a complex twistie

Here are some photos that Anne Lindsay took while Heather Trimlett made a complex twistie at Bead Camp. A complex twistie is multiple layers of glass that are stretched and twisted around each other making a spectacular spiral of colour.

This is an overhead view of Heather starting to layer the colours of glass.

Layers and layers of glass, very neatly stacked.

Encased in clear, without trapping any air.

Here you see the magnifying properties of glass.

Heather likes to transfer the encased layers of glass to steel punties for the thorough heating, then twisting and pulling stages of the process.

Twist like crazy while gently pulling. The fine lines of opaque colour help you see that you're twisting evenly.

Heather's twists are always even and the diameter is always consistant.

Here it is, annealed. Fascinating!



more mailboxes

After our early morning walk on the beach, Anne and I drove along Casey Key admiring where some of "The 1%" spend some of their time, but most of all we delighted in their mailboxes! The Manatee...


The Dolphins...



The Pelican...



and my favourite, the Westie...



I'd love to show you their "cottages", but I'm just not comfortable with that,

but this might be the Pearly Gates...


a crunchy beach

The beach along Casey Key, in Nokomis Florida, is very different from a PEI beach. It is entirely made of shells, in whole and in part, but not finely ground. It crunches beneath your feet and I felt very badly about breaking all those BEAUTIFUL shells!  




This guy gave me the creeps. He's a horseshoe crab. Very prehistoric!




This crab was beautifully coloured with highlights of cerulean blue.



Hula Anne enjoying a sunrise walk before Bead Camp.


She gave me great joy. What a wonderful roommate! Thank you Anne!!!


I whizzed by this spectacular mailbox while I was out for an early morning power-walk, in the Bead Camp neighbourhood, in Nokomis Florida. My wonderful roommate Anne and I went back to take these photos on our lunch break. I was so excited, I'm afraid they are all a bit out of focus. This mailbox would make a perfect subject for the "I Spy" books that my kids and I poured over for hours and hours.



Shells, buttons, beads, bits of jewellery, a compass and a watch, a key and some belt buckles.



A flameworked glass bird in my 2 favourite transparent glass colours, turquoise and green.



The mystery of cane cut marbles has begun to unravel for me, thanks to glass artist Francis Coupal. I met Francis at Salon Des Métiers D'Art when I was in Montreal on Sunday. These photos don't even come close to showing you the magnificence of these hand made marbles, but they might inspire you to check out Francis' blog and a series of photos of him making marbles.






I'm embarrassed by the state of my French language skills, so it's BACK TO SCHOOL for me! I took the placement test at UPEI, and am now register in Scott Lee's French 211 class. I paid my tuition and bought my textbook and some bus tickets this morning. My new best friend is a French/English dictionary. I use the 2 cd's for atmosphere in the studio.

My goal is to provide better service for the Francophone visitors to the studio. Merci pour votre patience, tout le monde!

All I need is a notebook and some courage.

Heather Trimlett

I had the great pleasure of studying with Heather Trimlett at the Brazee Street Studios last October. I just knew it was going to be a blast when Heather stood up and started waving a purple marker!

Some of my delightful classmates: Dee, Leanne and Janet.

Heather explained and demonstrated...

and we hung on her every word.

I even got to run my fingers through a bowl of Trimlett Candy.

Heather teaches technique, first. Because I am a full-time bead maker and I work on my own, I don't have much opportunity to learn from others. Spending the weekend with Heather and this wonderful group of flameworkers was an extremely encouraging, fulfilling and uplifting experience, and my technique improved tremendously!

Our class photo!

silver rings

My dear friend Jeanette is a master goldsmith. She is extremely generous with her skills and her time. Jeanette would like me to put more silver elements in my jewellery pieces. To encourage me on my way she has taught me how to clean castings. After a carved wax has been cast in metal it has a rough, dull finish. In order to give it a mirror finish, you need to remove the rough bits and make the surface as smooth as possible using a variety of hand and power tools. I started with a coarse file and worked down to a fine file, then coarse emery paper to fine emery paper, then I used a polishing compound and finally rouge, to give these 6 rings their mirror finish.

Can you see the thin ring in the fore ground reflected in the surface of the wavy ring? That means I did an excellent job. The ring in the front, on the left, and the 2 in the background are meant to have matt finishes. Their insides gleam though.

I am very, very pleased with what I've learned, and I have started thinking about ways to incorporate silver elements in the Artisan Collection. Stay tuned...

last summer in the studio

I took a lot of photos of things and people that made me smile. I intended to post them here, but I was shy.  Well, now it's 2011, and I'm turning 50, and it's time to get on with it. RED Gerbera daisies. JOY! I kept these vibrant flowers on my window sill and then out on my window ledge for months. They were my most successful indoor plant experience ever. I kept trimming the faded blooms, and new ones would appear, like magic.

I can never buy "just one" bouquet from Vanco farms.

The view from inside.

Axel is a connoisseur of glass. His dad  is a hot glass blower.

New friends! Anne and Yvette were touring the Island in a RoadTrek (deluxe camper van). They stopped in, and stayed. The next day Yvette made me my first cappuccino ever and then I went touring with them. We checked out every room at Dulvay-by-the -Sea (a.k.a. The White Sands Hotel), made watercolour paintings and visited Avonlea Village. I had a wonderful day!

The Confederation Centre Gallery runs an art program for kids during the summer. This group of budding artists came up to the studio for a demo of glass bead making. They asked lots of questions and I enjoyed myself tremendously.


A beautiful bunch of handmade headpins.

This oriental blue, silver encased necklace was shipped to Burlington, Ontario. I was very, very pleased with it. The bead is built up in layers starting with the blue at the core, then clear, then the fine silver wire, then more clear the encase the whole bead. When you heat a wire encased bead beyond a certain temperature, the wire will melt and pull into balls, hence the "bubble effect".

This HURT! I dropped the hot rod of glass, and picked it up by the wrong end. It stuck to my fingers for a fraction of a second. I knew right away that they were going to hurt. Luckily for me, there's a restaurant downstairs and I just held out my cup and said "ICE! I burnt my fingers." They could tell by my face that I wasn't kidding.

Mark must have been laughing about something else, not my fingers.

Lily's first earrings, and they're Happy Glass!

Karin traveled from Wisconsin (please correct me if I'm wrong) to visit PEI, and look who's on her map!