Whistler Molten Experience 2015


In May I attended Whistler Molten Experience, a bead retreat that included demos and classes. It was held at Edgewater Lodge on beautiful Green Lake.

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The featured headliner was Heather Trimlett.  Heather demonstrated many useful techniques such as laying down a perfect footprint of glass, making twisties, and her famous disk bead.


Beth Williams demoed using dichroic glass.


Melanie Rowe and Deb Tarry demoed using molds.



Alexx Cheng demoed his beadmaking techniques and also talked about his business in Thailand that makes the lampwork beads for Pandora.


There were classes in wire wrapping and glass fusing given by Henry and others. This is my fusing class project ready to be fused.


The Whistler Molten Experience was a lot of fun. I met many nice people and the demos were informative and interesting. I only wished for more torches there to practice on, but I did get some time in. Yes. I will go again some day.


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Danse Macabre Blog Hop


Lee Koopman of Strega Jewellry started a challenge: “The challenge?   Pick a spooky or scary or creepy representation from a Halloween type character as your inspiration.   It can be really scary or it can be generic, like “a witch”.  It can be cute, like Mavis, Dracula’s daughter  from Hotel Transylvania.  It can be a zombie or a mummy. It can be Elvira, that Queen of the Night or your favorite vampire.   Make something.  It does not have to be jewelry.   It can be decorations or some other type of craft.  It can be a costume.   Make it, show it off and tell us about it.  How will you celebrate at our dance?”

I chose an owl for my Halloween type character. Old myths claim owls provide transportation for witches if a broom is not available. Myths claim witches can turn into owls and disappear up the chimney. A hooting owl means witches are approaching or a death will occur.

I decided to make a necklace and used a polymer clay cabochon by Sculpted Windows. I beaded around the cabochon with seed beads and made a rope using triple spiral rope stitch.


Please go to Strega Jewellry for a list of participants in this blog hop and do visit their sites.

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Fireflies Field Trip to Public Glass to Watch Glassblower David Patchen

The lampworking group I am a member of, Silicon Valley Fireflies, recently traveled to Public Glass in San Francisco to see glassblower David Patchen at work. He made some murrine and a vase. It was fascinating to watch.


David’s first step in making murrine was to make a variety of glass cane. Cane are colored lengths of glass made by stretching molten glass into a long rod (15 to 50 feet).  Cane can be a simple stripe of color or fine woven-looking threads.  According to David: “Murrine is made by precisely layering molten colored glass, then stretching the mass into a long rod.  Once cooled overnight, the rod is cut into slices, exposing the pattern in cross section, kind of like a glass sushi roll. ”

Here is David making murrine.


David’s assistant, Ian, has the cane ready to be rolled around the murrine.


He rolls and tapers it to get out all the air bubbles.


The murrine is being pulled.



Once it has been pulled enough David inserts it into a wooden box, cutting it into pieces.


The murrine is slice with a saw. Here is an example:


According to David, “Pieces are designed by creating a mosaic of murrine & cane (cold). Once complete it’s then heated for blowing.”


David’s pieces are very beautiful and fetch high prices in galleries.






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Leather Feathers Blog Hop

Rachel Mallis of Mint decided to host a blog hop and offered a pair of her handmade leather feathers for jewelry making. “Cute.” I thought. “Why not?” I thought.

Rachel sent me the following pair:


Of course they are perfect for earrings. Rachel even had pictures of earrings she had made with her feathers. This picture is similar to what I would have made using lampwork beads:


Instead of earrings I decided to make a necklace with my leather feathers. I also used lampwork beads that I had made, a lampwork and copper acorn by Diane Sepanski, and a lampwork leaf by Beau Barrett.



Check out Rachel’s blog to see what other people made using these unusual feathers.

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Kansas City and Sara Sally LaGrand class

My friend, Linda Schauble, had been wanting to share her home town, Kansas City, with me. Stephanie Sersich was teaching a beadmaking and jewelry making class there so we decided to go.  A friend of Linda’s, Mollie Maresch, was renting the house that Linda had inherited from her mother in Leawood, Kansas and we were invited to stay with her and her family. They were all lovely and welcoming. It was cold at first and even snowed, but was mostly in the 60s. We got there several days before the class and got some KC barbeque right away.


We did a lot of sightseeing. My favorite place was the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art.



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We also attended Marble Crazy, a contemporary art glass marble show at Moon Marble Co. in Bonner Springs, KS. The show included artists from around the country, glass working demos, and a marble machine. It was great hanging out with other glass artists, shopping, and watching the demos. This is what I bought. The large marble is by Geoffry Beetem:


We also enjoyed the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art


and the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio


and the National World War 1 Museum and Memorial


One day we visited Parkville, Missouri, a historic town on the Missouri River about 5 miles north of Kansas City. There were unique shops and restaurants including antique stores and art galleries. There was a park on the river and Park University.

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I was looking forward to Stephanie’s class, but it was cancelled at the last minute. There had been many snow storms on the eastern seaboard and Stephanie’s flight was cancelled. The class sponsored by Sara Sally LaGrand through Public GlassWorks Kansas City. Sara offered to teach me an individual class in making a lampworked corsage. Was I interested? Of course!

Here are some examples of Sara’s corsages:



The class was awesome! The first day  and morning of the second day was the lampworking portion. I learned to make glass pods, leaves, seeds, etc. at the end of wire. This was followed by wire working and assemblage. Sara also taught me some interesting reactions using silver glass.



Here is the corsage I made.


I stopped at Heartland Bead Market in Overland Park, Kansas on my way home and they helped me fashion it into a necklace.


If you have the opportunity to take Sara’s class – do it!  I highly recommend it.

On our last night in Kansas City we had barbeque.


Posted in beadmaking, beadmaking class, handmade beads, Kansas City, lampwork beads, lampworking, lampworking class, Sara Sally LaGrand | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

First Bead Peeps Swap n Hop

Welcome to the first Bead Peeps Swap n Hop. Linda Anderson organized it and there are around 200 people participating.  Linda matched all of us up with partners. We sent each other beads to create jewelry. My partner is Deb Fortin of Mhoti Studio (formally Studio 24).  Here is my post about what she sent me.

Deb sent me a gorgeous soup including a metal focal bead and clasp she made herself.  I did not realize how generous she had been until I started creating my pieces. I made three necklaces and still have some beautiful beads left over.

For my first necklace I used the beautiful handmade pendant, square shell beads, and branch coral from Deb. I added some of my own lampwork beads, a copper clasp, and brass spacer beads. I love this necklace and plan to wear it often.


For my second necklace I made a focal pendant out of a green semiprecious stone bead from Deb. I also used her beautiful handmade copper toggle clasp. The other bead I used from Deb were branch coral, serpentine and other green semiprecious stones. I added lampwork beads that I had made and glass spacer beads from the Czech Republic.


I thought I was done, but there were many beads left and they called to me. For the third necklace I used a lampwork bead from Deb by a Canadian artist. I also used round semiprecious stones and labradorite coin-shaped beads that Deb had sent. I added some lampwork beads I had made a few years ago, some chain, and a clasp.

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Thank you Deb for these wonderful beads.

Please hop over to Mhoti Studio to see what Deb made with the beads I sent her. I can’t wait to see what she has made.

Please visit the other first Swap n Hop participants to see their wonderful creations by clicking here.

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My Swap n Hop beads have arrived.

Last week a package arrived in the mail. Inside were lots of items in small zip-lock bags wrapped in colorful tissue paper.

My Swap n Hop beads from Deb Fortin! Inside were a wonderful variety of beads, including 7 possible focal beads, semiprecious stone beads, lampwork beads, pearls, shell beads, branch coral, and a handmade clasp by Deb. Deb formed the clasp out of copper. The possible focal beads were of bronze (from bronze clay) made by Deb, lampwork, and semiprecious stone.  The beads I received are great and I am thinking about a number of different combinations.


This is the first Bead Peeps Swap n Hop. There are around 200 participants. We participants got paired with each other and put together and swapped some beads including a special focal bead, some coordinating beads, possibly some components, and a special clasp. Now Deb and I and the other participants will make a special piece of jewelry from the swap items. Our creations will be shared on our blogs on May 2.

Here are the swap items I sent to Deb:



I sent a variety of focal beads and smaller beads, all lampwork made by me. I also sent Deb crystals, Czech beads, a sterling silver clasp, and other glass beads. I hope Deb likes them as much as I like hers.

Thank you, Deb, for your generosity and wonderful variety.


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