Monday, June 28, 2010

Nova Scotia Here We Come

I have been playing with larger hole beads. This is my newest Etsy listing. I have not had any sales there yet, but I am giving it another try. I find it much more difficult to create a smaller bead rather than a long one. Though very long beads are still a great challenge as well.
This morning I started my day by making this bead. It took a full hour and half and it measures 56mm long (which may make it my longest bead ever!). I am still in the heart phase - I think they are so pretty - those wee hearts. Such fun to pull out and see how they evolve as I work the glass.

I am not likely to get time on my torch for a couple of weeks. We are heading out to Nova Scotia for a holiday.
I hope to find beautiful beaches like this one to walk on and take lots of pictures. I have dreams of making some of these pictures into beautiful works of felted art. Perhaps some glass as well, but I am not sure I am trying beaches and trees in the glass just now, but felt . . . well I have this stash of felt just waiting for me upstairs.

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Heart Day in the Studio and my first Viking Knit completed

This is what the kiln fairy had for me today! I have been on a big hole bead kick for the last couple of days. Today I focused mainly on heart shapes. I really had a lot of fun.

I took a Viking Knit class at Bead and Button with Anne Mitchell. I came home all geared up to make a necklace and after a convo on Etsy it came to me . . . I could make the Ottoman beads with big holes! Wow! That certainly simplified a whole bunch of issues re: attaching them, keeping the two pieces the same size, etc. I am also trying to make some smaller large hole Ottoman style beads with bracelets in mind. There is one up on the Etsy site and the little one here (the heartless one) will likely get up on Etsy in the next few days as well.
Here is a picture of the finished necklace. It turned out so beautifully! I had to get my dear hubby to help with the pulling - he wanted credit - so I have officially named him my Viking Puller! I am sure he is thrilled! But truly, I do not have the strength to do that pulling by myself. The beautiful rosewood thing with the holes (I am sure there is a proper name) is designed to be put into a vice, but that would mean a trip out to the garage and fighting with the vice - assuming there actually is one attached to the tool table out there (though I am pretty sure there is one). Asking the hubby was ever so much easier. My daughter was also suitably impressed. She had helped a bit with the stitching and I think she was wondering what I was up to as it was not so impressive before the magical pullling happened. It is quite addictive. I am already planning on the next one!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hilton Inspired Bead

I had a chance to do some beadmaking both on Sunday and Monday. I did not print the picture from the Hilton Lobby, but I tried to make that sort of fan image in the centre of the bead. Not quite like the image, but inspired by.

Then I just played. Believe it or not I am already thinking ahead to next year's Bead and Button and was making some toggles - they are such fun and I am thinking about proposing a class on how I make them.

I have begun to focus on more of a bicone shape. The tube shape is truly an easier one for me but after a whole year of intense marvering practice I have improved and that opens up more options. I really like this one. I do like the little flower motif - that shape is still quite challenging to make and I am happiest at my torch if I am feeling challenged.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

My First Posting on this Blog

Here I am trying my hand at blogging.

So, a little about myself: My name is Amy Waldman-Smith (but I bet you have already figured that part out). I began lampworking in 2001 when I took an introductory class at Nortel Manufacturing with Lezlie Winemaker. In those days both Lezlie and I were known by other names, but time change and so do names sometimes.

I fell in love at first bead and have not looked back since.

I initially had no intention of setting up a studio, but the minute that was possible I jumped on it. I never thought it would be more than a hobby, but in 2003 I was asked to teach at BeadFX when the owner became pregnant with her first child. I have been teaching at BeadFX on a regular basis since then. I teach introductory lampwork and also some intermediate classes. You can check their website for when - just click on the month you are interested in and you can see all the classes they offer. Click here to go to the BeadFX site.

I recently returned home from the Bead and Button show. I came back last Monday and am slowly recovering. What a week. I took three little classes - all tons of fun and for the first time I taught lampworking at Bead and Button. What a blast.

I participated in the Flame On to raise money for breast cancer: I have say I was very nervous. My pal Betty is there behind me - she stayed for the entire bead! (over an hour). The other onlookers are gazing at Dora Schubert - she had quite the following and I do wish I could have watched what she was up to because that girl does some amazing stringer work!

I finally found some time for my torch today. I work in a law office in downtown Toronto 3 days a week - can't quite give up that wonder of a regular paycheque. I work for the nicest people ever - so it makes it very easy to go into the office. I do miss my torch.

I took this photo in the lobby of the Hilton Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. I am wondering just how to incorporate it into my beads. We shall see what happens.