Category: private reserve

Survivor goes Mayan

mayan style bracelet with jaguar carving

This season’s episodes of Survivor:  Redemption Island are taking place in Nicaragua.  The black and white spiral design called the Hunab Ku is featured on playing pieces in the game, such as tiles that were broken in a recent contest.

Many years ago I took a trip to Belize and read up about the Maya before the trip.  I was able to visit Tikal and some of the barrier islands for snorkeling, sea kayaking and camping.  The slate carving of the jaguar was a souvenir.

Later I created this peyote stitch bracelet with seed beads using that motif for the central design.  The beads are slightly rectangular in shape so the design came out oval instead of perfectly round.  Sorry, these are not for sale, but you can click for a closer view.

Something old, something new

This week we have one older bracelet and a new pair of earrings.

Something old, something new

The bracelet is an Aura Sun Arts original from some years back; it features glass seed beads, freshwater pearls, and larger glass, quartz and amethyst beads dangling in a cascade across the top that move as the wearer does.

The earrings are my handmade glass beads with metallic accent beads, and the raindrop beads that are also shown loose.  Click on either image for a closer view.

Something old and something new, and a salute to the upcoming Royal Wedding that is filling the news.  Here my teacup had foam that took the shape of a portrait of Kate Middleton!  I won’t be auctioning it off like the jelly bean story on the BBC.

teacup Kate with fancy hat

On a more serious note, this event will have an audience in the millions.

Princess Diana’s funeral had an estimated viewership of 33 million, and if half of them recited the Lord’s Prayer when it was spoken during that service, that (due to the technology of the global simulcast) was the largest unison prayer in the history of our planet.   Maybe that prayer will be a part of the wedding service?  Wishing the couple every happiness and a day of global harmony.

Blue with hints of spring green

Seafoam blues with hints of green

The Vernal Equinox arrives, and today’s creation features three Aura Sun Arts beads strung with a range of blues and hints of green.

The handmade beads feature my favorite blue and gold glimmers, and tiny air bubbles encased in clear glass.  I add the air bubbles by making a mesh of glass strings and encasing over that.  Many glass artists view air bubbles as mistakes, but I find them to be really fun.  When you spin the bead the bubbles look like tiny planets in orbit.

Click on the photo for a closer look.  This one is 24 inches and needs no clasp.  It has already gone to a good home, but a similar creation might cost $95.00.

butterfly beads

I once had a butterfly stand,


where I sold hand colored paper butterflies to my mother, who wisely thought that safer and more creative than a lemonade stand.

I suspect she still has those paper butterflies, carefully stored away.

Now I have the chance to try my hand at butterflies again, shaky childish efforts only a mother could love.  Click to see them fly.

glass butterflies

Could this be an example of the mother-daughter butterfly effect?

private reserve: multistrand necklaces

tubular seed beads with focal bead

There are many different styles for stringing beads into finished pieces.  These are not for sale, but are examples of my work.

This one shows a focal lampworked bead with a choker made of seed beads, woven in peyote stitch into a tube.  Mo approved.  These will be fun to make in a rainbow of colors.

multicolored multistrand

On the left is a set of multicolored seed beads; coral, turquoise, deep blue, with chips of opal and chunks of coral interspersed.  The multistrand necklace has a coral focal bead, and the peyote stitch bracelet has coral buttons.  Click to see entire view.

brown buddha

On the right, is  a multistrand  seed bead necklace in a gradient of browns, interspersed with brown pearls and larger brown faceted glass beads.  Click to see the matching earrings.  I did not carve the lovely boxwood Buddha bead, the signature on the back might be Japanese.

best of 2008 blues

Lastly, a single strand that has the best of the blue beads I made in 2008 during classes at Glass Expressions, in Burien, WA.  The clear and frosty beads are quartz.  Also shown are matching earrings.

Click on any of the photos for a larger view.

animal beads

Creating small sculptures in glass is an interesting challenge.

elephants and friends, click to see all

The molten glass is like taffy or honey and tends to leave strings of itself behind.  You melt an initial blob to be the body, then dab on another blob at the hip, and watching carefully, pull slowly, drawing out a string of the proper thickness to form a leg, bending it into a leg shape, and then melt the excess away at the foot.  Later as you are working on another leg, you must take care to not accidentally melt the first leg, or melt off the tail.  It is wise to work on the biggest body parts first and leave the tiny extremities for the last.

Here are some of my baby steps in this arena; a black horse, a green hummingbird, and a trio of elephants.  These are not for sale, they are just kindergarten doodles.

To see the work of master glass sculptor Pino Signoretto, and learn about his life, check out this in depth interview at the Nautica website.

“Furthermore, glass itself has something to do with the sea, in effect, to make the magic happen you need four ingredients: sand, water, air and fire, to which I would add a fifth element which is the physical energy which the artist needs to use to shape glass.”  ~  Pino Signoretto

Private reserve

There are some things you make that are really fun,

seed bead bracelets

but take so long to make or are so special you can’t ever consider selling them.

These peyote stitch seed bead bracelets are about two inches wide and at twenty or thirty hours apiece are not a practical item to try to mass produce.  But making them is much like knitting, just a needle, thread, and picking up the next bead to fit in the pattern, or the next color that calls out to you.  I had fun weaving these while watching TV, until a certain black and grey kitten arrived at my house and I had to hide such temptations.

The black and white one is a Mayan design called the Hunab Ku, a spiral that shares the wisdom of the yin and yang symbol.

If you click on the image you can see them at full size.  By starting the weaving with a row of black and white beads or a very high contrast set of colors, it helps to keep the pattern straight until you get the rhythm down.