Friday, May 12, 2006

Last Day In Coldigioco

No! It's not possible! Today is our last day in Coldigioco before we head out to the train station and then it's off to Rome. This time here has been fantastic. I wish I had had more time to blog and tell you all about this little slice of heaven.

Life is very simple here. No one owns a microwave or (unfortunately) a clothes dryer but you quickly get over those things. One look at the lush hillsides, tiny lizards running about and the fantastic fresh food and variety of wines and I fell in love. Our view out of the studio windows was enough to take your breath away in sun or rain.

We have spent a lot of time on the torch in the past few days with Larry teaching us new techniques and demos from many of the students. Mauro came by yesterday and asked me to make a small bottle, on which he put two tiny sculpted seahorses. He made a sea star stopper for it. Magnifico! We made a collaboration bead in Sue Snyder's honor and it will rest under a rose bush outside of the glass studio's windows.

Oh yeah, I learned to make Byzantine chain for a bracelet. I love it! I'll definitely be doing more of that.

So, I have many, many pictures to share. I hear we may have fast Internet access in Rome but with only two days, I'll see what I can squeeze in. Thanks to everyone for the nice comments and emails!

Ciao for now!


Wednesday, May 10, 2006


...And it's wonderful! Ever been in a food--induced stupor? That's what we've been feeling like lately. How can you refuse? All of the parmesan, pasta, bread and all of the other tempting goodies. Yum!

We are having a great time - eating waaaayyy too much! We've gone to a lot of the small towns around. Saw a palace and ate dinner with the owner (a Count) the other night. We went to another town last night and saw a beautiful church dedicated to St. Patrick (the second). Then we went to a restaurant nicknamed "The Pesto Lady". We had a whole dinner that was vegetarian and very, very good. Talk about delicious!

Larry and I have been taking long walks to try to work off some of the calories. Yesterday we went on a 40 minute walk with Pago (the dog), Lolita (a 12-year-old orange tabby cat) and Caraba (a little black cat). I thought for sure the cats would drop off and we'd lose them but they hung on and went the whole way. Lolita meowed for the duration but cheerfully trotted along.

It's really cold here. Thunder and lightning and freezing rain. Today is sunny though so hopefully it will warm up. We've been getting in a lot of torch time. We've had demos by Larry (of course), Leslie Thiel, me and a wonderful artsit named Mauro Puccitelli. He's coming over this afternoon to do more for us - a maestro at tiny animals, insects and other sculpted items. He also pulls his own glass and we've been playing with it. It's totally compatible with Effetre and we have been playing with some different colors.

Well, gotta run. Since I'm on dial-up and pictures are so slow loading, I think I'll come back and add them as soon as I'm on a faster connection so please check back!

Ciao for now!


Sunday, May 7, 2006


So, it's Monday already and we're in Coldigioco. Coldigioco is a very small village in the Marche region of Italy. It consists of 11 buildings owned by various famous/semi-famous geologists and geophysicists who come to the region during the year to do research. There is a fantastic flameworking studio, a common kitchen, beautiful views and tremendous food!

I'm also getting my kitty and puppy fix because Paula and Sandro, our hosts, have three cats and wonderful dog named "Pago". Pago is a chocolate lab mix full of personality.

So, after a second day of visting Murano and Roberto Dona, we returned to Venice and did the Rialto market and some more sightseeing. On Saturday morning we rode the train down here during a train strike - we were lucky to get on one of the only trains running. Yummy dinner at a local restaurant and then we fell into bed, exhausted.
Yesterday was a full day of torching and then dinner made by Sandro. Man, that guy can cook! It was wonderful...

Today, we're off to see a local flameworker who does penguins and other creatures the size of a grain of rice (using full-sized glass rods, of course!). Then it's an afternoon of torching and dinner at a local restaurant.

Internet access is dial-up. I'll see if I can get a picture or two uploaded tomorrow.

Ciao for now!


Friday, May 5, 2006

Two Days in Venice/Murano

Writing from an Internet cafe in Venice. Gorgeous city, gorgeous weather! We have gone to Murano both days. Stopped by Effetre for a very brief tour. True to their secrecy, we didn't get to see much. Roberto Dona was totally charming, as usual and I stocked up on *too many* tools! We found Lucio Bubacco at home in his studio and he welcomed us in.

Today, we headed back to Murano for a bit and are finishing up our whirlwind shopping and sight-seeing tour of Venice. Tomorrow we're off to Coldigioco and hopefully a little better Internet access.

Unil later!


Tuesday, May 2, 2006

And we're Italy that is!!!

Good morning!

It's 6:45 am and I'm sitting in Seatac airport in Seattle waiting for my 8:00 am flight to JFK and then on to Venice. It's really nice to think that my only real concern right now is should I have the bagel with cream cheese or plain? I *do* have about a 15 hour (ugh!) trip ahead of me but it's a small price to pay for what I think are going to be two fantastic weeks.

So, Larry B. (Brickman) and Kendra B. (Bruno) left for Italy on Sunday to be able to check out our teaching venue. I'll meet them and the rest of the group in Venice on Wednesday morning.

Here's a rough outline of our itinerary -

Wednesday 5/3/06 - Arrive in Venice at about 9:30 am. Make my way via water bus to the hotel by 11:00 am. Free time in Venice.

Thursday 5/4/06 - Day in Murano. Tour of Effetre, Carlo Dona, stop in at Lucio's, SHOPPING!

Friday 5/5/06 - Free day in Venice or Murano. Whee!

Saturday 5/6/06 - Travel via train to Coldigioco (small hill town, SE of Venice on Adriatic side)

Sunday 5/7/06 - Class most of the day with Larry (I'm TA'ing), evening cooking class

Monday 5/8/06 - Visit with glass maker, Mauro Puccitelli, class with Larry, visit the Pope's home

Tuesday 5/9/06 - Morning class with Larry, Tolentino

Wednesday 5/10/06 - Papermaking museum in Fabriano, class with Larry

Thursday 5/11/06 - Morning class with Larry, afternoon jewelry making with Kendra, food and wine tasting

Friday 5/12/06 - Morning class with Larry, afternoon jewelry making with Kendra

Saturday 5/13/06 - Depart for Rome

Sunday 5/14/06 - Day in Rome (!)

Monday 5/15/06 - Leave for U.S. and arrive back in Seattle happy and exhausted!

So, I hope that gives you an idea of what we're doing. I have my camera with me and I'll try to upload pix when I can. Whee! Feel free to email me or comment here!

More soon...


Friday, April 7, 2006

Is it really April???

Oh my goodness! I just can't believe it! I've been watching the gorgeous cherry blossoms and other signs of spring but you know how it is, you look at the calendar and whoomp - there it is (yeah, cheesy I know)!

So, these articles and such are starting to emerge. Jim Thingwold over at Glassline sent me some comp copies of the magazine with my "how to" on hollow perfume bottles. A little bit about that - the pictures are a little dark but there's a good reason! Nicole Brown took them for me during a power outage which happened in the middle of the demo I was doing. It's a testament to her fantastic photography skills that they still turned out great! Also in the Glassline April/May issue is a nice article Jim did about the Kobe Lampwork Glass Museum exhibit. I'll be sure to post more pictures that Larry Scott took during his visit to the Museum this week. You'll be able to find them on

Larry B., Kendra Bruno and I made a "power run" last weekend down to Portland, OR for the O.R.B.S. meeting. What a great group of people! I would love to get the Seattle group and the Portland group together for a very fun, LOUD, and creative meeting!

My blog has been listed on a great new site - Please make sure to check it out (maybe you came here from that site). This is a great opportunity to see what other folks are up to. Some people post their latest work on their blogs and some - just their musings about life. In any case, it's a good way to get to know some of your favorite lampworkers!

Only three weeks until my next trip to Italy - I know I haven't said much about it but I intend to blog through it and I hope you'll check in to see what we're up to. I'll be flying into Venice, spending a couple of days there and in Murano. Then it's off to a little village called "Coldigioco" for beadmaking in the countryside. Finally, I end up the trip in Rome for a couple of days. Poor me, huh? I love to travel and this was such a great opportunity, I couldn't pass it up!

More news soon - oh yeah, went to see Train and Anna Nallick - both fantastic concerts! Seattle offers a lot of opportunities for both the art and music lover - just one of the many reasons I love where I live.


Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Life is good!

Oh my, oh my have I been a busy girl! I've been a writin' articles and submittin' pictures and this past two weeks, my time has been taken up with the Fire & Rain Kobe Japan exhibit preparations. Kobe and Seattle are sister cities and we've been asked to submit beads for a two-month exhibit and a "necklace" for permanent dispay. Can you imagine wrangling 38 artists to send beads in on a schedule? We managed to do it. I think we are sending over 300 beads from artists like Michael Barley, Larry Brickman, Larry Scott, Kimberly Affleck, etc., etc. The list goes on. People with lesser-known names and spectacular talent participated as well. Look for more info about this cool project soon. I'll post pictures when I'm finished editing them.

Let's see, what else? Well, the electroforming bath has been quite full lately. Here's the ring I talked about in my previous post. What do you think? I'm quite taken with it! I am expecting the materials to be able to electroform with silver sometime this week. I suspect that I won't have time to switch over and try it until next week sometime but I promise to post the results.

I don't write a lot about my personal life - because, well, glass makes up a lot of it! Suffice it to say, things are great. I'm going to see Jaime Cullum tonight with my sweetie and some good friends. We're going to see Train later this month and I'm taking a great silversmithing class in Victoria, Canada. Then there's the trip to Frantz Art Glass for their open house next weekend, and, and - the list goes on!

Have a great March - I'll check in soon!


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Fire & Rain

Today we're meeting with our glass chapter, "Fire & Rain". I feel so fortunate to live in an area where we have so much talent! Emmett Hollander has offered his studio to us today. Emmett is primarily a boro artist so it gives many of us a chance to see and work with another type of glass.

This week has been extraordinarily busy for some reason. I managed to get over to Glass Expressions to see Kathy Johnson. What another talented woman! I traded her an organic electroform for one of her beautiful horses.

I've got a cool bumpy ring bead electroforming in the bath and I've been playing with some huge lentil presses I've gotten lately. Finding the time is always a challenge but I don't think I'd want to live without glass in my life right now. There are several upcoming "enter your photos" things coming up. Must carve out time to do that. I don't enter those exhibitions and publications things out of an egotistical reason. It's just that I ask myself, what good are all these things sitting on my dining room table of no one sees them = -)

Gotta run - the sun's shining. There are so many things to do!


Tuesday, February 7, 2006

What good's a blog...

What good's a blog if you never update it, right? I can't believe so much time has passed again. Just busy busy busy! I spent a wonderful couple of days in Coupeville, WA on Whidbey Island this past weekend with a great group of other glass artists. It became even more cozy when the electricity went out and we gabbed by candle light for hours until the power came back on.

I have a couple of exciting things happening. Brad Pearson and Deanna's Griffin Dove's new book should be coming out soon and I'll have one or more beady images in it. A few more of my electroformed beads are being published in the next couple of months and I'm writing an article for a glass publication. Things seem to be moving along - kinda cool!

I made a fantastic little bottle with Bullseye's new Petal Pink - will take a photo tonight and post it here. For the future, I'm marking it on my calendar now - UPDATE BLOG WEEKLY!

Talk to y'all soon!