Windswept pushed the limits of my studio torch.  The large focal measures 65mm x 20mm.  The milky blue and warm ivory remind me of a dust storm settling on the shadowed desert landscape.  What do you see in the focal?

Gilded Wings

About the colors:  A lentil was created from CiM Kryptonite and CiM Crocus.  The eyes are Double Helix Aion over black.  The wing detail is Double Helix Terra 2 with encased aventurine sparkles.  Probably one of the most lovely dragonflies I have made.  Enjoy!

Bullet Cabochon


 Last Tuesday, I made a bullet cabochon in class.  The finished silver charm measures 34mm long x 15mm diameter.  It would look great on a bracelet or as a pendant on a necklace.
 Another view on a Sterling Silver Chain:

Spring Workshop - 14 Mini Lampwork Tutorials - Intermediate to Advanced Flameworkers

Now available for download from ETSY
This E-book is a compilation of 14 Spring Designs – included in this booklet are step by step TEXT instructions for intermediate to advanced flameworkers, 1 high-quality color photograph of each completed focal, a sketch booklet containing of each design in a 5-step progression, and helpful tips.

Why a printable sketch packet?

First, the packet illustrates the bead detail from start to finish. I wanted to give the reader a look into my world of glass design. I’m hoping the illustrations will help the reader become more adventurous and think outside the box. I suggest purchasing a set of colored pencils to experiment with the endless color options.

Second, I wanted to create an inexpensive booklet which includes a multitude of tutorials for intermediate to advanced students, who are unable to travel for classes/workshops. Also, I didn’t want to waste the readers time and their printer ink with instructions on “how to” create a simple round bead or press a lentil. I hope the innovative tutorial sketch concept is embraced by readers.

Designs included in the Booklet:  Salty the Snail, Bunny, Mushroom, Ladybug, Flower Child, Sculptural Rose, Carrot, Daisy Bloom, Bunny Face, Duck, Robin's Nest, Spring Chick, Leprechaun, and Dottie Spring Pastels.

The E-book is in PDF format, available via ETSY.  It consists of 2 downloadable files which total 25 pages long. The booklet contains over 22 high-quality color photographs, and over 130 "how to" progression bead sketches (5 sketches per design).  The total file size is 2.42MB.

Focus audience: Intermediate to Advanced Flameworkers with working knowledge of the torch. The E-book does NOT contain basic beadmaking techniques or step-by-step photography.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions!

All the best,

Acrylic Paint Rocks!

Joshua's friend broke his leg a few weeks back, and the cast needed some extra pizzazz.  A bit of acrylic paint is just what the doctor ordered!   

2014 Summer Early Bird Code: "Splash"

The 2014 Summer discount code for Mesa Arts Center is “Splash”.  It will allow students registering for Summer classes to receive 10% off on two classes.  It is only valid during the first week of registration.  Registration begins on April 18th.  Hope to see you this Summer!

"Shiny Candy Wrapper" Mini Tutorial

The "shiny candy wrapper" beads are made by creating a round base bead from Effetre Pastel White (204). The base bead measures 8mm round. It is important to make sure the surface of the base bead is smooth and symmetric. 

Let the bead cool outside of the flame for a few seconds to insure the surface is stable.  Starting from one end of a 11mm x 40mm rectangle of fine silver foil, roll the bead down the center of the foil strip. The foil should adhere to the bead without any issue. 

Using a graphite marver, gently smooth any raised edges of foil onto the bead. The bead should be fully encased in a layer of fine silver. 

Spiral encase the round by using a 3mm stringer of your color choice.  The above bead was encased with Effetre Transparent Green (022).   

Spiral Encasing Tip:  Keep the base bead well below the flame to avoid burning off the fine silver foil.  Starting on the left hand side of the bead, create an overlapping spiral encasing.  The molten stringer should be applied with steady ease and constant speed while moving toward the right hand side of the base bead.  Try to avoid starting and stopping for smooth, overlapping coverage.  The radiant heat from the molten stringer will transfer to the base bead and insure the core remains warm while out of the flame.

Once fully encased, heat the transparent encasing evenly until the surface is smooth and rounded. A CG Beadroller comes in handy during this last step.

Let me know if you have any questions!

All the best,

Fetch - Bulldog Jewelry Set

A preview to my current puppy project.  I wanted to take the idea of a dog focal taught by Claudia and make it my own, so I adapted the striped focal to include my silly bulldog design.  The ultra small teeth are adorable!  Later today, I will be setting the sparkly cabochon into a custom sterling silver pendant.  The completed set will include the fabulous puppy set for a bracelet/necklace, a sterling silver cabochon pendant/charm, and the matching pair of mini hearts for earrings.  Love the fresh color scheme!

Mustache Puppy

Cannot get enough of Claudia Trimbur-Pagel's puppy design from her recent book Glass Bead Trip.  Her book is probably my favorite glass book ever.  Love how the little guy turned out on a blue and brown striped lentil.

2014 Summer Class and Workshop Announced

**2014 Summer  Classes** 
Flameworking: Intermediate to Advanced
Register online or by phone (480) 644-6500.
Mesa Arts Center Glass Studio on Tuesdays from 6:30 pm to 10pm
CAS14GL025-02  June 3rd - July 29th (9 week class)

Learn new techniques to design and create a variety of beads and off the mandrel projects.  
As always, student demo requests are welcome!

A short list of techniques and surface decoration covered in class:
Thompson Enamels
Using Dichroic Glass
Double Helix Silver Glass
Mesh: Copper, Brass, and Fine Silver
Fine Silver Foil:  Encasing and Surface Detail
Creating and Storing Shards for Projects
The Basics of Stringers and Dots
Creating and Using Murrini
Flamework Cabochons and Cabochon Systems
Painting with Stringers to create Portraits

**2014 Summer Workshop**
Day at the Beach Workshop
July 6th from  1pm to 5pm
Workshop Section:  CAS14GLW058-01
Register online or by phone (480) 644-6500.

Learn how to design and create fun Ocean themed focals from
molten glass through use of various techniques!

Urban Safari

"Urban Safari" is an offshoot of a recent set.  The concept sparked into my mind while sketching for an upcoming "animal print" technique class.  I had originally planned to cover the usual big cat patterns, however the idea dawned on me to extend the design boundaries.  The safari themed set incorporates a fun twist by introducing a splash of vibrant color and surface texture.  The natural palette includes patterns from an Amur Leopard, Somali Giraffe, Saltwater Crocodile, Indian Blue Peacock, and Siberian Tiger.

Crocodile Tears Necklace

 I usually do not string beads, however this set will be going on display.  I plan to add 2 more wire wrapped briolettes once they are done annealing in the kiln.

Crocodile Tears

 "Crocodile Tears" originated from a single idea:  What if a bead had scales like a crocodile?  The idea morphed into a truly unique bead set which includes ivory teeth embellished with fine silver, encased watery rounds featuring silver foil, the initial scale beads, and a large crocodile head focal to complete the set.

Indigo Plume

"Indigo Plume" is a design based on a lovely Northcott quilt fabric (pictured below).  A simple trip to the fabric store leaves my mind whirling.  I often find myself pulling out the sketch book or iPhone and taking notes mid aisle.  Always asking: "How can this pattern translate into a glass design?"  Many times, 2 or 3 bead designs emerge based on the inspirational item.  On this particular occasion, I debated adding a layer of violet to the enamel base, however I decided to stick with a monochromatic theme of vivid blue with gray feathery plumes.  

  Peacock Paradise by Northcott

1000 Beads

I'm excited to be included in the new "1000 Series" book by Lark Publishing.  The book focuses on original, contemporary beads in all materials.  Now available to order online at  Barnes & Noble or Amazon
Congrats to all of the artists whose beads were chosen for the publication.  The fabulous book was juried by Kristina Logan and is a work of art.  I am honored to be named among such talent. 
All the best,

Heart Padlock

Organizing the studio today, I came across this "off the mandrel" demo from February 11th.  It was made by using a punty placed on the point of the heart while sculpting and shaping the Effetre 432.  I then added the key hole and latch loop.  I gave it a dusting of Oxford Gray Thompson Enamel to add a bit of interest, thus the speckled appearance.  Once I achieved the overall desired shape, I punty onto the latch and finish the heart design by removing the previous punty and shaping the curved point.  Using a marble mold, I remove my last punty and flame polish any remaining signs of the handle's contact point.  I'm off to make a key :) Enjoy!

Kiss Me, I'm Irish!


"Kiss Me, I'm Irish" is a colorful leprechaun inspired St. Patrick's Day set.  Theses pandora compatible beads were created on large, 4mm mandrels.  Love the glittery, gold pixie accents, encased rainbow and fabulous 4-leaf clover top hat!

Daytrip to the Grand Canyon

 From the breathtaking panoramic views to the smallest pebbles, the Grand Canyon is truly grand indeed!

Verdant Shades

"Verdant Shades" is another example of encased copper mesh.  To give you an idea of size, smooth bi-cone measures 45mm x 12mm.  Overlapping monochromatic shades of green were used to create a vibrant background for the abstract murrini flowers.

Bubble Bath Paperweight

After the scheduled lesson demo, I occasionally create an "off the cuff" project as requested by students.  Many of which I fail to photograph for the blog.  Here is a paperweight from class last week.  Love how he turned out!


The initial bead design for "Zoya" began as a copper-mesh demo for class.  The photograph is not able to accurately capture the rich luster of the encased copper and the array of lovely hues ranging from crimson to vibrant violet.  (15mm rounds)

 They could be strung as feature focals or hip accent beads in a one of a kind jewelry design.  Above is an example of them paired with my version of a design from Claudia Trimbur-Pagel's design.  Please feel free to refer to previous posts on her lovely work.  Such a great lady and talented artist! 

Student Project

A fabulous gnome terrarium created by Terri.  I cannot even imagine the time it took her to craft the tiny bridge!  Love it :)

Custom Fur Babies

"They leave pawprints on our hearts." 
How true!
Pictured from Left to Right:  Albert Leon, Brewzer, and Lacey Ann

Polar Vortex

Polar Vortex vexing you?  
Sounds like a job for "Smore Guy" and his trusty sidekick "Hot Chocolate Dude".
In cases where Smore Guy is unavailable, I would also recommend a road trip to the Southwest.