After a long break of more than two months, I am back working in my studio again. I had been preparing for two very major events in June and July and it had taken a toll on me, I must admit. It had been very taxing as these were another two major events for me each year - Bead & Button Show (USA) and Art in Action (UK). I was burned out and simply couldn't face the studio after the UK trip.
I had to cancel my trip to Oakland for the annual ISGB Gathering as I had forgotten to book my flight to San Francisco on time. The fare was not at all acceptable since it was about 2 months ago that I tried to book a flight. I feel that at this stage, there are other priorities in our lives presently especially since our older daughter Cara will start university in fall and we have to set aside enough financially for her to live on her own during her tertiary education.
There are and shall be several changes at home soon - Cara (who, by the way, just started selling her work on Etsy and started her blog a few days ago) shall be going to university in October and it won't be long when I have to cut my apron strings. It is so very difficult to let your first-born go - now I know how my own mum feels!! It doesn't look like she will be attending any university near home which is what makes it hard for me.
Cara has decided to sell her safety pin bracelets and necklaces which she has been making for the past few years. She designs and makes them by herself. She has also taken some of my lampwork beads to make them into necklaces as well. Do check her out on Etsy (caralynnschubert) and her blog is under caralynnschubert.blogspot.com
Anyway, I have made several new beads with Bullseye glass - one of my top favorite glass to use. The glass works wonderfully although I have learned to be extremely patient with Bullseye glass. It loves a slow 'cooler' flame and definitely dislikes being worked too hot - it bubbles, spits or explodes. Treat it right and you'd see how lovely the final results are. In this set, I have used blue color rods such as Robin Egg Blue, Steel Blue and Aqua Blue. The designs are made with French Vanilla and the dots in one of their lustre glass rods.
I tried to make some bails for the disc beads which I made the last time but it has been rather unsuccessful and frustrating as well. So I have nothing to show you at this time for the disc beads. I have however during my 'burn-out' phase started on some metalwork and created this sterling silver bracelet which I call 'Dog Tags'. The entire piece is hand-fabricated and the tags either have holes drilled right through or have surface indentations (made with a drill bit though not drilled right through) or have been hammered. Designing and making this bracelet took me about two weeks - mistakes made during these two weeks have been painful (!!) but had taught me what to avoid and remember to do the next time.
I had wanted to include my glass beads in this bracelet and planned to use black-and-white beads. This turned out to be quite a disappointment for me as I feel the beads are too large. Then I had to also remove several tags as it became messy - not quite unlike how I feel these days with my lampworking!! Anyway, I have decide to leave out the beads and attach all the tags on again. Oh, I forgot to say that the tags make such lovely and happy tinkling sounds.
I realize now that I need another 'outlet' besides lampworking. It had certainly became very one-sided with lampworking and has led me to a burn-out phase which I hope to avoid in future.
Taking that into consideration, I shall be re-doing my studio to accommodate my metalworking during the next two weeks (yes, my husband has his annual leave presently and we can re-do the studio together). I have also decided to teach my last lampworking workshops this month in UK and shall take a 'sabbatical' from teaching for at least a year. I would like to have spend more time creating new ideas by possibly combining lampwork with other media.