Sunday, September 30, 2007

Feral Glass, Incredible!

While blog hopping last month, I received a startling surprise. Feral Glass, the subject of this weeks feature, knocked my socks off. Unique and inspired, this glass artist has a veritable feast for the eyes. Be sure to follow the links provided in the interview for an extra treat!
How did you get started in glass sculpting? I started making Garden Glass for my own pleasure and to give as gifts. I have great sun here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and I wanted to make the most of it. While my flowers were asleep, I figured sheets of colored glass would add some interest. And then one thing led to another. If you want some details on my early experiments, see my blog on Glass Kites or on my outdoor hanging panels

Where you get your ideas for your creations? I get inspired by shapes I see or ideas I have. I have done series based on geographic places (one series focused on Francis Drake's voyage around Cape Horn, one series was inspired by the exploration of the Nile). And I also base them on flowers or other plants that I have seen in my travels. At other times it is pure whimsey. Like my garden punctuation marks... I just noticed that most gardens are not well puncuated... just a bunch of run-on plantings. So I created accent pieces, as it were.

Do you have a piece in your shop that is your favorite? I have created some pieces which were very special to me. It was a real lesson in the "business of art" when I had to face selling my favorite "children". I usually give my very favorite pieces away as gifts to friends. Of the pieces which I still have, I like Gravity Games and Homage to Absinthe.

Glass is such a fragile medium, does it take quite a few pieces to get it right? Glass can be fragile, but it can also be pretty tough stuff. Stained glass is twice as thick as regular window glass, and a lot more shatter-proof. Even dropping a piece on a cement patio usually results in minor chipping on the impact edge. Amazing, really. It has to do with the annealing, or slow cool-down period, when they make the glass. Some of the easiest glass to work with comes from Wissmach Glass in West Virgina. I drive over there a few times a year just to get re-supplied. Their glass cuts like butter. Some other glass is much less well behaved, and often shatters in unwanted directions. The price of the glass is no indicator of how well it will cut. Getting the right direction in the "grain" of the glass is important in some designs, such as the two favorites I listed above. I did a large panel of a Civil War field artillary piece (cannon) for a reenactor friend. Making the thin spokes on the wheels (and the even thinner dark gray shadows of the far wheel's spokes) was the time I had to make many, many attempts before getting them all right. But novices may be pleasantly surprised by how well-behaved most glass is, and how rarely you get cut. Getting the solder to behave well is actually more of a challenge.

What are your future plans and what other venues can we find your art? I am taking this one step at a time. This year I will do a Spring and a Fall outdoor festival, plus a Christmas sale at my local art center. Next year I hope to be juried into two larger prestigious shows, as well. I have some grand plans for large outdoor installations, including a 200 hundred tube version of my Five Tubes sculpture. I also want to take a class in welding and brazing, get a cutting torch, and make some larger outdoor glass and brass sculptures. Stay tuned
Check out Feralglass on Etsy to purchase this extraordinary work.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Catch the Goig!

What happens when a lot of creative people connect on a forum? A whole lot of fun. Here are a few people and their shops that frequent "goig" discussions. What's a goig, where did it come from? No one knows for sure. sshhhh! If you want to join a thread of supportive, caring, and downright funny people, catch the current goig on the Etsy forums, you will be welcomed! This feature is missing a lot of people that goig only because they didn't happen to be on the forums today when I asked permission to hawk their wares! I'll catch up with others again soon.

Lling2302 is the designer of the beautiful multicolored bracelet entitled "faith bracelet". Check out Lling's shop, she's a sweetie!

Next, meet Mudd! Mudd is an internationally acclaimed artist who has a variety of products in his shop, but is very well known for his unique and startling skateboard art. Visit Mudd's shop at

Tia from TiasTreasures is a mainstay in the goig thread. Well known for her beautiful jewelry and custom work, she also has adorable, dainty elves in her shop and is working on more for the holiday season. Visit Tia to purchase her wonderful work by clicking this link.

Find beautiful textiles and bibs in Yayabun's shop. There is a colorful peek on this page of Yaya's colorful flower bib. Visit the Yayabun shop at .

Featured before, but always fun is Jazzie from JazziesJunque Jazzie has the ever useful monopoly markers in this feature. To see more of her eclectic supplies, be sure to visit.

KeysandMemories has a shop to salivate over! The Alice in Wonderland bracelet is in Key's shop and you'll find a whole lot more you'll fall in love with.

Circleinthesand, aka "duckie" has another one of those shops that is filled with variety and fun to check into often to see what circle is working on next. Visit "duckie" at if you would like to purchase the halloween coaster set shown here!

We've met Blestbeads in the feature before this one, but Blest always deserves another mention! The Harvest Queen necklace is Blest's work and you can purchase it at for your own personal chase around the table.

The little ring of blue shown is from spectacular artist named Jo, from Route166artisans, a caring and lovely lady. Catch Jo and her talented families work featuring quality and beauty.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blest, you betcha!

Witty, poetic, military wife, mother of four, dynamic, sweet, creative, patriot, homeschooler, skinny, funny, energetic, coffee addict, smart - all words add up to describing Etsy artisan BlestBeads. Get to know this perky dynamo better with this glimpse into Blest's answers to questions that enquiring minds wanted to know.

How long have you been making jewelry and why did you take up the art? I saw the cutest little necklace in a scrapbooking magazine made from a bamboo tile and transfer paper. I wanted to try that, so I tracked down the supplies and got to work! That was about four years ago. My early necklaces were rather pitiful, by the way. My best friend actually told me "Ummm I don't want one of those for Christmas" As I got going, I rediscovered my love for "rocks" and moved into buying quality stones. Plus I took several classes in beading and wirework... Now my friends LOVE getting my work for presents! ;-)

You have an overwhelming schedule in your life, what's your secret to your prolific making of beautiful jewelry?

Attention Deficit Disorder and a lot of coffee.Seriously, I'm very obsessive. Right now I'm totally hooked on making jewelry. On any given day, if I don't make something, I get really anxious. As far as my schedule, it's really not that bad. I do have a lot of little people underfoot, but I can bead in the midst of them and they think it's cool. My oldest son actually has his own little bead business, and I'm getting ready to teach him wireworking. Oh - and I don't watch television.

What is your favorite type of jewelry to make? Oooh. That's a tough one. Probably my freeform wire pieces are my favorites. But I love it all. I don't make anything that I wouldn't want to wear. And I don't do anything that I don't find fun.

Where does your inspiration for each piece come from? It varies. I'm not one of those artists who has a lot of meaning in her work. I make things because I think they look pretty, that's usually as deep as it gets. If there's a big focal involved- like a ceramic pendant- the inspiration comes from there. Or certain beads will insist they be paired with copper. ;-) (they do talk sometimes you know) Sometimes I give myself assignments like "How many pairs of earrings can I make in an hour?" Or other times it's "You MUST work with THESE beads today". Every once in a great while the inspiration will be a piece of music, or something I saw... But nine times out of ten I just sit down and start playing - and am surprised at where I end up.

Where is your business going from here? Right now it seems to be on a good upswing. I think I'm doing well here on etsy. And my work is in a local salon. Plus a new jewelry boutique is opening in a very good location and the owner has agreed to sell my work. I'm a little scared actually - I'm not a planner -so to turn out to be successful at this will be a bit shocking and require me to start some much better record keeping! But I certainly like the idea!

To find out more about Blest and view her entire line of products, click here or visit the Etsy forums where Blest is a frequent contributor.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

EtsyScrappers - New Street Team

If you enjoy all things scrapbooking, there is a new street team on Etsy just for you. Meet AliV, the inspiration behind EtsyScrap. The pictures featured are from Ali's shop. To see these and more great products visit AliV at .

AliV, you were the go getter behind EtsyScrap, why did you decide to create a street team for scrapbookers?

I love scrapbook & I think on Etsy that scrapbookers get buried beneath all of the jewelry. So, I wanted all of us to have a voice and to be heard on Etsy.

What appeals to you about the genre of scrapbooking?

What appeals to me most about scrapbook is preserving of the sweetest memories.

I noticed you incorporate scrapbooking techniques into the frames in your shop, when did you begin branching out beyond the scrapbook page?

Frames were the first thing I did for my shop. I started making them as Christmas gifts for my family then decided to market them. I've been in to scrapbook since 1999, so I thought I loved my pages and albums and I put a few into my shop to help out with their memories book.

What are your plans in the future for EtsyScrap?

I would love for EtsyScrap to be a common name on Etsy with us having many sales and contests, our own etsy shop, and many active members. I would love to get every single seller on etsy, as a member of EtsyScrap.

If you would like more information about Etsyscrap or would like to join, follow the link on the right hand side of this page. You'll be welcome!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Paper, paper, paper

My planned feature this week has been postponed, but hopefully will get it in a future blog. Here are some pic's of what I've been playing with for KrazyKateDesigns.