Archives for October 2015

Pendant bead

Pendant bead

A pendant bead and a work in progress

Technically not a bead because the hole does not go all the way through.  I will cap this pendant bead.  I am making a silver hollow form that will attach to the capped pendant.  A work in progress…….  stay tuned.

creating the desert in glass and metal

Bead 6

Nevada Silver disk bead

Bead 6 – Nevada Silver disk bead

Nevada Silver

Nevada Silver History

Silver mining in Nevada began in 1858 with the discovery of the Comstock Lode, the first major silver-mining district in the United States. Nevada calls itself the “Silver State.”  When I started lampworking in 1996 I was living in Las Vegas, Nevada.  When I started adding metals to my glass I named the resulting beads after Nevada’s silver mining…

These Nevada Silver beads can be used as spacers, bracelet beads, or in a long chain.  Very versitile.  I love that I am focusing on these silvered beads.  These beads a neutral and pair well with almost anything.

New jewelry soon in my shop…

Nevada Silver small beads

Sneak Peak

A bracelet with the small Nevada Silver Beads and cast Shibuichi lady bugs….

Nevada Silver bracelet

creating the desert in glass and metal


The yucca plant is native to the high deserts of the southwestern United States and Mexico.  Extracts from the plant’s root are used in alternative medicine, as a soap, and as an herbal dietary supplement.  The yucca is a tree like succulent.  The yucca flower is a series of white or purple blossoms on a long stalk.  We have several yuccas and I love when they bloom.  Of course it’s inspiration!

yucca plant photo

Yucca inspiration – Bead 4

yucca inspired bead

Bead 3

Bead 3 – dots

This lampworked bead uses a technique of applying dots on the glass.  The base bead is my Nevada Silver onto which I have applied silvery black dots that I pressed flat.  Made lots of variations of these with raised dots, melted dots, flat dots, rows of dots…….

bead - lampworking

Inspired by Navajo jewelry that is set with stones – mainly turquoise.

silver with stones

creating the desert in glass and metal

Stamped silver – Bead #2

Stamped Silver

My aesthetic in jewelry is heavily influenced by the southwestern deserts.  I am also drawn to the wonderful Navajo stamped sterling silver jewelry.

stamping on silver

I wanted to translate this technique to glass.

Bead #2 that I first created over 15 years ago was an attempt to capture that stamping technique.  The base bead is the Nevada Silver technique that I love so much.  Embellished with a swipe of silvery black glass that is cut with a knife while the glass is hot.

stamping a lampworked bead

creating the desert in glass and metal

A Lampworked bead a day

Lampworked Beads – my challenge to myself – again

I have always thought of myself as a glass bead artist ever since I started making beads in 1997.  I used to make jewelry before I started to make glass beads, but once I learned the art of lampworking I was obsessed with glass.  I made beads and sold beads.  Occasionally I would make a piece of jewelry.

Years went by and suddenly jewelry sparked my interest again, but I wanted to incorporate metals into my designs so I set out to learn metal smithing techniques and glass bead making was fit in now and again.

Now I want to incorporate it all into my jewelry designs.  So my challenge to myself is to make a lampworked bead a day.  I want to go back to my original bead designs and remake them to fit into the jewelry I want to make today.

So I plan to post my progress here…  as a diary for me… and maybe of some interest to those who stop by.

My intentions is to concentrate on one thing and explore it fully – to find my voice and to enjoy the journey.  Along the way I will put some of my creations up for sale in my shop, but I will not make things just to sell them.  The pieces I make will be special to me…..

So here is bead #1.  It is why I started to learn glass beadmaking in the first place.  It was the start of taking inspiration from the desert and creating it in the studio.  I called the technique Nevada Silver as fine silver foil is wrapped around clear glass.  The result is earthy with a hint of a sparkle.  The design is a “Desert Bloom”.

Lampworkd bead 1

the inspriation

Desert Bloom

creating the desert in glass and metal


Another Saddle Ring

Saddle Ring for Barb

Saddle Ring – with the help of an online class

If you follow my blog you know that I have been making rings.  So when I saw an online class with Leslie Kail Villareal on making her Boho Ring – I signed up.  And I am so glad I did.  I am mainly a self taught metalsmith.  I see something I like, and I read and try to figure out how to accomplish it.  With Leslie’s class I watched her video which made the whole process seem so simple.  It was very challenging and I learned several techniques and improved on some I already had learned.  The ring above is a simple design commissioned by a friend.  She wanted a hammered ring with minimal embellishments.

Saddle ring - boho style

This ring mimicked Leslie’s design more closely.  The silver was etched.  The stone was set on curve.  Lots of embellishments were added.  It is quite the statement ring.

I also made this ring and the etching is the focal point

Inca saddle ring

I have another in the tumbler right now!

creating the desert in glass and metal


Aurevoir Provence


Literally it means til seeing again.  And I definitely want to visit Provence again.

On our last day we started out by visiting St Paul de Mausole, the asylum where Vincent van Gogh spent a year late in his life.  We walked the grounds, saw his chambre, and our guide shared insights into his tormented life.  It’s still a working asylum.

aurevoir - vangogh

vangogh statue

For our farewell dinner we headed to the St Remy  winery in Chateauneuf du Pape and saw the remains of the papal summer residence which had been destroyed by the Nazis in World War 2.

papal summer home

We had a wonderful wine tasting in their cellars

wine cellar

And a wonderful meal

the next morning it was off to Marseille airport.

A wonderful trip, but it’s always good to go home…

Cooking Class in Avignon

cooking class

A cooking class – Day 6 in Provence

We started today with a trip to a farm at the outskirts of Avignon where we met our chef instructors and helped to pick out some fresh vegetables.

cooking class

cooking class - farm

We also met some residents


Then off to La Mirande Restaurant and Cooking School

cooking class

We prepared a 4 course lunch and had a wine tasting.

cooking class

cooking class

After lunch we toured the Pope’s residence.


The Avignon Papacy was the period from 1309 to 1377, during which seven successive popes resided in Avignon (then in the Kingdom of Arles, part of the Holy Roman Empire, and now in today’s France) rather than in Rome.