Sunday, December 29, 2013

SPRING COMES TWICE THIS YEAR...

I'm not complaining, just saying... that we're getting spring twice within this year in northern Germany. We definitely had a lovely fall so it makes up for this current miserable wet year-end winter (or spring).

A couple of weeks ago, I fell heads over heels with transparent light aqua glass and placed an immediate order for it - so seldom that I am out of light aqua. Ever have that situation when you are drawn to a colour so much so that you think of it day and night, dream about it in your sleep, can't wait for the glass package to arrive so that you can rip off the package to melt the rod into a bead right away? Well, yeah, that was exactly how I felt and what I did when the package arrived. Ok, I admit, I ordered several other coloured rods at the same time but hey, it was a totally sober order - i.e. very small order.

I am into light colours these days, don't know why. Wonder if getting older influences my choice of colours? Becoming mellow as I mature (diplomatic way of saying getting older...)? 

Anyway, I am still stuck on making glass cabochon toppers - I always have been passionate about making glass cabochons - remember my collaboration with E. Prior who set my cabochons into finished pieces? I simply love working with cabochons! Designs are complete on a cabochon, it makes me feel good when I'm done with it. 

Here is a small selection of my latest glass cabochon toppers (by the way, these cabochon toppers have an insert nut on the reverse side, suitable for use with the interchangeable jewellery system e.g. Silberwerk GmbH, German).

May I take this opportunity to wish you a very happy and healthy new year. Enjoy the rest of 2013.


























Thursday, December 12, 2013

THAT VERY TOLERANT AND HARDY DOT

More of my glass cabochon toppers, these can be seen my website, with layers and layers of dots. I can't imagine glass beads without dots. I mean, no matter how hard you try, dots are can't be avoided, can they? The glass rod itself is round and it's like the first thing you do once you have wrapped a core of glass on your mandrel - you dab your glass rod on your wound bead and see, a dot is born/created/made!

Dots are very tolerant, it's really up to you to give life to the dots. Dots are immensely forgiving, you can pile one dot on top of the other and it still stays faithful as a dot or you can squeeze another dot next to the first dot and continue in this manner to distort the dots into a triangle or a line. You cover part of a dot and it becomes a new design. You drag through the dot and it can turn into a little heart. You poke the centre of the dot, cover it with glass again and you've got yourself a trapped bubble. Dot several dots within a dot, melt them down, poke the middle and a flower emerges! Amazing, isn't it?

Dots are fun, it provides a rhythm whenever I do dot-work: one-two, one-two, one-two, or one-two-three, one-two-three or even cha-cha-cha, cha-cha-cha (it's a little difficult if I do "one-two, cha-cha-cha, one-two, cha-cha-cha", then the second dot is bigger than the first, see what I mean? Of course, unless that's what I want.) That's how I make my dots have almost the same size - I count as I apply the rod onto the glass bead.

I have just made a couple of new cabochon toppers (no, they're not the images below) - I will show them in my next blog. I have to set up for the photography work - I do not have a fixed set-up photo studio, my photo set-up is always dismantled after each photo session.

Do join me for my next blog and in the meantime, enjoy the rest of the week and may you have a relaxing weekend. 









Wednesday, December 4, 2013

GLASS CABOCHON TOPPERS

If you follow me on Facebook on my Page there, you probably already seen these glass cabochon toppers. These are interchangeable glass tops with an insert nut on the reverse. 

Not sure what they are? Well, basically you need a pendant bail or ring shank with a thread to be able to use these cabochon tops. These cabochon tops are quite large and can be worn either as a pendant or a ring. They measure anywhere from 37-43mm. Interested in purchasing them? You can find them as well as the accessories (pendant bail or ring shank) on my webstore or on Etsy.






More cabs on my next blog! Do join me again next time and in the meantime, enjoy the rest of your week!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

THE MIND AND THE HAND...

Does that happen to you too - I mean, certain things that you like to keep doing? Habits are settled tendencies which maybe triggered off by certain situations and it  makes you simply do what you like to do in that associated state of mind. 

What I am talking about? My stringer work, the patterns that I like to do with stringers, that's what I'm talking about. 

In my blog "That Wonderful Creative Pause" I mentioned about struggling with stringer work and how I decided to dump the technique. Well, I realised that the difficulty was not just in getting or remembering the technique (it was always there, just catalogued in my head, probably way in the back), it was the mindset that was blocking my hand. I wanted to come up with a new design but my mind was set on the designs that I love doing. I seriously believe in the mind controlling the hand - ooooh, scary...

Anyway, once I let my mind take over - yes, that does sound scary... - my hand began doing the stringer work. You can say, it simply flowed. 

This is what I have come up with my stringer work thus far:





Ok, now the problem is, how to make my mind stop repeating this design and try out something new...sigh...the mind games of a lampie...

On the fun side, I started a blog about Jenny, our darling dachshund. If you have time and interest, pop into it but let me warn you, it's the beginning and I do not have much posts up right now, in fact, just the first one and you might already have glimpsed the photos on Facebook.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Summer Vacation in Allgäu

This summer we had a fabulous and relaxing two-week vacation in Allgäu, German/Austrian Alps. The mountains border Germany and Austria. Breathtakingly beautiful area, daily trekking done in two weeks. Jenny, our year-old Dachshund then, refused to walk by the 7th day during one of our longer treks. Of course, we took turns to carry her, usually a five-minute pause in our arms was enough and she'd resume either trotting with us. 

She was leashed most of the time as her hard-wired genetics would have chased all the wild out of their homes and the mountains. Yes, no doubt she'll do the dachshund clans proud, if given the chance to prove her bloodline.


Do join me in my next blog where I will have a couple of new bead sets. Till then, let me share my impressions of the great German/Austrian Alps:

















Friday, November 15, 2013

NEW GLASS CABOCHON TOPPERS WITH STRINGER WORK!

Ahhhh...I've been practising and working with stringers! Here are a couple of new glass cabochon toppers, for the interchangeable jewellery system, i.e. they all come with an insert nut on the reverse side of the toppers. Not sure about what I am talking about, then please don't hesitate to contact me for more details.

These cabby-toppers are pretty big, they 36mm onwards. I am using transparent coloured glass with mainly black stringers. I will be listing them either on Etsy or my own web-store over the weekend.









THAT WONDERFUL CREATIVE PAUSE...

I originally posted the below blog on my website and now I have decided to continue using this blog instead. So, this is what I wrote on 4th Nov. 2013:

Welcome to my all-new website! (Yes, I have re-done my website!) After a pretty long creative pause - a wise decision - I am pleased to be back onboard! Call it a fresh new start, if it pleases you; and as with each new beginning, it's naturally apt to re-design and re-style my website. My website now includes my own online store.

What have I been up to in the past 18 months? Lots.

The saddest part of the sabbatical was I had to let go off our 15+ year old Golden Retriever, Sandy, last June. My old faithful dog reminded me the virtues of patience and toe-tapping sure isn't going to speed up anything. I am immensely grateful for the 15 memorable years Sandy has given to me and my family.

We still miss him now. He was a huge part of our lives.

Sandy, taken in 2010

The happiest part of my sabbatical is our new family member, Jenny - a red-coloured, short-haired standard dachshund! She joined us in August when she turned nine weeks old. Jenny's breeders, Anja and Stefan Wiese, own and breed a line of smooth-haired standard dachshunds called "von Maaskamp".


Jenny, at nine weeks old

At first, my husband and I though that we ought not to get another dog right away so we can do things spontaneously on the weekends. Well, that thought didn't last very long. After four weeks of moping around - the evenings were the worst without Sandy - I decided it was time to get a new dog.

Before Sandy's passing, we talked about getting  smaller breed for me to lift the dog if necessary especially in its old age. I used to have dachshunds and that more or less settled what breed we'll next have. We are meant to have Jenny, who is born on the same day that Sandy passed away on. It is a parting gift from Sandy - one dog departs this world to let the next enter.

I begin each day, no matter how the weather is, with a two-hour walk with Jenny - it's not just Jenny who needs the walk, I do too. These walks have come to signify a fresh new slate each day - you start with a clear head and mind, you can take on any task.


Jenny, July 2013

Sometime this year, I hauled my glass rods, bench burner (torch) back into my studio - our younger daughter, Sydney, moved to Hamburg to cut down travel time to her university and we, my husband and I, converted her former bedroom into my studio-to-be/office. Indeed I was proud of having a "new" studio-cum-office; it was sparkling clean, tidy and neat. Good for a brand new re-start, isn't it?

Well, well, well, it sure wasn't like what we always say about bike-riding, "ohhhh, you can never forget how to ride a bicycle...". Yeah, whoever said that definitely didn't lampwork. I may plan and design my pieces on paper before turning on the torch and kiln, but I do not keep any notes on my techniques. So much for that "can't-forget-how-to-ride-a-bicycle" notion.

After countless trials and errors with stringer work. I decided literally, to hell with stringer work, and began from ground zero again - the little dot. Ahah! That was just what I needed to get that rhythm again. Can't begin to tell you what it means to get into that lampworking rhythm, it's like, you suddenly found the light switch while groping in the dark for ages and desperately have to pee (for that matter, I do know where our home toilet light switch is! I'm talking about being at e.g. a campsite or friend's house or hotel room...). That relief washes over you, you haven't forgotten how to ride a bike after all! You just forgot how to use the brakes when going downhill too fast...

Anyway to cut the l o n g story short, I have been dotting my beads. I have also done a couple of beads with stringer work, it did work after I figured out the P's and the Q's but I became carried away with making glass cabochon toppers once I found out my supplier was making larger discs for the on-mandrel cabochon toppers. If you have been to my website for the new work, please check out my new work, documented by Ralph Kerpa, a freelance photographer whom I work with.

As mentioned right in the beginning, I now have my own online store integrated with my website. I shall be also listing with Etsy again shortly. For now, you will find my items as well as the interchangeable jewellery system and accessories from Silberwerk GmbH in my online store.

Here's a collection of some of my new glass cabochon toppers which can be used as either pendants or ring toppers. The diameters range from 38-42mm.







Last but not least, the prices in my online store have difficult price levels for international and EU buyers. Please read my pricing policy on my website when purchasing. International buyers enjoy export prices, i.e. VAT-exempt.