Dive Into Glass

It is complete and available for instant download on Etsy.  The eBook is a compilation of techniques and recipes to create your own duck themed glass projects – included in this booklet are step by step text and photograph instructions for intermediate to advanced flameworkers, 80 high-quality color photographs and helpful tips. In addition, I include all CiM and Effetre names/numbers used throughout the tutorials. All of the glass referenced in this 47 page book is COE-104.  Here is a sneak-peek for your eyes only: 


Cloudscape features new colors by CiM.  The lush palette includes Ice Floe, Trapeze, Whisper, Gypsy, and Zachary. 

Another view:

Friendly Fox

The updated design is based on the original from last Spring (seen below).  He is too friendly to be released into the wild.  So he will be joining the animal menagerie headed to Beads of Courage in September for relocation.

A Mother's Love Series

Two words sum up the reason I love Beads of Courage: 
Giving Back

My son was born with a congenital heart defect. He underwent surgery when he was 4 months old. When I design beads for Beads of Courage, I often think of the incredible medical treatment he received through the challenging journey. 
For me, the most difficult moment was the morning of the surgery. Having to let go was almost more than I could bear. Fast forward 11 years, he is a healthy, energetic young man and my sidekick... more like partners in crime. 
He is my inspiration for the design series, "A Mother's Love". Special thanks to Donna Felkner Aka-cgbeads for donating her fabulous BR-132 Snowman/Animal Body roller to be auctions during the Arizona Society of Glass Beadmakers Challenge Day at Beyond the Torch Gallery & Studio.

Join me @ the Beads of Courage 2014 Bead Challenge - September 20th

Beyond the Torch and the ASBG is hosting the 2014 Beads of Courage Bead Challenge in Scottsdale, AZ.  Donna from CG Beadrollers donated some fabulous beadrollers for use during the event, then auctioned after event to benefit BoC.  The ASGB asked me to share a list of silly "kid" themed beads which were made with the BR-132 Snowman/Animal Body roller.  Here is a sneak-peek!  
If you would like to see the rest of the whimsical designs or place a bid on the wonderful CG Beadrollers, join me at the free event, hosted by Beyond the Torch.  I will be flameworking challenge beads and demonstrating the versatile CG Beadrollers between 10-2pm.  Come see the fabulous tools in action!
Omgosh, he has a belly button!

Water Ballet No. 2

Earlier today, I was reunited with my focal "Water Ballet No.2".  The photograph by David Orr, captures the graceful beauty of the lovely focal. 

Laguna Agate

Another take on my "Urban Haute" design with new, rich colors from CiM:  Cobblestone, Heartthrob, Chia, and Mahogany.  The end result reminded me of a lovely Laguna agate cabochon which I purchased a few years back.  A bit of Southwest flare!

Green with Envy

About five years ago, I had a lady refer to my beads as juvenile.  The comment made me pause for a moment.  My better-half insisted the lady was referring to the fact that my beads are "youthful, fun, and whimsical", instead of the correct definition "reflecting psychological or intellectual immaturity".  After the comment, I felt the need to branch out and experiment with more "grown up" designs.  Another part of me wanted to rebel, stomp my feet, and refuse to create anything which could be labeled as "mature".  If you have followed my blog throughout the years, you can tell which part of me has won in the design department.  Maybe I suffer from PPS (Peter Pan Syndrome) and I'm too full of sheer mischief for grown up designs.  So, for the readers who are suffering from PPS, this post should contain a warning of mature content... shield your eyes! 

Leopard Geckos

A clutch of leopard geckos for Beads of Courage.  My goal is 200 beads, so far the count is up to 130.  Off to fire up the torch!
Don't let their size fool you, they eat a lot!  #highmaintenance


I have finally joined the world of FaceBook.  The simple thought gives me technology jitters.  I am absolutely not tech savvy in the least.  I would probably have better luck trying to train Gizmo to post updates, however he lacks opposable thumbs.  His posts would probably consist of angry bird scores, nap posts, bird stalking updates, and food/feeding schedules.... so instead, I will give it a go.
I can haz Facebook account???

2014 Fall Early Bird Code

The 2014 Fall discount code for Mesa Arts Center is “Circus”.  The code will allow students registering for 2 Fall classes to receive 10% off the regular price.  It is only valid during the first week of registration.  Registration begins tomorrow, August 1st.  

**2014 Fall  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

2 Class Sessions:
CAF14GL025-01  August 26th - October 14th (8 week class)
CAF13GL025-11  October 21st - December 16th (8 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 the upcoming class syllabus and demonstrations:

Complex Floral Cane
Double Helix Silver Glass - Terra
Pumpkins and Gourds (CiM paperweight demo)
How to pick a Fall Themed Palette
Mesh: Copper, Brass, and Fine Silver
Landscape Focals
Fine Silver Foil:  Encasing and Surface Detail
The Basics of Stringers and Dots in Seasonal Themes
Lapidary Faceting with a Denver Lapping Machine
Flamework Cabochons and Cabochon Systems
Painting with Stringers

**2014 Fall Workshop**
Fall and Winter Workshop
 October 12th from 1pm to 5pm
Workshop Section:  CAF14GLW058-01
Register online or by phone (480) 644-6500.

The workshop combines a variety of designs from my Festive Fall and Winter Wonderland Workshops, along with new designs for 2014.  Let's welcome the holiday season by creating fun themed focals from
molten glass through use of various techniques!


A scupltural demo requested by Kelly.  He measures approx. 6.5cm x 4.5cm x 4cm.  The process involved sculpting the shape, color encasing, then flame enameling.  He comes with his own sign:

Love is in the Air No.3

I'm getting old or my memory is going.  I had to pull my sketch book to look up the title for this design from years back.  Maybe it is just a side effect from creating thousands of beads?  No matter the name, I know he will be loved in his new home.

Baby Hedgehog

"Baby Hedgehog"
 2.4 x 2.1 x 2.2 cm

Fresh from the kiln and ready for the woodland.  The design sketch was pretty straight forward, however the color palette had me second guessing choices of glass from the start.  Truth be told, I changed the colors at the last minute.  The soft-bristle coat features grays, browns, black, gold, and ivory in a complex cane.  I bounced back and forth on the main body color until settling on a limited run from CiM.  The cheeks, well they are adorable...  all said, I'm thrilled with how the little guy turned out.

Welcome to Paradise

 "Welcome to Paradise"
3 x 3.7 x 2cm
Soda-lime glass, enamel; flameworked glass bead.

The concept of my latest work arose from the desire to create a nature inspired, sculptural piece based on a Dionaea muscipula, aka Venus flytrap.  The original design featured a mosquito hawk (see image below), but as with most of my initial pieces changes are made, techniques are tested and it is back to the drawing board.  Pictured above is the second design featuring a common housefly.  I feel it better captures my intended humor, thus coining the title:  "Welcome to Paradise".

"Dionaea muscipula"
Soda-lime glass, enamel; flameworked sculpture. 
5.5 x 7 x 2 cm

Spotted Pansy

A two part floral demo from class.  Next week we will be working on leaves and frit accents to complete the floral set.  The focal would be perfect for an elaborate stringing project or crocheted necklace. 

Day at the Beach Tutorial PDF - Now Available

The "Day at the Beach" Tutorial packet is complete!  The E-book is a compilation of 14 Beach/Ocean Themed 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. In addition, I include all Effetre names and numbers used throughout the tutorials. All of the glass referenced in this book is COE-104.

 A preview of the tutorials found in the eBook.

The eBook includes a printable sketch packet.  Example from the Spring Tutorial:

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.

The packet is available via instant download through Etsy.


I have to apologize for the photography... it was unable to capture the beauty and depth of the Double Helix original Terra.  The luster of Gaia is also beyond lovely!

Anyone for a Dive?

 Waterlogged by all the ocean posts?  If not, strap on your fins and grab the goggles.  The water is perfect for exploring the Koh Toa Reef in Thailand.  Better yet, save on airfare and join us in Mesa, AZ this weekend for a special ocean themed workshop!
 Giant Red Devil
So strap on your fins, seal those goggles, and let’s explore - See more at: http://www.touropia.com/best-island-reefs-around-the-world/#sthash.XEoRuVAD.dpuf


Gearing up for the "Day at the Beach" Workshop this weekend.  So many ocean themed focals coming out of the kiln, not enough time in the day to photograph it all!  Seriously, I need to take a second to tap the sand out of my shoes...

The expanded tutorial PDF with accompanying sketch packet will be coming soon to Etsy for those of you unable to attend the workshop.  Here's wishing you a sunkissed weekend!

Shell Design

A hollow form is usually perfect for creating a sea shell, however what if a lampworker is hollow-challenged?  The design came about to help students create a shell without the frustration of perfecting hollows. 


When listing project ideas for the "Day at the Beach" workshop, a mermaid's tail seemed fitting.  What better way to capture the shimmer than with a magenta/blue dichroic glass. 

Retro Black Cherry No. 3

Revisiting a popular set from the past.  The updated design features the same lush color palette with the addition of pink and gray.  I threw in a set of mini hearts, perfect for a pair of earrings or charm dangles.  Almost forgot, the beads are fully detailed on both sides, so either way they flip, they will look fabulous!
Full Set View

Star Spangled with a Sparkle

"Ol' Glory" is the bead design demo for class this week.  Hard to believe it is almost July 4th.  Hope everyone has a safe and happy week!

Exciting News!

 Ben Browne, a friend and fellow glass geek, is now on Etsy!  Check out his shop:
Ben Browne Art
Starting this Fall, Ben will be offering workshops at the Mesa Arts Center.  His innovative mind is truly a gift.  I expect to see great things come from his desire to push the creative limits of glass.  His passion for art extents to photography.  Feel free to convo him via Etsy for custom work and professional photography pricing.  (Photograph courtesy of Ben Browne Art)

The World is your Oyster

I have been working on sketches of sea life for an upcoming workshop titled "Day at the Beach".  I kicked around some thoughts on sea shells and taking them to another level of fun.  Our last trip to San Diego, while chasing miniature crabs, the kids found a slew of oyster shells in the sand.  The two seemed like a fun combination. 
After 6 sketches, ranging from silly to life like, I settled on something in between.  The exterior is a silvered ivory so to shimmer in the light, yet dark enough to cast a gray hue.  The oyster's open half is filled with one of my Double Helix favorites, Kronos.  The crab was formed from 1mm, bright red stringers.  Small doesn't begin to accurately describe the little guy.  Leg to leg, he measures 14mm x 15mm.  Total time to torch: 1.5 hours. 
The finished focal would look fabulous paired with a strand of shimmery pearls.  I could imagine him on display, surrounded by sand, beach glass and shells.  Or how cute would it be to incorporate the focal on the handle of an oyster knife!?  No idea where he will end up, but I love the thought of someone flipping over the shell to find the silly little guy!

Urban Haute

A mix of turquoise, emerald, lemon, and pumpkin, accented by silvered ivory.  The simple color palette is one of my favorites.  Enjoy!

pOrtrait - ISGB Exhibit

"Looking Glass"

In February, the ISGB posted a call for portrait beads:  
 "A portrait is a painting, photograph, sculpture, or other artistic representation of a person, in which the face and its expression is predominant. The intent is to display the likeness, personality, and even the mood of the person. How does that translate into glass?  With or without the face and the expression, the artistic impression of what one sees in the mirror looking back, as a personal portrait whose story unfolds in the molten glass. That which depicts the deepest part of one’s own personality in how it is shaped, its color, the extent of its embellishment. In a single bead, the ‘face and expression’ of the artist as if to say "This is who I am. This is what I want you to see in me." Portrait is a personal artistic journey of the artist’s self. The artist’s self-portrait in glass. This exhibition will open in conjunction with the Gathering in Houston, Texas."  -ISGB Website

Busy with life, I didn't hear about the call for entries until mid-April.  Talk about a slow start!  With the due date to enter looming (May 8th), my mind began to swim with ideas.  "Looking Glass" soon emerged from the kiln, and I couldn't be more happy with the portrait focal.  The bead was accepted for the exhibit and goes on display during The Gathering in Houston, TX.