Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Trip to New Hope

In the rest period between Christmas celebrations and New Year's Eve, the in-laws, my husband and I took a drive to New Hope, Pennsylvania, a quaint little artsy community across the Delaware River from New Jersey. Last year, we took the trip in colder weather, and my treasure included a new wardrobe of vintage clothing from a fabulous little clothing store there, Night Bird Vintage Clothing.
This year, however, I wanted to go back to the Topeo Gallery which is jam packed with gorgeous, contemporary stained glass windows, mosaic mirrors, fused glass art, and hot glass treasures!

I love these kiln cast pieces, but forgot to see who the artist was!
(UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter who let me know that these pieces are by Susan Gott)
For a virtual walk through of the gallery, check out some of the artists below:

Little River Hot Glass Studio - These ornaments were the whole reason I wanted to come back!!!
Thomas Meyers Studios - Mosaic Mirrors that incorporate iridized glass, dichroic glass, fused glass elements, textured and painted sheet glass with beveled mirrors
Chickadee Studios - A mother/daughter team of lampworkers creating playfully elegant jewelry
Rollin Karg - Hot glass artist out of Wichita, Kansas. Watch several video clips of the hot glass process on his site.
Mary Darwell - You NEED to see this intricately beaded jewelry!
Zweifel Art Glass - Beautific iridescent, almost carnival glass-esque blown vessels
Richard Satava - Of course, there are the famous jellyfish!
Momo Glass - Unique enameled recycled glass jewelry
e.b. glassworks - Fantabulous swirly perfume bottles and ornaments
Kliszewski Glass - Colorful, whimsical blown glass vessels

Read a little more about Topeo Gallery and other New Hope attractions at That New Hope Blog.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

How it was made...Glass Holiday Paperweight

I'm in New Jersey visiting family, and helping to clear out the coffers! We're in the basement today photographing items for my mother-in-law so she can sell them. But, while I was taking pictures, she found this great holiday themed paperweight and I had to share it!

When looking at a paperweight to see how it's made, the first thing you look at is the underside of the paperweight. This allows you to see the layers of the paperweight and how it "grew", kind of like looking at the rings of a tree:

The underside of this paperweight shows us a first gather (The first bit of glass that was collected on the pipe as it was dipped into molten glass.) that was coated in white powder. A second gather (The glass on the pipe was again dipped into molten glass to encase the first bit of glass.) of glass was collected over the white ball, and then then piece was marvered (rolled and shaped) onto a pin frog (or the equivalent) to give it a bunch of pock marks where air could collect to form the many tiny bubbles upon the next gather of glass. At this point, the paperweight would look like a small, white, bubbly paperweight. But, this was just the background for the scene that was picked up (The holly leaf and berries were laid in powder on a steel plate "marver.") next.
After the powdered design was melted into the paperweight, it had to be shaped and another gather encased the design. Finally, a green wrap was created on a separate pipe and swirled onto the paperweight. But, that was only the last HOT step!
See all the facets? First, a nice polished flat bottom. Then, a nice bevel that allows the paperweight to sit with it's holly design pointed at you. BUT, you can't see the holly without a window carved in, as well! That's at least three (and more likely, four) different polishing pads for each flat surface!
To finish it off, an etched artist's signature...and Voila!
It's just that easy ;)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

2010 Las Vegas Glass Expo

While traveling through the skies to New Jersey (to visit my husband's family for the holidays), I was reading the latest issue of Glass Patterns Quarterly. I enjoy reading all the articles, but I also scour each page for the ads, as well. When I came upon the new Las Vegas Glass Craft and Bead Expo ad, I was surprised to see that I was nationally published!!

See my stained glass windows? Yea!!! Granted they were images that were submitted for the class schedule from the year before (I assisted teacher Michele Mitcavish with her No Days Glaze classes and made the samples), but I was exuberant nonetheless!

Barring unforeseen events, I'll be attending the Glass Expo again this year to help with classes again. So, I thought I'd check out the list of classes and share the ones that I thought sounded intriguing:

Of course, I'll begin with the classes where you may find me assisting ;)

****All class descriptions are from the Glass And Bead Expo Class Listings for Website****
Note: WE - Wednesday, TH - Thursday, FR - Friday, SA - Saturday

9:00am–5:00pm Michele Mitcavish REPEATED: Friday, FR-24
Leaded stained glass can be a labor of love. Finished stained glass panels often take your breath away, unfortunately, so can the glazing and cleaning process. Labor costs soar from the hours involved in the cleaning and setting time, which may result in the loss of a client. Streuter Technologies has developed an innovative and time saving glazing system that removes a lot of the labor involved in leaded glass. This system introduces heat, replacing the putty process that seals and supports the finished window for indoor and outdoor use. This class will take you through a small leaded project which will include glass cutting, leading and the No Days Glaze process. Other topics will include repairs, reinforcement and the complete line of glazing sizes and colors. You will come out of this class with the skill of creating the No Days Glaze way. Students bring: Glass cutter, running pliers, breaking grozers, leading hammer, safety glasses, lead nippers, soldering iron and stand, metal ruler.
Class Limit: 10............................ $250.00

9:00am-5:00pm Michele Mitcavich (it's Mitcavish, BTW)
Did you think fusing is just for fusers? Fusing only to make dishes or jewelry? Well it is not. I have been in the glass industry for 17 years and have learned a variety of glass utilizing them while working for a Public Glass artist. I now teach my method of mixing all those techniques to those who are tired of the confines of manufactured glass. Whether you are a stained glass artist, fuser or glass painter I want to show you how to look at a piece of art and transcribe it into a unique glass piece. In class we will be using clear Bullseye and translucent glass powders to create your own elements to be included into your own stained glass or fused glass piece. This class will be for any type of glass craftsmen out there and will be focused on opening you eyes to the innovative ways layer, fusing, laminating and other techniques are used to create a piece of fine art. I hope that you will come out of the class inspired. There will be a discussion of multiple techniques used in public art installation, like the use of optically clear glues for laminating on multiple layers of tempered glass, that we will cover also. Come ready for this intensive course in seeing glass in all
the art around you. Students bring: Glass cutting tools, safety glasses and dust mask. Bring artwork they would like to discuss as a potential future glass piece.

Class Limit: 10 ........................... $250.00

8:00am-4:00pm Michele Mitcavish
Those of you who teach classes know that having to split a class into multiple days can lose students. Waiting for glue to dry is one of the biggest culprits in delaying a class. Also if you are off-site teaching and you have to transport multiple pre-fired glass pieces, you may have had plenty of glass destroyed by a quick stop. Streuter Technologies has developed a heat set adhesive that will take the waiting out of finishing that mosaic project. In this class you will create a mosaic using a variety of fused glass pieces and broken glass we will provide. Due to the requests of last year’s students we have made this class a full day. We will not only be giving you a larger flat project to work on we will also have multiple demonstrations planned for you. Some of the things demonstrated will be the use of the No Days Mesh for wall surfaces, working on 3-D objects like clay pots and gluing glass on glass and using the Morton portable glass shop. Also if you avoid mosaics because of the mess the grout makes, I will be showing you what I call my dry grout method. Last year everyone said this alone was worth the price of admission, you will have your grouting and clean up done in minutes instead of hours. Students bring: mosaic nippers, metal ruler, glass cutting tools, black sharpie, safety glasses.

Class Limit: 10........................... $250.00

And then
...the classes that I would LOVE to attend (Make sure to click through on the links to learn more about the artists that will be teaching and see some fabulous pictures):


9:00am-5:00pm Gina Hubler REPEATED: Saturday, SA-25
Join Gina Hubler of the Miami Mosaic Academy in creating Micro-Macro Mosaics inspired by the Vatican studios and their artisans. We will use smalti filati, and other glass inclusions, creating small masterworks with a contemporary spin. Learn the history of this art form, and the mystique behind the creation of this specific style of mosaic. With only two major collections world wide, this is a style with limited exposure! We will work hand-on with a mural style project, as well as a functional micro-macro inclusion mosaic during our classtime. This is a chance to work with smalti filati, and develop your own style of setting with classical and contemporary tooling. Known as the souvenirs of the “Grand Tour” of Europe during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, we will reinvent our own! Students bring: Magnifying glass, or Mag-eyes type magnification. Class Limit: 15........ $265.00

10:00am–5:00pm Michael Dupille REPEATED: Thursday, TH-28
The painterly use of crushed glass frits and powders has opened up a whole new world of artistic imagery. Anything is possible when working with small particles of glass from tight, photo-realism to loose impressionism. Working in the panel format, you will learn how to control color density, shading, soft and hard edge lines and some unique specialty looks. This class will focus on the principles of multiple firing to create a rich, vibrant panel piece. There will be enough studio time to experiment with some technique pieces to assure a greater understanding of the process and how to create a palette. Just imagine how you can expand these techniques to creating unbelievable wall pieces, tiles and continuous murals. As one of the early kiln working artists, Michael has pioneered this and many other glass working processes. His dynamite slide show will inspire as well as educate. He does request that only those with previous fusing experience take this class. Students bring: notebook and writing implement, basic glass tools, and a couple of simple photos or images to work from.

Class Limit: 12........................... $285.00

9:00am–5:00pm Kent Lauer REPEATED: Thursday, TH-40
Join Master Beveler Kent Lauer for this brand new one-day class. You'll make beautiful, faceted Dichroic glass pendants and learn awesome cold working techniques. This exciting hands-on class will cover all aspects of creating these breathtaking pendants, from cutting 1/4" thick glass with a diamond ring saw, to laminating and beveling. A thin layer of Dichroic glass will be laminated between two layers of beautiful Starphire glass, then ground and polished into an incredible jewel. No glass cutting experience required. Class size is limited to ensure individual attention, and each student will have access to a 12" lap wheel. Students will have the opportunity to make several pendants of various shapes.

Class Limit: 6.............................. $325.00

9:00am–4:00pm Jayne Persico REPEATED: Thursday, TH-03
An introduction to an innovative way of forming glass bracelets. This technique was developed by Jayne, and she designed the metal molds and tools used to support this process. In this class students will work with pre-fired components, creating two bracelets and a watch. She will teach you sizing and bracelet forming as well as the wiring techniques to complement and complete each design. Students bring: safety glasses, wire wrapping pliers (Miniature Needle Nose, Round Nose and Flush Cutters), a watch face and Magnifying Glasses (if needed).

Class Limit: 12............................ $280.00

9:00am-1:00pm Denny Berkery
Come learn everything you wanted to know about stained glass cabinet doors from the author of "300 Stained Glass Cabinet Door Designs." Author Denny Berkery will discuss every aspect of creating glass for cabinet doors including door prep, design considerations, glass selection and installation. We will have time for design work and we will discuss strategies for marketing your creations to cabinet companies, builders, etc. Students bring: drawing tools and paper.

Class Limit: 20............................ $135.00

1.5-Day Class Gail Stouffer Part 1 Friday 8:00am-4:00pm Part 2 Saturday 9:00am-1:00pm
Want to get the most out of working with glass powders? Learn to create imagery, depth, and drama in your work by incorporating exciting powder techniques. Students will learn to create Powder Wafers for small and large projects, explore crackled powder techniques, experience layering powders for depth, making pattern bars with powder, and more. This specialty class will show you the true power that adding powder can have! Students bring: Safety glasses
Class Limit: 15............................ $375.00

Have a blast with Verre'Eglomise & Float Glass
8:00am-4:00pm Peggy Pettigrew-Stewart REPEATED: Saturday, SA-27
Each student will learn a very unique technique and process to create stunning glass. This process can be used to create a variety of glass creations (from sculptures, to functional). Vessels, large bowls, tables, furniture, even sinks. And can be used to create beautiful small art & decor as well. Each student will learn sandblasting, sandcarving and the beautiful Verre' Eglomise technique of Intaglio (reverse) glass carving. This technique will also teach each student the process of intaglio / reverse glass painting along with the inlay of exotic metals such as copper, gold or silver. This process can be combined with kiln forming to create stunning and unique glass. No experience is required. However this class is suitable for all, from beginners to professional level glass artists. Each student will take home a minimum of two completed glass pieces, including at least one large major piece. This piece will range from 12" - 16" diameter and 1/2" thick. Completed pieces can be used to create a beautiful bowl, sculpture, vessel, and more. The technique can be combined with fused or cast glass, and can be used on any type of glass. For this class we will be working with thick float glass. This is a technique that will change the students glass art forever. The students will be able to return home with the skills, knowledge and ability to continue using this unique technique. It is an incredible process that allows all to create unique glass art. You can use this process to make large or small pieces, even furniture. But don't forget it can be used on jewelry and small decor as well. Students bring: Notebook, pencil & pen, apron (or old shirt), design ideas.

Class Limit: 10............................ $250.00

****All class descriptions are from the Glass And Bead Expo Class Listings for Website****

And this is just a FRACTION of the classes available!
If I were a lampworker (and I think that one day I will branch out in that direction), then I would surely have added a few of those classes here, as well! The hollow bead class sounded interesting...perhaps next year?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sale for St. Jude Children's Hospital

Hosted by the Etsy Jewlery Artist Guild. All proceeds benefit St. Jude Children's Hospital.
There are some really beautiful pieces in the shop! If you're still looking for gifts for any of the women on your list, check out the EJAG Shop for some great deals and give two gifts at once!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Stocking Stuffer Give Away - Candy Cane Necklace

How's the holiday shopping season coming along? I've hardly begun, but I'm getting motivated! And I've decided to help out some other folks as well!

I'm giving away this fused glass pendant with a stainless steel magnetic choker cable. The pendant measures approximately 1" x 1" and comes with either a 16" or 18" cable neckwire. (I also have 24" chains available, if you prefer.)

How do you win? Simply leave a comment below with your favorite piece from CalyxAnn's Etsy shop. Don't forget to leave your preference of chain length (16", 18", or 24"), as well!

Additionally, you can enter by:
(**leave a comment for each extra entry!**)
  • Follow my blog publicly on Google friend connect
  • Blog about this contest
  • Enter this into any give away link and tell me where you left it (worth 2 entries each place)
  • AND, any purchase from CalyxAnn's Etsy shop earns 5 entries!

This contest is open to US and Canada Residents only, and ends on Wednesday, December 9th. The winner will be drawn randomly from a hat and contacted via email. If they don't reply within 24hrs a new winner will be drawn.

Happy Holidays and Good Luck!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Buy Local for the Holidays

'Tis the season of craft fairs and holiday sales. Now that holiday shopping is upon us in full swing, I thought I'd point out some of the places I'm shopping which will support local people and keep the money in our own communities!

Hot Shops Art Center Holiday Open House in Omaha's Old Market Neighborhood
Saturday, December 5th from noon - 8pm
Sunday, December 6th from noon - 5pm

"Our biggest event of the year, the Hot Shops Open House features informative art demonstrations and live music, plus, most of the Hot Shops artists have their studio doors open to the public! Live music, informative demos, cool art, dense location -- a genuine good time."

Artitudes Holiday Art Show and Sale - Fundraiser to benefit The FoodBank of Lincoln Backpack Program
8th and Q Streets
Friday, December 4, 4pm-?
Saturday, December 5, 10am-5pm
Sunday, December 6, 11am-4pm
For photos from previous Artitudes events, visit their blog.

There's also the option of armchair surfing and buying local, through! On Etsy's homepage, there are several links down the left hand column. If you scroll down to the "Explore" box, you will find a link that says "Shop Local," which gives you the option of choosing the location you would like to search.
Look at all these great local Nebraska finds:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Shopping with a Gift Guide...

Check out some of the great things I found!!!

Fall Daisy Fused Glass Magnets ($14)

So playful, and I love the bright colors, of course! Sure to brighten up any kitchen for the winter.

From nivenglassoriginals,

And then, there's this cute little Blue Jay just waiting to perch on your tree...he could even dress up the windows after the tree comes down. Or, maybe nest in your house plants!

Golden Amber Starburst Stained Glass Mandala Suncatcher ($60)

If you haven't noticed, I tend towards the oranges and yellows :)
Another bright cheery flower to perk up the winter months.
(BTW, I've recently moved back to Nebraska from Napa, California, so I'll be surrounding myself with all the bright cheery things I can get my hands on to help me through this winter!)

From etherealgirls,

Blue Frida Strength Amulet Necklace ($21)

For the art lover, or more specifically, the Frida Kahlo lover...what a great little pendant and I love the oxidation on the chain that gives it a very vintage feel!

From Glassprimitif,

Not sure what to get for him? I love these whimsical and playful cufflinks! Perfect for a little stocking stuffer!

There are so many great gift ideas here, you won't go wrong! Promise!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Elegant Troll...

I started it more than four years ago, but I've finally finished putting her together! Before my evening soiree with the Lincoln Doll Club, I had but bits of troll in a bag. May I informally introduce.... Ms. TrollUp! You may not have noticed, but she's rather well-endowed. She also doesn't care much for shaving; and I totally understand that!
Like teacher, Ute Vasina, I had to be different! My "Fritz" troll is a lady troll, but as of yet, she's still a naked lady!

I fashioned my troll from the kit for "Fritz" (above) by Ute Vasina. I don't yet know her story...but I think she'll be wearing a lovely green evening gown and showing off her sexy legs!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Action, action, action!!!

Yes! Since I've got my photo area all set up, it's been no problem shooting some photos of everything I've been meaning to list but just never got around to. It's so handy having a spot all set up that I don't have to take down!
I even got this plate listed in the shop today! This is one of my favorites for entertaining because it's got three different spots for munchies!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Lights, Camera, ACTION!!!

So, I've made the move from Napa, California back to Lincoln, Nebraska and am slowly, very slowly, getting my studio set back up. But, yesterday, I finally got my lighting and photo tent set up in it's permanent location! I actually have enough room now, that I don't have to take it down and set it back up!!! Yea!!!
I was able to take a few pictures of jewelry that I've been meaning to list for a VERY long time. Now, I just need to find the box with the rest of the items that I need to photograph in it!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Napa Valley Open Studios - 2009

For the last year, I've been working with Saint Helena hot glass artist, Ed Breed. I've been learning to work with hot glass so that I can assist him in making pumpkins, glass tumblers, and vases. While he can make pumpkins by himself, it certainly is quicker and easier with an assistant. But, when making larger pieces and pieces that need to be transferred back and forth between pipe and punty, two or more people are needed to complete the process.
In the beginning, I was very timid. It's rather sketchy working with hot glass on the end of a stainless steel rod. Especially when that glass is so hot that it moves around like honey. (In fact, in the very beginning, I would practice with actual honey and a wooden skewer.) "How hot is glass when it moves like honey?" you ask. Well, it's about 2000 degrees F, or hotter. Hot enough that you probably wouldn't feel it right away, because it would burn your skin off and then the nerves as well!

So, my feeble attempts in the beginning made the work harder for Ed. The glass that I would bring him for the pumpkin stem was hot, but not nearly hot enough. He would have to pull harder than is comfortable to do repeatedly, to get a pumpkin stem...and then need a day or two to recover strength in his overworked arm muscles... (My first solo pumpkin attempts can be seen here, and are a great example of what happens when the glass isn't hot enough.)

What really helped me to get my heat right was the repeated pulling of flowers, which I really enjoy. Once I got my heat right, it was no longer a race against time with me trying to pull the glass before it got too cool to move. It was also easier for Ed and I to work as a team. Now, he could focus on blowing, and I could bring the stem when he was ready. After a year of working with Ed, I am now able to anticipate the steps, and we can work more efficiently with fewer mistakes.

Sporting my hot glass gear and my hot glass flower

Here I am at Open Studios in Napa, this year. I made the trip out to Napa, shortly after moving back to Nebraska (to be nearer to my family), to help Ed out with hot glass demos. We had a beautiful setting on the patio of Beverly Wilson's house in North Napa. We were set up outside, with Beverly showing her bright and bold Napa themed paintings both inside and out, and jewelry artist Marjorie Shachnow displaying the tools of her trade and her beautifully organic precious metal jewelry inside.

It was a hot time in the sun with the weather being over 100 degrees and the glory hole blowing 2000 degrees out at us, but we had a great turn out and a lot of friends were able to stop by and see what I've been doing.

For the demos, we pulled flowers, blew a few pumpkins, and made some drinking glasses. We were able to keep most of what we made, but the traveling hot shop's annealer is much too small to hold everything. There were several broken hearts every time we had to let a piece break open or shatter because there was no where to let it cool slowly. Below, are pictures of Ed and I making a tumbler...

Ed blowing hot glass into the shape of a tumbler using a wooden mold

After Ed has blown and shaped the glass to the point where he can go into the mold, we need to transfer it to a punty and shape the lip of the glass, knock it off and put it in the annealer to cool.

Transferring a blown glass from the pipe to the punty

Shaping the glass with a paddle and jacks

Finished glass

I really enjoyed my short California vacation and can't wait to get out there again!
As a side note, Ed can only make the drinking glasses with an assistant, and they really are beautiful and impressive when entertaining guests. Hint, hint ;)
Thanks to Erika for the great pictures of Ed and I working at Open Studios!

Ed Breed's pumpkins
(photo courtesy of Ed Breed)

Ed's "Pumpkin Patch" at Open Studios

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I made a bunch of these small fused glass pendants quite awhile back with the intention of fusing the variety of precious metal decals that I've collected. Then, I had an inspirational moment...and Voila!! I absolutely love this new design and have been experimenting with color combinations. The amber chips on this necklace work perfectly with the faceted purple glass beads, and it truly makes me happy!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Looking at new techniques...

Have you ever looked at a piece of art and said, "I wonder if I could do that?"
Now mind you, this isn't the question, "I wonder if I could do that and make a whole bunch to sell?!?" That is copying....
I'm talking about the artist who is looking to expand the techniques in their repertoire, see's a new technique, and begins to wonder, "How could I do that?"
Then, the artist tries the technique and expands upon it, or moves on.

Well, recently, I was emailed a link to a video of hot glass artist, Cal Breed working on a piece:
(and if you have time, you should really browse his website, Orbix Hot Glass, because he's got some gorgeous stuff there.)
After watching the video, we had one of those moments that I mentioned above. I say "we" because if you've watched the video or worked with hot glass, then you realize that in order to make substantial pieces as a glass blower, you really need a team of people.
So, "we" studied the video and decided to try out the technique to see what we could come up with. And it was mighty successful, for a first attempt!
Check it out!
The outside:

The inside:

The bottom:

I really love how the addition of a bunch of globs of glass to the outside of the vessel really add to the dimensionality and depth of the piece.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cutting Little Circles...

with the Teeny Circle System from Morton!
I just taught myself yesterday, and with some practice, I can see some new quilt pattern plates with circles!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Featured by the Lovely LocalColorist...

Another beautiful treasury, for your Easter pleasure. Full of eggs for fertility! Happy Spring!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Yea! Check it out! I'm featured in a treasury on Etsy with a bunch of other creative Californians!


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