New Directions, New Studio

First off, happy Caturday!

Glass Kitty Face Beads
Kitty faces!

My favorite time of the week is Saturday morning. Not so much for the obvious weekend time, but for me it is that quiet space — while teenagers slumber and tea is brewed — where ideasĀ are born. And it helps that I am a morning person. šŸ™‚

So, ideas! Here is what is going on behind-the-glass-scenes.

New Studio

Brent, my sweet and talented husband, built my first studio in our barn as a Mother’s Day present back in 2003. It has served me well and I love it. The only drawback is that we live in a 4-season climate. This means that this functional-but-uninsulated space has a fairly narrow window of optimal temperature in the spring and fall. I have torched in temps as low as 20F, but I am older now and less temperature-variable than I used to be.

Melting Glass at the Torch
The beginning of a bone bead

So we are moving indoors. This is something my husband has wanted to do for a long time. He is an engineerĀ and loves a good technical challenge. And there are many challenges in setting up a glass studio: proper ventilation and safe handling of propane are among my top concerns.

Glass Rods for lampworking
My glass rod supply. Always adding to this collection.

Glass rods are melted in a propane-oxygen torch to make glass beads. Cuts and burns are other hazards in a torch studio, but they are easy to deal with, compared to the technical set-up.

My friend Andrea Guarino-SlemmonsĀ – amazing beadmaker and metalsmith – has generously shared her studio ventilation set-up created by her engineering husband Whit. Our husbands hit it off many years ago, and we are basing our build on their plans, but modified for our colder climate. Thank you, Whit and Andrea!Ā ā¤

For now, I have learned how to use a pneumatic nail gun(!) and impact drill to frame our space.

Brent hard at work, with me hammering and drilling too.
Brent hard at work. Me too (even though I’d rather be melting glass).

New IdeasĀ for Art and This Site.

This studio space is huge. I will be so happy to have everything in one place. In addition to having a 2-torch station, I will have a fusing area to make fused pendants and hanging window glass pieces. I plan to incorporate torch work with the fused items. Still working out ideas.

As far as this blog, I plan to offer more behind-the-scenes information; on the studio progress as well as how beads are made. I am not well-versed on video, but plan to add short segments now and then to help viewers visualize the process. Anything you would like to see? Please let me know via email or on the Facebook page post.

Music and Art

I can’t create without music. My musical interests are all over the board – 80’s, funk, blues, piano, 70’s, Police, Bonnie Raitt and on and on. I feel compelled to share a composer I discovered a couple years on the iTunes Music Festival.

Ludovico Einaudi is an Italian composer and pianist, and I think he is genius. His musical scores are gorgeous, and this one, titled “Petricor,” translates to “the scent of rain after it hits dry ground.” Living out in the rolling wheat fields, I know and love that scent. This piece came on as I was writing this post, so I thought I would share. Enjoy.


If the player doesn’t work, here is a direct link.