If you’re in North Carolina these days, you can see my work in a couple of spots. I’ve got a range of greeting cards at the wonderful indie Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh — a warm and welcoming place with a long local tradition. And I just placed some cards and an array of beaded housewares at a cool new place, the Every Good Thing Artisan Gallery, on Castle Street in Wilmington, NC. I’m still working out how to photograph metal and glass without getting too much glare or distortion, but this will at least give you a bit of an idea:
I get all kinds of things to bead — salad servers, wine stoppers, you name it — from a great supplier, Karen Thomas. Through Karen Thomas, I heard about the nonprofit Beads of Courage, which works with seriously ill children. BoC is currently soliciting donations of handmade beads, so I sent a bunch, including these:
I hope they can use them!
I haven’t posted much about my flameworking (glass beads) lately. This is a bit of what I’ve been doing, and how I’ve used the finished beads. I like mixing art and functionality, and the surprise of seeing beautiful beads somewhere other than a necklace or set of earrings.
In that same vein, I like to adapt my artwork to calendars or cards or small cubicle-ready prints. There’s always room for more beauty in life…
I haven’t posted any glass work, partly because I’ve been busy with other things, and partly because I *still* have a trouble getting good images to post. I’ve been experimenting with dots and colors, which can lead to an array of results when you’re flameworking. Here’s some of my recent work:
The bead on the left (an attempt at an implosion bead) is still on the mandrel. (If you’re unfamiliar with flameworking, it involves winding molten glass rods around a coated metal mandrel. The cooled glass, when removed from the mandrel and cleaned, has a nice hole in the middle, and so can be used for beading.) The others were just strung on the mandrel for picture-taking purposes.
The bead to the left of the fish is Double Helix glass, which is the coolest stuff ever. I never know what’s going to come out of the flame, but the results are almost always beautiful!
Besides my watercolor and colored pencil illustrations, I also create glass beads through a process called flameworking. I add my beads to functional objects like pens, wine stoppers, and pie servers. Flameworking shares a lot with illustration, for me. With both, I focus on design, experiment with color, and appreciate the happy accidents — and try to fix the not-so-happy ones!