Thursday, May 27, 2010

...on the other side: Ottawa


Andrea and I are halfway through the process of moving here from Winnipeg. I've been here for nearly two weeks now, starting my new job, and our stuff arrived safely last Wednesday in a shared truck. But Andrea's still in Winnipeg tying up loose ends, and we don't have a place of our own set up yet. I've been staying with some very generous friends downtown and helping them with some projects in return. It's a weird time! All the hard work of moving away from Winnipeg is dealt with but there are still emotions of loss and displacement. Even though this was my choice and it's my long-lost hometown, it is disorienting to be the "new kid" in town! Ottawa has nearly twice the population and a much higher average family income than Winnipeg, so everything here seems bustling and shiny.

For example, a pillar at the corner of the block where I work has a base of shiny black rock. But not just any rock! It's beautiful Larvikite, a semi-precious stone with lots of dramatic blue flash:

I've made lovely jewellery using this very same stone!

Some would call it "flashy", and some would call it "fabulous". I don't know what to think of the downtown streetscaping so far, but I do know that I'm being very well taken care of by my friends and family. And I know that there is an amazing arts and cultural scene that belies Ottawa's rather buttoned-down reputation. And I know that there's an active and creative glass beadmaking scene that I'm very excited to join!

For now, we're still working on settling in. The rest will come in time.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

...And our Winnipeg shows are all done!

Considering that we've only ever done shows in Winnipeg and nowhere else for five years this is a pretty momentous ending! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us. We do hope to be back for a show here again one day.

This was our first piece to sell at the Elm Street show this past weekend. Andrea was all "Turquoise and purple? Will anyone like that?" but it didn't even last five minutes so I am vindicated. ;) And it's a pretty sweet image to mark the end of our Winnipeg artisan market involvement.

Friday, May 7, 2010

New Captive Drop lockable earrings and Amanita bracelet set

Andrea made the latest batch of Captive Drop earrings. It was cool, I showed her how I made them a couple of times, and I hand-wrote a step-by-step process in our ideas and special orders book. She has a way higher aptitude for metalwork than I do so she was able to get it perfect right off the bat and after one practice pair she took on a big batch of around 15 pairs. Hmph! The first 6 or 8 prototypes I made while trying to design this style were terrible, and here she is being brilliant from the get-go? Cheeky, I call it.

Actually Andrea did all the benchwork for this show, and I did all the torchwork. It's turning into our typical division of labour! Andrea's designs with my glass were really gorgeous this week - I'm especially impressed with some of the cluster pendants she made with "extra" beads that weren't planned to match but just *did* - beautifully - when she put them together. Amazing eye.

Oh, I did design one piece - Amanita, inspired by the classic red-topped fairy mushroom but heavily abstracted. I made that one from a sketch and it turned out pretty true to my idea. Andrea did the pendant and the actual assembly, though, because I got distracted on the torch.

Ruby Granite Captive Drop EarringsElation Captive Drop EarringsAmanita Bracelet
Amanita pendant

Now we're all ready for tonight's show opening night! I look forward to seeing some familiar and new faces at our final Winnipeg show.

Elm Street Artisan Open Studio
395 Elm Street
Fri May 7 5-10pm
Sat May 8 10am-5pm
Sun May 9 10am-5pm

Hearts of Glass's last show, Sumak Designs gemstone and silver, Formations in Metal designs, Pauls' Exotic Pens (lathe-turned), and Donna's Handmade Soap.

Refreshments provided, new visitors & familiar faces welcome!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

New Dragonflies for Elm Street Show!

Lumina Dragonfly stickpin brooch

Aeshna Dragonfly stickpin brooch

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The New Floral Stamen

So I finally got to use my new floral stamen stringer in a new bead. Here is the result! I get a sprightly, vaguely Eastern European feeling from this one. :) It will be unveiled at our final Winnipeg show this weekend.
This look is so different from my past ones. Definitely the most successful petaled stamen I've ever made, but it's so vivid that I'm it sure whether it would work with less flame-coloured flowers! I think it might work best as a separate mini-flower cane on its own. What do you think?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our tidy jewellery studio!

So our house is currently on the market in preparation for our move to Ottawa. Everything's gotten a bit condensed because I just got a great Ottawa-based job in my field! It's looking like we'll be able to get a little house in the fall once my job probation period ends. We won't be ready for the Winter 2010 season but we should be up and running for Spring/Summer 2011!
We've been completely spoiled this spring with *three* studios - paint, glass and jewellery. It wasn't always like this - we've had renovations most of the time taking up space and making messes. Everything always looks the most amazing right after you've decluttered and tidied everything up for selling. We're trying to think of this as "our *first* house" now, rather than "our house" because otherwise it would be too heartbreaking. It really helps to know that we'll be in a fairly solid position in Ottawa, and we'll be gardening with friends this summer so we should make it through! Hopefully we'll make some glassworking friends and can get some hits of glassmelting in until our own studio comes out of storage.
For now, this is our last week of glass and jewellery work before our final big show at 395 Elm Street, May 7-9! We're having fun and managing to make a surprising amount of new work considering how busy things have become. And I must admit, it's pretty awesome working in a tidy and decluttered studio!