Monday, August 24, 2009

Ekho and Aurae - a match made in heaven!

Upon returning from the ISGB Gathering, work (graphic design) has been very busy (which is a good indication that the economy is on its upswing!) We are almost ready to re-open our Etsy store . . . with these small "treasures." We call them treasures, not because we think that they are precious, but because the combination of Ekho and Aurae - Double Helix's AMAZING silver glass – allow us to create beads that sparkle like jewels!

Watch for them on our Etsy store soon!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Beauties from the ISGB Gathering

The International Society of Glass Beadmakers Gathering is four-day conference with pre and/or post conference workshops. It is held annually at a difference venue in the United States. This year we all congregated in Miami and had a blast.

For four days, we had presentations/demonstrations by some of the top lampworkers in the world, shopped in person with suppliers we had only known via online presence, shopped or sold at the largest artisan lampworked glass show - the Bead Bazaar, and re-acquainted with old friends and met new ones.

The presentations were informative and inspiring. My favorites were those by Holly Cooper on her intricate stringer design, Libby Leuchtman on her glorious off-mandrel flower, Brad Pearson on his amazing masked patterns, Anne Cleo Dunsmore on her jaw-dropping fish, Kim Fields on her delightful toucan, and Akihiro Ohkama on his breathtaking Japanese murrinis floral bead made with Italian glass.

I came home with amazing additions to my personal collection. Here are just a few to share with you!

Holly Cooper is one of my most admired artists. Not only is she an incredible beadmaker, she is a very talented illustrator. In addition to selling her intricate glass beads at shows, she just opened two Etsy stores. Byzantina features her work inspired by ancient art and artifacts and Grafiko showcases lampworked glass beads that are bold and modern, inspired by ethnic patterns and early and mid-20th century design.

In addition to being a gifted lampworker, Libby Leuchtman is an amazing teacher. She is the Flameworking Director of Third Degree Glass Factory. Her presentation - on this gorgeous off-mandrel flower - was both informative and inspiring.

Ginny Hampton Schmidt has the best sense of colors! I have always loved her work and her style . . . after spending five days at the conference with her, I am honored to call her a good friend! Her delightful beads and jewelry may be found at her Etsy store, Ginnovations.

Kerri Fuhr was one of the presentors at last year's ISGB Gathering in Oakland demonstrating one of her dragonfly beads, which I won at the live auction and it's one of my most treasured pieces in my collection. With this spectacular raven, I now am the proud owner of two of Kerri's objets d'art! In addition to dragonflies and ravens, Kerri's tapestry, bumble bees, and horses are phenomenal as well. They are available on her Etsy store, KerriBeads.

I have been in awe of Anastasia ever since I started lampworking. She is one of the most talented, creative and innovative beadmakers ever. I had no idea that she was going to join us all the way from Germany. Seeing her work in person and talking to her about her source for inspiration are some of the highlights of my conference experience. Her stunning work can be found on eBay and in her Etsy store, Anastasia Beads.

Rebekah Higgins is a joy to be around. She is witty, funny and talented to boot! Her line of glass cabinet knobs will surely be the next hit in the home decor industry! Her Etsy store, Hob Knob Glass, is full of glorious goodies!

Lenora Gray's perfect pattern of dots is a sight to behold. Her silver capped, silver cored, big-hole beads are simply "wow!" I had the good fortune to share a table at the Gathering Bead Bazaar with Lenora and her beautiful beads and saw her many customers walk away thrilled! Her fully-stocked Etsy store, Lenoras Designs, will have you lingering for a while.

Traci Crabtree offers a different, yet just as beautiful, line of silver capped, silver cored, big-hole beads in her Etsy store, Beads by Traci. They are full of *bling* with sparkling dichroic and silver glass. We also had the opportunity to see some of her fantastic murrinis in person and have been telling her to launch her own line of custom coe 104 millefiori!

Pam Dugger is someone I turn to time and time again - her knowledge of glass and flameworking is simply astounding. Moreover, she is intelligent, talented, humorous, and most of all, generous and supportive. I have coveted her dragons for a long time and finally get to bring one home with me from Miami!