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.