Monday, June 29, 2015

New work just posted on my website!

Just a quick fly-by to let you know that AJ (the assistant extraordinaire) and I just posted a handful of new work to my website- please check it out! In this week's posting, you'll find a couple really lovely butterflies, a revisited variation on Bees, and some findings out of borosilicate glass: bails and two kinds of clasps.

Bee Pendants

 Red Butterfly

 Toggle Clasp

 Hook & Eye Clasps

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bijoux Bee and National Pollinator Week!

I haven't talked much here about my "other" business, Bijoux Bee.  Several years ago, working on a couple glass projects with a friend who has a laser engraver, I kept wanting to explore other mediums, particularly wood.  I initially wanted to make lightweight components that could complement my glasswork, but my ideas quickly expanded beyond that, and so I decided to separate the two bodies of work.  My boyfriend, Tom, gets all the credit for the business name, logo, and our website, and he still helps out with some of the design work.  (Our Heart style theme is entirely his!)

What I love about Bijoux Bee is that not only provides an outlet for my "non-glass" ideas, but it creates a wide variety of affordable, wearable, and very lightweight jewelry.  It's a beautiful complement to my work in glass, and you'll see a lot of common themes that carry over between both my glass and wood work.  While the vast majority of what we make gets sold to boutiques, galleries, and shops around the US, Etsy serves as our retail online storefront.  Check it out!

In celebration of National Pollinator week, we're honoring the bees, of course.  So, just for this week, use the coupon code "POLLEN" and get 20% off.

What's new out of the shop this week

With the help of my lovely assistant, AJ (oh, the novelty of having help has NOT worn off), I just posted a nice handful of new work to my website.

I'm most excited about two things: a newer, smaller variation on the Beetles I've been making for years, and a great selection of matching Maze Marbles and coordinating beads.  Photos below.

Friday, June 12, 2015

An extraordinary week of learning

What an amazing week!  For the last 5 days, I've been taking a class at the Bay Area Glass Institute with two phenomenal artists: Beau Tsai and Demetra Theophanous.  The focus of the class was in representing natural, realistic life forms in borosilicate glass.  I signed up for several reasons. First, this is the first time Beau has taught a group class in his thirty plus years of lampworking, so I knew this was a real opportunity.  Second, Beau and Demetra's work complement each other nicely, and I admire both of their work for their remarkable technique, use of color, and manipulation of texture and form.   While most of my exploration in borosilicate up to this point has been in smaller components (beads), I've long wanted to get over my fears of assembling larger, complex pieces out of those components.  The class more than met my wishes- both Beau and Demetra were so very generous with their time, technique, inspiration, and encouraging words.  I can't wait to get home, order more color, and take the first steps to implementing what I've learned this week and adapting it to my own work.  Aside from being inspiring and educational, I had a blast, too, much due to the hospitality of fellow artist Joy Munshower, who creates amazing bas-relief animal beads.  I was so grateful to have a class buddy! 
Here are a few highlights from the class: the fish, chickadee, and seahorse/ seaweed/ coral pieces I made in the class, Beau working on a Kingfisher bird sculpture, and our group for the week (Bob, Andrea, Beau, Demetra, Heather, Terry, me, Joy, and Nick).

Monday, June 1, 2015

I lost my marbles to Zac. It's a good thing.

Zac Cohen, marble collector-turned-purveyor, just stocked his site with a handful of marbles and beads from me.  The bulk of what he has available are a style variation on my Maze marbles and beads that I revisited because he asked nicely; I'd done a few marbles in this Paisley-esque theme several years ago.  Zac found a pic deeply buried on the web, and asked if I'd do a few different color themes for him to sell.  Check out his website- he has a beautifully curated collection of work from many talented, diverse artists.   (photo credit to Zac and his photographer extraordinaire).   Many thanks to Zac for choosing to rep my work and to all of you!  

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Change is good.

I'm a bad blogger.  Rather, I'm a neglectful blogger.  I'd like to change that.  I enjoy sharing more than just a few words on Facebook or Twitter, so it's time to return to that.

The last couple months have brought many small, but highly significant, positive changes to the way I'm approaching my studio time, and breathing some life into this blog is part of that.  "They" say that acknowledging a problem is the first step to change, and I acknowledged that I became undisciplined about sharing and posting work online, updating my website, and many of the things that let all of you know that I'm still working as hard as a busy bee.  I put up all sorts of ridiculous emotional blocks to posting work (be it on my website, or simply in sharing pictures on social media), and that silly bashful outlook had to stop.  The tasks involved in website maintenance are probably my least favorite tasks in the land of self-employment (aside from doing taxes), so I avoided doing so.  That is not in the interest of maintaining a thriving life of a self-supporting artist.  It was time for some change.

The first step was bringing in help.  And as it does, synchronicity abounded.  A long time customer-turned-friend, AJ, mentioned she'd love to find some part-time work in the same week I was deciding to bring someone in to help.  She's just here with me a few hours a week, but those hours are beyond meaningful to me!  The time we schedule at the start of each week force a measure of accountability to having a nice handful of beads, marbles, and jewelry finished up, photographed, and ready to post.  AJ walks in, says hello to the dogs, and handles the rest.  We're a bit more than a month in, and I am so very grateful for her help.  It's simple, it works, and I'm thankful.  With pieces now being regularly posted to MZGlass, many other nice little changes have happened: I'm doing my morning pages again (Artist's Way tool), getting more time in the studio, finding more joy in sharing pics online of what I've made, and most importantly, feeling much better about my little slice of creative paradise.  The change is good.