Jan 31, 2009

Sunny Days in Israel

While we do need the rain - desperately - we're having glorious sunny days here in Israel and I'm enjoying them. To help you all enjoy your sun (and I hope you have a least some sun every day) I'm posting a new suncatcher or two in my Etsy store - and a photo here in my blog.

This particular suncatcher has a piece of raw rose quartz in the center. For those of you who follow crystals, I've heard that rose quartz promotes love and harmony in the home.

Wishing us all pleasant, sunny days and rainy nights - we do need that rain - I"m heading out to the garden.....

Jan 30, 2009

I promised, and here it is!

Yesterday I wrote all about my new box - I photographed it this morning and am posting a photo of it. Read yesterday's blog for the description!

Jan 29, 2009

A word about boxes.... glass boxes, of course!

I love making stained glass boxes, and just finished up a new one today. I don't have photos of it yet so I'm posting photos of a boxes from last year that I also love. Every box I make is special - they're often created as personal commissions, with a unique design based on input from my clients. Sometimes people have me sandwich invitations, photos or poems between glass in the lid or base.

The box I finished today has a wooden floor, cut from a wine crate, clear sides and tops and a really cool design in the lid with a lot of smooth curves. The lid has 2 doors that open from the center. I did it in clear glass so we can see the winery's logo burned into the wood. I treated it all with a nice copper patina.

After I finish a box, I shred the pattern in my handy-dandy office shredder. Not only does this guarantee that I'll never make an identical box but it also provides me with filler when I package my art for shipping!

Jan 28, 2009

Day 2 - Still in Love with Glass

I still love glass - but is that a surprise? Naaaaaaw......

This is just a brief update regarding current projects - I've been invited by a local, boutique winery to create lampwork necklaces from their used wine bottles. They'll show - and sell - the necklaces in their Visitor Center. I've decided to prepare 4 necklaces and a stained glass display box. I'm in the middle of this project so no photos of it yet, but I'm adding a photo of some beads I made from another wine bottle. I started making beads from bottles with ecology in mind - there is so much glass around, I believe it would be criminal not to recycle it. And what better way than to turn it in to durable, wearable, beautiful art?!

Have you noticed? It seems like most wine bottles come in different colors. The beads in the photo that I'm adding to the blog are from a very dark bottle and decorated with a bit of paladium leaf. From now on, when you buy wine, don't just look at the price or the wine, take a look at the color of the bottle, too!

Are you interested in lampworking with old bottles? Let me know and I'll post some tips and tricks. Harvesting the glass is a big part of the effort, so you need to be prepared to invest some time.

Jan 27, 2009

First Blog, First Love

I'm admitting it. I'm addicted to glass. (I'm also addicted to popcorn, if that matters.) This is my first blog ever and I'll try to keep it up with stories about my creations, other people's creations, tips and tricks for glass artists, and photos of my work.

My real name is Cecilia, and most people call me Cec. I live in Israel and I am a glass artist. I have a small, packed, studio and dreams of expanding my space. When I first started working with glass, I was living in a very tiny house - less 40 meters (about 350 sq feet), with my 4 children - and there wasn't room for a studio, so I turned one of the bedrooms into a studio and put my mattress under my work table. Every night, before getting into bed, I had to shake off all the glass splinters and pick off any spatters of solder that had landed on my blankets.

What does it mean to be addicted to glass? Well, some women love shoes - I have a friend with perhaps 100 pairs in her closet. I might even have 2 friends like that. I, on the other hand, have 1 pair of decent tennis shoes, 1 pair of hiking boots with torn and knotted laces, and a worn pair of black dress shoes that I purchased almost 15 years ago. They serve me well. But if you leave my closet and wander on down to my studio, you'll find that I have at least 5 different kinds of glass, in every color imaginable. I have materials for creating stained glass, for lampworking and for fusing. I have rods, sheets, and old bottles. I have some really cool tools and lots of findings and things like crystals, fossils and some ceramic fairies that I once thought I might figure out how to incorporate into a lamp. I am insatiable, and sometimes impractical, when it comes to stocking my studio. I go without food when my bank account is low, but I never go without glass. I also cheerfully go into debt to buy glass but then, with the price of art glass (particularly here in Israel), how could it be otherwise?

If you're not yet convinced, I also dream about glass at night, fantasize about sucking on or even eating my lampwork beads, and hallucinate about melting glass in times of high physical and emotional stimulation (you work that out for yourself since this is potentially a family blog). I don't care about cuts, burns, getting stabbed while working - I once leaned over to examine something and effectively stabbed myself in the face with a drying mandrel - or the stains on my clothes. When I think of glass, none of that matters.....

As far as addictions go, I think this one is pretty harmless. In fact, I think I've made some pretty nice pieces and have even passed on my intense love of glass to many of my students.

You can see my "real" website at http://www.cdesigns-isr.com/ There is a gallery there, with some of my older pieces. There are also links to some of my internet stores and you can find my newer pieces there. And eventually - like, maybe, tomorrow, I'll figure out how to add photos to my blog!

Are you a glass artist? Please comment and query and let me know that I'm not alone in the universe!