Friday, May 28, 2010

Salute! Cheers!

This week has kinda sucked, I have had an uber stiff neck since Sunday, which in turn brings this dull throbbing headache, I know its from the posture I have to sit at, at the glass center. Im going to have to buy my own chair for that place. Last night I took a shot of Nyquil, thinking it would relieve the ache and I could sleep, bad idea. don't do that for a pain in the neck, ha.. I did sleep fine, and was feeling no pain until I woke up and realized I had slept with my neck kinked all night. Back to square one.
So much down time, My head is swimming with Ideas...

Last weekend during class a former student Yvette came in to play at the torches, she is a doll and so much fun, anddddddd got me to thinking further about new glass artists! Ok so she comes in with a bunch of broken wine bottle glass and shows me what shes been experimenting with, shes been fusing chunks then wiring them into pendants etc. We brain storm and talk, and I show her how to punty up to the chunk and be able to use them to wind on to mandrels to make beads.
I have been collecting bottles in order to fill the mondo big kiln at the center up and make a bunch of the slumped cheese trays. ( also learned I loveeeeeee Pinot Noir, in the process).
So in one of my mini torch sessions this week I smashed up a bottle pulled some stringers out of it etc, and made some beads pandora sized, then cored them with reclaimed copper tubing. Keeping with the recycle theme. I love how they turned out, and If they dont sell I will be happy to wear them.

Which now brings me to two topics, doh!!!
1. Yvette a student that has only taken a two day beginner class, came in and Inspired me!
2. Pigeon holed by buyers in a style of bead making?
Im just going to talk about number 1 today but we will get to number 2 this weekend.
I do talk about in my classes about developing a personal style, especially to those that show interest in doing this as an income.
I am a firm believer in NOT to listening to people about what you can and cannot do with glass art.
I was very much self taught in this medium, and over the years reading the forums etc, if I had done this prior to starting I would have not tried a lot of the things I have and quite frankly might have not been as successful or given up entirely. I feel, and this is just a personal feeling , I know a lot of teachers /veterans don't feel the same way, but I do think we can be afraid of competition. From reading and watching I really get the feeling sometimes that veterans try and discourage new people into this medium. I am not trying to offend anyone!
After writing a few tutorials of some of my "signature beads", and teaching a few years, I have embraced the competition, I'm learning so much from it, learning to stretch, to develop new designs.( this took time to learn and let go)
I could ramble on n on even more, but in the end, Fresh ideas and new eyes are so much fun to be around, and they do make us keep learning, grasping and reaching for bigger and better.
I may have stared at those glass bottles for two years before I actually did something with them.
I do nottttt for one second believe there are only so may techniques, styles and design ideas in this medium. I refuse to think that it is anything but infinite in what we can do as artists.

Glass is Magic!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Which end is on fire?!

I started out this post today rambling about how students after one class think its time to sell.
as I got into this ramble about 14 paragraphs I answered my own questions, and created a few more alas, after back spacing, and covering my monitor in white out three or four times, it hit me.
It doesn't matter, who am I to judge who is ready to sell or not? who am I to judge if the work is good enough? The only thing I really have any control in is trying to teach the student to study, and let their imagination run rampant!
I am so blessed in having found my true passion and being able to work at it, and It would be absolutely blasphemous for me to dissuade someone else from trying, after all I want the whole world to respect and desire flame work glass art!
Some of my students favorite words, "I have a whole new respect for what goes into lampwork beads." One of my favorite times during class is the last couple hours, when demos are over and the room goes absolutely quiet because everyone is on their creative zone, intently working on their pieces.
When I'm hot and tired and my back aches from sitting in the wrong position for two days, and the students, have decided breaks are for sissies, is a great great feeling.
When I am cleaning up the studio after all the students have left, and I come across a work station that all their glass rods are an inch long, I have this strange happy feeling of satisfaction, that that student, "gets it".
I do feel the responsibility to tell these few that are intent on immediately jumping into the market how competitive it is, how much studying and work is involved, and that they would definitely get more satisfaction by taking some time and refining their skills and techniques before throwing their work out to be criticized.
By all means though do what makes you happy! thats what I'm doing!
Visual aid..
Here is a set of some of my first pansies...
and here are some more recent ones :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Say You Want A Revolutionnnnnnnnn...

Totally Irrelevant title, but this song has been stuck in my head for three days. So I thought Id share my Earworm :) .
Back to the Glass Center for day 2 of teaching the glass beadmaking 101 class.
Within the next couple weeks the West Michigan Glass Art Center is moving its studios, It will be in the same building but we got a great big new space where the Hotshop will be with all the other studios, we also will have our own gallery! yay! I will post pictures as soon as I can. Looks like its going to be an awesome space!
Hey my exclamation mark is working again!!! (that nacho crumb must have worked itself loose.)
Its going to be a great day!
I still need to discuss with y'all about the Beads of Courage day, but the caffeine has not broken through the blood brain barrier yet, so it will have to wait till either this evening or tomorrow.

OMG I love glass! You ever wake up sometimes in the morning, and it dawns on ya that hey! I actually work with glass and fire? and I love it so entirely much I cannot fathom doing anything else? I feel like sometimes I get caught up in the "job" part of it I forget that Im so fortunate that the Gods of glass smacked me upside the head with this opportunity!
I mean c'mon really? My canvas and my paint is glass! My paints, pencils and pastels all feel like orphans since I found this medium, I still pull them out once in a while so they don't feel like the discarded broom on the Swiffer commercials, But my devotion is to glass.
Im a lucky Lucky girl :)
Im also a habitually 5 minute late girl, I have to go get ready for class!!! see you soon!!!
xo Laurie

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Good Morning:)
My new website officially launched via the wide world web today yay :)
( I have to keep putting smiley faces instead of exclamation marks, because my keyboard has mutinied my morning perkiness...)
The new website is,, I haven't got the shop filled up but its really pretty none the less.
I will move all my old free tutorials etc there within the next few days.
This morning I'm fueling up on coffee because I have a two day beginner beadmaking class today and tomorrow to teach.
I had better make stronger coffee, I just walked into the kitchen for a refill without the cup. I hope this isn't a sign of what today is going to be like.
My last Beadmaking 101 two day work shop I started right off with shaking the huge container of bead release with the top ajar, oops.
I will try and get back here this evening or tomorrow morning to tell you all about the Beads of Courage day we have planned this summer :)
oh howwwwwww I love summer :) (damn exclamation marks)
oh yeah one more thing these two peices are up on ebay, ending tomorrow, lots of watchers no bids.

Friday, May 21, 2010

True Confessions

Lets chat :)

I have been blogging about my work etc on my website
however I have been setting up a new website that will be,, as soon as it launches in a few hours/days :)
So I will be blogging from here. (Blogging is a strange word?) I will think of a better one :)
I will redirect people to this page as soon as I get the green light on my new site.
Most of my readers, freinds etc, know and understand my passion with glass.
I spend most of my days melting glass in the flame creating art/lampwork beads. I also Teach beadmaking at West Michigan Glass Art Studios & write and publish tutorials on specific glass bead techniques. a little about me:

True confessions...

I am a caffiene addict.

I have a sprinkle of ADD

I think Fireflies are magical!

I could live on tacos!

I do what I love for a career and most days I get to do it in my underwear!

I tell really bad jokes on Facebook.

I need a manager or elves.

I would rather buy clean clothes, then do laundry! and I hardly own anything without a burn hole or two in it to wear.

I shoot archery and Im really good at it :)

I have two beautiful children who put up with their twisted mother.

I love flip flops!

I think my hair looks better messy.

I cannot eat eggs without tabasco.

Ive got to get my butt to work!!!

I cant leave this post without posting some pretty pictures :)

rock me amadeaus!!!

Good morning...

trying to get this puppy set up to link to my new website, so hang in there with me :)