Thursday, July 26, 2012

New Florals for the Demo and Sale Tomorrow

I can't believe the stamen demo and sale is Friday, and Friday is tomorrow! I've got all my gear set up and ready to go. Primary among them are my three most recent florals! Thank you Andrea for preparing and packing all our work for sale, and for photographing these beads!
This one is super bright and tropical, with rainbow cane

This one is cool and refreshing, and has sparkle-pink stripy cane. It is already sold. It is the most perfect floral I have ever made, in terms of symmetry, sharpness and detail.

This one is minty and reactive, with subtle coloration. It's got some elegant movement in the floral. 

These are all made with my latest pink star stamen cane. For the demo I've decided to make a yellow, orange, red and black stamen... and I'll add the white star to the centre too, just for fun!

We'll see you there! It's at 210 Colonnade, off Merivale or Price of Wales, 7pm-9pm.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pulling a 28-Segment Pink Star Stamen Cane!

Here are the promised pics of my recent creation of a fabulous star-centred pink 28-segment stamen cane!

I started with five encased element canes, in a gradation from white to pale pink to dark pink to coral and finally red. The white was was a star-murrine that I made years ago and happened to be exactly the right scale for a stamen element.

Making each element cane takes time, but the really painstaking part is the assembly! I stacked these carefully together, gently flame-fusing them without distorting them. It's hard because they're tiny, and especially in the first few layers there is a very fine line between getting so hot that it loses its shape, and getting so cool that it cracks or explodes. I also seal the crevices with swipes of clear, to help maintain the shape when I melt it for the pull.

Over the next 90 minutes or so it grows into a huge fat cylinder!

Melting it solid.
Attaching the second punty.
Starting to pull.
Stretching gently...
Then harder as the glass begins to chill.
Cutting the final cane with cane cutters.

The payoff!

This piece has one white star centre element, three pale pink segments, six dark pink segments, six coral segments and twelve red segments.

And for your viewing pleasure (if I do say so myself!) here is a sneak preview of one of the three breakthrough florals I made with this cane yesterday!

All in all it took over two hours start to finish just to build the cane. Let's see if I can speed this process up a bit for my free demo on Friday July 27th at the Glass Shoppe Studio!

I'm thrilled with the small adjustments I made to my floral process as well, and I can't wait to share it with my students at the Floral Class, Saturday July 28th!

Full pics of yesterday's three new florals to follow! My favorites ever.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Friday July 27 Demo and FINAL HoG sale at the Glass Shoppe Studio

Sorry for not blogging for a while! Things have been quiet on the glass front this winter - but no longer!

Speckled Poppy floral bead with Green Stamen
A few weeks ago I received a message from Grace Edwards of the wonderful Glass Shoppe Studio with a fantastic request. Glass students had asked if I would teach a class on my complex stamened floral beads. I was deeply honoured by the invitation to teach and of course I leaped at the opportunity! I love teaching and I am SO passionate about my stamen florals! This will be my final Big Glass Event in Ottawa and I'm taking full advantage.

July 27, 7pm at the Glass Shoppe Studio
FREE Lampworked Glass Demo and FINAL Hearts of Glass jewellery sale!
Making Complex Floral-Stamen Cane ...and Our Final Public Glass Sale!
Your very last chance to purchase our work before we move to Edmonton.

Note: My latest, as-yet-displayed floral beads will be on display and for sale, but will be for pick-up after the July 28th class as I will need them as exemplars. I also have a large set of NEW Captive Drop earrings to display and sell. This is my favorite batch of the series! I feel like I've hit a new pinnacle of having-things-turn-out-the-way-I-imagine. (Artists will know exactly what I mean here!).

Heather Stewart's Complex Stamened Floral Glass Bead Class
All my hard-won secrets will be revealed! Students will learn all the steps in making my unique style of stamened floral beads and will make their own canes and florals in-class.
Components of new multi-step Black-Fringe-Edged Red Stamen
Brand-new yellow floral with new black-fringe-edged red stamen

The reason that these events will be our last in Ottawa is that we are preparing to move out-of-province... again! An irresistible opportunity knocked and so we're packing up and heading to Edmonton for a few years. I'll be taking full-time graduate studies and Andrea will be the Head of the Scenic Art Department at the Citadel Theatre.

After we made this decision in December 2011, I had hoped to have a few farewell events over the winter and spring. Unfortunately since the Art Glass Bead Show in November 2011 and our home studio show in December, all our artisan show applications have been declined. This is probably a combination of our lack of reputation in the local scene (outside of the tight-knit glass community), and the highly competitive artisan market community in Ottawa, especially in the Jewellery arena. It was a discouraging season and I was saddened to be leaving Ottawa's artisan scene with a whisper rather than a bang. But the BANG has appeared and I'm thrilled!

As you may imagine I've been practicing my stamen-making and have made two brand-new canes, and three brand new florals. As soon as I finish this blog I'm getting back on the torch to make at least two more. I've made some new innovations and breakthroughs that I'm excited to share.

Next post I'll be showing the creation of my latest stamen cane! Here's a sneak peek of the component canes I made. That's right people, it's a PINK stamen! With a star centre! I would say it's whimsical but I'm willing to bet there's a real flower out there with a stamen like that. Flowers are crazy that way.
Components of new Pink Stamen - cane-pulling pics to follow!
I have a floral made with this stamen in the kiln right now, and if it turns out the way I think it did, it will be my BEST FLORAL EVER!  I'm posting pics tomorrow.

Stay tuned...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

End-of-Year Show Photos and Commentary!

Well, December and January went flying by madly and nary a blog post was made! Lots of news, but before we get to that, I want to finally share a recap of the two big shows we did at the end of 2011!

The first and biggest event was the Ottawa Glass Bead Artists show!

Andrea and I have worked to streamline and simplify our display for our smoothest setup ever. Andrea also made two collapsable spinning displays, on which we hung many sets of loose beads. They were a huge hit at this show, which had a high proportion of artists and designers.

We had some neat new focal pieces for this show, including some more abstract layered encased pieces.

Our final show of the year was our first self-hosted home studio show, inspired by our wonderful Winnipeg traditions of home shows hosted by Sumak Studios.

Home studio shows have a very different feel and flow from public events - very relaxed and comfortable.

I found it very low-stress and was delighted at how well our home performed as a showcase for our work!

As with all home studio shows, it was intimate, without huge crowds. Those who came knew our work and were excited to choose something special! We made a select group of invited shoppers and the lucky recipients of their gifts very happy. I even did a studio demonstration or two! (I should have photographed the studio - it was so tidy!)

Andrea and I were both really happy with the outcomes of the show and we look forward to hosting a second home studio sale in spring 2012! Hope to see you there.