Sunday, July 31, 2011

HAHAHAHA - Here we go - Shark Week

Okay, it's my usual unreasonable week. Have I ever swam in the ocean? Yes, out East, in Georgia. Have I ever seen a shark? - only in an aquarium. Is this an unreasonable fear? - ABSOLUTELY! I think it stems from my father's experiences in the Navy in WWII when I was told the tales of yum yum yellow. So do I get on boats? Yes, I learned to swim off of one of my fathers. But, I don't swim in the ocean. Not to worry on that note - although we've lots of water in Michigan, it's fresh water.

I totally believe in live and let live. And, I figure there is a shark out there with my name on it and he's looking to say "Hello". Yup, that comes under totally insane unrealistic anticipation. LOL My unreasonableness on this topic surprises even me. You see, I'm the gal who would just LOVE to be catapulted off an aircraft carrier in a jet. Even though it would require an ocean.

So what an I doing - watching Shark Week!!! What is your craziest fear?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dot Mania

The pile has grown dramatically. I've even sandblasted a few of them for another design feature and a little more tactile feel. Actually, I do not think I am done exploring this series yet and am wondering how to combine this patterning with some silver casting. Maybe I could combine a cab into a Moroccan inspired piece. Uh, how am I going to do that? Set from the back? Bezel from the front? Prongs? ACK - - - maybe this one won't happen for a while.

I haven't counted them but there are over twenty beads in this color series, at this point. The longest one that is sitting on top is about to get a few sandblasted lines and maybe some drop shapes in the open sky blue areas.

When is this wedding? Uh oh! I have only a month to finish all of the house overhaul and unless I want to do a drop and dump (put it in boxes and throw it in the basement to sort later) I better get focused because there is not much worse than cleaning out boxes of "stuff".

Missing the Gathering SO much and wishing I was there with everyone.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Poop poop-de-doop

This is me...really, NOT! Well, maybe it resembles me a little. In spirit anyway. Right now I have entirely too many things on my plate and when I do that everything starts to suffer since not enough of them are being accomplished. Or at least accomplished to someone else's expectations.

Sounds like a whine, right? Maybe in a small way it is and in another way it isn't. Since I decided to take on a "few" more things some others suffered. One of them that suffered when I adjusted the design of my blog a long time ago was that all of my "Favorite Blogs" were deleted. I tried to remember everyone and couldn't. Since then, one of my favorites has commented on my posts and today I looked through my favs to do a fast click over to her blog and went - WTF - where is it. I am pissed. Not with anyone but myself. It's like the old adage, "make new friends, but keep the old - - - La, la, fa la, and gold." LOL, that is going to go through your head all day now.

To try and correct this gross error in action and very possibly judgement I am adding AGAIN one of the best blog writers I know. Angela Garren - and I've probably misspelled her name and need to be beaten about that too - you all know her. Yes, you do. Angelina Beadalina is her name and bead making, mothering, writing, and all around making me think and laugh out loud is her game. Sorry Ang...and I know there are others too.

If I've dropped you from my favorites list please let me know. I'm an idiot, and a slow one the uptake one too. I've several things to rectify. And, a wedding in a month. YIKES. Some "commitments" are going to have to be pared down or eliminated as I simplify my life again.

And one of the enjoyments I've been missing is blogging more for myself and you guys, making and posting more beads to my Etsy - gheeze, just lots of things. Time to WAKE UP Sharon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Midnight Mermaid

I thought everyone might like to see what "Midnight Tide Pool" looks like finished. She will be traveling via snail mail (priority actually) to Columbus, Ohio tomorrow to the ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers). They have graciously accepted her for their auction to benefit the ISGB at the Gathering (glass conference) in Louisville, Kentucky. I'm tickled and I hope some lucky buyer will be too.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Raked, Layered, and Masked

I have been drawing out all of these beads - once in a while when I limit my palette to just a few colors then I can concentrate on design. In this case the designs and patterns have just been filling my head...and keep coming. this time I added a little more black and some turquoise enamels sifted on here and there. What fun! And, I'm not done yet...more are in the kiln.

Friday, July 1, 2011


The bead photo is of a technique I have done for a long time. I think the primary experience in this came from a class with Dustin Tabor. He’s a generous young man who never holds back. This isn’t status quo with all teachers or mentors. And, IMHO – if you don’t have a teacher who is going to explain to you the “whys” of doing this or that (or at least why they are doing it) the you’ve picked the wrong teacher. I’ve had a few of those too.

When I was doing this set of beads I was thinking about the Gathering – and about how I will miss seeing so many of my favorite people. Then, the thought crossed my mind how we all have kind of “bead heroes” in this business. You know, the persons you aspire to, or admire greatly. Sometimes they are teachers – sometimes they’re just friends and colleagues.

I admire talent – it’s an intangible, you can’t purchase it. You can practice, practice, practice and it will improve a technique. There are tons of talented bead artists. But to me there are only a few who have been heroes for me and here is why.

Larry Brickman – talented artist. When I first started showing “just beads” he came by the Glass Act booth at a Bead and Button and made a huge deal of the beads I was creating. I wasn’t at the booth at the time and he made such an impression on my friends they marched me over to his booth. He called me a “Bead Star”. I was embarrassed and elated beyond words and the girls took a photo of me with him. It encouraged me greatly and he was so kind I never forgot it. I think of it often as I give out compliments to others – how such a small gesture can mean so much to someone else. HERO!

Brad Pearson – I like to think of him as the Super Boy of dot placement and manipulation. What a totally sweet fellah. I’m good at writing in this blog. And, when I have to I can be a social creature (I am when I teach). But, ordinarily I am kind of a solitary person (the only child) who learned how to make art for self-amusement. When I run into him at beadish functions he remembers who I am…..uh, me –shrinking violet here. Tickles me – nice guys should finish first and I love his books, his talent, and his all around attitude. I also hear he’s a great teacher and I can vouch for the presentation at last years Gathering. HERO!

Not that you should think it’s only the guys I think of as heroes. There is Jennifer Geldard and Sylvie Lansdowne who top my list here of artist’s artists. They are both outstanding teachers and both for the same reason. Both of these artists are full of technique – okay, technique is nice to learn. BUT, much better (and more important to me) is they each showed you where to find some inspiration. Where to grasp that platform of an idea so you might run with the technique to the sound of your own drummer. Some teachers are good mimics of a technique - others are good artists!

Now you can argue forever as to which came first the chicken or the egg (technique/ talent) but you can learn all the techniques in the world and if you do not understand how to translate that into possible work of your own then you are actually nothing but a parrot regurgitating what you’ve been taught. And there have been plenty of teachers who have said (insert concern of being copied here), “Now remember – you have to take this technique and learn to apply it to YOUR OWN WORK.” Okay, but - - - how do you do that? Were does the idea hatch from? HELP. This is the part where you can cut the wheat from the chaff. And these two teachers are the wheatiest I've had the pleasure of.

Sylvie and Jennifer have taken the time (and most certainly have the talent) to understand where to catch that cue of inspiration. Ask either and I am sure they can and will be able to point you in a positive direction with definitive answers. It is what I remember most from their classes. Heroines both!

Now, this isn’t to say that other teachers or colleagues I have had aren’t wonderful – Let’s take Jeri Warhaftig for example. Holy Crap – what this woman knows about the craft could make several books – all pun intended since she has two already. And talk about open to discussion on techniques mixed with talent - - Jeri knows them, has them, shares them, and can point you in the right direction. If it weren’t for her and Neil (Dr. Fab and terrific DH to Jeri) I’d be richer but not having nearly as much fun. Who’d of thunk a quiet lady would love the feel of a sand blasting nozzle in her hand and own her own “blastomatic” – not to mention a lap grinder – and puffy mandrels – and on and on. My husband just howls where he hears me say things like, “Uh – honey – where do you think I might be able to find a __________.” The look he gets – priceless!!! And it’s Jeri I have to thank for opening doors I would never have considered.

Trust me – it’s not like anyone asked to be on this list of personal heroes because it’s not subjective in any way shape or form. I’m not taking a poll and it’s not up to a vote. I was just making a bead with dots and pulls. It reminded me of Larry and Brad (I’ve taken classes from neither) and then Sylvie, Jennifer, and Jeri. They are Hero’s and Heroines to me.

So who cranks your invisible chain when it comes to your craft? Who are your Heroes?