I apologize if it looks more like a crazy quilt. But I wanted to show you a couple of photos. My friend Alice asked about their water supply down there and Sparks said that they use ocean water and purify it. So that's my latest update and if you ever want to see the current temperature down there. Look on the lower right side of my blog and there's a little widget that will tell you.

Happy weekend. See you tomorrow with some real glass information.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Lost in Translation? I'm International.


I've been translated into Russian and so delighted about it.

I saw my ice cream cone mini tutorial here, and it sure was a surprise. But a good one. Maya, if you are reading this, please look farther back in my blog, and I have other mini tutorials and you are welcome to use them.

And if you can, could you please post and tell us a little about beadmaking in your country. I think you might be from Belarus. Where do you get your glass? Is there a market for beads in your country? Do you sell at outdoor markets or shops, or is it all through the internet? Do you have glass teachers there and is there anything we can help you with? I have the translator on the right side of my blog, if you need it, or if any of my regular readers want to ask questions. Hopefully Maya will find us again.

I know I have lots of readers who are not from the States. I would love to hear from you also. Please tell us what beadmaking is like in your countries. I would love to see this small art niche in a large world, get a little smaller.

Anyone else have questions or answers? Let's get some fascinating conversations going.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Size Does Matter


Yesterday I received a convo, (that's Etsy talk for conversation or private email), from a customer who had seen this bracelet in Bead Dreams Magazine January 2009 issue and wanted to make her own version of it.

Could I make her a mermaid and a seahorse that are .5" tall? That's just under 13mm. I measured the mermaids on this bracelet and they are about .7" or 18mm and remembered how hard it was to make the wee complicated beads.

She explained that she wanted a more delicate bracelet and the smaller charms would better fit into her design.
Needless to say, the seashells, sea glass and other less detailed and rounder beads would be so much easier to reduce and she did choose a starfish and palm tree in the diminutive size too. So today, part of my studio schedule includes attempting a half inch mermaid.

Charm sized beads are a great way to use up stringer and other little bits that are hanging around your bench. I love making sculptural miniatures which make great charms, earrings or dangles. I keep a small section, (ha, ha) in my Etsy shop.

If anyone else wants to join me in trying this, I'd love to see your efforts. The colors of her hair and tail have been left up to me. I'm smiling thinking that yellow could be interesting. That way I could make her wearing an itsy bitsy teensy weensy yellow polka dot bikini, that she wore for the first time today. (Please note, the last line is only amusing if you are about my age and know this song. But if you do, it will probably be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. My apologies.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Musings On The Importance of Name & Reputation


Every so often I visit the Neiman Marcus website.  Sometimes it's just to dream over some of their clothes and other times it's to see what they are offering in the jewelry section too.  (I drool over some of it.)

I was thinking about it this morning and their Glamour Heart Pendant by  Baccarat.  The tag line says, "Baccarat: A long-standing tradition of excellence in exquisitely crafted crystal and glassware."

This little Valentines Day necklace has the following features "Ruby full-lead crystal, Sterling silver, 1 1/8"H x 1 1/2"W & Handcrafted in France."

This little baby retails for $225.00

I wanted to contrast it with this cute, but relatively unknown winged heart that I'm offering for Valentines Day.

•  Two colors of glass
•  Will add Sterling if requested
•  Handcrafted in Atlanta, Georgia
•  Glass from 2 Continents, not just one.
•  Name of actual artisan known

This little baby retails for  $19.00

Okay, so it's not exactly an apples to apples comparison, but I think my slightly quirky heart measures up just fine.

And I know that I need to build my name  and reputation.  Because honestly I think Bacarrat's product is beautiful, but our lampwork hearts and other offerings are creative and wonderful in our own right.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Devil Wears Glass

Meet Ozzie, who is a little bit devilish.  He's one of my little Valentines Day offerings.  

He's heard that chicks dig bad boys, so he's doing his best, although he can't take credit for the economy.  He does have his theories on who can be though.

Ozzie has a gift of flowers in his hands and is all decked out in his devilish type clothes.  I suggested that they might be a little snug, but he thinks he looks...well.....HOT.  

Ozzie is looking for love and hoping someone will adopt him and show him a little.   He figures if a glass artist adopts him, they'd have something in common- a love of fire and flames.

This shameless plug was brought to you by Studio Marcy on Etsy, and a reminder that my BOGO 1/2 Off sale continues through 2/7/09.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tropical Bead Based on Fabric From Studio

In my creativity class I was given homework to make a bead based on a piece of fabric with a pattern on it. I chose the bright, fun fabric from my mandrel holder which is shown below.

It's two sided, because there is quite a variety of flowers and leaves to choose from. And of course I took the wrong angle photo to show you my inspiration. I promise, there's a part of the bag that has these same flowers on it.

So if you're at a loss as to what your next bead should look like, why not go to your closet, or as in my case, to your studio and grab fabric that makes you smile

And don't forget, I've got a great sale going on.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

BIG SALE ~ Etsy Glass Artists & I'm One of Them!


The Etsy Glass Artists Street Team is having their own type of Economic Stimulus Package. It's called a BIG Sale. I'm participating in it and want you to come by my shop for a whole lot of savings.

Starting today, the Etsy Glass Artists (EGA) is having a "February Fling" Sale from February 1st through the 7th. See each shop's Announcement and the list below for their offerings! Please use the code "FEBFLINGS" in your notes to buyer upon checking out so you can get the sale price. A great deal and a great time to put a little sparkle into your day.

The reason why this is cool, is because you'll see sales in all kinds of glass art- stained glass, enamel, fused, lampwork and sometimes there are other mediums in their shops too. Some of it is jewelry, home decor, garden art, bobbleheads(of course!) and more!

Etsy Glass Artists "February Fling" Sale
February 1st - February 7th

Participating Members:

Woohoo, this is me>>>>http://www.StudioMarcy.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off (Free Shipping on orders over $40 too)

And these are my friends.....
http://leahpellegrini.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://vickileigh.etsy.com/ 25% off everything
http://jewelrybynatsuko.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://creationsbykris.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://glasscat.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off on fused and dichroic jewelry
http://groovyglassgirl.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://mycabincreations.etsy.com/ 20% off
http://msotherdenartglass.etsy.com/ 10% off
http://susanlambert.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://rwillisglassartist.etsy.com/ 20% off Shop
http://westernartglass.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://paulasstressart.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://prizmatic.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off
http://popko.etsy.com/ Free Shipping
http://colorshoppestudio.etsy.com/ 20% off Stained Glass Jewelry
http://giapet.etsy.com/ BOGO 1/2 Off

*BOGO - Buy One Get One 1/2 off

I will be adding at least 3 new beads daily throughout the sale, and that's no croc....
(sorry, I couldn't resist)