Monday, March 30, 2009

New Florals!

I spent some time photographing my new work yesterday and wanted to share some glam shots of my latest florals!

This was my first floral test of the new "Effetre Ultra Clear", Peace White and Bordello Red. The flower is *okay* but I wasn't thrilled with any of the new colours. Ultra clear is not really ultra anything, just regular. Lots of visible bubbles in the rods itself, and you do have to work it quite cold. Manageable, but not amazing. Still, the next step up is way too expensive for me, so I'll just work far back in the flame and I'll be fine. :)
Peace White actually looked a lot less opaque than my old white in rod form and didn't seem to resist translucency any better. Bordello looks okay in this photo but in real life it's actually a lot darker and duller. Layering it over yellow was a mistake, since it's more of a purple red! A little goes a long way. The "starry" silver background was also unexpected. I thought I was using silver leaf but it was actually silver foil that I'd managed to slip into a leaf envelope. Insanity!
This was my second go with Bordello, matched with Effetre Ink Blue. Again, it's darker and browner in read life. Still, it was a pretty bead with my reactive cane background!
...So much so that I made an almost identical bead my second time at the torch. Without really planning to! This one has regular red, Effetre Amethyst centre petals and Leaky Pen accent flowers. I *am* thrilled with Leaky Pen!
Here you can see how close they look. Even the same size! Weird.
This one is very cute and tiny and pretty close to perfect! Ink blue on Leaky Pen with a lapis and cane background. It's one of the smaller florals I've made! Not sure why I went so small. I guess it'll make it more wearable, at least.

And here's a family portrait to show the different sizes and shapes. I haven't measured them yet but the biggest one is around 30mm, the middle one around 25, and the smallest just 20ish. Yay, I'm making florals again!

Now I just need to think of names! Any suggestions?!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I love to make encased floral focal beads. Now that I've gotten my glass order I've been back to it again. I've made a few I'm happy with but haven't had a chance to photograph anything yet... so to give me something to post about I'll share of few favorites from the past!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Our art display at Girls Girls Girls!

Wow, it's been two weeks since our last post. This art show last week really threw me for a loop! We created a thematic piece for Girls Girls Girls! 5, an annual all-women art and performance fundraiser for the local Gas Station Theatre in Winnipeg. It's exciting for us to stretch our decorative artisanry into a more "Fine Art" context.

The theme this year was confessionals. After much deliberation, we decided to create a series of linked chains out of hollow tubing, with confessions sealed inside the link-vessels. The confessions were real, though anonymous, and even we didn't read them before we cut them into pieces and sealed them in the links. So there is a sense of mystery. It symbolizes the weight and vulnerability of carrying other people's confessions, which is something we all do to greater and lesser degrees. The piece is called "Bottled Up".
It was technically trickier than we'd anticipated to create this piece - glass tubing is hard to work with! And fragile! We broke about 20 links trying to create a 13-link piece. We also had a false start with our display (the first one was too shiny, it made the links disappear) and had to try another approach at the last minute. I think it turned out well in the end, though! The other art was fabulous as well and the performances were amazing, from stand-up comedy to dance to vocal performance to aerial gymnastics, all on the theme of Confessionals.

Here's to another sold-out show next year, for Girls Girls Girls! 6: Rapture!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

127 Days Until Folk Fest!

Hooray! Andrea and I received our acceptance letter from the Winnipeg Folk Festival last night. We're so pumped!If you know Folk Fest, you`ll know why we're excited. 40-50,000 people over 4 days in a prairie-woodland park 45 minutes outside of Winnipeg, watching folk, funk, bluegrass, world traditional and contemporary reinterpretations on 6 daytime stages and one big evening mainstage. That's the nuts and bolts but the really amazing part is the great energy and community spirit that people share during the Fest - everyone is smiling, thousands of people are volunteering, there is very little conflict and the environmental impact is minimal for the size of the festival! (I've heard horror stories about other festivals being littered with a thick crust of discarded water bottles by day 2... At Folk Fest all food is served on reusable plates and you have to pay a deposit to get them back!)Their artisan area is called Handmade Village and as you may imagine, it is a pleasure to display there and an honour to be selected (they re-jury every year). Hospitality volunteers even come around to feed you coffee and fresh fruit! And the attendees really respond to labour-intensive, one-of-a-kind handmade work in a way that I wish was more universal.It isn't without its challenges - last year instead of the usual hot sun it gusted and rained and was around 10 degrees C for most of Friday and Saturday - but it's always an adventure and definitely our most anticipated show of the year. See you there!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

HoG Spring Events!

Amazingly, it is now MARCH! Although there is still two feet of snow on the ground and it was -30 C this morning, I know that in a few weeks we'll start to feel the beginnings of Spring. (The flower is from last spring in our garden... I can't wait!) Andrea and I got some great news last week - we were accepted into the Manitoba Craft Museum and Library artisan sale at the Fort Whyte Centre, a beautiful prairie habitat interpretive park located at the edge of Winnipeg. We'll be there April 17th and 18th.

We're also gearing up for an annual art fundraiser for the Gas Station Theatre on Osborne Street: Girls Girls Girls 5 - Confessionals. It's coming up on Sunday March 15th at 6pm.
I'm also looking forward to the Glass Beadmaking classes I'll be teaching at Prairie Stained Glass in May. Check out their Class listings for more details on how to register!