Handmade Chain with Beads

handmade chain

I am putting together a new collection.

It will use my glass beads, but also more metal in the designs.

– sterling silver and copper and bronze, and a little gold.  

So I am making prototypes now which helps me visualize the pieces and see where adjustments need to happen.  This necklace has stations of glass beads between lengths of chain.  

The jump rings are twisted wire and soldered.  (lots of work)

I really like the look, but and also going to bezel set a bead in silver for the station instead of the wrapping.  

So much fun….

creating the desert in glass and metal

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




I love the desert blooms

They are opulent

and sometimes ephemeral….  living for just a few hours

Desert Blooms in glass


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





The sterling silver chain is long

and slips over your head

Available in my shop October 30

creating the desert in glass and metal


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.


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 bead


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


Scroll Bead in a Mesa Series Necklace



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





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.

The Mesa Series

Mesa Series

Mesa Series

I etched some sterling silver with a hand drawn design inspired by the mesas of Arizona.  I then cut the silver into various shaped pendants sometimes put together with brass rivets.  Each one is hallmarked.  I added a lampworked bead and created some necklaces.  The Mesa Series

A mesa is an area of high land with a flat top and two or more steep, cliff like sides.


These pendants will be in my shop on October 30th

creating the desert in glass and metal

Shape Shifter

the Phenomenon

the words Shape shifter to the Native American people is mysterious and illusive.  Shape shifting occurs in their culture in dance and song , in healing and hunting.  It is quite natural for them to feel at one with the animal sounds they are chanting.  When he wears feathers or skins he takes on the graceful form and becomes that animal.

Of course shape shifter also had a dark side.  There is a story with a history as long as that of the Native Americans themselves: the skinwalkers. Witches who practiced black magic, were said to have the ability to shapeshift into any animal they chose. Such people were called skinwalkers, and if one was suspected, it was legal to kill them on sight. Skinwalkers would take the hide of a wolf or coyote, put it on, and were said to physically transform into that animal. They would appear slightly too large, disproportionate, and have red glowing eyes. They left oversized animal footprints. When in human form, skinwalkers used various spells and potions to sicken and kill those around them. And as animals, they were fierce, vicious, and bloodthirsty. Hardly any creature in the folklore of the Native Americans was as feared as the skinwalker.

I have been inspired by the lore of the Shape Shifter  for this necklace and bracelet set.

Shape Shifter

It is best explained by watching this video……………….

creating the desert in glass and metal

the Collection

I have been working on editing my designs and will soon launch a “Basic Collection” in my online shop.  For winter it will feature 10 pieces that have been best sellers over the years (online and in galleries) as well as 2 or 3 one of a kind pieces.  This “Winter” collection will feature my Nevada Silver lampworked beads as well as my Silvered Obsidian beads – a very neutral palette that can really be worn year round.

Collection Sneak Peak

Here is a pair of earrings from the collection.

14K gold coiled wire caps adorn Nevada Silver lampworked beads on a French wire.

collection 2016

I have been watching Madam Secretary on Netflix lately and I noticed the lovely simple but elegant earring that Tea Leone wears.

Tea Leone earrins

So I redesigned my basic lampwork bead earrings with a coiled wire cap.

They are petite.  Hang just 7/8 ths of an inch.  The bead is approximately 10 – 12mm.

So stay tuned for more…

creating the desert in glass and metal


More turquoise

Turquoise and lampwork

So here are a few more necklaces with turquoise beads and some of my lampworked beads.


Turquoise heishi beads, lampworked bead and fabricated hammered sterling silver arrow


turquoise and lampwork

close up

turquoise long necklace

turquoise heishi beads and silver, long layering necklace

two layered necklaces

layered turquoise necklaces

turquoise necklace

turquoise necklace with lampwork bead and fold formed brass pod

Soon to be in the shop

creating the desert in glass and metal

Bead 9

Number Nine

Number 9

Bead 9 – Silvered ivory with ivory dots

Continuing with silver on ivory glass…