Saturday, February 28, 2015

NEW Series, "Sugar Beach Rainbows", "Naked Sugar Beach Rainbows" and the process of creating a new series.

Hello friends!

Have you seen them?? They have been BLOWING up all over Facebook! 
Check out this screen shot from my Facebook page! Wow, exciting huh?!

I would love to introduce my NEW series of beads "Sugar Beach Rainbows" and "Naked Sugar Beach Rainbows". It all started out with a single bead and turned into an entire series of new work! Below is the bead that started it all :)

 I don't know if I am completely done with the series just yet as I have NOT made any glass headpins or spacers ;) The chilly temperatures of what's left of this half ass winter are keeping me from CRANKIN'  out beads in my studio. Looks like we will get some more snow over the next couple of days our "big" 1-5 inches of snowfall. *cough cough* Then temps will climb back into the 30's and even up to 55.

A new series really starts out with laying out all of the colors you want to use and getting out your scientist hat. This is the development phase. Not all colors will work out the way you planned so it's a good idea to test things out before doing an entire run of beads. You could think something will work out perfectly only to find out you made an entire run of beads that could use a few more tweaks in the design. 

So step 1. color choices, step 2. color tests. This is more important for stone texturing. Not all glasses like to make that pretty texture. So this is really important to figure out before moving on. After all of those steps are done, next comes color layering. I wanted the look of the colors gently fading one into the next. This works really great if we have a TON of colors in that specific hue, but is harder when we have all of like 3 hues for our pinks. We have super pale, one slightly lighter and then hot pink. This doesn't really make for easy color transitions. Luckily our friends over at Creation is Messy are kind enough to try out new colors and adding some fantastic new additions to our existing palette. Finally someone that will listen to our color requests :) 

So lets take a look at one of Messy's wonderful new pink additions to our palette, Blush. On the left you can see the original batch. Hubba hubba, huh?! Is that a SEXY pink, or what? That is the OLD batch of Blush from when the first color came out. On the right is the newer batch that came out kinda recentlyish. So you can probably expect to see more of that hue. It never does hurt to ASK when you order your glass though. The color does shift all the way across the entire lot of glass they receive ;) This is where I will 1. Tell you to be sure to ask when you order, and 2. One of the MOST important gems of advice I can give you... If you find a color batch you like ORDER A LOT. Glass changes ALL the time. So if you find that one batch you like STOCK UP the next batch could be totally different. Reactions and colors.

Anywho... so as you can see the older batch is darker and the newer batch is lighter. The newer batch fades more gently in color so that is the one I decided to use.

Oh and you're welcome for me telling you one of the colors I used :P As a lampworker one thing aside from skill is knowing your color palette. This is one of your BEST weapons from setting yourself apart from everyone else out there. You may be able to do the same techniques as everyone else out there, but color layering and being able to pick out colors that  look beautiful together is actually a skill. One I didn't realize I had until I met some people that didn't have it. I have to thank my mom for that one. She too has the gift of pairing up colors. 

Now let's take a look below. Before moving on for the headpin designs I tried out a few different things to see which I liked best. On the left you can see this is the "naked" style with no color core underneath. You can see the colors fade more gently, but it's hard to see that there are actually 3 colors on there. The next 2 are different layers with cores. No, I can't tell you EVERYTHING. Some things you need to go sit down in your studio and to yourself. This is what makes you a good artist. Go do your homework :P

So lets back track a little bit and start back with the first bead I made for the series. Of course you knew I would start with green and blue, right?! ;) So the bead on the top right you can see kind of fades from yellowy green to a more minty green and the bead on the bottom fades from green to more aqua blue. The bead on the top right is the original bead and the bottom right is the bead that is featured in the "Sugar Beach Rainbows" set. After creating the different beads I got curious. As you can see with the white cores you can see the stripes of each color. You can still see them with the "naked" style bead, but they fade more gently on the bottom left. On the top left you can see that the colors fade almost invisibly. How does that work? Well remember when I told you that the more colors you have in that hue the easier it is to color transition? Case in point....
Now it's time to make some beads! So grab that glass and let's get to work on a run of beads! Here you can see the original set of "Sugar Beach Rainbows".

What is a collection of work if you don't make some focals?

So hopefully with this post this gives you a little bit more of a look into the process and why I charge what I do for my work. It's easier to put value on something if you understand all of the work involved in the final product. So let's recap... 1. Color choice. 2. Color development. 3. Surface texture. 4. Test run of beads. 5. Series run of beads. 6. Cleaning beads. Did you know there is actually a science for this? My stone textured beads go through a rigorous cleaning before they look like the finished bead. They sure don't come out of the kiln looking so pretty. To paint a move vivid picture. Imagine excavating dinosaur bones. 7. New design development. Trying out more styles of beads to fit in the series. 8. Photographing, editing, listing. 9. Promotion and introduction of new work. 10. Tying, pricing beads. 11. Packaging, and shipping new beads.  Wow, that's a lot of work, huh? One of the many amazing services I offer you, my lovely treasured customers. XOXO.

Thanks for stopping by to read about our new series. I hope you find something you can't live without!

xo Genea

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter Bla's

Hello friends!

Has winter gotten you down? I am sad to say that in all my years this winter has been one of the hardest ones for me. I am not really sure why. Maybe I miss all the time I spent outside in the sun over the summer? Maybe not being able to create when the temps outside are in the teens? Whatever the reason winter has been pretty uneventful and cold. At least if the cold came with a snow filled landscape it would be worth it. It's just like the balls hot days of summer when you are trapped inside until temperatures get to a "reasonable" level.

I am sad to say that with the temps they way they are it's absolutely miserable to sit in my studio with my feet on the the basement floor that may as well be a sheet of ice as the cool winter breeze seeps in from the open windows. I guess it's kind of like working on a frozen lake. Imagine that. Your work desk in the middle of a frozen lake. Yeah, I think that's a pretty vivid picture.

I did get a chance to try out a new style bead I had in my head. It's SOOOO pretty! I had hoped to get more made when it was 44 degrees yesterday, but I just ended up trying out some more styles to see what worked before doing a run of beads. I think this will take some more time to really refine things before moving forward.  It's going to be bitter cold again the next 2 days, but it looks like we will get some more weather in the 30's this week. Sad, I know, since when did we get excited about weather in the 30's?! Lol.

Anyways, I just thought I would pop on with a report from my little winter cave.

Stay warm!

xo Genea

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

NEW "Key to my Heart" Series, "Moon Drop Silver Stardust," " Silver Storm," and "Galaxy" Beads!

Hello friends! 

I hope you have some time to read a long one ;) I have so much to tell you. If you have not gotten a chance to keep up with my Etsy shop, I have been working on LOTS of new things including HEARTS! 
Here is a photo of some of the newer hearts. Some of them are already sold, but there are still some GORGEOUS ones in the shop. 

I dusted off some of my silver glass I had in my stash. I was asked a short while back to do a tutorial for my findings on Kalypso by Double Helix. I declined since I felt like I had already covered everything in my blog and I only had ONE lone rod left. I am still not really set up to somehow have photographs taken while I work. So anyways that latest inquiry made me want to pick up what little glass I did have left and see if I could still work my magic ;)

Here you can see of of the LUSCIOUS silver glass in action. It's the firey pink iridescent. I added some dichroic glass and goldstone to these new style beads I called my "Silver Storm" hearts and "Galaxy" lentils. They are all so magical! There is something gorgeous on every angle of the bead. I could seriously take like 20 pictures of every bead and still not capture all of the details. You may notice you didn't see them in my shop. They sold out before they even landed there ;) 
This gorgeous lentil ended up with a few cracks inside the layers. Most likely the bead will still stay in one piece, but I would never sell it that way. Instead I made it into a necklace for my mom. She collects all of my little mishaps ;)

 I was really excited to come up with a NEW wooly wire bail design. I created the "skeleton" for the base and used wooly wire on top. This new design makes the bail just about indestructible! It was such an awesome discovery. I think I will be doing a tutorial on this style necklace and submitting it to one of the bead magazines, so I will keep you all posted on that. 

I also did some more stone textured rustic hearts with the awesome stripey serpent cane and re-visited some gorgeous etched clear glass styles I made in the past. I called this new series "Moon Drop Silver Stardust". The clear glass just GLOWS and the silvered ivory and fine silver dots really add those magical "star dust". Those also sold out quickly(except for the hearts), but not to fear! I have more in my kiln as we speak and will add those to my shop tomorrow ;)

Key to my Heart Series

So you remember these cheesy old skool necklaces from when we were kids, right? I wanted to take this same idea, but upgrade it into some more artistic pieces with my lampwork.

I ordered some of these gorgeous vintage steel skeleton keys from Smalls4u2 on Etsy. Wendy is the shop owner and she was very nice. She shipped them quickly and I will be back for more of her keys soon ;)

Here was one of my quick sketches for a key bead idea I had for to match one of my tribal hearts. 
Here is the finished winged bead for the guys necklace. OMG, didn't it turn out AMAZING?! I am SO excited at how gorgeous this bead came out on the key. The bead freely slides up and down the length of the key :)

Here is the woman's heart necklace with the guys key. I will be doing a simple waxed cotton cord for the guys necklace. OMG I can't wait to finish the rest of the sets in this series! I have 2 more key beads, and hearts in the kiln! I will be working those pieces into jewelry tomorrow and hope to have them listed ASAP to make it before Valentine's day!

It was my friend Kirsten's birthday yesterday. A birthday is always a perfect time to create an awesome jewelry gift. I spied on Kirsten's favorites to see which of my beads she liked and created this necklace for her with my new style bail, "Desert Serpent Jewel" Lentil focal, recycled sari silk, and wooly wire. OMG it turned out SO gorgeous!! I just LOVE this design! I dropped it off over at her house at 10pm last night :D I was couldn't wait to give her gift. She, of course, loved it :D

Well I think that catches you all up for now. 

See ya soon! Thanks for stopping by!

xo Genea