Thursday, August 20, 2009

Cameo glass!!!

I'm so excited!! After alot of experimenting, I think I finally found a process to get the look of cameo glass I've wanted. Basically, I cut out the basic shape of what I want, figure out my middle and highlight colors, cut them out, tack fuse together, and then carve! When you carve through the varying layers, you get very nice shading and depth, plus you are adding a dimensional aspect to your work. Sometimes I've had to carve away the outside to develop the shape. When done with the carving, I fire polish the piece in the kiln. Hopefully, I will post pictures soon of some recent work I've done. I'd like to teach this at some point...I really love the look, it opens up alot of possibilities...
My hip is better. Have taken a defensive approach and just pound away with the Word of God over myself. Jesus has set me free from pain and disease, and I'm not "taking" the enemy's abuse anymore. I need my time with Him, He is my source for life and inspiration. I have a pretty solitary life for the most part, but He is my all in all. He has given me an abundant life, and I'm forever grateful. He is carving something beautiful out of my life, little by little.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Despite my throbbing hip at times, I'm so grateful that to Him for giving me periods of grace to get some work done. I finished my Red Hat and pinecone necklaces, and am pleased on how they turned out. With carving, I really enjoy the moment when you're in the moment. All time seems to stand still, and you become totally absorbed in the process of creating, absorbed in the transformation. It becomes a God moment, as most of the creative process is instinctive; I honestly don't know how I know what to do, other than by simply following His lead. I just decide, "what if I...?" and just jump in. What's the worst that can happen? Even mistakes are an opportunity to be creative.

I've always laughed at people who make comments about "those artistic types" referring to people like myself, and usually what they are insinuating is not exactly flattering. Artists are generally and wrongly judged as undependable, flighty, airheads. It's sad, because the God of this universe, is also an "artistic type" and I wouldn't call Him any of those things. I know my fellow artists that I know don't fit into any of those catagories, and are, in fact, the most intelligent, compassionate, focused, organized(the successful ones!) and unhypocritical people I have every met. And that brings me to persevering.

It is a challenge to persevere as an artist, when encouragement is rare in the beginning of our efforts. People don't generally encourage until they can see something worthwhile in your efforts. I just want to take the opportunity now to thank the dream builders of you out there, who take the time to lift up fledgling creatives like myself, who are taking that leap of faith and transitioning from dream to an actual reality. Like Lauren, Jeri, Deb, Sasha, who helped me on this journey, I hope to encourage other "fledglings" one day myself, to keep on, don't give up being who He created you to be. I didn't get to this point by myself, and I know few who do.

I want to thank Rita, who has this invaluable site for people starting in the jewelry business: and who also has a great site showcasing home jewelry businesses: who has created unbelievable free resources for the jewelry artist. Check her out!

Lauren Floden, has been a dear friend and soul mate, the number one person God put in my life to help me make beauty from my ashes. She has served many with the true uncompromising love of Christ that radiants from her. She is an awesome artist and harpist. Her website is:

Deb Munson of Artists' Junction, a Christian artist network and newsletter, has tirelessly given and given to her fellow broken artists. Her heart is to truly build up the Christian artists and please support her vision, as she helps so many others. Her website is:

Sasha Zhitneva, a renowned glass sculptor, has helped mentor me greatly in learning fusing. She does ground breaking work, and is a source of constant inspiration. Please visit her website, you will be amazed! You will never see anything that comes even close to it; she awes me!

Lastly, Jeri Cooney. She is a sister in every sense, and has seen something in me, along with Lauren, that I didn't dare believe existed. I'm so grateful for her, and for the unconditional love of a true friend. Friends are a rare and precious gift, and truly are the winds in our sails. You can't persevere without them and God.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Making pearls out of sand

Life can be frustrating and aggravating sometimes. This past weekend, had some face time with my bedroom ceiling as my lower back and hip went out. It gave me PLENTY of time to fuss about how I wasn't getting this project done, or doing this or that thing, you know, THOSE tormenting voices. Anyhow, since I couldn't walk much, and couldn't go down to my studio to carve, and a still, small voice said--" hey, it's time to draw and design!" It had been awhile, and I miss the process of just mind streaming ideas and concepts. It was fun and came up with some needed designs for upcoming projects. Just today, I excitedly got on to see the Etsy showcase, Just Jewelry, I booked. Being something of a newbie on the site, I couldn't find it, and sent off a frantic email to their support team, asking WHERE DID IT GO? After a long delay....they finally sent me the link, and yes, it was there! I discovered the reason I didn't find it was because I didn't check out the front page! Yes, I AM embarrassed, but all that humbling is good for the soul. And its' all how I make it. We can get aggravated or blow a gasket when delays or roadblocks come up, or we can take that gasket and make something out of it. God reminded me of how the oyster takes something that irritates it, and makes a beautiful pearl. The oyster frankly cares little if he's making a stunning piece of jewelry--- he's just making that grain of sand more comfortable for himself. So in the days ahead, when roadblocks, sand, or other gritty situations come to try and test me in this process of building my vision, and you know they will, I need to remember about that oyster, and how he dealt with the dirt....

Monday, August 10, 2009

Cherry blossom necklace

I'm really excited about my latest pendants; I really want to get more into sculpting my fused pieces by carving through different fused layers; case in point, my cherry blossoms which was done combining white, pink marbelized glass, and making individual center "jewels" and carved leaves.
After firing, I further carve details and refire to polish and tack fuse together. I put a little dichoric "dew drop" on these to further enhance the piece.
Cherry blossoms symbolize the brevity of life, as it blooms for only a short time. It encourages everyone to appreciate what time they have on earth, and thankfulness for what they are given. Hopefully, it will encourage the wearer that all things pass in time, and bad situations don't last forever. In a Christian sense, a Christian missionary used it to symbolize Christ as it means "ultimate sacrifice". It really speaks to me personally, as I am a breast cancer survivor, and you don't go through something like that without doing alot of personal inventory....

Hip, hip, and not hooray!

Well, apparently due to a workout I've been doing, I have done something to my lower back and hip, and have not been able to go down to my studio and finish some pieces I'm working on. I also have booked my first jewelry party with some wonderful Red Hat ladies, and wanted to make a few pieces for them. All is literally, on the back burner, as I have to "take it easy" and soothe my irritated hip, which is making ME VERY IRRITATED! I mean, this is NOT in my business plan, but maybe, as my dear friend Lauren reminds me, it just might mean God wishes to teach me how to REST in Him....hmmmmm....well, I can work on websites, and design new stuff...and order new glass!!! Hey, that's a thought! :)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

ck out this site on Christian symbolism

I just found and really got inspired by this site on early Christian symbolism, ; ck it out! Going to work on today my pinecones, which are based on the symbolism for the fir tree and evergreen which mean "elect of heaven, symbol of patience and eternal life, God's everlasting love, and Christ's birth. The pinecone is a seed bearer of the fir and evergreen, and it speaks to me of being a messenger of the Good News and planting His seeds in the lives of people we meet. Also, at some point, I am going to make a beaver. They symbolize the pursuit of holiness. Apparently, in ancient books on this, the beaver's private parts have medicinal value which lead to it being hunted(who knew?). It's said that the beaver, upon recognizing the intent of the hunter, will castrate himself, leaving the sack for the hunter, thereby saving his life. If the beaver ever encounters another hunter, it will show the hunter it has been castrated and will avoid death, by showing it has no value. The story symbolizes a Chrisitian who sacrifices everything to pursue holiness. When satan sees that the Christian has nothing of value, he leaves the person alone. I want to dedicate it to my friend Jan, who has sacrificed everything to follow after Christ. Ok, on to the pinecones!! More later....

Monday, August 3, 2009


I'm a glass artist in the Pennsylvania Pocono area, who's trying to combine fusing with carving. Right now, I'm working on carving shapes that I have cut out and shaped and fused in the kiln in varying layers, and in carving through those layers reveal shading and translucency of the colors behind it. I've found that specialty glasses(like marbled) give very interesting effects. I've been inspired by cameo glass, but was seeking a way to do it without caustic and dangerous acids. Some sandblast, but I'm using a Fordham drill with diamond bits to carve with, and I love it. Purists may say it's not true carving as it's not stone wheel carving, but before you knock it, you should try it. I love the fact that I can hold the drill like a pencil, therefor giving me more control. I also can see what I'm doing better. The drill bits vary from teeny-tiny, to big drill bits perfect for deep carving. Supplying water has been a challenge, and I use a shallow plastic dish filled with water, with thin pieces of styrofoam to give me a surface to press against, that I can add or subtract, depending on the height of the piece, and how much water I need to get on the surface. I am planning on putting together a drip system soon, and will show that when I do it. In the next few days, I'll post some pictures of things I've recently carved to give you all an idea. Hopefully, by keeping a journal of what I'm learning, we all can learn by my mistakes and discovery!