Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It felt so good to get back to messing with glass! I was able to make beads most of Monday, from about 9am to 5pm. It was nice. I feel so comfortable sitting at my torch on days like that, it is like meditation. The world falls away, my problems don't seem so huge, and I can concentrate on creating. Work and some family concerns have been conspiring to keep anything not required for daily life pushed to the side, and I was happy to spend that time watching glass melt.

I got a lot done. First, since I had a comission of sorts to get out of the way, I made a few blue florals for a co worker. She saw the purple encased floral I made last month and asked if I could make her one in blue (specifically cobalt blue-I have no idea why). "Sure", I said, confident in my newly developed encasing ability, "I can do that.". Umm, yeah...right. It was a little like an out of the body experience-I was watching my mouth run way ahead of my skill. She asked how much one would be and I quoted her the princely sum of $10.00, kind of half hoping she would think it was too much. "OK, make me a blue one.", she said and the game was on.

Once that was out of the way, I experimented with some red and white flowers. I love white flowers and have wanted to try making an encased floral bead with moonflowers. That one didn't turn out quite as I planned, but the one I made with red flowers looks great...I'm really happy with it. I do need to learn how to make and use stamen cane as my next step. I fooled around with it during the last challenge, but was never very pleased with the results.

Then I moved on to Goddess beads, the current Newbie Challenge at Lampworking, etc. forums.

Hmm...I made three of them and I guess they are ok. I had higher aspirations, but just wasn't in a sculptural groove. I wanted to make more Storm beads because I have become addicted to them. And dots. I wanted to make lots of dots...but had to be satisfied with making another set of the RCG Storms. I had admired that style of beads ever since I got back to glass...and now thats all I want to make. This will just have to run its course, but in the meantime I am learning lots of valuable skills like dots, dots and more dots. Oh and heat control and timing too. lol

The reactions and colorations that the RCG has never cease to intrigue me. I have ordered more, plus a half pound of Russet Copper Green, and a rod each of Copper Green and Turquoise Copper Green just to see what they do. Its official-I'm a glass ho.

Added Wednesday morning:
I'm off to work, see ya later!

Go Giants!

Bead pix of the day:

"Blue Flowers", encased floral using Effetre Light Turquoise and transparent Cobalt, Vetrofond Jungle Twilight and Effetre Superclear.

"Mysterious Rose", encased floral using CiM Lipstick and Bordello, Vetrofond Jungle Twilight, and Effetre Superclear.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Red Copper Green,

I love you. I love how you curdle, devit, re-vit (is that even a word?), reduce, shimmer, change to burgundy, green, turquoise, turn metallic and in general do things that I never expected.

I love how you make Dark Ivory go crazy, turning it amber and brown, and that lovely dark line it forms between the two of you...so cool. I know we have had our differences, and haven't always wanted to work together, but I'm so glad we could finally reach this place in our relationship where you aren't afraid to be yourself. I always knew you had it in you...maybe you were just shy, had to get to know me before you let the magic happen...thats ok, I'm just happy to see the amazing things that you can do.
I'm entranced.

RCG-may I call you that?-you rock my world.

Today's beads:
RCG base Stormed Bauble set with Ekho and Aion2.

The first of many.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ridin' the Storm out...

After months of trying, I've finally been able to make a semi-decent "Storm" technique bead.
Amy, from AKDesigns, created this type of bead and technique and it makes great use of the reduction properties of some silver/reactive type glass. It is fun to do (now that I have the hang of it) and I have to hold myself back from using up all my Aion 2, Terra 2.1, Luna, and "Helios" on these. I really like the effect of the finished beads, they look like they have mysterious jewels set in them, or that they are bubbles or windows filled with a strange atmosphere...who doesn't love a good mystery?
I have made about 20 so far and have enjoyed every second of experimenting on them. A big thank you to Amy for such clear directions!
Bead pix of the day:
Storm beads, using various reactive and silver glasses

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bone Tired

Too tired to really write a long post today...after four straight 12 hour shifts I'm beat, and very happy to not be at work! That means I have some time to melt glass-but first I have to go pick up some gas so that I don't run out halfway through something. I plan to work on some Goddess beads, some stormed baubles (I'm addicted to those!) and to practice with the new glass I received on Friday.

Today's Pictures: Bracelet made with Effetre Sedona, and a necklace made using some encased ridged silver glass beads. I think those are mostly DH Aion 2.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Gotta run

This is going to have to be brief, since I'm heading out to work the day job (first time in seven days-a mini vacation!). Add to that, I work straight through until Monday...bleah. Ah well-pays the bills I guess and I am happy to be employed.

For the past two days I have been practicing making more precise beads by playing with dots.

Now, in the past when I first started beadmaking about 10 years ago, dotted beads were all the rage. I didn't really like them at all, thinking that they looked like pollen grains under magnification. I never tried to make any, instead I stuck to abstract shapes and color studies.

The real reason was, I think I was afraid of them...afraid of their accuracy, the amount of skill they represented.

Recently, in a challenge, I learned how to make encased floral beads, which require dot placement for the flower petals. As you can imagine, my learning curve was a bit steep and my first flowers were huge blobs. But I kept at it and by the end, actually made a passible encased floral.

From this I learned I need to work at dots, because they form a basis of many designs.

I also learned that dots are fun!

Bead of the Day-

"Jungle Flower", encased floral

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What's up with Midnight?

Continuing the backstory...

It is my nature to be nocturnal, and I worked nearly 20 years on the night shift by choice. For years I slept during the day and worked or was up all night-even on my days off. Weird? Well...kind of. I also have had a lifelong fascination with horror fiction, scary movies and generally anything dark and frightening. Not only that but...I attract the odd and strange. My friend Monique years ago termed me a "weirdness magnet" and its true. I have had so many bizzare things happen to me and around me that I take it in stride (most days!).

You might call me "Gothic" and you wouldn't be far wrong, but these days I'm not really as outward with the trappings of the lifestyle as I once was. Black still ranks high on my list of favorite colors though and I embrace the darker side of things (including humor), but to look at me you wouldn't know it. I channel my gothic tendancies inward nowadays, and into my art.

Media Nox (latin for "middle of the night" or "midnight") has been part of my email address from the beginning, and it always seemed to fit. Years ago, I fantasized about calling my whatever this is "Media Nox Designs" and that still might be the umbrella term for the studio...but like me it has evolved. Fire has come to sigify many things in my life and I wanted a way to honor that, so I started tossing around the name "Apprenti d'Incendie" for the lampworking stuff. That name partly grew out of my family history research, as I found out that one of the lines in my mother's family goes back to pre-Dark Ages France. I thought that was pretty cool in itself, and wanted to bring it out to the modern day...since I also think of myself as a sort of "perma-newb" in most anything I do (there is just no way to learn everything-plus I think when you reach the point you say to yourself you*have* learned everything-that is just another beginning because you really know nothing) and a lifelong student I wanted to somehow add that to it. "Apprentice of the Flame" became "Apprenti d'Incendie" and I was off and running.

Bead of the Day:
Vetrofond Jungle Twilight on CiM Hades...makes lovely leaves to float on the wind.
Pardon the lint, this was a test picture and not meant to be the final print.
Plus, every scrap of dust in a 3 mile radius knows when you are trying to take a picture of a shiny black bead and flocks right to it.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Light in Dark Places

Ok, I'm feeling like I should offer up a little back story as to how I got here.
All my life, I have been interested in art...
It might run in my family somewhat, my father was very gifted in drawing. He had the kind of job that meant he wasn't home much and sometimes he would come and go before I even woke up. Often, the only way I knew he had been home would be a drawing left on the dining room table for me to find in the morning. He drew mostly horses,(what little girl is not horse obsessed?)usually mustangs, running in a western landscape.
A lot happened down the years after and even though we were estranged for a long time, I often found myself wishing I would have kept some of those drawings. He passed away a few years ago, and though the circumstances of his death were normal and not entirely unexpected, his memorial service was surreal. Afterwards, I wished I had some tangible evidence of how he had been, not the imaginary life he had created later, and I thought back to the picture of those mustangs...running. Free.

The women in my mother's family were tough and quietly strong, but seemed doomed to be married to angry men who drank. They were country women who ran the home, and had businesses on the side to help with income. They rented out cabins to hunters and fishermen and sold firewood to travelers. They also wove and sold rugs.
By the time I came along, the looms had been sold and my mother had a deep loathing for anything handmade. This was sad, because all I ever wanted to do was make things, but she, having grown up surrounded with handcrafted quilts, clothing, rugs, lace curtains, crocheted coverlets, and knitted scarves was not so inclined. Store bought things had to be better, in her mind, and handmade was synonymous with cheap and poor.
We still go round about this, and anytime I make something for her (why do I even try?)I have no idea if it goes straight to the closet or drawer or wherever.

The bead of the day is an organic focal that I named (with a little help) "Lethe".
Its one of the five rivers in Hades, and the one that the dead drink from to forget their previous lives. Its literal meaning is, "oblivion".

Sunday, October 10, 2010

All beads, all the time...

I'm going to turn over a new leaf here, and actually try to have a blog on a regular basis.
I plan on featuring my glass and jewelry making,and eventually to sell from here too.
So, for now, just so I can say I am working on it, here are some bead pics...