Have you made something with my beads??

If you're a crafter or artist and have created something unique with my beads or glass tiles, and would like to be featured in my website as a guest artist, please email me at cec235@hotmail.com.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Free Mosaic Pattern - Come and Get It!

Spinning Sun - an original micro-mosaic project!
This is a spin-off from the Glass Artist's Studio Handbook, and Quarry has generously given me their permission for me to offer on my website. Just to be clear - there are NO mosaics in my book. So why do I need their permission? (I can hear you asking yourselves...) Because it was originally submitted for the Handbook, and I'm using the photographs that were taken for the book. It's kind of a gray area, but the editors and I have a good relationship so we're doing this together. You definitely get the benefit :-)

Download the pdf instructions on the right (see the free patterns and projects list) by clicking on the name Spinning Sun Mosaic. I've rewritten it as a tutorial - the book has a much better layout, etc, but this is still lots of fun.

I would have loved to have included this project in the book - we had a whole chapter on mosaics with beautiful projects (if I must immodestly say so myself), and an entire section on setting up a glass art business. There simply wasn't enough room for it all... we did the best we could to cram it all in, then started cutting. That's part of editing, and my editors and I left in the best. This project is a darling, and I'm so happy I can share it with you!  We've got some more up our sleeves, so keep watching this blog for more projects.

Advanced Copy - What a wonderful surprise!
Quarry surprised me with an advanced copy of my book. There is something exhilerating - and unbelievable - about holding the book (an actual printed BOOK!) in my hands. Unexpectedly (to me, because I was so inexperienced), it took longer to give birth to this book than it did to give birth to any of my kids. Being pregnant was also easier, except for five months of throwing up in my third pregnancy. Let it be noted - writing a book is hard work!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

It's a Bullseye Life... and other important stuff...

I've been converting my lampworking studio from Bullseye (my original choice) over to a combination of Spectrum, recycled bottle glass, and Boro.  It's been a year since I did any work with Bullseye, but I have a lot of leftover Bullseye glass laying around and decided I'd pull up my chair, light the torch, and make some Bullseye beads.  Here is my BEFORE photo.  It looks full of hope.

Left and Center:  BE fusing glass and rods.  Right:  Frit, glass powder, millifiore.
Far right : assorted tools that I'm thinking I'll use.
Bottom:  My Nortel Minor torch with a marver on top.

And here is my AFTER shot (several hours after, of course!)

Working with BE was fun - I suddenly remembered how sweet the glass feels as it melts. But I also refreshed my memory  of why I'm getting rid of it - it burns too easily and it strikes when it isn't supposed to.  OK, I agree that all that is MY fault, no one else's, but it doesn't happen to me with any other glass. I'd rather put my effort into making a beautiful bead instead of focusing on keeping the glass at exactly the right place in the flame. I firmly believe that bead-making should be fun. Really - - I even managed to burn and strike the clear. Although these beads look fine in the photo, several are "throw-aways" that I save for visiting children to string into mobiles. And some of them (including one, unfortunately, that came out really well) are still stuck on those mandrels. I've got blisters on my hands from trying to twist them off. Again - this doesn't happen to me with other glass. So it's bye-bye, Bullseye!

What does a book editor do?
Several of my friends have asked me, so I thought I'd write a bit about it. I'm going to start with an apology to Rochelle, my tireless and ever-patient editor from Quarry, because I probably made her crazy the whole time I was writing The Glass Artist's Studio Handbook. 

She wasn't my only editor and I'm quite certain that I don't know everything that all of them do. Rochelle was my aquisitions editor; she worked with me to develop the Table of Contents, she reviewed all my submissions, she made sure I understood what I needed to do and very gently steered me back in the right direction when I strayed. She taught me that there should only one space after a period (I'm still struggling with that). She caught my mistakes and acted as my liason with every other editor I worked with.  Art, graphics, photographs, copy, layout, marketing.... the number of people who work on a book like this is endless. Some friends have asked me if I couldn't have done this book alone (after all, I do professional translations and editing on the side); before I started this project with Quarry I would have said yes, of course, it's just much more convenient to have a book publisher behind you. Now that the book is almost on the shelves, I can honestly say that I NEVER could have succeeded at this alone. I learned so much - I hope I learned from every step! - so maybe I could do a future book independently, but I'd have to accept that it would never be as good or as professional as a book done with the support of a book publishing staff. Not because I can't edit my own work (I was constantly editing the Handbook and even self-published my novel, Rahel) but because I know now that it takes a team to put together a book of this scope.

Speaking of Which...
I know you are all intending to read my novel, Rahel. So I'm just reminding you that you need to buy it... it should be on your summer reading list. It's a good book, I promise. 

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Book Review

Mosaics, the art of reuse (Galit Glazer)
Quarry Books, 2009

I’ll start by saying that I do mosaics myself, and I love this book; this is great material for beginners, with projects to stimulate experienced mosaic crafters. Ms. Glazer has included a good section on materials and tools, excellent instructions for planning a design and gluing, and – best of all! – lots of beautiful, creative projects. One or two of the projects are rather odd (“My Favorite Duck” comes to mind) but in general I find them inspiring. They make my fingers itch to start my next mosaic, always a good sign. My favorite project is the Date Palm Tree Frame, a lovely mosaic mirror with a real Mediterranean feel to it.

Mirror with Date Palm Tree Frame

Bird of a Feather
The one disappointment is that there isn’t much about cutting glass or grouting. You can learn to cut glass from my book, The Glass Artist’s Studio Handbook, which has detailed glass cutting instructions and exercises. But if you’re teaching yourself to make mosaics with this mosaic book, you’ll need to buy grout that has grouting instructions printed on the bag/box or ask a fellow mosaic crafter for tips before you finish your first project. (In my mosaic patterns I usually provide detailed instructions on preparing and applying grout.)

I’m also madly in love with Bird of a Feather (right) and Totem with Fish (below). Totem recycles broken pots; I love that so many of the book's projects include recycled items and I’m absolutely determined to make a totem for my garden.

Totem with Fish

Buy these books on Amazon:

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Disk-y Kind of Day!

Passover is done and I'm revving my energy back up to chaotic levels with several projects running in parallel...

My Books
The Glass Artist's Studio Handbook is almost here... it's so exciting!  It's available in pre-order on Amazon (see my link on the right) and I am simply IN LOVE with the front cover.  I'm very, very proud of the inside, too... while I'm going to immodestly claim the lion's share of the work, I couldn't have ever done it without the supportive team of Quarry editors, my photographer, and the contributing artists who generously opened their studios.

I look back on the past year of work and think that it has truly been an amazing, wonderful journey. And sometimes frightening... those deadlines were scary! Although the final manuscript is "only" 176 pages long, we submitted ("we" being me and the photographer) about 250 pages of manuscript and more than 900 photographs. I only wish there had been room for all of the material!

Now we're looking at marketing... and the Quarry folks have some wonderful ideas. I'll be sharing them here with you as the days skip towards July 1st - the day that GASH shows up on bookstore shelves!

My lampwork
It's been a disk-ish kind of week, actually. I've tried to spend a bit of time every day on the torch, and for a few days I was just doing disks. With one hole, it's a bead. With two, it's a button!

All for sale on http://www.stringythingy.etsy.com/

Lampwork Knits
You can find me now on Ravelry with some of my original knitwear designs. (OK, I confess - right now there's only one but it's a start!) I'm working on a new dress/tunic pattern - almost done - that will knock your socks sandals off! Maid Marion is knitted up in a delightful antique rose cotton, and includes colorwork, stitchwork, and beading. Perfect for cool summer evenings or a frolic at the beach. And with Israel's mild winters, I'll be able to wear it over a thin top and skirt for a layered look. Watch this spot for photos!

and last but not least...
Thank you to all my buyers - - you keep my business going!

Did you know I recycle?

I reuse shipping and packing materials whenever possible. If relevant, your package will include a note to let you know how I conserved resources when packing up your purchase.

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