Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Hearts of Glass Studio Show, Saturday December 3!

For the holidays this year, we're opening our studio and our living room, and transforming our space into a sparking holiday feast for the eyes! We've been busy creating new work and snazzy new displays so there will be a lot to explore. As a special bonus, visitors can watch Heather create a glass calla lily out of liquid, molten glass on the torch!

We are located just south of Beechwood - see the flyer for the full address!
Refreshments will be served.

We invite you to spread the word, bring a friend, meet the artists and make it an experience.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ottawa Glass Bead Artists Show, Nov 11-12!

We're excited to announce our next art show is coming up this Friday and Saturday! We will be in Booth #8 in the far left corner as you enter the hall (far right on the map since the doors are on top). Hope to see you there. Please spread the word!

Ottawa Glass Bead Artists

Bead & Jewellery Show 2011
Friday November 11th, 4-9pm
& Saturday November 12th, 10-6pm 2011

* A Showcase of ‘Hand Made’ Glass Beads , Jewellery & Bead Work *

Venue: Hellenic Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Drive
Ottawa, Ontario

Salon annuel de perles et bijoux 2011
Vendredi le 11 Novembre, 16-21hr
& Samedi le 12 Novembre, 10-18hr 2011

* Une 'vitrine' de perles de verres faites à la main, bijoux et travaux de perles *

For more information on artists and classes, please visit:

Last year's booth (OGBA 2010).

We've been working on our booth design and have a few innovations to unveil, including a new tablecovering system and some new and repainted displays! And I have a great selection of brand-new florals to share.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hearts of Glass, Booth #40 at the Art in the City Festival

We're having a lovely sunny weekend at the Art in the City handmade show in beautiful downtown Confederation Park!

Saturday August 27 10am – 6pm 2011
Sunday August 28 10am – 4pm 2011

Happy Pride Weekend everyone! Huge respect and appreciation to our elders who were involved in human rights activism in the 60s, 70s and 80s. I just watched an amazing documentary on the story of the struggle from decriminalization in Canada in '69 to the addition of sexual orientation to the Human Rights Code in Ontario in 1987, thereby ending the era of needing to hide your love in order to keep your job. Thank you!!!

Also, huge thank you to our friend Jill who brought over her truck and helped us set up on Friday morning! :)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Flight of Dragonflies!

Despite the warm humid weather, I took advantage of this rare, unbooked weekend to gear up and bust out the borosilicate glass that has been in storage since we packed up our Winnipeg studio last May! As you may remember from my last post, my mission was dragonflies. The goal this round was to make smaller, more wearable pendants while retaining all the detail and vitality of the older stickpin style.

I'm really happy with my first batch! This "flight" has a lot of diversity because I was experimenting with a variety of proportions and approaches, trying to find the best balance between durability and visual delicacy. The scale is around 1.5", so they are still "life sized", but more like the smaller species rather than the larger ones!

I just read about the smallest species of dragonfly. They are only 3/4" long! I think that's about as tiny as I can make one in glass. I made one nearly that tiny once but I didn't realize there were species that small. The "smallest dragonfly" title is a tie between the Elfin Skimmer (Nannothemis bella) of centre North America and the Scarlet Dwarf (Nannophya pygmaea) of Malaysia. I continue to be delighted by the ridiculously poetic common names of dragonflies!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Mission: Dragonflies

I have been avoiding the torch lately! It's been too beautiful out and I've been away from home. However the urge is growing. I've seen some gorgeous dragonflies this summer, including a gorgeous Blue Dasher with green eyes:

And when we attended Andrea's father's burial in Alberta, the old rural graveyard was awash in dragonflies, giving us a perfect, peaceful and mosquito-free day to say goodbye.

So now I have an urge to try glass dragonflies again. They're challenging and exhausting to make and I have to be in the right mood, but I'm feeling ready to initiate the new studio into pyrex glass - if I can find an evening that isn't too sweltering already!

I'd like to make some smaller, sturdier and more wearable pendants, as well as a few splashy, life-sized stickpins! It will soon be time for the Art in the City festival, the last weekend of August!

Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

More Earring And Pendant Photos From The New Art Festival

Here's an image-heavy compilation of some of our work at the New Art Festival two weeks ago! Of course I had some new clear-encased flower pendants to reveal, including this blue one with a cool swirly background:

And a wind-blown white flower with an all-black stamen:

I've been trying spotted flowers lately, so here is a dramatic red speckled lily on a muted green base:

Here's another take on my new Dream Egg bead series, which is a more abstract version of my floral technique. This is a dark neutral worked into an asymettrical necklace.

And for something a little more whimsical, a new big red fish from our fish series!

We updated our earring collection with more simple dangle-hook styles, especially in our yummy-looking sugar-bead series.

And our most popular style, the locking, handforged Captive Drop earrings! These were a huge hit at the festival, which is great because I am addicted to coming up with new, tiny, intricate glass beads for them, and Andrea just keeps improving the process and outcome for handforging the sterling silver wire components!

We also made a lot of bracelet and earring pairs that can work as sets. The sets are always fluid - there are many of combinations that work beautifully, and everything is available individually. The blue bracelet is part of a more simple, classic series that we developed for the festival.

Watch this space for more new work (and new displays) for the Art In The City show
coming on in Confederation Park the last weekend of August!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

We loved the New Art Festival!

What a busy and fabulous weekend - the tents went on and on! The map shows 52 artists and artisans but it felt so much bigger. Maybe because all the displays were so fascinating! I snagged a new office mug and two dessert bowls from Dale Mark with the lovely flowy red/blue/green glazes I adore so much. And I coveted about a million things.

This was the first show for which we needed to supply our own tent, and it turned out quite well! Huge thanks to my father and our friend Jill for helping with loading and unloading (yay for trucks!). We had the same Costco Caravan tent as 75% of the other vendors and we're satisfied that it does the job and is good value for the money. I'm very happy with the new banner, too. Now I want more and more...

The display layout was effective and people seemed to be able to see everything. We were very lucky to have a corner booth. In fact the vendor next to us was a no-show so we were able to partially open the other side as well.

Most of all I was pleased that some of our new designs were well-received. We've been inspired to try some asymmetrical necklaces - in fact we made about half a dozen bold showpiece designs! But half of the big new necklaces were purchased at this show, and I have a feeling that more will go at the next show! It's very encouraging, especially since Andrea and I are inspired to make even more elaborate neckpieces now.

This long, ornate piece went to a new home:

This iridescent piece will be available at the Art in the City Show, August 26-28 in Confederation Park!

I'll share more about the earrings and pendants in my next post...

Sunday, May 29, 2011

In Creation Mode for the New Art Festival, June 4-5!

We've been very busy at Hearts of Glass studios over the past several weeks, getting our ducks in a row for the New Art Festival show next weekend. Time is flying by. We're very excited about some of the new pieces we've got on the go and I'd like to share a sneak peek.

Here's Andrea working on our handforged Captive Drop locking earrings. The natural light is much better in the living room so she's working at the dining set she refinished this winter.

Here's a snapshot of some of the delicious-looking (if I do say so myself) Captive Drop pieces made in this weekend's batch. We've got over two dozen new pairs for the show!

I've also been working on a set called Dream Eggs. I've made one in every colour of the rainbow, plus a few neutrals.

A lovely metallic disk using silver-infused glass.

And of course, a floral - this one is HUGE and is in a double-sided disk shape. It will be made into a necklace with silver chain.

We also designed a new banner! I created text out of the Hearts of Glass logo that Andrea hand-designed a few years ago. It's times like these that I wish I knew how to make proper vector art, but I managed to make this on a Gnu-based freeware called GIMP. Hopefully it will look nice in 12" by 48" format in our shiny new vendor tent.

In today's final news, we have been accepted into the Art in the City show the last weekend of August. It will be near City Hall and sounds like a great show. More details to come!

I hope to see you at the New Art Festival at Central Park near Bank and Clemow, Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th (next weekend)! Bank Street is undergoing some street work in that area but it's still open for business and it's possible to park on side streets, so don't be alarmed. :) There will be dozens of artists showing work in media from watercolour, photography, wood, ceramics, metal, and more. We'll be at booth #44 on the South Parkway. Here is a handy map to help you come and visit us:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Accepted! New Art Festival June 2011

Andrea and I just got some great news - we've been accepted into the New Art Festival!This is an outdoor festival held in a Central Park in the Glebe, a sophisticated and funky neighbourhood in central Ottawa. It features a blend of fine visual art and handcrafted artisanry in media such as jewellery, glass, ceramics, wood, metal, textiles and more! Check out the artist directory from 2010 to see what I mean. We're very excited to participate and have a million ideas. More updates coming soon!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The End of a Hard Month

March was a hard and sad month. Andrea's father passed away on March 6th. We both went to Edmonton for his final days and his very moving funeral. Andrea stayed for several more weeks to be with family and work on a project for a friend. It was hard to be apart as we were both going through so many emotions and thoughts about life and death and family.
Now we're finally reunited and trying to get our heads back into daily life and our plans for the future. Needless to say glass hasn't been forefront in our minds this month but we have submitted a few applications for later this year. And I'd like to share a little idea-sketch I made (at the hospital, actually, during part of the four-day bedside vigil) of a flat-backed orchid design. I hope to be able to post a finished version of it sometime next month. It's good to have projects!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Triton glass, camera death and show planning!

My camera died recently, which is sad. It was only around three years old, which seesm to be how long technology lasts these days. We've since gotten a new-to-us version (on our beloved kijiji) and we're still learning the ropes! But in the meantime, I made and sold a very cool piece that I'd like to share, even though it was only ever documented on my grainy cellphone camera.

This flattened-bicone piece features gravity-stretched coppered-opal-yellow and silvered-ivory stripes on silvered effetre black. (I've moved away from the CiM black I'd been trying as it tends to spread and eat detailed designs). As a crowning touch, I added trails of razor-cut Triton silver glass under clear. The result was very iridescent, mostly blue-green with hints of pinky-purple. I added simple polished disc beadcaps and wire-wrapped it horizontally on 26ga sterling wire to a nice thick sterling chain with an adjustable lobster clasp and two 4mm coordinating teal-veined jasper accent beads. After I took it out of the tumble polisher, I was really happy with the sleek result and plan to make more in this general design!

Andrea and I also made a nice batch of Captive Drop earrings for upcoming shows. What shows, you ask? Well, we're still figuring that out... Andrea's been researching some of the many spring and summer art shows in Ottawa. It's a whole new environment for us so we're trying to pick the best fit for our work. Any suggestions are appreciated! Stay tuned for the first batch of confirmed shows in the enar future!

I'd also like to apologise to anyone who got an error message from this site in the past week. It took me forever to figure out what the problem was and I finally had to remove the links to my blog list. I'll test them again in a while and will add them back to my site if the problem is gone.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Many ways to make Murrine cane!

I recently got to attend a free demo by Lucie Kornakova and it was so inspiring!
(photo from Lunacy on Etsy)

I've been making my gathers football-shaped, Japanese-style and trying to stretch my graduated stripes evenly on the narrowing ends. It works fine for basic twist and ribbon cames but the more stripes and details, the more distorted the ends become. I also used small 1/8" metal punties, which again work fine for small simple things but are too flimsy for larger pattern canes.

Lucy builds hers in a narrow cylinder, even diameter so you can just stripe on even lines. She then builds up waste clear glass in either end to make the "egg" for pulling down with 10mm boro punties. I'd heard of that before but always thought that it would be so wasteful. Now I see how much sense it makes. No worries about boro contamination because it's only embedded in the waste glass, which is then discarded. She also talked about making murrine components and combining them together, which I'd only done an uber-tiny bit before.

(photo from Lunacy blog)

Lucy also had the most heat-efficient approach I've ever seen on a torch - it took her no time to melt huge gathers. I think this was partly because of the sweet Nortel Max torch and the world-class set-up at The Glass Shoppe Studio, but partly because she was able to absorb heat into her working pieces efficiently while keeping the finished base layers hard.

There was a class afterwards but we don't have the budget for it right now, sadly. Still just from the demo I've got a lot more ideas now!

I also got a link from my jewellery-designer friend Susan in Winnipeg showing U.S. artist Jim Jones' completely different approach to murrine cane building using sheet glass and a kiln. Very unique!

(photo from

So far my most complex canes are my floral stamens. That's probably where I'll focus my new ideas. Now I just need some more fuel... ;)