These are some of the newly finished pieces I had for sale at the Guy Brewster Hughes Gallery in Lake Placid on Friday. They are made from my handmade glass beads and some of the yummy gemstone beads I've been hoarding for the last, oh, ten years or so...! These will all be for sale on VanBeads.com very, very soon, but for now, here's a little sneak peek...
This piece, tentatively called "Surf 'n' Turf", is made from six of my handmade beads and a strand of genuine Peruvian opal rondelles. The beads were made with a base of ivory glass over which I rolled some silver foil, and then layered some aqua and coral glass. The whole piece is very earthy and organic but very artsy at the same time. This is going to be a hard one to part with, but I want it to find a good home.
This is a piece made with another set of favorite beads called Tiger Beads. I think these were some of the very first beads I made with my kiln - because they were so big and chunky, they never survived the cooling process in the vermiculite. I was particularly upset by the loss of a great, big sculptured focal I made in this style. But now I've got the kiln, I don't lose any to heat cracks. Anyway, about the necklace - to accent the Tyger Beads, I've strung them with some very dark rutilated quartz. There are so many inclusions in these beads, they almost look black until you take a closer look at them. I alternated them with some thick onyx washers and silver spacers. The beads themselves are made from ivory, coral and intense black glass that has been stretched and wound and stretched and wound to give me those lovely ink-spot patterns, and then wound with a thick layer of clear to magnify the patterns underneath. Very cool with a t-shirt and jeans!
Okay, another piece that I love. I made these beads by forming a thick cylinder with transparent colored glass, and then wound clear glass around the ends but didn't melt it in. (Hmmm, that gives me an idea - what would have happened if I HAD melted it in?) Anyway, they were just lolling about on my work table for the longest time, until I saw these fun, funky faceted Czech glass beads from the Czechs in the Mail bead club, and then I knew I had a design! Eureka! I love this piece because it's colorful, funky and refined all at the same time. I tried the piece on with a brightly colored t-shirt, and I just loved it.
This piece is made from two of my favorite things - handmade glass beads and vintage German glass beads! Woo-hoo! I swear, to anyone who is looking at this piece, the funky cubes in shades of yellow and green and coral really are glass. They've been etched from here to the moon and back, but they really are glass. When I had displayed this at a shop years ago, more than one customer came in, believing themselves to be an "authority" on polymer clay, and telling me, the one who made the beads, in no uncertain terms that those were most certainly polymer clay and not glass. Well, surprise, folks, they really are glass. And I've got a chipped one somewhere in my bead box to prove it! Hehehe... I don't know where this one came from, but I had a ball making the square boxy-shaped beads. (I think this was the first set I made while testing out various work chairs in my studio.)
And speaking of the moon... I got an idea to start a series of hollow glass beads named after the planets. This is the first one, called "Jupiter". It is made from that yummy transluscent yellow glass I got as a promotion from Frantz Art Glass one summer when I was stocking up, and at first, I thought, this is the ugliest color of glass rod I have ever seen. What the hell am I going to DO with it?! But, sure enough, one day last spring, when I was torching at Mary Jane's house, I decided to make my warm up beads with a rod of it, and lo and behold, "Jupiter" was born! It is a hollow bead with coral tips, and wound with a thin stripe of opaque brown. It, too, slept on my work table until last weekend, I was lying in bed one morning trying to wake up when the idea hit me. (There's not much that can get me out of bed before 6:00 a.m., but a good design idea will do it every time!) The wireworking part was a little trickier, trying to get the two large silver beads to balance on the eyepin that holds the lampwork bead, but I think I finally got it. When worn, it hangs very nicely and complements almost any outfit. Next up: Pluto, created after I heard that a panel of international scientists have stripped Pluto of it's title of planet!
Whew, I think that's it for now. Did lots and lots and lots of photographing and photoshopping today. I need to take a vacation so I can get some work done! Peace, everyone!