A few weeks ago, I attended a weekend retreat at Frantz Art Glass, hosted by the local ISGB (International Society of Glass Beadmakers) group. This was the third year I got to go and as usual, I had a great time! The weekend was full of wonderful demos from various artists, I got to re-connect and make new friends, and we all shopped 'til we literally dropped in the Frantz warehouse. I admit, I was a bit of an enabler for some ladies who first walked into the store claiming they didn't really need anything—but by the time I got through showing them all the beautiful glass I was excited about, they ended up buying more than they had planned on! LOL I can't help it—my happiness over discovering new glassy colors must be contagious?!
I also got to attend a special class by Kerri Fuhr, who is a marvelously talented and generous bead artist I have high up on my "favorites" list. She creates the most wonderful wildlife and tapestry style beads. We promised we wouldn't post unflattering photos of her, but I have one still in my camera that I think just might be the ticket to blackmailing her into giving me one of her beads??? LOL
This is one of the beads I made in her class that I was kinda proud of. It's a honker though! Kerri insisted we all make these humongous beads so we'd have more surface to decorate as we practiced, and it was a hoot sitting by Lara and seeing both our eyes bugging out as we created bigger beads than either one of us had ever made before. I can't wait to work on this technique some more (perhaps, on a slightly smaller bead?)!
This is my friend Lara Lutrick, showing us how she creates her marvelously organic Nebula style beads:
This is Scott Bouwens of Bearfoot Arts, showing off all the cool tools he's invented and demonstrating how to make a blown vessel with his Electric Spinning Mandrel (EMS). I ended up buying several new tools to go with the EMS I already had, and have been loving how much they help with my beadmaking.
This is Kathy Seamands, the owner of Creation is Messy, which makes some of my favorite gorgeous glass colors. The little cutie in her arms is Zachary and I loved hearing and watching him laugh. I've been doing new color testing for her for almost 2 years now, but this was the first time we've been able to meet in person. We hit it off the bat right away, of course!
I shared a hotel room during the weekend with my friend Ann and had a great time together, even if we both kept getting us lost while driving around town (and we had GPS!?!) Ahh, the trials and tribulations of the Directionally Challenged! LOL We also learned how to use bronze clay to create embossing molds for glass and how to solder wire and metal to create jewelry. Thanks to everyone who was so free in sharing their knowledge and skills, I came back from the retreat feeling refreshed and inspired to try many new things. My only complaint is I have more ideas in my brain now than there are hours in the day to do them as quickly as I would like! *sigh* I guess I better high-tail it out to my studio now, huh?! *Ü*