Friday, 19 August 2011

Bead Soup on the Boil

While I was away, I saw some announcements online for the upcoming Bead Soup Blog party. I have been aware of this event for several years, and had often wished to be involved, but I never heard about it early enough to sign up. This year I did, but the sign up period was while I was in the air flying home from my trip! It's a conspiracy I swear :). Anyway, a friend organised my sign up while I was travelling, so this year, I'm involved. It was a real rush to get some new beads made and sent out in the short period between my return and the postal deadline, but I made it, and my beads are winging their way to the US as we speak. My exchange partner has also sent my bead soup mix, and I will post some pics as soon as it arrives. The basic premise of this exchange is to send a beautiful clasp, and a focal pendant-worthy bead, as well as some 'supporting' beads, that can all be put together to make a piece of jewellery, combined with extra pieces they might already have. So half the fun is the anticipation of not knowing what you are getting. My partner is a polymer clay artist I believe, so that will be new for me - Ive never made jewellery with polymer clay beads before.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Home Sweet Home

I guess its a sign of a great trip that I didn't really have time or inclination to blog while I was away? Unlike other travels I undertake, my trips to the US are all about the people... and the glass, but definitely the people. Its great to see the country, and some places have been highlights, but I choose my itinerary based on who I will visit, or what classes I will attend, not on tourist attractions or scenery. This last trip was no exception. I visited dearly missed close friends and stayed with wonderful, brave people who took a chance on a random visiting Australian, and I had a fantastic time. The ISGB Gathering was an amazing way to wind things up. If I hadn't been flat out learning and having fun with a few hundred like minded glass peeps, I would have been quite homesick by the end of the trip, but there was very little time to pine for home. I brought home wonderful memories, and some amazing new pieces for my glass collection. Importantly, I also brought home new found enthusiasm and inspiration for my glass. I am intending to change direction slightly, and get a bit more focused and disciplined with my glass. I want to explore and develop more deeply some of my own original ideas I've produced, and then moved on from, over the years. And I intend to actively plan my beads more. Sharon Peters talk about inspiration and creativity was quite inspiring for me. I guess it wasn't anything I didn't already know, as a secondary art teacher, but I have resisted that approach for some reason, to my glass. So, now I have a new sketchbook for beads, and a bunch of photos of designs, patterns, colours etc to start off with for inspiration. I doubt I will use it religiously - its just not my style, but there are already plenty of ideas to be going on with in those pages - something I've been lacking for quite some time. So, I'm happy to be home, and looking forward to playing with some new ideas at the torch. But first I have to finish the remaining 100 blue and yellow beads I'm making for SCA tokens - it's going to be such a pleasure to use other colours when I'm done!!