Friday, September 28, 2007

Making O-Rings

I use a LOT of o-rings in making my mobiles... so I make a lot of o-rings (yes I make them myself - although I should admit that I adore help! and Tim is a great o-ring maker)

The pictures above show how I do it. The wonderful father of a good friend of mine made me the simple sturdy jig - basically a wooden frame with a bent steel bar that has a small hole. You feed the wire thru the hole then just turn the handle. The coils make about 100 0-rings after its all cut up and said and done.

And I should also admit that I didn't figure this out myself - I used to thrash my wrists making coils for o-rings, then I saw some chain-link artists using a drill and a dowel that had a small hole. I thought - brilliant! - but the metal I use (14guage) is too heavy for a wooden dowel, its just breaks or tears, so this steel rig works best for me.

Just thought I'd share how I do it. And I wanted to try out the neat SLIDE website. Its fun.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Ongoing Projects

Last night I was up late twisting little wires and playing with bits of glass. Constructing little mini glass mobiles. I really enjoy this is some odd way, the fun color combinations, the movement of the glass, and best of all are all the cute little puddles of colored glass. Yummy.

I like Orange.

I made a new series of color combinations. Orange. Orange with Red-Orange, and a little deep red. Orange with Yellow, Yellow with Blue. Orange with Pink. Orange with Orange.

I need to get pictures taken of em...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


"We can only hope that when we do break into the field, we’ll be too busy to even notice."

I read this on Etsy's Storque newsletter... and it rang beautifully in my ears. All I can do as a small businesswoman is stay busy doing what I love to be doing, and frankly, when I do make it big I am sure that I will be to busy to notice. Until then, I scramble. As Tugboat Printshop says "Hustle".

The picture I used above is done by Tugboat Printshop on commission from Etsy - they run a printshop in Pittsburg PA. Its always inspiring to read about other artists making a living off their work and living the unconventional life. Livin' the dream.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Primary Colors
Originally uploaded by Norby
I cannot say enough good things about Flickr. Try typing "Burningman 2007" into the Flickr search engine and put the pool of pictures on slideshow - its better than TV.

Pictured to the left is a mobile that I sold at an Etsy craft show in Portland - the husband took this picture and posted in on his flickr page... turns out he works with flickr :) what a small world

Using flickr made me bond with my camera. Now I carry it with me all of the time and I'm always on the lookout for something interesting to take a picture of, much including my own glass artwork.

Heres some pictures I posted on Flickr from this past weekend since I last checked in on the blog...

Portland Saturday Market
this is my booth set up

I sell my work here most weekends of the year. Its very interesting, and an incredible opportunity. I meet so many different people its truly incredible. The PSM is the #1 tourist destination downtown there, so we deal with thousands of visitors every weekend. March-Christmas Eve. I've done it for 5 years now.

Race for the Cure
47,000 attended officially

truly sad and brilliant all at the same time. there were LOTS of people. and the sheer quantity of honey buckets was incredible.

in the evening I had a beadmaking class at Aquila - I taught these lovely ladies the beginnings of making beads. we seriously had a good time

Friday, September 21, 2007


Chain Linking Glass

I like to chain link glass. I think its fascinating
that I can!

My little micro-business as a glass artist first
started (back in 2001) with making borosilicate
glass rings. I love making them, and it was a
great product to test out the skills I was learning
in business classes about how to sell my work
to shops and galleries. Over the years I have made
thousands of rings. So the idea of chain-linking
them isn't too difficult - its just almost unbelievable
that its possible.

The first time I saw chain-linking in glass was in
Eugene at the EGS, Tracey Doyle made a sweet
sculptural piece that was a tree with a woman
sitting on a swing - the entire sculpture was glass,
the tree, the woman, the swing, even the chain
holding the swing to the tree. Too cool! I was
inspired, so I went home and used some jade
green glass to make a chain-linked necklace.
This is what is pictured above.

The earrings below are an simple design that I would
like to sell online. I have sold them to customers here
in Portland that meet me at the Portland Saturday
Market, and I wear them constantly. I get a lot of
positive feedback. They are very comfortable and
good looking, I like the simplicity and the fascinating
aspect to them.

At the moment I am stumped
by roadblocks

1. I cannot find a good deal on
sterling silver ear hoops that
have a hinged back (the style
shown in the picture is what
I would prefer NOT to use,
they are difficult to get in, the
little wire having to slip inside
hollow loop - but thats what I have)

2. I do not know how to take a good picture of them. Taking
pictures of jewelry is HARD :)

3. so far I've made them in different styles, colors, sparkly,
and swirly (latticino) - I like em all, I'm not sure what
my customers would prefer - once I conquer issues 1+2
I will be able to put all sorts of styles up on myEtsy shop
and see what sells!

If anyone has advice (especially on where to find the ear-wires
I've already checked Rio Grande) please feel free to help!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Dollars and Cents

Today I got to take some great shots of a really old register.
The keys are awesome. My brain was in cash register mode
today - I had a spur of the moment give-away in my shop
and now I am having a give-away on the blog!

complimentary fun for my readers! A FREE LITTLE MOBILE!

the fine print: ONE lucky winner gets to receive a FREE
little mini glass mobile - handmade by me

please vote in the poll on the right hand side of the screen
"What Do You Want to Read About?"
then put a comment on this thread to let me know you'd
like to win a FREE mobi! I will contact the winner and get
your shipping address and voila - you will have won!

thanx for helping jump start my new blog. I may
pick out more than one winner for the fun of it!


Good Tools

Good tools makes all the difference.

The guys at Aquila Art Glass got someone to make them these sweet cutting tables. There is nothing like cutting up 300 squares on a table like this, it would honestly just take moments rather than hours!

I recently got my business the best glass circle cutter on the market, I don't know why I ever resisted. Every time I cut, clean and prep some amazing number of circles I am giddy when they are in the kiln, and tell everyone around me how fast I am.

Cutting Glass is not my favorite past time... I prefer to work with the glass hot and molten... but hey I LOVE my mobiles and the flat shapes are dual purpose: they act like sails and they pack a punch of color. So I suck it up and fuse some glass. The splinters and little cuts drive me crazy. But with the proper tools, the job can get done efficiently and hopefully no blood is spilled :)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Piece Title: Sprouts
Dimensions: 2ft x 2ft approx.
Materials: Glass, Galvanized Steel, Heavy Duty Swivels

I struggle with photography. Its a love hate relationship. I am enchanted by the finished captured image - but the act of capturing that image can be so illusive!

Ah well - its a constant work in progress. I enjoy this shot - I've done a few more like this lately, where instead of trying to get the whole mobile in the frame of the picture, I am just taking cool shots of color. The idea was inspired by jewelry artists I see on Etsy who utilize their Macro setting and take pictures where the part of the jewelry in the forefront of the image is in focus, but then it continues back in the frame more blurred out. Its visually appealing to me.

Bagby Hotsprings

Inspiration is key. Sometimes one just needs a
break. Bagby hotsprings is out on Mt. Hood: its
a mile hike into the old growth forest to get to the
springs... and there are these beautiful wooden
huts with carved out tree-bathtubs inside for soaking...
there is a round tub that it seems most people don't
know about off a little distance from most of
the other tubs - thats the one for me. The whole
place is so amazing, so sacred and well used, I
am enchanted by the Oregon wilderness. We even
picked huckleberries before the hike!
I took lots of pictures of the hike and the forest...
I posted some on Flickr