Saturday, September 29, 2018

on eBay this week!

Lil Mermaid in her Grotto
The first week of Autumn has arrived! It seems too soon~ I am not sure I want summer to be over just yet. School has finally started here, and its even more hectic now than it was over summer. Where is my quiet time???? I am beginning to wonder if I will even remember what that means in a few months....
I have been working a little here and there on my casket,  when I can get the time. I started out planning to work the front and back panels at the same time, starting with the clouds at the top of each panel. Well. Well. 
I am still amazed, at how a little bunch of innocent enough CLOUDS.....totally kicked my tuccas....over. and over. and over again. I worked and ripped out that blasted bunch of clouds on my back panel at least five times, with some parts more than that. By the time I called them done, I was, and still sick of blasted clouds I don't even want to look at the ones on the front panel.

So after the clouds straight from Satin himself(oddly enough I wanted them to be stormy clouds...not happy clouds)...I have been working on the two trees I have on my back panel.  I bet you can't guess how many beads is in this little bushy tree.....not including the trunk.....
O.K. I am getting sidetracked, which is usual for me lately~ anyways, what does this have to do with the thread palette set  I have on eBay this week?  I drafted the front panel of my casket to include the mermaid and grotto from an unfinished picture at the Cooper Hewitt Museum. I love this little mermaid~ she is so happy and full of life, with her little fishy friends swimming along with her while she combs her hair. The original is unworked, so I have been thinking about what colors I am going to use, and that gave me the idea to make her into a thread palette, so I could play with fun happy colors and see how they work together.
The palette itself is a figured maple, and this time, I carved the clamshell, instead of leaving it flat. I really love how it came out. I  used quartersawn sycamore for the three thread winders~ there is a snail, also from the Cooper Hewitt panel, a little baby clamshell and a fish. If you would like to see them, you can find them on eBay this week, here

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Padded Mirror Case Class Closing Dec 2018

All Good Things Must End~
  This has been an awesome class. I have really enjoyed having it online for these past few years! I have been mulling the decision to close the class for a while, and have finally got to the point that I need the room in the shop for other projects I have planned, 
so I would like to announce today, the Padded Mirror Case Class will be closing at the end of December, 2018. 
  For all of those in class, do not panic! I have always said I will keep the step by step instructions online, and I will continue to do so~ you all can continue to work at your own pace to complete your cases!
  For those of you who would like to work a Martha Edlin style 17th c Mirror Case, you can still sign up for class until the end of this year. 
If you would like to read more about the class, and what is included, you can do so here~

Friday, September 21, 2018

Peaceful Kingdom Kit Update

Going Fast!
 For those who have preordered the special limited edition ornament kit for this year, they are just about ready to ship. I am still waiting on the Greensleeves movements to arrive from Japan. They have made it here to the US, and should be clearing customs any time now. Once they arrive, I still need to mount the movements to their soundboards~ it shouldn't take long. I have them made, but cannot drill the boards until I have the movement sitting here, as they are all a bit different. 
If you are on the fence, I  "plan" to have this kit available to order until the end of the year, BUT,  preorders have been so brisk, I only have 8....yes, just 8!!  kits left of my original planned edition here ready to go. As long as these movements have taken to get here, I cannot guarantee that if you order a kit later on, I will have one for you.    
If you would like one, best not wait!  I have had alot of questions re the perceived difficulty, and I can honestly say, I think anyone could work this kit. There is a whopping 56 pages of step by step photograph instructions, along with another 7 pattern pages!!...and I am always here to answer any questions you may have!
If you would like to order a kit, you can do so here

Monday, September 03, 2018

An Exhilarating NEW Read!

The Glory of Beads by Nicole Anderson
   So this book has been in the works for some time now...Nicole has been sharing little bits and bobs here and there....its coming, its coming~ well. IT is finally here and is amazing! I feel absolutely comfortable saying that beads have been a lifelong passion for Nicole, just as they have been for me~ but she has gone light years farther and beyond what I ever could dream of doing, to share her love of them with us all.  I have had great difficulty researching the history of seed beads and how they were made in the 17th century~ I wish wish wish wish this would have been out years ago!  Nicole's book focuses on a particular factory in Venice...hence the title,  'The Glory of Beads, The Rise and Fall of the Societa Veneziana per l'Industria delle Conterie' ....and in the 19th c, but in 17th c was basically the same process, just without the few machines that were being used later.  If you have ever had any question or interest in how glass beads, and in particular, seed beads, were made, you  m.u.s.t.  r.e.a.d.  t.h.i.s.  b.o.o.k!

 It is paperback, 230 GLORIOUS pages including a glossary of terms at the back.  Most photos are in black and white, but there are some in color. And lets talk about these photos..... Not only does Nicole go in depth as to how beads were made, she provides proof in original period photographs taken at the factory. Everyone has seen the early engravings of the 'runners' who draw out the hot glass into long canes....but have you ever actually seen a photograph of the process????(seen above)  I know I hadn't, not until I read this book!
Nicole gives faces to the workers needed for each and every step of the process~ so we can appreciate the hand work actually involved in making everything from seed beads, lampwork beads, beaded fringes used on the elaborate lampshades of the times....there is even an entire chapter devoted to Aldo Bullo, who hand made the needles for stringing the beads~ from pg. 146~

"The term 'hair-thin needles' has an actual mathematical basis. Using a caliper, one strand of hair measures approximately 0.7mm, and the thinnest known needle made by Bullo measured 0.5mm"

 So many of my questions have been answered by this book, and I have learned so much about the SVC that I did not know~ for some reason I thought it went out of business in the 1930's...but not so! The Societa Veneziana per l'Industria delle Conterie did not shut its doors until 1992, after years of valiantly trying to keep up with the changing times & circumstances. Who knew a factory that could produce such gorgeous little beads, also produced glass pellets for encapsulating nuclear waste? 
 On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the best, I give Nicole's passionate book, The Glory of Beads, at least a 20 on the must read & own scale. 
If you would like to order a copy you can send Nicole a message on facebook here , or email her at  Books are 65.00 each, plus shipping, and worth every penny