Tag Archives: art

Still Shopping? I’m Listening.

I wish I had the resources to grab my displays and put on a full-out trunk show for everyone who is asking about Angel’s Share fused glass. What a fun whirlwind that would be! And the appreciation and support is really heart-warming.

My glass-making skills outstrip my photography skills.  Still, you may get a glimpse of the deep color and glow of these handmade gems.

My glass-making skills outstrip my photography skills. Still, you may get a glimpse of the deep color and glow of these handmade gems.

Alas, once again I am constrained by both the laws of physics and my own physical limitations. So for those of you in Anne Arundel County and neighboring areas, who are still looking for last-minute gifts, and would love something made locally and by hand, by a real person with a face and a name, I’ve added links to the right sidebar  where my work can be found. Hopefully, that list will grow, as each outlet has its own vibe, and they’ve chosen different styles to showcase.

Lillie Pad Studios features my Artifact line, with raw edges and mixed materials.

The Angel's Share Artifact series is always changing, depending on what materials I've foraged. These three pieces include salvaged window glass, copper mesh, electrical wiring, steel cable, and ground glass powder, as a start.

The Angel’s Share Artifact series is always changing, depending on what materials I’ve foraged. These three pieces include salvaged window glass, copper mesh, electrical wiring, steel cable, and ground glass powder, for a start.

There’s a lot of repurposed inclusions in these pieces, scavenged from houses undergoing renovation. And owner Michelle Lillie is an amazing glass-blower, with a great variety of her work available as well. The upstairs Gallery features work by several local fine artists, including paintings and sculptures. For a really unforgettable gift, package a pair of Angel’s Share earrings with a voucher for one of the glass-blowing or ceramics classes offered at the Studio.

Ridgely Retreat in West Annapolis is showcasing my Angel Stacks this winter.

I try to nudge the colors for the Angel Stacks, but really, the outcome is up to the whim of the kin gods.  Yeah,  I know there's science in there too, but I prefer to believe in magic.

I try to nudge the colors for the Angel Stacks, but really, the outcome is up to the whim of the kiln gods. Yeah, I know there’s science in there too, but I prefer to believe in magic.

Tailored in shape, yet full of fire and color, these pieces will bring a sparkle to the grayest of days. Ridgely Retreat is such a warm and peaceful place, consider it a gift to yourself just to drop by and enjoy a cup of herbal tea while you shop. And in the spirit of loving-kindness, couple an Angel’s Share pendant with a certificate for a massage or a yoga class offered on site.

And both locations have abundant, free parking! How’s that for taking the stress out of last-minute shopping?

Happy Holidays, and wishes for the most wonderful of New Year’s.

This sign from an Annapolis shop says it all. (photo courtesy of South Jersey Locavore)

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Sue, This One’s For You!

“Are we there yet? ”

“Are we there yet?”

“Are we there yet?”

Ok, it hasn’t been like that at all. But you know the feeling you get when your conscience is bugging you about doing something and yet you keep finding ways to avoid doing it? Even though you know you would feel, and be, a lot better if you just got yourself organized/brave/virtuous and did the blasted thing?

Well, Sue has been my Jiminy Cricket for the past (sigh) few years about sharing more of my glass work. Specifically, my jewelry. And I kind of have a love-hate relationship with my jewelry. It gives me so much joy to make, but that Yankee angel on my shoulder tells me I really should be doing something more beneficial to the world. I can sell it, which is good because it’s therefore not too indulgent of an activity. But it’s not Serious Art with capital letters or any underlying meaning, and that Art School angel whispers that it’s not a very worthwhile pursuit. So I dither on about sharing it or hiding it, until someone like Sue ( although there’s really no-one like Sue) baits me by saying she has already promised someone, two people, a whole conference room full of people, that she will have some pictures of what I am working on by Monday afternoon.

So welcome to Monday afternoon.

This is just one of the piles of scrap glass that lives and grows at Angel’s Share Studio. (aka the back porch) This glass forms the foundation of all the jewelry.


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The glass is cut, smashed, and splintered…yippee! It is stacked 4 to 6 layers tall and covers about 4 square inches. Then it is set into the kiln for about 8 hours. When it comes out, it looks like this slab, minus the magic marker lines. I drew those in hopes of cutting the slab into maximally-useful pieces. Or something.

 

I use a tile saw with a very thin and very expensive diamond coated blade to cut the glass into smaller shapes. They have to soak in water until the next step or they will get scummy the next time they go into the kiln. Here’s a bowl full of good intentions.

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After the rough cut, the pieces are shaped on an electric diamond grinder, and then kept wet until they are hand-sanded on a diamond sanding block. (Yes, I do love to keep myself surrounded with diamonds, although it’s not exactly what I imagined as a little girl.)  Then the pieces are cleaned again, and put back into the kiln for fire-polishing. This is what they look like after that stage.

What happens next?  Depending on the individual piece, it may be time to set it, or I might decide it needs some more work, in which case the cutting, firing, grinding, cleaning, sanding and fire-polishing repeats.

I had a great pop-up event last week.  The good news is I sold a lot of pieces.  The bad news is I don’t have any in the final stages to show you today.  (If you’d like to see some jewelry that has been re-homed, look here.)

So Sue, go ahead and flash this post on the Jumbotron at work.  Thanks for your encouragement.  This one’s for you.

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New Local Art Gallery, and Shameless Self-Promotion

Michelle Lillie at Lillie Pad Studios has been busy creating and teaching blown glass, silversmithing, and ceramics in her tricked-out barn in Millersville.

Michelle Lillie guiding a first-time glass student.

I took an introductory hot glass class with her this week, and, although this technique is clearly not my forte, she managed to calmly help me coax a semi-recognizable flower from my clunky blob of molten glass.

This…this…is a flower that I made in my first hot glass session at Lillie Pad Studios. I was going for stark realism, so the beetle-ravaged look is entirely intentional. I swear.

 Other students’ work is much more impressive.

I try not to seethe with jealousy.

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That first-time student pictured above is a natural! Look at this gorgeous swirl of glass!

Michelle’s own work is stunning, and deserves to be appreciated.
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Michelle Lillie. Those balloons are actually blown glass!

In very welcome news, she is opening a stand-alone gallery that will showcase her creations as well as other local artists in a variety of mediums. Lillie Pad Gallery is having a grand opening this Saturday, October 27, all day and into the night. There will be food and drink (of course!) as well as artist demonstrations, hands-on activities, and a raffle for artwork.

Action shot of an artist at work.

If you are out and about Anne Arundel County on Saturday, make a point to drop by. Lillie Pad Gallery has art at a wide variety of price points, so you may even find a piece for yourself or for Holiday giving.

To make this even more exciting, work from my very own Angel’s Share Studio will be on display!

Angel’s Share Studio fused glass jewelry.

I’ll be offering my kiln-fired glass through the Gallery. For those of you that have been asking where to find my pieces, here’s a great (and convenient) venue. I’m showing my one-of-kind fused glass jewelry at this time, with prices that are friendly for collectors (meaning, you can indulge yourself when it is hard to decide on just one).

So please visit Lillie Pad Studio and Gallery.  Support local business.  Support local artists.  And have a great weekend!

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Repurpose This: Metal Cat Silhouette

This is another unexpected treasure we found after final cleanup was done at one of the Back Creek Design project houses. I was keeping it on our little patio, but it seemed to get lost in the aggressive vine growth. A bit rusty, a bit rumpled…appropriate for the image of a dumpster kitty.

About 12 inches in length, this skinny kitty has no visible means of support. Will you give it a home?

So would you use it as a garden accent? Or a Halloween decoration?

Fashion it into a votive candle holder? (photo courtesy of Pronto.com)

Add some paint and turn him into a piece of yard art?

How about a mailbox topper?  This one was on eBay.  Nifty!

Share all your crazy ideas with the rest of us.  And let me know if you want to give him a new home for the winter!

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