Monday, March 3, 2008

most famous

How cool is THIS????
I've had jewelry featured in magazines before, but never like this!! And there's my big fat head! Amazing!!!

The magazine is Tattoos for Women and it's published by the same people who publish Skinart.

And I was interviewed. Terrifying!!! They emailed me questions and then I had to try & not sound like an idiot, AND be interesting. They only published a little bit of what I wrote so in case anyone is having trouble sleeping I thought I'd let you read everything I sent them. Ready?

1. Where do you get the inspiration for your designs?

Half the time I’d say my inspiration comes directly from the glass I’m melting at the time. Each color, type, and brand of glass has different qualities, and while I’m melting it something will just scream BONE! or HEART!, etc. Most of my bones for example are made with a type of glass called Reichenbach and for a very long time it was only used by glass blowers not lampwork artists like myself. When the rods were made available I bought a ton of it, played around, hated it for the designs I was making at the time and stuck it on a shelf. Probably a year later I gave it another try and realized that the earthy qualities in the glass lent itself perfectly to the bone shape. I also get a lot of ideas from listening to my customers. The “undead undead” heart (white heart with bleeding punctures) was a customer request and combining the hearts and bones was a suggestion from an artist at a show I was part of last year. It’s probably pretty obvious that some of my hearts are based on Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and others, like the heart and crossbones are based on tattoos.

2.What is you relationship to the tattoo community?

I do have a flame tattoo around my ankle that oddly enough I got before I started working with fire as my career, and I do draw inspiration from tattoo art, but other than that I don’t really have one.

3.What is your process like? How do you start a piece? How do you know when you’re finished?

What I do is called lampworking and in case some people aren’t familiar with what that is I’ll explain. I use a small torch mounted to my table that runs on a mixture of propane and oxygen. I melt rods of glass in flame at about 1700 degrees. While the glass is melting I wind it around a clay coated steel rod called a mandrel. This is what forms the hole in the bead. All of the shaping is done while the glass is molten. Once I’m done forming the bead I place it in a kiln to anneal. This removes the stress from the glass while it is cooling.

Each piece is done one at a time, and once I start working on a bead I can’t stop until it is done. Some of the pieces can take up to an hour to get exactly how I want it.

I rarely sketch a piece before I make it. Usually I just know in my head what I want and then I see if the glass agrees with me.

4.In addition to art, what are your passions?

I have a two year old daughter who can be incredibly funny and she’s always a challenge. Before she was born my boyfriend and I spent a lot of time going out to see bands. I had worked in record stores for years and between the two of us we have an insane cd collection and since we were living in DC at the time we had the opportunity to see almost every band we loved. When she was born we moved to NC. I took almost a year off from my business and I’ve spent the past year rebuilding it, so we haven’t had time to go out. I guess I’m still in the “new mommy haze” so that makes her my number one passion.

5. What kind of music do you like?

It depends on what I’m doing. When I’m traveling to my craft shows, which I do a lot, I like to listen to Social Distortion, Reverend Horton Heat, NIN, anything rockabilly, etc. It needs to be loud and driving so I can sing and keep myself awake. When I’m melting glass I listen almost exclusively internet radio, most of the time to WOXY Vintage which plays an amazing mix of 80’s (from my high school days!) and early 90’s (when I started working in the record stores!).

6. Did you go to art school? If so, what was it like? If not, how did you master your craft?

I did go to art school, but only briefly. I went to the American University in DC for 3 years, took a few art classes, but never really committed to anything while I was there. I transferred to The Corcoran School of Art which is also in DC for a year but didn’t take any courses related to glass or jewelry. I loved art school but didn’t see how it would translate in to a career.
For a long time I made a living painting glassware and selling it at the Eastern Market in DC. I used to watch tv while I painted and one day on some basic cable “make your home more beautiful” show I saw a quick demonstration on lampworking. As soon as I could I found a weekend class, took it, and have spent the past 6 years melting, researching and experimenting.

7. Which artists are your favorites?

Of the “famous” artists I love Louise Nevelson, Richard Diebenkorn and William T. Wiley. But there are an incredible amount of new, younger artists whose work is extremely affordable and readily available. I seem to find a new one on etsy almost every day. I have stacks of prints that desperately need to be framed.
What I really enjoy is what I guess you’d call folk art, any art made with a jumble of recycled, repurposed items. I have a beautiful pink bird made from reclaimed barn wood in my front yard, and various animals welded together from assorted junk hanging out in the backyard.

8. Are there any art movements you identify with?

Lowbrow, definitely. Most of my hearts would be right at home on the pages of “Juxtapoz”. But mix in a heavy dose of gothic and a splash of steampunk. Oh yeah, and Craft. Craft is really important right now.

9. What’s your favorite book?
Alice in Wonderland has had the most effect on my work and lead me to some really interesting things (have you seen Jan Svankmeyer’s stop animation movie “Alice”?), and almost anything by Margaret Atwood, William Gibson, and Kurt Vonnegut.

10. Where are you from? Where did you grow up? How do these places interact with your artistic creations?
I’m currently living in Raleigh, NC but I grew up outside of Philadelphia. Moved to DC for school then moved to Atlanta, Philly, DC, Brooklyn, back to DC before finding my way down here. The cities I’ve spent time in are so rich in art, and in DC most of the museums are free, so I was exposed to all kinds of wonderful things. Before leaving DC for NC I sold my work at the Eastern Market every weekend which is an outdoor artist market/flea market, but it allowed me to make a living off of my art. Really what it did was allow me to work on my art every day since it was my job, and that’s how I got where I am today.

11. Let our readers know everywhere they can find your stuff…online and in person.

My website is where I have most of my made to order pieces. About a year and a half ago I started selling on etsy ( to get rid of some of my one of kind pieces that had just been lying around, but I’m having such a good time there that now I list my new work there before it ever makes it to my website. I also do a lot of craft shows every year, mostly in the MD, DC, VA, NC area. These are all listed on my website.

Still with me? :)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

out of the kiln

I just pulled these out of the kiln. Since I can't find a hot pink glass that'll work for me I decided to make one myself!
Some of these are already taken but if you want one I'm happy to make more :)