Sunday, December 18, 2005

Happy Holidays!

'Tis the season for holiday parties, crowded shopping centers and ELECTROFORMING! I've been experiencing all three to the excess lately. Hey, I'm not complaining. Here is a festive Holly leaf electroform I made for a fellow beadmaker - Larry Scott. It's in his "non-collection" now.

I am very excited for the new year - no, really! I am taking a silversmithing class from Barrie Edwards in Victoria, Canada (it's only a couple of hours away from Seattle), another trip to Italy is on the horizon in May. This one will include both glass (with Larry Brickman) and jewelrymaking (with Kendra Bruno of I've been wanting to learn metalsmithing and jewelry making. Sometimes the opportunities are just there if you look for them! I will definitely be offering more beads and finished jewelry on my site.

I have some other exciting news - one or more of my beads was accepted into Deanna Griffin-Dove and Brad Pearson's upcoming book called "Art of Beadmaking". It's a look back at some of the best beads of 2005. There will be such talent showcased in this book and I'm proud to be included. I think the book is going to be a definite "must have".

I got a new torch this week - the Carlisle Mini CC. Gotta hook it up and play. It's a bit nippy in the garage studio these days. Yesterday morning, it was 41 degrees when I turned on the heater, kiln and oxygen concentrator. It warmed up to 58 degrees by the end of my torching session - brrrr! With happy-birthday-to-me money, I also got some new presses and other tools. Look for new shapes that will go well on necklaces and bracelets soon!

Off for a day of last minute shopping - which is an annual occurance no matter how early I start. Have a great day! (Ivy electroform - silver blacked on a pendant form - reminds me of Lord of the Rings for some reason.)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Rain, Rain - Go Away?

I'm never sure if I love or hate the rain. I think I love it but it's washing all of my beloved leaves for electroforming away! The good thing about the Pacific Northwest is that we still have a lot of greenery all year long. Right now, a lot of that is in the form of moss!

The cooler weather brings out the crafty side of me. I want to spend every waking hour making beads, or stringing beads, or knitting or whatever I can. There are not enough hours in the day!

Some of you keep up with my critter crowd here in Seattle. My one and only indoor/outdoor cat managed to sustain a nasty bite of some sort and after an abcess and surgery to remedy it, I'm $600 poorer and the cat looks like "Franken Cat"! On the bright side, she has clean teeth and she's staying inside, out of the rain, until she heals.

I went to Frantz Art Glass yesterday for their "Open Saturday" blowout. Always good to replenish the stock of glass. I love Mike's sales but I also buy a lot of my glass from Bill and Donelle Thornton at Island Glass. Fantastic customer service - they're good people!

A few pix - my first set of encased florals (above) and a purple swirls perfume bottle.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Back to the cool fall of Seattle

Hi! What a shock - to go from 95 degrees in Puerto Vallarta to scraping ice off of my car windows in Seattle! Mexico was fantastic! The timeshare hotel - Velas Vallarta - is gorgeous and I enjoyed the time with my mom. She even went parasailing at my treat and had a blast! We spent some time bargaining with the vendors for little gifties, wandering around "Old Town". We went to Mama Lucia's tequila factory and up into the hills for lunch. We also did a Mexican fiesta at the Iguana Restauant in Old Town - great food and entertainment. I walked on the beach every morning and evening - ahhh, nice...

I had another lovely experience in Mexico. There is a company called "Eco Tours" that sets up trips a little ways up the coast where you can help with the conservation efforts of the Olive Ridley sea turtles. We left from the marina at PV at 9pm and drove about 30 minutes north to a beach where there is a "Turtle Camp". We didn't see any mama turtles but since there had been quite a few a couple of months ago (it takes 50 days for an egg to hatch), there were TONS of babies ready for release. We spent several hours scooping them into styrofoam containers and then releasing them into the ocean. When I fell into bed at 1:30 am, I was exhausted but very happy that I went.

Here are some photos I took in Mexico -\index.html

Well, a new/used oxygen concentrator is sitting here waiting for me to free it from its cardboard and styrofoam peanut packaging so that I can MAKE SOME GLASS! I can't wait - the old concentrator gave up the ghost a few weeks ago and I've been using oxygen but this will ensure that I don't run out in the middle of a session. More pretties soon!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Off to Mexico!

Hola! I'm off to Mexico in a couple of days. Seems like I've been away a lot lately - Italy, New Orleans, Mexico. Hey - I'm not complaining!
The show was great! I beat my wildest expectations in sales and I am so happy that people liked my beads. Now I'm gearing up for the sale at Pratt in December.
Here's a picture of my table at the show - not terribly impressive but it was kinda picked over by the end!

Still electroforming and still doing little bottles (above). I'll blog if I get the chance from Mexico - if not hasta la vista!

Friday, October 7, 2005

Gearing Up For The Sale

Northwest Bead Society ( is having a sale at the Seattle Center this weekend and I'll have a table there. Stop by and say hi! I'll have focals, sets, bottles and electroformed leaf beads plus some of my knitted baskets. I'm really looking forward to it.

In other news, we had another meeting of our new ISGB chapter and I was voted President. Now, that's not terribly exciting as I was honestly the only one to step forward and show interest but I am honored all the same for the vote of confidence and hope to do my absolute best during the coming year. You can check out the chapter's current homepage at my good friend Natasha's site. (

Sold a couple of goodies on the 'bay this week, including this one - thanks to Mike and others for bidding!

I'll update you on the results of the sale after the weekend!


Friday, September 23, 2005

Update on New Orleans

Powweb decided to change my FTP server without telling me so I wasn't able to blog while I was in New Orleans and Baton Rouge. I can't tell you how good it was to come home to my fat pets. I already have water and other things stored for a disaster but I'll be buying an extra case of dog and cat food this weekend.

I want to thank all of my well-wishers. I have a show coming up in two weeks - MUST MAKE BEADS! I'll post some pix soon.


Friday, September 16, 2005

Animals Get Me Every Time!

So, you may have noticed that I haven't blogged lately. I'm just too busy to keep on top if it. I've been doing a lot more electroforming. I am making long beads, short beads, squat beads, round beads and even candy corn beads for a show in October.

That's not all that's been on my mind though. I've been watching the sad news about hurricane Katrina (as is everyone, I'm sure) but the video and news accounts of the homeless pets just tug at my heartstrings and I could feel them pulling me towards Louisiana. This week, a friend of mine let me know that they desparately needed help at a parrot rescue and I've been watching with horror the images that

People have been great in helping me prepare for the trip. Evergreen Pet Supply in Seattle gave me a 50lb box of bird food, which Alaska Airlines let me put on the plane without comment. Bed Bath & Beyond extended their little blue coupon thingy to be 20% off of my entire purchase of kitchen scales and veggie choppers. My vet donated medicines for me to take to Pasado's. People are generally wonderful in a crisis. I like to think most people are good in general anyway but of course, it's always good to exercise some caution.

Ok - enough of my later than midnight ramblings. I'll update as soon as I can. Depends really on where I'm staying. If I help with the parrot rescue, I'll be in a house with all the amenities in Baton Rouge. If I help with Pasado's, I'll likely be sleeping in my rental car. I'll see where the greatest need is when I get there! Hugs to everyone and thank you for being so supportive!

Janelle is displaying. Animals are still coming in from flooded areas over 2 1/2 weeks after the storm! So anyway, here I am, sitting in an airport in the middle of the night - waiting for a flight to Dallas and then on to Baton Rouge. The trip is already reminding me of the epic feats I had to go through to get home from Italy. This is a different type of trip altogether as you might imagine. My tiredness has taken some of the edge off of my anxiety about going. What will I see? How can I help? Will I be able to live with myself when I leave? Oh - phone's ringing. It was Orbitz flight recording saying my flight had been pushed back to 2:15am. It doesn't matter - that just shortens the delay in Dallas. My arm's smarting. Before I left, I got a Tetanus shot and a combo Hep A & B. Plus the clinic at work loaded me up with a prescription for Cipro (a broad spectrum antibiotic) "just in case".

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Organics, Electroforming and More

Eek! Weeks have gone by again. But I've been a busy little beaver - I really have! I took a wonderful class on organic beadmaking from Kimberly Affleck last weekend. It was a three-day workshop at Pratt Fine Arts Center. We learned a lot of great techniques using siver and copper leaf, silver fuming, great color combinations, deep encasing, flat lapping (on a lapidary wheel) and electroforming.

Which brings me to another thing that has kept me busy this week. I set up my electroforming kit, found some leaves in the forest, combined them with some beads made with the new organic techniques - and voila! Some pretty cool-looking beads! I'd love to hear what you think of them. There is a pretty nice deposition of copper on the leaves and the "binders" at the top and bottom of the leaves are electroformed waxed linen. I've used a patina on both of these and then laquered them to keep it. There will definitely
be more of them and soon!

A call went out for artists for a neat set of artist trading cards that an innovative little glass shop is putting out. I submitted this photo of some of my perfume bottles. I'm hoping it will turn out.

Finally, I gave a presentation at work about my trip to Venice. The school's (UW) staff and faculty newspaper is going to to an article (not specifically about me but about how my department gets together and shares) in a couple of weeks. I'll have my big mug in it though and I'll post a link when it comes online.

Have a great week! So many things to do. So very little time!


Sunday, July 31, 2005

Sunday Update

I just don't blog often enough - will try to be better about that. In addition to glass this week, I have been doing some fun knitting. I love to knit with wool and throw the item in the washer to felt so imagine my delight at finding a cool book having to do with is very thing - it's called "A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting" by Cat Bordhi. Too cool! Ms. Bordhi teaches you to knit a moebius scarf and from there you move onto baskets, cat beds, etc. I've included a picture of the basket I finished here. See the handle? It has no beginning and no end - that's what a moebius is. This basket is the perfect size for storing a beady collection in!

Speaking of beadies - been making some. I also made a few more bottles. That little amber and black one sold on the 'bay. Very happy about that. I am not sure about listing the bottles on ebay though. I get the sense that it's not the right venue for them. I'll see. I ordered an electroforming kit this week. Can't wait. If you've never seen electroforming, I encourage you to check out Kate Fowle Meleney's gorgeous beads - here's her site

I went to Momka's boro last weekend to see a marble show. Such talent! It's amazing to see these artists work on their "torches on steroids" (compared to my Minor). There are little worlds in them thar marbles! You should check them out and think about starting a collection!

Gotta get going for the day but I'll leave you with a little perfume bottle and a teeny little woman's figure that I put a pendant attachment on. Now, I probably wouldn't walk around with one of these around my neck but someone might - you never know!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Feeling Fine

I've almost kicked this cold that I brought back from Italy - just a reminder of the trip, I suppose. I was also reminded this week at how little torch time I get while I'm working full time and doing glass "on the side". I treasure my time at the flame and sneak it in where I can. I'm working on items for sale on ebay as well as for a bigger bead show in Seattle in October. I also really believe in Pratt Fine Arts Center so I'll be making items for their holiday sale. Half of the profits go back to them to support classes, etc.

There's a big marble get together at Momka's boro today. Another thing to pique my interest and rob my pocketbook, I suppose! I just got in a big order of Bullseye glass for myself - love the stuff but it is a lot more expensive than the Italian glasses.

As for ebay - slow time of year, I've decided. I thoroughly appreciate those who have purchased my work. I've decided to try to get a couple of focals or sets up each week and at least one perfume bottle. Don't know if I can hold to that or not. Here's what I have up right now ( Have a great Sunday - I'll update on the marble get together later.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Thoughts on Murano

I've been back from Murano for a little more than a week and I've had a little time to think about the experience. I'll probably copy this post to somewhere that will be easier to find in the long run because I know how blog posts have a way of falling to the bottom and becoming hard to find.

Ok - here goes -
Is it worth it to pay all that money to go all the way to Italy (Murano in particular)?For me, absolutely! First of all, there's nothing like being around all of that glass and glass history. I find the place absolutely charming with its architechture and missing pieces of stucco. And then there's the water! What a different lifestyle. I was absolutely charmed and it almost seemed as if the class was just a bonus. Now, understand, some people see the stucco thing, water, heat, etc. enough of an inconvenience to keep them home. I'm just telling you what my opinions are and you can take 'em or leave 'em.

Ok - so that said, do I need to pay for a class? No  you can go and visit on your own if that's what you want. Venice and Murano and truly travel-worthy destinations. On the other hand, if you aren't part of a class, I'm not sure how much of the "back story" you'll get to see. We were taken to a hot shop, told of good places to buy tools, given a better history of Venetian glass style and we felt more like temporary residents than tourists.

Do I need to pay for a class with a "glass master"? Agan, the answer is no - depending on what you want. You do NOT have to pay $1500 for a 6-day class (the cost of my class with Lucio) unless this is what you want. I've heard of other classes that are even more expensive led by American beadmakers but do keep in mind, that while the person is teaching you, as in the States or anywhere in the world, they are generally not creating works of art for sale so in addition to teaching you, part of the fee is kind of for "opportunity costs". On the other hand, neither are you (making works of art for sale) so you have to figure this into the price too if you make a living off of your work. People have asked me if they should take a six-day workshop with Lucio or break it up with another teacher. Lucio does what he does and it's largely the same for six days. He's not going to teach you a million different things although we had a few hours of animals, ring-making and half a day of practicing blowing goblets - it was a welcome change from the INCREDIBLE but somewhat repetitive sculpture demos.

Do I need to be extremely experienced to take one of these classes? In my opinion, I would go with a good base of glass knowledge. In Lucio's class, you relearn much of what you know about glass and how it flows and cools but if you came knowing nothing, I think it would color your future glass experience and I'm not sure you'd have an easier time learning beadmaking, etc. Also, Italian shops use different equipment. For me, it's been an adjustment to use my Nortel Minor again after even just a week of using the softer flame of an Italian torch. Do I want to run out and buy an Italian torch? Yeah, kind of, but my Minor is fine for my little perfume bottles and beads. I can also do small sculpture with it but it's an adjustment in the way that I learned.

What will I learn in a Lucio class? You'll learn thebasics of sculpture over a torch. Lucio does a lot of the human form so it's worth it to study the human figure (both male and female) before you go. For example, when Lucio creates breasts or pecs, he heats the side and then pulls up towards the underarm to create the fleshy part/muscle that we all have. Come on, I dare ya. Raise your arms and look in a mirror - you'll see what I mean. So, we learned torsos, small full body figures, costumed figures, masks, rings, goblets, small animals and insects and "architecture" for stands etc. Can any of us in the class "do" all of these things? No, but we have the basis for practice.

Well, that's enough thoughts for now. Feel free to email me at any time should you want to know more about the trip. On current news, we held a meeting for the possible formation of an ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) Washington chapter at Pratt Fine Arts Center yesterday. It was a great meeting! I tried my first fusing project on Saturday night - eeek! Terrible, must take a class. Finally, I made some new focals that I will post on ebay later tonight.

Have a good week!

Saturday, July 2, 2005

Last Class Day and Wrapup

It's actually Tuesday morning and I've been home in Seattle for a day. I'm trying so hard to separate the week I've just had with what surely awaits me at work. I love my staff and my work so I'm looking forward to the challenges that show themselves every week but the stress I feel at the torch (yes, there IS stress - will I burn the glass, will those wings crack, why can't I do hands and feet very well yet?) is an entirely different kind of stress than keeping business going so I can keep my staff (and myself) employed.

Let's see - final class day. I was a bit mopey without meaning to be. I think I woke up and realized a few things - It was all coming to an end, I was not leaving "a master" of anything (not that I expected to be but it's a little like starting over), I was having to say goodbye to a great group of people I had met, I was coming back to my grandma's passing, a long trip lay ahead... I managed to squeeze out a few smiles during the day but the emotions were right under the surface. Even Lucio noticed to my dismay and I told him I was just tired.

The class got more relaxed as the week wore on. Six full days with Lucio was both wonderful and at times too much. We spent a lot of time at the torch on Friday and Saturday with fewer demos. When Lucio did demo, however, he showed us some new techniques. For example, he made new little birds, showed us how to make more avant garde figures using similar techniques and how to incorporate everything into one big piece. This last skill culminated in a goblet that was just breathtaking - he took the Medusa figure and combined it with Perseus and an angel and an "architechture" to make a piece that I'm sure is worth thousands of Euro. It was an amazing sight to see.

My trip home was uneventful, if extraordinarily long. Next time, it will be worth it just to cough up the dough to fly direct. Once home, I felt like I was in a different world. I was greeted by my adoring little posse of animals. Cats and dogs alike were jubilant at my return (it's nice to feel loved). Getting in the car yesterday to do simple things like grocery shopping was foreign to me after not having stepped foot into pretty much anything but a water taxi for the week. I couldn't muster the strength or the time to torch - so many things to do and as it was the 4th, the 70lb dog was almost in my lap at the sound of the loud bangs of fireworks. I can't wait to get into my studio though - it'll have to wait until tonight. There are new tools to use, new techniques to try.

I plan on assembling a series of thoughts and tips on this training opportunity in the next day or so. I know I was desparately searching for info before I left and some things were truly left unsaid - as simple as bring mosquito repellant (think DEET) if you're prone to bites and what tools to bring, etc.

I'd better get dressed and start my day. Thanks to all of you for reading my blog. I've had a fun time writing it. I will continue on with glass news and musings. I plan on offering much more of my work for sale in the coming months - gotta pay for that next trip to Italy!

By the way, I've assembled all the pictures I took into a web page. Feel free to browse through and take any that you would like by right-clicking on them. I have the (huge) originals as well if you need copies.

Friday, July 1, 2005

Class Day Five - Goblets

Friday - we woke up to thunder and lightning and got absolutely soaked on the way to first Carlo Dona (third trip - seriously not because I think Roberto is very, very cute - but because there's always one more tool to buy after you see it used in class). The rain was still coming down in sheets as we made our way over the bridge to Lucio's workshop. Shoes splooshing and my jacket soaked, the rain let up just as we went inside.

Today Diego showed us how to make blown goblet stems and bowls over the torch. Ay Carumba! This is what I got into glass for! We each got our turn at the torch and I have to say, my first attempt was nothing remarkable but this is one thing I'll go home and practice for sure. I can see making ornaments, bottles and a number of things this way.

At the end of Diego's demo, Lucio showed us how to make goblet stems - and of course, he had to make a beautiful little costumed figure to go inside - what a work of art. The two pictures I've included are of the goblet blowing and of the finished piece. Only one more day - I'm in denial and can't believe it's gone this quickly. I'm not sure if I'll be able to update on Saturday night - we'll see what airport access is like.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Class Day Four - Medusa - Oh My!

What a beautiful day in Murano! Blue skies and the rain cooled everything down to a wonderful 70 degrees. I did some major damage to my bank account at Carlo Dona tools (actually I had some reserve but I'm tempted to go back in there just to gaze on Roberto again - he's such a cutie and so nice).
Class today was very relaxed and we spent much of the day practicing what we'd learned. I've gotten very good at making the little torsos but tend to crack the piece when working wings or putting a loop on for a necklace. It's all a matter of heat control and practice!

We went to a hot shop today and saw the incredible skill with which goblets and other blown items were made. Since I started in glass in the hot shop, somehow this felt like "home" to me. It was fascinating to see that what I've learned in Seattle is identical to what I was seeing here.

In the late afternoon, Lucio started showing us other animals - he's fantastic at it but they're definitely not his "style". I think he did this because we have all six days with him (some classes have Vittorio Constantini teaching wonderful beetles and other bugs and animals). Someone asked for a snake demo and he said, "Ah, too simple - I make Medusa!" Wow, what a demo! It was like ballet, or poetry watching him put all the snakes on her head. Wonderful!
I feel like the week is winding down now. Only Friday and Saturday left to go and I start my (really, really) long trip home. I'm telling myself not to think about it now.

Pictures for today - the rings that I made yesterday. I can't take credit for the base of the black ring - that was done by Diego - but they're my flowers and I made the complete purple ring -

Medusa - to die for!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Class Day Three - Rings and Pizza

Third day of class - half through now. I'm trying to remind myself that we still have three more days. What a great day! We started out with demos by Lucio. He showed us how to make several different versions of angel wings. My only attempt cracked but it was still good practice. In the afternoon, Diego (Lucio's apprentice) showed us how to make glass rings. So simple once you master it but difficult to get the heat just right. One thing that is something that a beginner (like me) just doesn't get right away, it the amount of heat and cooling that it takes to get the glass to pull out in one fluid motion while keeping its shape - PPP (practice, practice, practice!).

Tonight we went to dinner on another island and we took three boats. One belonged to the shop assistant, Diego. When I saw it, the thought - "jalopy" - automatically came to mind. There was a raging thunderstorm while we were at the restaurant and when we came out, the nice boats with covers were dry and poor Diego was left bailing water out of his boat. We had a good laugh at his expense. Dinner was fantastic and it poured rain and thundered and lightning-ed (is that a word?) through dinner and we worried we'd have to take a (water) taxi back. By the time we'd had our Tiramisu and espresso though, it was fairly dry and other than Diego's boat situation, we got "home" without incident.

The rings are in the annealer so I'll have a few pix of them tomorrow. Today, here are a couple of pictures of the angel wings - first by Lucio

And now - my cracked attempt (basically, I cut the wings apart too close to the back which caused stress in the glass - I like the torso though) -Finally, a picture of Diego showing us all how to do rings -

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Class Day Two - More Anatomy

Another day of the human figure - torsos today. Lucio also did a swan, spider, scorpion and fish. He'll pretty much demo anything you ask him to and make jokes the whole time. I'm utterly amazed by his skill and lack of ego. One of the more impressive (they're all impressive) demos he did today was a costumed jester. His use of color is fantastic. I didn't get a good photo but I'm providing one of a devil he made and one of us in class.

Here are a few of torsos I made. Perhaps we were just giddy but when it came time for the male torso, well - let's just say that the "parts" were a bit too impressive (wishful thinking?). We giggled as I went through the process of "emasculating" him and made them smaller. These busts are only about 1 1/2" high (the male and female) and the odd "she-male"-looking one is about 2 1/2" high.
A few words about Murano. It's such an interesting place. Boats = cars. Yesterday we saw a Boxer dog perching himself at the front of a boat with a young woman steering and talking on her cell phone - just like home but with a twist! This the time of year for swallows - the birds swoop and soar along the canals and I'm really enjoying seeing their scissor tails above. In the late afternoons and evenings, little older ladies in housedresses spend hours perched at their flower boxed windows taking in the activities on the streets and canals. It's a fantasy world with hot shops everywhere. I think Kimberly or Corina mentioned the hum of the furnaces 24 hours a day and it's true. It's a wonderful place!

Monday, June 27, 2005

First Day of Class - Whee!

We started class this morning at 9:30 am. Immediately there was a "situation" - Lucio and Diego had a meeting in Venice and were few minutes late for class. Lucio quickly began a demo and we had another "situation" when he realized "the music is broken". All of this was quickly made up for as Lucio created a beautiful woman in a matter of minutes, and then another and another... It's magical to watch and there was more than one gasp out of our class and clapping at the end. He made a mermaid that is just amazing.

We were then encouraged to try the human figure on our own. My hands were trembling (maybe it was the two tiny cups of espresso and cake that Lucio's mother made for us for a midmorning snack) but I think it was sheer fear! I managed to make something human-like and then I moved on to a mermaid. Though just not quite right, I've included a picture below and hope to show you a better looking one by the end of the trip!

We broke for lunch around 1pm and had tortellini and salad in Lucio's gallery, surrounded by incredible works of art. Lucio made a remark that we were "much quieter than the last group" - meaning Corina, Kimberly and others. After lunch, more demos, more practicing until dinner. Anne and I went out and ended up sitting next to two American girls who were disappointed not to be getting the attention from young Italian men that they expected. It was a fun dinner followed by yet more practice. We just got in to the (air conditioned yay!) apartment and are heading for bed.

By the way, never let anyone tell you it isn't broiling hot and humid here in the middle of summer and bring mosquito repellant - they're eating me alive!

Enjoy the photos - first, my mermaid -

Now Lucio's Mermaid -

A unicorn -

And a classical woman - look at her fingers!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Day in Venice

My roommate, Anne, and I went to Venice this morning via water taxi. It's been very hot and humid since we arrived and so we grew tired and soggy as we made our way through the quaint streets to Piazza San Marco where we saw incredible architechture (and a ton of pigeons and tourists like ourselves!). I'll post a few pix below. We had the customary piece of pizza for lunch and a gelato (Amaretto - second only to Chocolate!). I can't seem to ftp to my server from here but I can post pictures to my blog so the 147 (literally!) pictures I've taken so far will have to wait until I get home but I'll put up a few each day this week so you can see what we're up to.

Tonight, guess what we're having for dinner? Why, pizza, of course! Most of our group should be in by 8pm when we plan on meeting Lucio for the first time at his studio and then going on to the only pizza place on the island that is open on a Sunday night. More tomorrow...

A cool lamp on a Venice street.
Close up of on the statues at San Marco.
Marzipan (yum!) in one of the shop windows.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

English Politeness (and Venice here I come!)

Hello - I'm writing from London where I was, thankfully, able to spend the night after two extremely long flights yesterday. We circled Heathrow for about half an hour when they waited for a gate for us - excruciating after 11 hours of flying and 3 hours of layover but I finally made it to my hotel and was reminded of the politeness of the English.

I was awakened at 3:30 in the morning to the sound a of fire alarm - only this one was different than anything I had ever heard before. It was a polite English woman's voice saying something to the effect of, "Notice - we've been informed of a potential need to evacuate the building due to a fire alarm. We will investigate and let you know if you should leave the building." This went on for several minutes until the voice came back on saying, "We're sorry for the inconvenience - it was a false alarm. There is no need to evacuate the building." I've never heard of such a thing but I was grateful I didn't need to groggily run into the street in my jammies as I don't think it would have left me in a very good mood for today!

Which reminds me - I'd better get going. I have to take a bus back to Heathrow airport where I will catch a plane to Venice and then a water taxi to Murano. Can't wait! More updates soon.

I'm Here!

I made it! Murano at last! (That's really the way I felt, by the way, after the flight from Seattle to New York to London to Venice and then water taxi to Murano). Oh my gosh is this place incredible! I wandered the streets (needlessly, I later found out as the apartments are pretty much a straight shot up the street from the taxi) and saw the most romantically old buildings, people doing their Saturday shopping, sitting in cafes - much of what I expected but so much nicer in person! I'm in an apartment with a view of the canal - I'm including some pix below. My roomie and I went up the street to the supermarket and bought food to cook in our little kitchen. What did we make? Why, fritatta of course! We're going in to Venice tomorrow, which is a short water taxi ride away. More pictures then!


P.S. On a sad note , when I got here, I found out that my dear grandma had passed away. This trip will be very special as I will remember her and my Italian glass experience.
  View #1 from the apartment.
View #2 from the apartment.
The street on the way to the supermarket.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Ah, it's nice to see family...

I just had family here visiting this weekend. It's so much fun to haul out the beads and vessels and "show off" to my siblings and to my mom, who I don't see often enough.

Seattle is showing it's best weather today - just nothing to complain about. There are only a few weeks of the year when it's unbearably hot here - but it's only about 80 degrees today, blue skies - gorgeous! It does cool off in the evenings in time to torch. Very nice!

I did some shopping for the trip. Someone recommended some little cheese knives from Bed Bath & Beyond. These are used in glass sculpting. It's amazing the things you can use - spoons, butter knives, dental tools. Someone who didn't know what I was doing would be quite confused by my workbench!

I wanted to share another vessel with you today - this one is a lapis blue, coral and lime green hollow vessel - made off the end of a mandrel. I have an idea for a precious metal clay stand for it that I'll make when I come back into Seattle in a few weeks. I plan on selling these little perfume bottles when I get back as well.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

A Few Days Closer....

Another week gone and a few days closer to the trip to Murano. It's Saturday morning and I just turned on the kiln. I've been trying to prepare for the trip by doing one perfume bottle/vessel each time I torch in addition to beads, plant stakes. I have this idea that I want to get my own glass collector card and the photo I will use is a grouping of my little bottles. I've actually only been making them for a few weeks now and I love the challenge. I hope you like them too and I'm including my latest one at the end of this post. He's a cute little guy at about 2" tall and he actually sits quite flat on the table (which is actually no easy thing with hot or warm glass).

Well, off to the torch - so bright and early. It's a good start to the day!

Sunday, June 5, 2005

Pigeon Point Glassblog - First Post


I decided to start blogging on my site to let you know what I have been up to in my endeavors in glass. I really should be heading to bed as my "real" job requires me to be up and at 'em early enough.

As you may have seen from the front page of my website, I will be heading to Italy next week to study with glass master, Lucio Bubacco, at his studio in Venice (Murano). I have spent several years in Europe but I never made it as far south as Italy so I am really looking forward to this trip. I even took an 8-week course called "Italian for Fun & Travel". We had a book called "Italian in Ten Minutes A Day" - yeah, if you actually spend the ten minutes! Life is so busy - it's nice to be able to take a week out every now and again to fuel your passion.

When I look at my diary from when I was a 16-year-old exchange student in Germany, I see large chunks of time where I was a prolific writer and equally large (if not greater) chunks where I was mysteriously silent. I consider those the times when life intervened. I certainly won't write every day but I will try to update often. If I can get to the Internet cafes in Venice (I'm not sure what's available on Murano), I'll do that too but rest assured, I'll have a huge update when I get back if I can't post while I'm there. I'm a photo nut so I'll make sure to include lots of pictures.

To keep you satisfied, here's a picture of a new perfume bottle I made on Sunday night from Bullseye Cranberry and Pink.