Monday, March 18, 2019

A new direction for our work and a 20% off Sale March 18-24th in our Etsy Shops

*Model and photo by Morgin Riley @autumnlocs

Hello beautiful souls,

It's been a minute hasn't it? I have been busy taking my work in a new direction and now is the perfect time to tell you all about it and have a little sale :) I have decided to move my focus of my work on creating dread beads and music festival/ burning man jewelry. I will still be creating beads, but mostly to create my jewelry. I will have extra beads and findings that I will be adding into my shop as I create. I have also decided to shift my focus on doing more on Instagram than Facebook. I will be doing DM(direct message) sales of my work through Instagram for my new work and then adding things to my shops. I will be combining my Etsy jewelry shop to my Etsy bead shop so it's easier to find my work all in one place :) Sounds a little crazy, but it will all fall into place ;) 

So since spring is the time for fresh new starts we thought it would be a good time to transition and have a nice little sale! We are offering a longer than normal sale so that the word can circulate about our sale and you all don't hear about it after it's happened. Our sale will be from March 18-24th and we are offering 20% off in our Etsy Bead and Etsy Jewelry shop as well as some DM sales on Instagram! 

Here is a nice little pile of some dread beads we have been creation that will all be in the sale as well. If you don't see them in my shop they are available for purchase by dm on Instagram. 

Don't have dreads? You can wear your dread bead over a necklace like I have shown it here over my Third Eye Pinecone necklace or any necklace of your choice. 

Did you know that our dread beads can also be worn over braids or over a hair wrap?! There is no end to the possibilities of these beads :)

I have also been busy doing lots of collaborations with some lovely dreaded people along with some jewelry artists! I can't wait to tell you all about my adventures and show off our combined work!

Thanks so much for journeying with me!

Love, light, and highest vibrations,

xo Genea

Monday, February 11, 2019

Third Eye Gypsy & Morgin Riley Collaboration Dreadlock Lampwork Beads

Hello beautiful souls,

I am super stoked to have had the opportunity to collaborate with the gorgeous dreaded Goddess, Morgin Riley(@autumnlocs). I had the pleasure of stumbling upon Morgin's beautiful photography awhile back so I couldn't wait to dress up her locs in my glass!
Aren't her dreadlocks absolutely gorgeous?! Morgin is not only a model and photographer, but she is also a traveling loctician(she does dreadlock maintenance, and installs). Here you can see our Instagram post with this gorgeous photo courtesy of Morgin, and our dreadlock videos of beads similar to the ones I sent to her.  You can snag any of these beads by dming me on my instagram. 

Morgin loves autumn hues so I sent her a collection of gorgeous earthy tones and my: rising sun, crescent moon, and evil eye/third eye dreadlock lampwork beads. 
Here is our "Rising Sun" dreadlock lampwork bead with gorgeous color shifting raku, and earthy avocado green, and a bright golden sun with a yellow green spiral stamped center. Available here.

Next I sent Morgin a crescent moon on a base of this gorgeous terracotta with a raku moon, and bubble dots with a thread of silvered ivory. Available here.

Last, but definitely not least, I sent Morgin one of my evil eye/ third eye dreadlock lampwork beads with an avocado base, raku, and a glittery brown eye. You all know how I love eyes! Available here.

Don't have dreadlocks? These large hole lampwork beads can be worn over a hair wrap, braids, or even used in jewelry making with bead embroidery, macrame, or any other idea you could dream into existence :)

You can find more of my dreadlock beads in my Etsy Bead Shop here.

How would you use these beads in your creations?

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Love. light, and highest vibrations,

xoxo Genea

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Why are your lampwork beads "so expensive"? Creative process behind the creation of lampwork bead making (May 3, 2018)

Hello beautiful souls,

I am really excited to be writing this blog for you finally. I feel like it's way overdue and I am honestly surprised it took me this many years to create this for you all. What I have noticed while creating my work is that the general public is not informed about what it is I do along with the process and the other artists that are part of my creations. So the purpose of this blog is to inform you about just what goes into my jewelry creations, beads, and the other art beads I use created by other artists. Often times people will view my work and ask me "Why is it so expensive"? Here I will be breaking it down for you so you will go away with a better understanding of all of the love, creativity, work, and creative energy that goes into my work and other artists work. 

Glass Rods for lampwork bead makingXL
 Photo by Parigo Studios

So let's start out with my handmade lampwork beads.  All beads start out as colored glass rods like the photo above. Glass rods vary in price from about $12 lb to over $100 lb depending on color, and chemical makeup. Rods heavily laden with silver are up in the $100 range since this is a precious metal and as we know, precious metals are expensive. Certain colors are more expensive as well like pinks because they are made with gold. 

stainless steel mandrels dipped in bead releaseM
 In order to make beads we need a "handle" to hold the hot glass while we create the bead. We use stainless steel because it is not a conductor of heat. Using this metal allows us to hold the mandrel without burning our fingers. The metal will only retain the heat where it is heated. We use a bead release made from clay and graphite to allow our bead to "stick" to the mandrel while we create, but allow it to be removed when we are done making a bead. If you melt metal to glass it will be bonded for life. We call these flops "plant decorations" since they will remain stuck the the mandrel for life and pretty much have no other use than as a friend for our plants.

lampwork studio with torch and ventilation systemXL
 I am a lampworker so that means I create beads using a torch like this with a ventilation system so that the chemicals that are produced by heating the glass are safely removed from my work space. 

making a lampwork beadXL
 Photo by Parigo Studios

So before before there is even a bead to decorate we as lampworkers need to create the surface on which to put the designs, which is making a round bead. I create a round bead by melting the glass on a stainless steel mandrel dipped in bead release. 

pulling a stringer from a glass rodXL
 Photo by Parigo Studios

Next comes decorating the surface. There are many different applications for designing the surface of a bead. One method is pulling a "stringer" which is a tiny piece of glass used to create fine details on the surface of a bead.

"Happy Candy" lampwork bead set by Third Eye Gypsy(Genea Beads)XL
 Stringers can be raised on the surface or melted flat  like you see here in my  "Happy Candy" lampwork bead set.

 Other materials can be used on the surface of the bead to create different effects like: (from left to right) Baking soda(for rustic lampwork beads), Raku frit(a very colorful heat changing glass), silver leaf( to create a metallic look on glass or create an organic "frazzled" design), a lentil bead press(to shape the glass into a lentil shape).

Rustic lampwork beads spiral coin with rakuXL
 Beads I created with baking soda and raku frit. 

Lentil lampwork bead with raku spirals and dotsM
 Bead created using heat changing raku glass, and stringers.

"Ancient Tablet" lampwork bead focals with raku and silver leafXL
Beads created using raku, and silver leaf(see the "frazzly" glass). A respirator rated for fumes is used while making beads with silver as it is highly toxic when heated and breathed in.

Rainbow lentil beads and rainbow socksXL
Lentil beads created with a bead press. Yay, they match my socks! 

 Once the beads are created they go into a kiln to stabilize the glass. When we melt the glass we disrupt the molecular structure and put hairline fractures in the glass. Annealing the beads in a kiln removes this stress from the glass and "hardens" them making them durable. The beads anneal at about 950 degrees F and are slowly cooled to room temperature over the course of about 8 hours. 

Lampwork beads soaking in a bowl of waterXL
Once the beads are cooled to room temperature they are soaked in water to loosen the bead release and remove them from the mandrel. 

etching and soaking lampwork beadsXL
Beads  can be put in an etching solution at this point which is an acid that makes the glass matte. Gloves are used while using etching solution because the acid can burn your skin.  

scrubbing lampwork beads with a soapy toothbrushXL
 Once I am done etching my beads I scrub them with soapy water and a toothbrush to remove any residue. 

cleaning lampwork beads with a dremelXL
 Once the beads are removed from the mandrel I use an electric dremel to remove any remaining bead release from the hole of the bead. When bead release is in dry powder form it is toxic to breathe into your lungs.

broken bead in side a bead hollow lampwork beadsL
 Did you know that not all bead designs turn out? *SHOCKER* As artists not everything we create turns out. In fact I have had many sessions when the magic just isn't happening so I decide to create another day. Here is a pile of flopped "Bead-inside-a-bead" hollow beads.

Floral and swirl bead inside a bead hollow lampwork beadXL
Here is one of my "bead-inside-a-bead" hollow beads that did turn out. Pretty, amazeballs, huh?!

genea beads bucket beads flopped beadsXL
 This is bead boxes full of my "bucket beads". These are all bead flops. These beads are not sold and were gifted to my mother since they were not "perfect" enough to sell. You can read more about these beads and see more photos on this blog post. 

 Here are some of my Wing Ding beads which have been some of my most popular signature beads. I discovered them by mistake when I got frustrated with a bead that didn't turn out.  These beads also produced a lot of flop beads and I talk more about the cost of beads and flopped beads in this post. 

genea beads lampwork beads  from 2004L
 Here are some of my beads from my humble beginnings in 2004. Did you know that I was not instantly good at making lampwork beads? It was the first artistic talent I had to really "work for". It has taken me YEARS of practice to get where I am not. Those years of successes and failures have made me into the artist you see before you now. I have learned to so much in my many years of glass and I continue to learn each time I light the torch. It is my teacher and my mediation.

Seahorse heart lampwork focalXL
 After 15 years of making glass beads I have create some of the most breath taking pieces of art to date. Here is one of my "Seahorse Heart" focals. This bead was a huge feat in glass as the bead is very big and thick and all areas need to be spot heated to avoid cracks and breakage from the glass cooling too quickly. 

I hope this blog has  informed you and helped you to find value in the process of the lampwork beads myself and other artists create. 

Love, light, and highest vibrations,

xoxo Genea

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Why is your Artisan Jewelry "so expensive"? The artists and process behind art beads and artisan jewelry.(May 5th, 2018)

Hello beautiful souls,

This is kind of part 2 of explaining the creative process of bead making, jewelry making, and other artists bead making process. Here you will see a  behind the scenes look at how beads are made, the artists that make them before the jewelry design is born. To see part 1 of "Why are you lampwork beads "so expensive"? Creative process behind  the creation of lampwork bead making  click here.

Here is my tray of art beads I purchased at Bead Fest Philly in 2014- Art beads by: Maku Studio, Diane Hawkey, Lesley Watt , Starry Road Studio, Humble Beads, Green Girl Studios, Staci Louise Originals.

This is a bowl of Woolywire  that I got at Bead Fest Philly 2014 by Woolywire Etc.

I like to use a lot of handmade art beads including my own lampwork when I create my mixed-media jewelry. I think of mixed-media jewelry as a collaboration of artists all in one place. Imagine wearing 3 paintings on your body. This is what jewelry is on a smaller scale of wearable art.  So let's take a look at a finished piece of jewelry and break it down.


Here is a photo of my "Painted Batik" tapestry earrings. Did you know that 4 different artists are represented in this small piece of wearable art? In these earrings are the work of: Woolywire Etc, Staci Louise Originals, Starry Road Studio, and Third Eye Gypsy(Genea Beads). That means 4 hearts, souls, and minds each  created a beautiful work of art before it became a collaboration or artists in a finished jewelry design. Does that blow your mind? If not, it totally should! 

Below I will introduce you to each artist and show just a few photos of their process. I will link their blogs where you can see more in depth process photos just because this blog will be heavily loaded with photos already ;)

Eleanore Thomas of Woolywire etcXL
 Here is Nellie. She is the creator behind Woolywire Etc.

Nellie dying wool fibersXL
 Woolywire is created from the fleece of sheep. Next Nellie hand dyes the fibers.

Dyed wool for batsL
Nellie hand selects her dyed fibers to that will then get carded on her carding machine.

Dyed wool on a carding machineL
 Next the wool is put on a carding machine.

Bright Earth Woolywire and Bright Earth Wing Ding BeadsXL
 The finished product is Woolywire which you see here. I chose to show off the gorgeous woolywire Nellie created to match my Bright Earth Wing Ding beads. 

You can see more of Nellie's creative process on her blog. 

Karen Totten of Starry Road StudioXL
 Meet Karen Totten of Starry Road Studios. Karen creates clay beads, patinated metal hoops, chain, and beads.

Starry Road Studio bisque fired clay beadsXL
 I couldn't find images of Karen's metal process so I chose to show her clay beads. karen creates her own stamp designs along with other stamps to create her awesome beads. First the beads are rolled out of clay, shaped, and stamped. They are then bisque fired(which means put in the kiln as naked clay before they receive glazes).

Starry Road Studio glazing beads processXL
Here is the glazing process. You can see some of Karen's "Clay Ding" beads inspired by our "Wing Ding" beads. Here Karen is glazing the part of the clay dings she wants to add color to since the base is a black clay.

Karen Totten putting beads in the kilnXL
Here you can see Karen carefully loading the kiln with her beads for their glaze firing.

Starry Road Studio pie beadsXL
 Here are some of Karen's amazing pie beads in beautiful glazes.

For more of Karen's process photos you can check her blog out here. 

Staci Louise Smith of Staci Louise OriginalsM
 Meet Staci Louise Smith of Staci Louise Originals. Staci creates incredible polymer clay beads, metal beads, components, and out of this world finished jewelry. Staci' also creates mixed-media pieces of art as well.

Bronze clay beads by Staci Louise OriginalsL
 Here are some of Staci's bronze clay beads before they are fired. Staci also creates her own stamps for her designs.

Bronze clay beads after firingL
Here are the bronze clay beads after their first firing.

Staci Louise Originals finished bronze eye beadsXL
Here are the finished bronze clay beads with patinas and sealer. 

For more of Staci's process photos you can check her blog here.

...and finally last, but not least, your's truly...

Genea(ME :D) of Third Eye Gypsy(Genea Beads). I create lampwork beads, lampwork components, patinated hoops, headpins, artisan jewelry, and mixed-media art.

Since you have already seen my bead making process I will just post my  patinated metals process here. To see the lampwork bead process click here. 

I start out my process by cutting 18 gage copper wire, soldering the seams with a soldering iron, and then hammering(annealing) the hoops flat or textured to give them some more strength.

I also created some ball headpins on my lampworking torch by cutting lengths of 18 gauge wire and then heating the ends to ball them up. The headpins along with the hoops are then put in liver of sulfur to turn them black. 

Patinated hoops drying on a paper towelXL
Next the hoops are taken out of the liver of sulfur, put in a neutralizing bath, and then put through a rinse before they are laid here to dry. This is also done with the headpins you saw in the photo above.

ball headpins and hoops treated with renaissance waxXL
The hoops and headpins are then treated with 2 layers of renaissance wax to protect the layer of patina. The wax is then buffed off with a gentle cloth.

clear guard and drying patinated hopsXL
Clear guard sealer is then used to seal the patina onto the hoops to further protect the patina and seal the metal. This process is also done on the finished jewelry for the wire-wrapped headpins and other metals that could not be coated before using them. 

woolywire and lampwork chakra beads with sari silkXL
After the lampwork beads have been created and gone through their process the designing can begin. Here you can see my lampwork chakra beads with matching woolywire and recycled sari silk. 

Rising lotus chakra neckalcesXL
 Here are the finished necklaces from the photo above. I thought it was only fair to show you the finished piece for the above photo. 

I hope this blog has helped you to understand just all of the work and love that goes into art beads and the finished artisan jewelry.

Love, light, and highest vibrations,

xoxo Genea