Talisman

Definition

A talisman is an object, typically an inscribed ring or stone, that is thought to have magic powers and to bring good luck.  But it really could be any object that has come to have meaning to you.  To me a talisman is a special piece that evokes a memory and makes you feel good.

Talisman Necklaces

talisman

A few years back I designed and sold a series of “Desert Talisman” necklaces each with their own story.  I sold them all; but of course I had to keep one for myself.  I think of it as my summer necklace.  I first wore it on a trip to the ocean back in 2010.  I called it “Wings” as it was the perfect adornment for a walk on a sandy and breezy beach in the morning looking for shells.  Now when I wear it I think back to that week at the Outer Banks of North Carolina and all of the happy memories.

The necklace is a collection of five elements.  The round bead is a hollow lampworked bead that I made.  It’s surface decoration is a series of scrolls or swirled lines.  Next to it is a beautiful feather that I wired to the necklace.  The orange color in the feather speaks to me.  The third piece is a series of metal disks strung with crystals and beads.  Another piece is a remnant of a coin that I purchased when visiting the Island of Kos in Greece.  I set it in gold with a small amethyst.   The last piece is a stone that I purchased some years back at the gem shows here in Tucson.  It is a fuchsite stone with ruby in it.  Then the stone was tumbled for a lovely matte finish.  All the elements hang from a darkened sterling silver chain.

The necklace slips over the head.  It is 26 inches and when worn hangs about 16 inches including the elements.

Everything except the feather can be cleaned with a damp soft cloth if necessary.  The dark patina will change with age.

talisman

A new series of Desert Talisman necklaces will appear in my new shop this fall.

creating the desert in glass and metal

Art Jewelry Pendant with a Lampworked Bead and a Sapphire

An Art Jewelry Pendant – what I made in the studio this week

I was lucky to spend some time in the studio this week.  First I made some lampworked beads.

art jewelry dot beads

I really love these beads.  They look like prong set stones all around the disk.  

Then I fabricated some silver settings – one for the glass bead and one for a sapphire slice

art jewelry - wip

I made the setting for the sapphire slice so it would fit into the hole of the glass bead – which would be set on it’s side.

The glass bead was set into a sterling silver back that I had soldered some wire that would become prongs to hold the glass bead in place.  

All finished….art jewelry pendant

art jewelry pendant

Signed!

art jewelry pendant back

Another fun week in the studio.

I would also like to wish everyone a Happy Easter weekend.

 

 

creating the desert in glass and metal

Art Jewelry Inspiration – Spring Blooms in the Desert

desert inspiration - designer art jewelry

Desert Inspiration – Spring Cactus Blooms

Everything seems to be blooming a little earlier this year here in Tucson probably because we have had lots of rain.  So my art jewelry inspiration in the form of cactus blooms is just beginning.  This hedgehog plant with it’s majestic magenta blooms just started blooming in my yard.  Hedgehogs are the first cactus to bloom every spring.  And like many other cactus flowers, these blooms are really short lived – lasting for only a day or two.  Luckily the plant has many blooms that seem to take turns showing off so I can enjoy them for about a week.  

I really need to try to create this color in glass.  But I have found that difficult.  There is one glass that comes close called rubino but it is difficult to work in the flame and sometimes you end up with a nasty scum on the glass.  Did you know that glass is “colored” by adding minerals and metals.  Some of which are not too healthy to breathe while working in the flame.  Pink and red glass gets it color by adding gold metals.  So it’s really expensive too.

Another technique I have used to get this color is to fume 24K gold onto clear glass.  You end up with a vibrant pink color with a metallic sheen.  Thank goodness for my ventilation system in the studio as breathing gold fumes can lead to heavy metal poisoning.  I also wear a respirator.

creating the desert in glass and metal

 

Tuesday Ta Da

Just a Sneak Peak

I’m developing a new line incorporating my lampworked glass beads, metal, and desert inspiration.  I talked about a hollow bead last week where I had ground off one side.  To me it is reminiscent of a pod especially those prickly pear pods.  So here is a sneak peak of the finished piece……

ta da

 

And the inspiration…………..

ta da inspiration

creating the desert in glass and metal

Lampwork Bead Bangle Bracelet

bangle bracelet

Bangle Bracelets

A bangle bracelet is a rigid bracelet.  Most of the time the bracelet does not have a clasp and just slips over the hand.

The bracelet pictured above is an oldy but goody design of mine.  Lampworked beads and cast silver beads are strung on a wire and finished with a swan clasp.  The bracelet is rigid but the clasp helps when putting it on.

These particular glass beads I made for this bracelet are very organic in shape.  I call them my desert Venetian beads because I usually make them with gold or silver foil which has been covered with transparent glass like the picture of Venetian beads below.

Venetian beads

My beads definitely have a more earthy feel.

But I just had a client that wanted a splash of dichroic glass in that shape instead of foil so I made the beads in the bracelet above.  I think you can see the splashes of pink and purple tucked underneath a transparent brown glass.  I’m very happy with how they turned out.  So the bracelet is off to a new home tomorrow.

creating the desert in glass and metal

 

Bead Museum – what an honor

bead museum

This is a bead from my Artifact Series that I donated to the Sweeney Collection Bead Museum back in 2015

I am proud to be part of a group of extraordinary glass artists.

bead museum

A Contemporary Glass Bead Museum – the Sweeney Collection

The Sweeney Collection Museum is a new museum based on a collection of beads started by Linda Sweeney. The museum is dedicated to raising awareness of this amazing medium of miniature glass art and recording the history of the artists. The collection is currently housed in Glorieta, NM. There is also a lampwork studio where classes of up to 8 students can be held.
Their Mission Statement:
– To educate people about the medium of lampwork beads
-To record the history of the American glass bead movement
-Become a resource of information and networking for artists, students and historians
-Promote artists’ work and market art glass beads
-Support lampwork artists in any way possible
-Support bead related and community charities
 

Bead Museum – Glendale, AZ

The Bead Museum in Glendale, AZ was founded to establish a haven for a permanent collection of beads and adornments of all cultures, past and present, which would provide an enduring opportunity for the study and enjoyment of these magnificent examples of art and ingenuity.  The museum was founded in 1984 by Gabrielle Liese and housed an international collection of over 100,000 beads and beaded artifacts. It closed in March 2011, and the collections were donated to the Mingei International Museum in San Diego, California.  One of my Desert Bloom beads was part of this collection.

 

Mesa Necklace with Hollow Bead

Mesa Necklace with hollow bead

This necklace has a sterling silver pendant etched with a hand drawn image inspired by the mesas of Arizona.  I added an amber hollow bead.

The necklace is long without a clasp – great for layering on a fall sweater

The necklace measures 28 inches

The silver pendant and bead add another  3 inches

The pendant measures 3/4 inch by 2 inches

The lampworked bead measures 14mm by 20mm

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

mesa hollow

It’s in my Etsy shop now

creating the desert in glass and metal

Desert Blooms Bead – Mesa Series Necklace

Blooms in the Desert

bloom

bloom

bloom

I love the desert blooms

They are opulent

and sometimes ephemeral….  living for just a few hours

Desert Blooms in glass

bloom

So one of my favorite beads to make is one I call the “Desert Bloom Bead” and it is captured forever in glass

So the Mesa Series Necklaces had to have one with a Desert Bloom bead

bloom

bloom

bloom

bloom

The sterling silver chain is long

and slips over your head

Available in my shop October 30

creating the desert in glass and metal

quote23

Monsoon Sky

Monsoon Sky

The Tucson monsoon season is officially over.  It was certainly dramatic this year and dumped 20% more rain in Tucson than usual.  I guess that means our yard will be scattered with 20% more weeds too… but I’m not complaining.  The rain was awesome!

The skys are beautiful during or just before a monsoon rain.  Sometimes there are lots of orange.  but one night the sky had an unbelievable pink.

monsoon

So I had to make a bead – right?

monsoon sky bead

Some blues, golds, pinks, and a swirl of fine silver wire heavily encased in clear glass.

So it went into one of the “Mesa Series Necklaces”

monsoon sky bead necklace

monsoon

monsoon bead

monsoon

no clasp

long sterling chain fits right over your head

etched sterling silver “Mesa” pendant is blackened and hallmarked

available October 30 in my shop

creating the desert in glass and metal

quote2

Scroll Bead in a Mesa Series Necklace

scroll

Scroll

Can you see the delicate scroll in this lampworked bead?  If you follow me you know that I am inspired by the deserts of the Southwest.  I love the colors, the textures, the flora and the animals.  And I find the rock art and petroglyphs amazing.  Some person, a long time ago, took time to carve and paint images on the rocks.  Rock art is an expression of humanity, symbols of a culture that have persisted for millennia.  Ancient drawings, carvings and paintings on rock provide inspiration for the mind, limited only by the farthest boundaries of our imagination. Rock art is a window on our past and, most of all, a marvelous mystery captured on cliffs and rocks throughout the American Southwest.  The scroll  as it appears on my bead probably doesn’t exist per se on any rocks in the Southwest.  It is my expression of a graceful line.  On the bead it is created with ivory glass that has silver leaf mixed in.  The glass is pulled thin and applied to the base bead not in the flame but in the outer reaches of the heat of the flame.  It takes patience, control – and minimal coffee in the morning.  The result is an earthy brushstroke, a graceful arc, an undulating decoration found in many aspects of life.

Mesa Series Necklace with Scroll Lampworked Bead

scroll

scroll

scroll

scroll

It’s the shortest necklace in series.  The sterling silver pendant is hallmarked with my initials on the back.  Available in my shop October 30.

creating the desert in glass and metal

infidelity is less about sex than it is about intimacy

that magnetic line of connection between two bodies and their secret selves

Intimacy shared with another person is often the first real betrayal to any union, and the first plunge out of one’s depth.