Saturday, May 29, 2010

Next week I will teach two sessions of Hand Felted Bangle with Beaded Bead at the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. Kits for this project will be available at Meet The Teachers Event on Wednesday June 9th and any time from my studio. The kit contains a Turbo Felting Board (a sharply corrugated surface that hastens the felting process allowing some to complete it in a 3 hour workshop WITH the beaded bead!), fine merino wool roving in choice of 2 color blends: to make the top bangle in the picture (classic gold) or other bangle in greens and purple/raspberry (botanical), beads, needle, thread and recipe to make the beaded bead plus a video lesson.
This is my first experience of making and providing a lesson on video. Now I can offer a would-be felter my handfelted jewelry workshops without their having to leave the house. As an author of technique books, I'd like to think that everyone can learn from books. In reality, I've had a few people tell me they need to SEE it to learn. Well, now I can provide this too. I'm excited. Haven't successfully recorded it to dvd but, wish me luck. I'm trying not to make my usual lament that "It isn't enough to be really good at what you do. You have to know how to do it in French, underwater." This decade-long struggle to embrace technology is starting to grow on me. The joy of reaching more people and sharing more things drives me ever forward. Jay calls me his little geek.

Jill (aka Jilly Beads) is wearing her freshly beaded bud bead earrings. These are sweet little lampworked beads by Lea Zinke that are beaded with size 15 and 11 seed beads using, believe it or not, 5 different stitches. They are fun to make if you like working with tiny beads. Kits are available from my website and Bead Gallery Inc.

Here are some that were made at Bead Gallery Inc when I taught the Beaded Bud Bead Earring workshop there. When store owner, Genevieve Martineau, kitted this project for those who missed my workshop, it led to us collaborating on more kits. This line of kits combine my step by step instructions/recipes with her stash of Swarovski stones, including some rare and precious ones. Her kitting progress stalled while renovating her beautiful store but, she is expected to join me at the Meet the Teachers event at B&B, with completed kits in tow. At $15 or less, we hope beaders will want at least one. Check into my website in a few weeks for newer additions to the line as she gets to finishing them.
Just like those in the kits, these two differently sized rivolis are bezeled using a version of a little known South African stitch. Lovely from every angle, they are shown to their best advantage on the ends of a firepolish bead lariat. The stick pearl slide can be worn on either end, or in the middle. Looks like this project will be one of the classes I'll teach in Germany in March.
While designing this array of bezels for the various shapes and sizes of Swarovski stones, I have been inspired to design projects that flaunt the bezeled stones from every angle. Oh great, just what I need. More inspiration! and too little time! Hmmmmmm. My mantra, time will expand to accomodate my beads...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Beadwork Magazine's June/July issue hit the stands, I am tickled to report, because it features another Master Class by moi. The topic this time is a way for the timid beader to conquer their intimidation of cubic right angle weave. The editor had sent me a loaner camera and asked that I make a video that would be offered on the web as a bonus to the article.
It was amazing how uncomfortable I was sitting there before a little video camera. That entire first day was spent making dozens of attempts, stopping, deleting and starting again. I even resorting to taping a script next to the camera. But, at day's end, I simply called it quits and assured myself that in the morning, with a fresh start, I'd get it right in the first take.
What a gift it was to have that opportunity to try my hand at this medium. I now own one and am in the process of providing video material to support for some of my instructions and kits.
You've seen Janet here many times in studio class shots and at Bead Blasts, modeling her beautiful beadwork. When I've enumerated here the numbers of beaders married to wood turners, I've counted Janet among them. Here she is with her handsome and delightful husband Bob. Together they are BoomerangPro: makers of beautiful wood crochet hooks and beading looms.
Generally, I purchase the beaders' spools of fishing line/beading thread, especially since I implore beaders to purchase theirs at the beading stores rather than box stores. This week, in time for preparing the kits for the 7 classes I am teaching at the Bead & Button Show, a chain sport-store sent a discount coupon for fishing supplies. As I try to keep the cost of the kits minimal for these classes, I succumbed to the discount purchase. In the fishing line aisle, look what I saw! To my surprise, Fireline, now offers a braided tine, nearly indistinguishable from PowerPro. Imagine the confusion this will cause for beaders everywhere! It is even in the moss green of PowerPro.
At the Meet the Teachers event on Wednesday evening of the Bead & Button Show I will offer kits for the classes that were sold out Glass Bead Inspired Lariat, Fireflies at Sunset, Two Sides to Every Story and Felted Bangle with Beaded Bead. To keep it simple, I'll confine the color choices for the felt bangle to the wool and beads used in this bangle and the more colorful one in the class catalog. In class, however, students will have an array of colors to choose from, to use solidly, in combination or blended.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Carolyn baum

Yesterday I visited Carolyn Baum in her studio. You have seen her beads in Bead and Button magazine and Bead Dreams exhibits. In addition to glass beads, she has been doing alot of glass work on wire, focusing on petals, stamens, leaves and the like.

We have discussed collaborating and this visit seals the deal. My head is swimming with ideas for combining her delicate looking wired glass components with my felt. Can't wait to get started.

Now, I'm still figuring how to blog from email, iPad and alternatives to travelign with my computer. I have posted 5 photos here but, they appear on separate posts. I'll figure it out. Be patient with me.

Glass flower parts

Another pic of Carolyn Baum's glass.

More glass flowers

Here are some more of the glass flowers that Carolyn makes by combining the individual wired glass elements. For combinign with felt, I go for the contrast of the shiny glass, especially translucent or clear glass.

Glass flowers

Cesare Toffolo

Of course Carolyn has lovely glass throughout her home. I recognized this piece from my stays at the Hotel Murano in Tacoma Washington. Not only is the hotel appointed with amazing glass but, the lobby held a library of exquisite books about glass artists. This piece is by Cesare Toffolo, a glassworker from Murano Italy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Studio class

In my adventures of figuring how to use iPad for blog postings, I discovered (no thanks to the geniuses I have consulted), that I can email my entries. This is THE way to get images into the entry. The text however, didn't show up. It is all a learning curve and will get better with time. When I ask what I assume are rather pedestrian questions, the responses I receive make me feel like this is groundbreaking stuff. Interesting.
In the photo are, l to r, Ellen and Janet. Both wearing their fine beadwork. Janetis showing us her needlepoint rendered in size 15 seed beads. Gorgeous. Let's see if I can link to her website. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Janet (right in photo), back from Florida, came to the studio class tonight with Mary Ann (not in photo, and was my computer mentor who initiated me into blogging). It was fun to see what they've been beading since we last met. Check out Janet's earrings and cool (Pat Riesner) heart pendant. The white framed Japanese design before her is needlepoint she rendered in size 15 seed beads, using a hand painted canvas. It is exquisite. Ellen (left in photo) is a painter and the notion of painting needlepoint canvases intrigued her, at least for this moment. If you check out her wrist, you'll see the wonderful beaded snake bracelet.
Here is a close-up. Ellen beaded this bracelet in the likeness of their pet snake Pocahontas, for her husband Hank. When she showed it around the class, having memeory wire through its core, it quivers so life-like you almost expect to see a tongue shoot out!
Jill finished off her Pat Riesner tennis bracelet with a magnetic closure and safety chain.
How many times have you read here about a beader married to a wood turner? Well, Janet, above, is yet another. She and her husband are BoomerangPro (comfortable and lovely turned wooden crochet hooks and beading looms).
I'd hoped to write this on my new iPad, having invested in it and in the camera gizmo so I could slide the photos from the camera right into the iPad. Hmm, couldn't make it happen. Had to send the pics to myself in mail and save to My Pictures in my computer. Wondering, how will I figure out how to make it work that I can download pics from iPad into Blog? Wish me luck.
I will not be teaching at Jubili Beads outside Philly as promised. They cancelled it today. I'll make the most of this time to figure out the new techy challenges confronting me, finishing up recipes and kits for Bead & Button Show next month and checking in with friends and family.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The first project in Day 1 was to create a tight cane using the skewer technique. The cane was felted and fulled until it became dense and firm felt. Knowing the color composition beneath the surface, Mary Jane carved the felt, creating surface design through deconstruction. She embellished it with beads and, sharing my love of hidden magnetic closures, I showed her how to embed the magnets in the ends and add a safety chain.

Lyn, an accomplished needle-felter, seemed to thrive on these wet feltmaking techniques. Her emphasis was on hair adornments. She intends to attach a comb to the coil (on right in photo) to wear in her hair. Can't recall what she said of her intentions for the flower. Knowing what her interests were, I brought up the topic of fascinators. She was familiar with them, and we won't be surprised to see this flower on her head.

Ever since I taught in Australia (April before last), when I first heard the term fascinator, I have been working on these wonderful headpieces that are bigger than a barrette and smaller than a hat and utterly fabulous! They can range from delicate and feminine to bold and dramatic to whimsical and spritely. Expect to read right here soon, the description of this new workshop I expect to start offering by summer.

Marilyn made a wonderful rope by simply felting a length of this exquisitely dyed, fine Australian merino roving. (Last year I began stocking this same line of Aussie fibers. Its fine micron size yeilds a velvety soft felt with a smooth finish that is unrivaled for jewelry and neckwear.) Today she finished it with a couple inches of gold plated chain at the back closure. She embellished the center with acid green artistic wire and wrapped the dichroic glass pendant with the same wire.

Mary Jane decorated her felted rope with Swarovski sequins and bead fringe. End caps join the gold plate chain to the felt for an elegant finish.
In just two weeks I will offer this workshop at Jubili Yarns and Beads in Collingswood NJ (outside Philly). If we don't get to share in the felty beady goodness there, perhaps you can join me on at Creative Castle in Newbury CA. May 22 and 23 I'll teach 2 days of Felted Component Jewelry workshop, right after offering these popular beading workshops: A Bevy of Bezels (innovative use of polygon stitch to create quick and textured beaded bezels for rivolis, cabochons and Swarovski stones), Advanced Elements of Beadwork (second generation of a technique packed workshop that results in a finished necklace.) Register with them right away to reserve your place.

It will take two posts to share with you about Day 2 of Felted Component Jewelry Workshop at Imagine in Bemus Pt NY, since I can share only 5 photos per post.
Just before officially closing Day 1 of their 2-day workshop, I shared some techniques for embellishing the feltwork with beads. This included picot stitch, fringes, backstitching, and drops in singles and clusters. Apparently there are more knitters and weavers in this workshop than beadworkers. This means that some of the beading information was brandy new (and perhaps scary). This group may have been winding down from a very productive and physical day of feltmaking, yet they were undaunted.
They must have taken it all in because they arrived for Day 2 jazzed and eager to take beads to felt. Seen here, l to r, are Rosemary, Mary Jane, Lyn and Mary Beth completely immersed and intent in their mission.
I snagged these two flowers seen above, to shoot up-closer. The one with picot edging is Rosemary's and the one with crystal clear dew drops is Mary Beth's. I hadn't expected to venture into flowers in this workshop but, Kathleen had come with some fleece from her friend's recently-passed ewe, intent on making a flower of it for her friend. Many of the other felters were happy to join in. Rosemary said she intends her flower for a centerpiece, rather than personal adornment.
Darcy made a felt bead at the close of Day 1 that had ridges and flaps and splendid places to strategically place some glass beads. After beading its surface, she added it to the end of a felt bracelet that closes with a beaded loop.
One could see that Yancey is regarded as a mathematical and organizational whiz. If this reputation led folks to underestimated her creative abilities, she broke out of that box this weekend. Forgive this inadequate photo of her lovely necklace that features her dainty felt beads and pendant, strung with glass beads, and centered on gold plated chain.
Now another post with more...

Saturday, May 1, 2010

OK, I know I said goodnight but...Anne (my hostess here in Bemus), seen here in her studio, shared some of her work with me that I just HAD to share with you before I go to bed. She is not simply a beadworker, who teaches beadwork at Imagine and designs kits for sale and had a piece published in Step by Step Beads. She makes temari balls and here are two of her pieces in process.

For several years she and her husband Jim lived in Alaska in the bush. There she learned bead embroidery in the native style (seen in the beaver trimmed slipper she made for her beloved, on the left in the photo, and in the heart shaped box in the center of the photo) and caribou tufting. The 3 pink flowers on the heart box are tufted as is the white decoration on the chatelaine on the right. Notice the long tufts at the bottom. This shows the caribou tufts before they are trimmed close.

You will notice that she also does quill work, as evidenced in the white V decoration on the round box lid.
This close shot gives you a sense of the dimentional quality of the work. Fascinating. Just had to share. Now off to bed...

Imagine is a yarn and bead store that boasts a fascinating inventory of gifts plus estate and handcrafted jewelry. The gifts include hand warming mugs (clever design that surrounds your fingertips with the heat provided by your beverage), hand knitted wraps, knitted and fulled purses and totes, hand-tooled vintage leather hand bags and briefcase, and framed work.

These two separate rings are made to fit within each other, giving the wearer 3 options.
The ring is seen assembled in the left portion of this photo.

All 3 of these photos are examples of work by jeweler Gabriel Pyra, an artist from the Netherlands, now residing in Brooklyn, NY.

These earrings by Singerman and Post look like anondized aluminum.
It is an original process using mylar, film and thin plastic. The surface decoration is phototransfer of an original design. They are lightweight and lovely.

I can't wait to share with you tomorrow night, the outcome of tomorrow's workshop. Until then...

Myriam, owner of Imagine in Bemus Point, wore this delicate necklace that I can best describe as interlaced microscopic ball chain. It reminded me of the fashion earrings in the photograph that Mary Tynes brought to the studio class a couple years ago. Mary had wanted to render a similar design in beads and when she showed me the picture I could SEE in a moment, how to construct them in right angle weave. Their construction has such a wonderful way to get comfy with right anlge weave that I included the design in MASTERING BEADWORK.
Our day began next door to Imagine, with breakfast in the Bemus Point Inn. This is lovely Laurie, the owner. She and her husband will celebrate their first year of ownership in June. Best of luck Laurie. I heard afterwards that their peach waffles are ammmmazing.

Anne, Yancy, Darcy, Kathleen and Tracey are building layers of wool for their felt flowers. They have already completed the felt for bangles, felted earrings, and some felted beads. Between the Turbo felting boards, the luscious Aussie Fibers merino fiber and their energetic efforts we covered an astonishing amount of technique and production in one day.

Here are Lucy, Marilyn, Mary Beth, Rosemary, Mary Jane and Lyn
also busy at making felt flowers.
Tomorrow they will fabricate finished jewelry using these felt components in composition with other beads, chain, findings, crystals, and gemstones.