Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What a Rush!

Phew - the show season is over, and we did a good job, I think! Part of me would have liked to have done more and more (more dragonflies! more forged earrings! more metalsmithed work!) but the more reasonable part of me is glad that we limited it to four shows this year. They were really *good* shows for us, and left us some time to deal with our non-glass world as well! And it left both myself and (hopefully) our customers "wanting more" for the future...

Now it's time for us to focus on our Christmas. We still don't have very clear plans yet but our tree is up and sparkly, and that feels like a very good start!

I'll leave you with a photo of my latest floral (still available, by the way) to tide you over until I post again. :) Merry Christmas! Happy Solstice! It is coming soon and I can't wait for the days to get longer!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Our Last Show of 2009 is This Weekend!

Elm Street Holiday Artisan Sale
December 11 - 13
Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am-5 pm
395 Elm Street (the corner of Elm and Grosvenor)

Featuring the creations of 4 talented artisans:

Sumak Designs - Gemstone, Pearl and Silver Adornments
Formations in Metal - Metalsmithed Wearable Art
Hearts of Glass - Flameworked Glass Jewellery
& Donna Schultz's irresistable all-natural handmade soaps

PLUS - BONSAI from the president of the Winnipeg Bonsai Association!

Come with a friend or two to browse and visit in a comfortable and relaxed setting, while you enjoy complimentary coffee, tea and snacks. An annual tradition at Elm Street and Grosvenor!

Here's a recent pic of some of our leaf pendants on our tree display. At $10 (etched pierced leaves) to $12 (veined elm leaves) to $14 (oak leaves) to $18 (our sculpted maple leaf pendants) they make great gifts and stocking stuffers!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Custom Dragonfly Stickpins on Etsy!

I am in love with our new dragonfly stickpin design! And we've had a great response to them at our recent shows. I've finally made an update to in order to make them available. It's in there as a custom order, so you can select your colours and shapes and I'll make a dragonfly just for you!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Purple Floral Bead

As promised, here`s a shot of my latest encased floral! I`m using a new technoque to apply the stamen now: pre-nipping-off a point-pulled stamen section, and attaching it to a clear rod. Then I can just plunge it in as deep as I want, and melt off the clear rod leaving an automatic "expansion dot" of clear on top.
Before this, I was plunging a point attached to the full stamen rod, then cooling that and nipping it off the bead itself. This worked fine when the stamen rod was skinny, but now that I'm working in a thicker section it was giving me more trouble. I was either breaking the stamen off too stubby in the plunge-dent, or breaking the whole darn bead off the bead release. The new approach is much less disaster-prone!

Front shot, showing the stamen cane. I like how the stamen went a bit spirally this time! Finally, distortion working in my favour! >:)

Side shot of the floral showing the reactive base. I love how the reactive cane recipe turned out! It`s a bit less yellow and more blue in real life.

My Mom should be landing in Winnipeg for a visit right about... now! She's here for work and knows we're working too getting ready for the Velocity show on Niagara this weekend. She`s agreed to help us come up with names for our work (such as this bead - suggestions, anyone?), and maybe do a little tagging duty too! What a trooper! :)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December Has Arrived!

And we've finally got some photos of a few of this week's creations! There's lots that's waiting to be wired as well. But here's the sneak peek!

Strawberry Ice opalino calla lily pendant.

Mauve Dragonfly pendant.

Stay tuned for a new floral bead photo coming soon!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Studio Shows for the Next Two Weekends!

Andrea and I are getting ready for our Velocity Studio show this weekend! After the bustle and bright lights of the huge Signatures show a week-and-a-half ago, we're looking forward to capping the season with laid-back, cozy studio shows. It was exciting to meet so many new people at Signatures, though! I really came out of my shell and felt like I was "in the zone" with greeting and answering questions. Sometimes I can be so shy at shows! Luckily Andrea is so outgoing.

Speaking of reaching new people, I was on the radio this morning! CKUW's "People of Interest" show at 8:20am. I went on a bit of a ramble about Coefficiency of Expansion and different glass families that probably bored people, and I forgot to bring up our recycled leather bracelets when asked about recycled elements, but overall I think I got the message across about the durability and soulfulness of artisan-made flameworked beads. And of course I mentioned the studio shows! Since they are held in private studios/homes word of mouth is crucial.

So I hope to see you this weekend or next! We'll have lots of new leather cuffs (we almost sold out at Signatures!) forged earrings and dragonflies.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Booth Photos from Signatures

What a busy weekend at Signatures! We met lots of new people (with some lovely visits from friends and repeat customers as well) and had a great reception to our designs, including some new ones like the hammered silver locking earrings and the brand-new dragonfly stickpins!

Here are some photos of our booth set-up, from Saturday. Not the best quality photos but enough to give you an idea.

We have more lights, better risers and more versatile displays, organized by theme.

Our current banner is lovely and hand-painted by Andrea, but it's on its last legs and is a bit too large in scale to work in a regular booth. Next time I'd like to have some vinyl banners done up with our current logo and photos of the torch.

Andrea and I are off to sleep (and sleep in tomorrow!). We've got next weekend off and then it's time for the Velocity Studio Open House at 664 Niagara Street, December 5&6, 11-6! We'll also be working on a few custom orders. If you have a special request, the next few weeks would be the best time to get in touch with us! We enjoy working with people directly to create the perfect blending of visions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Signatures Directions

Signatures is on! Our booth looks its best ever. Andrea made several embellishments to our displays. Hopefully I'll get some good pictures soon!

Thursday & Friday Nov. 19 & 20: 11am to 9pm
Saturday Nov. 21: 9am to 6pm
& Sunday Nov. 22: 9am to 5pm

How to find Signatures at the Convention Centre:

How to find us at Signatures - Booth 105 right by the entrance:

ps - our friend Sumak Designs is booth 226! Check it out for pearl, gemstone and fine silver creations.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Signatures! November 19-22

One more sleep until Signatures!!!
Our booth will look something like this set up from a year and a half ago - only better!

Come check us out at Booth 105!

SIGNATURES handmade craft sale
Winnipeg Convention Centre
November 19-22
Thursday & Friday from 11am to 9pm
Saturday from 9am to 6pm
Sunday from 9am to 5pm

Free admission!

And a sneak peek at Andrea's latest metalworking designs: the Norse Shield Series...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Torch Slideshow: Calla Pendant (& blogaversary!)

Hi folks! It's my blogaversary! Actually I missed it, it was on the 14th of November. I've really been enjoying sharing Hearts of Glass news and I'm happy to see that people are reading about our work. To celebrate, here's a brand-new slide show of the process of creating a glass calla lily pendant on the torch:

And here's the link to the Calla Pendant Flickr Set for more details!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Leather Cuff Bracelets

We use recycled leather belts to make funky cuff bracelets with button-style borosilicate ("pyrex") glass toggle-focals. This style has been evolving for us over the past several years and has become one of our most popular designs!

I just made a new batch of toggles (including some as-yet-unphotographed vortex styles that I'm excited about) during a marathon boro session on Saturday. It was one of those magical sessions where the stars were in alignment and everything seems to flow naturally. So much fun!

I also recently made some great old leather belt finds at the tiny local second-hand stores that dot our inner-city neighbourhood (hot pink leather, anyone?)The new toggles and leather selections are lying on the workbench waiting for assembly, but here's a few of our second-newest batch to get your mouth watering a bit...

Three more sleeps until Signatures!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Hyper-Striped Floral and Matching Forged Earrings

I'm very pleased with these ones! I had a mini-session at the torch a week or so ago - not eough time to justify running the kiln all night. So I made complex twistie canes and this was my favorite:

Front view

Side View

And matching handforged locking earrings!

Friday, November 13, 2009

New Jewellery for Signatures

Some recent work that will be available at Signatures!

Smoke Tiger bracelet

A relatively simple bracelet with wild impact. Grey frit-swirled beads, encased tiger beads, rutilated quartz and sterling silver accents with an adjustable-length lobster clasp closure.

Tyndall bracelet

Reminds me of the fossil-rich mottled limestone used in many historic Winnipeg buildings. Ivory disks with silvered ivory spirals, black labradorite and sterling silver accents with an attractive adjustable-length lobster clasp closure.

Arctic Tiger necklace

An icy new riff on my ongoing Laza Tiger series. Striped and reactive encased "Artic Tiger" disks with reactive blue encased beads, moonstone wheels, tiny peacock pearls and sterling silver on sterling silver ornate chain with an adjustable oversized oval spring clasp closure.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Glass Goddesses and New Earring Design

We've been busy creating new work for our swiftly-upcoming Signatures show, Nov. 19-22 at the Convention Centre here in Winnipeg.

Here are our latest goddess designs. I actually make these lathe-style, instead of adding the various appendages with individual blobs of glass. This allows me to maintain a uniform swirly texture and pattern. I build a decorated barrel shape, then spin and press with a handmade graphite tool to create the waist and neck indentations. Them I dent the upper torse into four sections, which I heat and spin to build the breasts and arms using centrifugal force. I add details with a graphite "knife" tool and lately I've been finishing off with a gentle sifting of golden mica dust for a subtle shimmer!

I've also developed a new spin on our locking forged earring design, inspired by a special request for a version using disks. Since the vertically-designed disks wouldn't work in the horizontal rivet-style design of our original forged earrings, I designed a way to hang any bead vertically from the locking forged earwires. I'll probably continue to tweak it, but I really like the result!
The disks themselved were a fun project. They started with a small black disk, wrapped in silver leaf. I added a red wrap on one "shoulder", then heated that and rolled in in transparent red frit for subtle texture. Once that was melted mostly in, I added a wrap of handmade black and white twisted cane to the other "shoulder" of the base bead, making sure that the joint matched as smoothly as possible. Everything was melted back into a round donut bead, then encased in clear, rolled into a barrel shape, and finally pressed into a lentil using the Osibin Lentil Shaper. The real trick was getting two that matched! I ended up with a graduated set of three extras that will become a dramatic long pendant very soon.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hearts of Glass Winter Shows 2009

The show season has begun! We're so excited about our schedule this year. We'll be at four great shows that we know will be perfect fits for our work and our customers. And, unlike past years, we've managed to leave ourselves some breaks so we can keep creating new work and also enjoy the holidays ourselves a bit. So we'll be rested, creatively pumped and "in the spirit" for all our shows!

Sumak Fall Artisan Open House
October 23- 25
Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am-5 pm
395 Elm Street (the corner of Elm and Grosvenor)
Cozy, boutique-like ambiance with handcrafted work from 4 artisans

Signatures Craft Show & Sale
November 19 -22
Thursday & Friday 11 am- 9 pm,
Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
Winnipeg Convention Centre, 375 York Avenue
Handmade treasures from over 100 artisans
Come visit us at booth # 105

Art Jewellery and Artisanry Show
December 5 - 6
Saturday and Sunday 11 – 5 both days
664 Niagra Street
Featuring a wide variety of handcrafted
sterling designs from Krista Reid, new HoG creations,
unique felted handbags, photography and more

Sumak Winter Artisan Open House
December 11 - 13
Friday 5-10 pm, Saturday & Sunday 10 am-5 pm
395 Elm Street (the corner of Elm and Grosvenor)
Last chance for handcrafted christmas gifts from HoG!

We also have several pieces that recently went on display at the Wolseley Wellness Centre gift shop. Check it out!

Heather will also be teaching Introduction to Glass Beadmaking at Prairie Stained Glass on Saturday November 7th. If you've always wanted to try it out, this is a great introduction!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Broken & Whole Florals PLUS New Earring Design!

Here's the sad result of my broken floral from last week. Wasn't it lovely? I'm going to recreate this background for certain! Turquoise with blue goldstone is hot. We have never set a cabochon before but this piece would make a wonderful cab, eh?
Here's a more recent successful floral, using a new stamen cane. It's very much like my previous stamen cane (using my same handmade filigrano components) but I added some white petals around the outside as well. Unfortunately they got pulled too thin and ended up very translucent. However I love the scale of it!
And presenting:

My new earring design! I've been working on this for a few weeks now, and I'm still tweaking it but I couldn't wait any longer to announce it. I'm IN LOVE. Until now we'd been using mostly French hooks but I prefer to wear something that locks closed, that I can keep on 24/7. These are perfect! However I still have to be a lot faster at making them. I'm starting to break down the steps so I can be more efficient. Forging the wire is so much fun!
I have so many beads sets that I can't wait to turn into earrings! I've been using 1/16" mandrels for the first time in ages and I'm diggin' the challenge of making tiny but bold and deeply encased pairs.
By the way, these are TINY. The bead is only 4mm x 7mm and the entire earring is only 12mm x 22mm. Some of these will be bigger. It'll all be scaled according to the size of bead.
I can't wait to unveil these in person at the Fall Artisan Show at 395 Elm street, which is coming up very soon: Friday Oct 23 - Sunday Oct 25!!!

50 posts!

Hey, I just realized that my last post was #50! Go, Hearts of Glass blog!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Studio and Florals

I'm back on the floral wagon, but not without casualties. This pretty thing I created a few days ago in my first floral foray in several weeks. The petals are a TAD less punchy than I prefer, but I love the background and the colours.
Today, not so successful. Although it seemed like it would be at first! I was working on a floral and because of the way I sorely abuse the glass as I make stamen beads, it thermal shocked and cracked an early stage. I managed to re-heat it and heal the crack... no problems, right? I thought everything was fine and put the lovely into the kiln after over an hour of shaping and layering. Well, boo! Halfway through the session I was adding another mandrel when I saw my beautiful floral bead cracked in half, broken in the kiln. That hasn't happened to me in a long time but the loss doesn't lose its sting, it seems. :P
I spent the rest of the session making simple frit-swirl beads.
On a cheerier note, if you have a dingy corner of your home and you're wondering whether a coat of fresh paint will *really* make a difference or not, check out this action:

Studio Before - - - - - Studio After

I'm LOVING working in the bright "new" space!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Happy Autumn!

Hello again! Sorry for the long break in posting. Since we moved into our house in 2005, August has been dedicated to intense renovations and this year was far from an exception. We needed to tackle the exterior, and let me tell you that after 4 weeks of hard work with myself, Andrea and my father, it was transformed.

We still have lots of painting to do but we're finally able to focus on glass again in the evenings. Which is great, because we have some major shows coming up!

Artisan Fall Open House
Hosted at Sumak Designs Studio

395 Elm St.
October 23, 24, 25
Friday 23rd 5 PM to 10 PM
Saturday 24th & Sunday 25th 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Signatures Holiday Sale!
Winnipeg Convention Centre, 3rd floor, Hall B
Visitors please use Southwest elevator or escalator
November 19 - 22, 2009
Thursday and Friday from 11am to 9pm
Saturday from 9am to 6pm
Sunday from 9am to 5pm
Free Admission for all visitors!

We did some studio re-organizing and my wonderful Andrea painted the back wall of our torch studio which made it look 100 times brighter and nicer! This was in preparation for a video interview we did with the Manitoba Crafts Museum and Library. Excepts will eventually be available on their website.

We've also been working on some sweet custom orders, like these lovely matching heart pendants. I think the patterning looks like silk scarves!

Stay tuned, we're back and ready for regular blog action again!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Old Market Square noon concerts and craft fair

Old Market Square in Historic Downtown Winnipeg has recently undergone some extensive construction and renovation this summer. To celebrate there have been free noon hour concerts and accompanying artisan fair in the new space. We will be there August 7th, 8th and 9th (Wednesday through Friday) selling our wares at the noon hour, during and just after the concerts.

I'm glad to be able to check out these diverse acts:
August 5 - Mihirangi from Australia
August 6 - Royal Wood from Ontario
August 7- Egospank from Manitoba and Tennessee

All concerts start at noon- I'm hoping for beautiful days for our outdoor sale!

View Larger Map

Sunday, July 19, 2009

New Dragonflies!

All our dragonfly pendants sold out at Folk Fest so we were given a special order to make one as a gift for a young lady. I used the opportunity to experiment a little with a design I had in my head for a three-part dragonfly: two wings and a body, connected with jumprings and custom-hung on a sterling chain.
It turns out that it was more complicated to make than I'd anticipated. The wings were too delicate to pierce without breaking or distorting, so I had to add super-dainty loops instead. I was also determined to add two pairs of wings instead of my customary single pair. It ended up taking forever but I'm really happy with the result! It snuggles comfortably into the wearer's neck and dances as the wearer moves.
However it would probably be too dainty a piece for an active young lady to wear safely. I decided to try something on a completely different scale:
Here they are together so you can see how tiny the tiny ones are! I was in LOVE with the chubby-winged blue one, and that was ultimately what our client chose for her gift.
I snapped some quick pics before it left us. Unfortunately I mixed up which ISO setting was best, and set it at "HI", which is why there's so much speckly noise in the shots. Ah well, this is how I learn! Keep on checking out blog for our latest designs and innovations!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Winnipeg Folk Festival Report!

Another wonderful Folk Festival has come and gone. It always goes by so quickly! A BIG thank you to all the wonderful people who came by our booth to visit us and look at our most recent work. We felt very spoiled with all the kind praise! As Andrea says, it's hard to know whether we're on the right track at all when we're working in our subterranean studio, and it means so much to get feedback.
I always get such bad, high-contrast photos of our booth at Folk Fest and this year is no exception, but I'll share it anyway. We improved our look with our revamped Tree of Leaves,Andrea repainted all our displays to be black and bronze instead of black and red, and we had improved bracelet displays. Andrea handmade all our displays, mostly out of copper pipe and discarded theatre set scrap! I think our curtains looked tidier this year as well.As you can see, we had a ton of simple leaf pendants this year to offer some very cute but affordable options. They're always popular but this year I felt like we had a more complete offering, and beautifully displayed. I was also very happy with our butterfly selection this year, especially our new pierced-wing butterflies. I find them kind of retro, in a good way, and a little more graphic and funky the way they hang diagonally.
Of course we stocked up on goodies from other vendors, too! I got a new hat from Oldhat, and Andrea got a second Wanda June cap. I got us some yummy bath stuff from Heartsease. I wanted many more lovely things but we're trying to save up a cushion for a big upcoming project. I also got to see some great performers! The Punch Brothers had an amazing triple rainbow appear over the mainstage during their performance, which was magical.
So now I'm retreating from the bright and busy world again to work on some very cool special commissions, including a pair of wedding pendants! Back to my cozy underground lair... :)

Monday, July 6, 2009

Floral Stamen Breakthrough!

Yes!!! I've figured out just the right order of steps to make crisp stamens in my florals! I've been struggling with this for YEARS so I'm kind of giddy about finally succeeding. They're pretty hot, eh? And just in time for our Folk Fest show starting on Friday!