Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Love Glass

from C.N.Y Glass Studio designed by Jacquelyn Rice

After a two day introduction to lampworking I’m convinced that glass is the medium for me. Plans are underway to install a glass studio. Well, the plans are being constructed in my mind. I’m still wrestling with a few minor details. Where will I get an extra $1000 for a good kiln? How will I install decent ventilation? And should I leap right into borosilicates? Other than working out a few details, myAngelWings by Lynn Nurge of LaffingGull mind is made up. :)

I’ve had a fascination with glass all my life. I remember mom taking me to a glass blowing studio, and because I was tiny and fearless I was yelled at about staying away from the furnace. But I was so fascinated with the molten glass and what the glass blower could accomplish.

As I grew, I developed an appreciation for mom’s millefiori paperweight collection. Later I fell in love with LaLique, blown glass figurines and even swarovski. I like crystals too (both natural and synthetic) and one of the first things I purchased when I returned to jewelry making after a 30 year hiatus was showy high quality glass beads.

In retrospect, it's no wonder that I have a glass collection of my own: paperweights, figurines, unique fobs and focals - mostly items either I chose while vacationing or little pretties gifted to me from David. He's such a dearheart to me. In fact, in my jewelry chest I have an assortment of eclectic pieces (my designs and purchased) which incorporate glass withMy Design - Swiss Blue Topaz, Lemon Topaz, Boro beads, Smokey Quartz all other media.

Recently I’ve fallen in love with boro beads – those wonderfully complex and colourful hard glass creations that have become so popular of late. I’ve purchased borosilicate beads from several renowned artists – and these pretties look fabulous when mixed with precious gemstones. Above is featured a set of borosilicate beads made by Jacquelyn Rice of C.N.Y Glass studio of Boonsville, NY.

I incorporated Jacquelyn's pretties (which remind me of an intergallactic monsoon) into the luxe gemstone bracelet shown here which I designed for myself. These photographs underline the many faces of boro beads - their dramatic and intense hues as highlighted in the opening picture and their more subtle faces in varying lighting - as seen below combined with Swiss Blue Topaz faceted nuggets, Lemon Topaz, Citrine, Smokey Topaz and plenty of silver.

This post will be the first in an ongoing series of articles exploring my quest to design borosilicate bead ornaments which will complement and enhance my gemstone creations. I'll discuss my boro bead buying experiences, my favourite boro artists, available online storefronts, informational resources, borosilicate bead making courses, lampwork bead making, lampworking courses, lampwork versus boro, etc. Stay tuned... there's lots more to come!

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